Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ32)


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  • Create Date 11-March-2020
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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 8th October 2010

Description of the Test

The OPQ32 consists of three broad-spectrum tests of personality: OPQ32i, OPQ32n and the newest version the shortened OPQ32r. For the OPQ32r respondents are required to make forced choice responses between three mixed scale alternatives rather than four as they are for OPQ32i but improved modelling of this choice process leads to the information gained converted, using Item Response scoring, to reflect their underlying trait scores. As such the OPQ32r can be described as a forced-choice test with normative properties. In due course this is likely to replace the normative version (OPQ32n) and the ipsative version (OPQ32i) All three versions measure 32 facets of personality that are relevant to occupational uses such as selection, promotion, counselling, development, team building, organisational change and audits, training needs analysis and research. The 32 facets of personality are grouped into three domains that are divided into sub-domains as follows: Domain: Relationships with people Sub-domain scales: Influence: persuasive, controlling, outspoken, independent minded; Sociability: outgoing, affiliative, socially confident; Empathy: modest, democratic, caring. Domain: Thinking style Sub-domain scales: Analysis: data rational, evaluative, behavioural; Creativity: conventional, conceptual, innovative, variety seeking, adaptable; Structure: forward thinking, detail conscious, conscientious, rule following Domain: Feelings and emotions Sub-domain scales: Emotions: relaxed, worrying, tough minded, optimistic, trusting, emotionally controlled A possible fourth domain is called Dynamism and is composed of scales which relate to sources of energy, these are: vigorous, competitive, achieving, decisive. All three versions contain a scale that checks any issues in the way the user is responding that could affect the interpretation of the profile. Both the OPQ32r and OPQ32i have consistency scores while the normative OPQ32n has an additional scale to measure social desirability. With the use of appropriate software a number of secondary scores can be derived. These include the ‘big five’ personality factors, team roles, reporting style, follower style, learning style and potential on a range of management competencies. This model of personality is very similar to that used in the earlier version of the OPQ. The original version was published in 1984 after considerable development work and was aimed at a UK based user population. At the time of its original publication the OPQ was considered groundbreaking in its style and approach, moving away from the more clinical based instruments that were in usage. The test appears to measure surface traits rather than source traits. OPQ soon became a widely used instrument which underwent various refinements to aid ease of use and also to be used internationally. The OPQ32n and the OPQ32i were the result of a 5 year revision that was completed in 1999. It was undertaken largely to improve reliability and focus scales more tightly upon occupationally relevant traits. The shortened OPQ32r was completed in 2009 following advances in psychometrics that result in scores that have the key benefits of forced-choice format and normative scaling. The three tests are particularly suitable for use with managers and graduates. They are part of a family that includes shorter, more focused, tests such as the CCSQ (customer contact jobs), OPQ Factor (sales, technical & administrative jobs), WSQ (technical & semi-skilled staff) and OPQ Images that gives scores on the big five personality factors and on achievement motivation. The tests are available in many languages and may therefore be used in most European countries and globally as long as there is a language version that is appropriate for the candidate. An International norm group is now available for the OPQ32i so that candidates who have completed different language versions can be compared against this one international group. The tests are supported by a wide range of materials that include practice leaflets for test takers, question books, answer sheets, profile charts, scoring keys, a comprehensive user manual and an even more comprehensive technical manual that can be downloaded from the Internet. The questionnaire can be completed online as well as on paper and the normative version can be scored manually by the test user. A wide variety of reports can be produced by computer for all versions.

Authors: P.Saville, R.Holdsworth, G. Nyfield, L. Cramp and W.Mabey

Test Publisher: CEB (formerly SHL)