McQuaig Assessment System – Word Survey


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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 2nd March 2006

Description of the Test

The McQuaig System is based on the notion that there are three major areas to probe when appraising personnel – ability, character, and temperament. 1. Ability is assessed using a traditional intelligence test, called the Occupational Test. The manual claims it is a test of ‘practical intelligence’ or a test of being able to learn quickly, or adapt. It is a test of being able to think quickly – to answer 50 questions in 15 minutes. 2. Character is tapped through observation and interviews. 3. Temperament is assessed using a type indicator. This the Word Survey. It is a self-appraisal technique with a forced-choice format. It provides ipsative measures of four qualities – Dominance (D), Sociability (S), Relaxation (R) and Compliance (C) – which are claimed to be subsumed under the ‘Big Five’. The items are presented in two sections: ‘What you are really like’ (Real) and ‘How you think other people think of you in your work environment’ (Attempted). Discrepancies between the two are used in interpretation. Interpretation is based on profiles made up of high and low D, S, R and C scores. A number of types are defined by patterns of D S R C scores. The 1994 technical manual describes six basic personality profiles: Generalist, Pioneer, Specialist, Cooperator, Administrator, and Enthusiast. A seventh, less frequently occurring profile is that of Conflict. These seven profiles account for 88% of all profiles. In addition to these standard profiles, a number of non-standard profiles are described in the interpreter’s manual. The data from all three areas are brought together in the process of interpretation. As the focus of the present review is on the qualities of the ‘temperament’ measure (i.e. the Word Survey), issues raised by its integration with other measures will not be discussed in any detail. However, it should be remembered that the Word Survey is not intended to be used on its own.

Authors: The McQuaig Occupational Test® (J. H. McQuaig and A. B. Ferguson); the McQuaig Word Survey® (J. H. McQuaig); the McQuaig Job Survey® (D. Abbey, J. H. McQuaig, D. McQuaig and M. Townson).

Test Publisher: The Holst Group

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