Personal Profile Analysis


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Note: This test review was published by BPS in 2003

Description of the Test:

The Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) is a 24-item, self-completion, and multi-scale instrument, designed for the assessment of work-related dispositions. American in origin, the PPA is an integral part of a system for use by line managers in work interviews. A companion instrument, for completion by employers, known as the Human Job Analysis (HJA), designed to assess jobs along a parallel set of dimensions, is intended for use in conjunction with the PPA, in order to enable the assessment of person-job fit. This review is concerned only with the PPA. The four scales of the PPA are as follows: 1. Dominance; 2. Influence; 3 Steadiness; 4 Compliance. The instrument is linked to Marston’s theory (Marston, 1920, 1925, 1927) that our behaviour is determined by whether we perceive our environment to be antagonistic or favourable, and whether we choose to adopt an active or passive response to it. PPA exists in 46 languages in translation. Scores along the four dimensions of the PPA and HJA are represented visually in a series of graphs, in order to facilitate the direct comparison of candidates self-descriptions (PPA derived) with the ‘ideal profiles’ derived independently, through the HJA. According to the Technical Handbook, ‘Congruence, or at least near concordance, is recommended by Thomas for increasing the probability of job success and satisfaction’ (Irvine, 1988, p. 9). Each of the graphs contains the four dimensions, vertically arrayed, and scaled using the raw score range in each case. The maximum scores on each scale vary from 15 to 21 depending on which graph is considered. The minimum scores vary from -21 to 0. High and low scores on each scale are identified in a grey shaded zone, and a central horizontal line divides each chart into two equal areas. Participants are presented with 24 items, each comprising a set of four adjectives, and are required to indicate which of the adjectives they feel are most and least like them, within each set. The information elicited from the PPA is used in order to derive three profiles, each comprising the four dimensions: a profile reflecting the characteristics which the candidate feels are most like him/herself (M); a profile capturing the characteristics the candidate believes to be least like him/herself (L), and a total profile (T), derived by subtracting the L scores from the M scores. Administration is by means of a self-administered booklet or, alternatively, via computer, using the ‘Thomas International Human Resources Software’. The latter is a Windows-driven computer program that enables users to administer, score and interpret responses to the PPA and HJA. Data gathered through the paper-pencil mode of administration may be scored in one of three ways: 1. by keying responses from the answer sheet directly into a personal computer, via the Human Resources Software; 2. by scoring the answer sheets manually; 3. via a consultancy service operated by Thomas International, the publisher and distributor (for which there is an extra charge). Extensive report-generating facilities are available, with a mixture of graphical and narrative information, and with pointers for feedback/interview discussion across a wide range of issues. Fifteen different types of ‘profile reports and job comparisons’ can be generated through the Human Resources Software, when the PPA is employed in conjunction with the HJA: 1. PPA profile 2. Management audit 3. Sales audit 4. Admin/tech audit 5. How to manage 6. Management interview questionnaire 7. Sales interview questionnaire 8. General questionnaire 9. Strengths and limitations 10. Career guidelines 11. Training needs 12. Executive summary 13. Human job analysis – definition 14. Human job analysis – comparison 15. Graphs and scores Each of the above items are charged as separate reports, with the exception of item 15, for which there is no charge.

Authors: Thomas. M. Hendrickson

Test Publisher: Thomas International Ltd.

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