PAPI 3 – Normative Version


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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 1st March 2014

Description of the Test:

The Personality and Preference Inventory (PAPI) is an online, international, work-related assessment tool.  The core version measures 22 work-related scales based on the ideas of American psychologist Max Kostick in the 1960s to measure psychological characteristics relevant to effective performance in the workplace. The scales are classified into 11 Needs (for example ‘Need to achieve’), which it is assumed interact with the 11 Role scales (such as ‘Attention to detail’) which represent self-perception of workplace behaviour. The original version of PAPI was ipsative and was used to explore how the individual’s motivations and behaviour interact in the work context within which they find themselves. A major revision and updating by Lewis & Anderson published in1996 led to the introduction of an additional normative version which could be used for comparison between people as required in selection.

The current edition of PAPI (which as the third edition is referred to as PAPI 3), was released in 2014 and was the result of a three-year research and development exercise involving Cubiks psychologists and clients in ten countries using a large, international development sample. The third edition led to further clarification and re-orientation of some scales, the addition of two new scales to the core scores as well as the development of extended versions using four additional scales to assess leaders and sales personnel. Links between the PAPI scales and the Big Five Personality Factors were also developed.

There is an extensive range of computer generated reports available designed with qualified users, unqualified users and test takers in mind. These cover a range of functions where PAPI 3 N might be used including selection, employee development and coaching. The publishers stress the importance of a feedback discussion to validate the information contained in the reports and provide extensive guidance notes about how to achieve a successful discussion.

PAPI 3 is designed for use purely within occupational settings, by accredited PAPI 3 users who have been certified as competent through an accredited course of qualifying training.

Both the core PAPI tool and the extended Sales and Leadership editions are available in Normative and Ipsative formats. This review is concerned with the Normative version of PAPI 3. This version is designed for use in situations where comparisons between people are required e.g. selection. There are a range of large international norms and UK norms are also available.

Authors: Dr Max Kostick (Version 1), Chris Lewis and Pauline Anderson (Version 2)

Test Publisher: Cubiks Ltd.

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