Introducing "The Science of Personality"

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Wed, Sep 24, 2014


People are the most dangerous and consequential force on Earth. Shouldn’t we know something about them?

Personality is a powerful predictor of human behavior – it describes how we learn, how we work and how we lead, who we love, what kind of company we keep, and how other people see us. But although the study of personality is centuries old, our ability to understand and control personality is relatively new.

Coming October 14, “The Science of Personality” is a feature-length documentary that brings together the foremost minds in personality psychology and the business world to explore what personality is and how it impacts our lives and the lives of those around us.

To watch the trailer and find more information, visit


Topics: personality, documentary

Hogan to Build New HQ in Downtown Tulsa

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Fri, Sep 19, 2014

We are excited to announce that work is underway at the site of our new global headquarters in downtown Tulsa, OK!

When Drs. Joyce and Robert Hogan founded our company in 1987, it was a three-person test publisher operating out of two adjoining rooms at our current address. Over the decades, that three-person assessment provider grew exponentially, gaining footholds at some of the most powerful multinational companies in North America and expanding our network of international partners and distributers to become the global leader in personality assessment and consulting.

As our business grew, so did our staff. We hired the brightest young psychologists and business minds, taking over and then outgrowing the building in which we once occupied only two small rooms. Now, looking to the future, we are building a world-class facility that will not only give us room to expand to more than 200 employees, but will be an architectural icon befitting our organization.

Designed by world-renowned firm Seltzer Schaefer Architects, the three-story, 35,000-SF building will work to architecturally unite Tulsa’s past with its future. One side of the building will be dominated by a glass wall that echoes Tulsa City Hall and alludes to the technology and transparency for which Hogan is known, while another will pay homage to the classic red brick buildings of the historic Greenwood District to the north.

“When we set out to design a new headquarters, we wanted something that would be more than a place to put our growing staff,” said Hogan COO Aaron Tracy. “We wanted to build something of architectural significance that would anchor the east end of downtown.”

Additional features include:

Sustainable design and construction including a green roof and 70 geothermal wells
Meeting space to accommodate training workshops and our partners and distributers
Rooftop patio and entertaining space, including a catering kitchen
Public art by renowned artist Shantell Martin
Design and workspace layout that reinforces collaboration and our work-hard, play-hard culture

Ted Osgood, American Commercial Group, is acting as developer, and Flintco is supervising construction.

“There are so many exciting things going on in our downtown right now,” Tracy said. “We have a young, highly educated group that wants an exciting place to be. Now, Tulsa’s downtown can compete with markets like Chicago, Dallas and Denver. There are places to live, places to eat and places to be entertained all within walking distance.”

For recent press coverage of Hogan’s new headquarters, click here.

You're Invited! How to Grow Employee Engagement Using Personality

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Fri, Sep 19, 2014


Topics: personality

Dysfunctional Team? It's Your Fault

Posted by Ryan Daly on Thu, Sep 18, 2014

High-performing teams can provide an undeniable advantage over the competition. However, most managers will tell you that although it is easy to put together a team with great potential, they rarely perform at their maximum capacity. Why? Because you’re doing it wrong.

Most managers put their resources into finding the right mix of functional roles in a team – roles dictated by people’s titles and reflect their hard skills (accountant, designer, engineer, etc.). However, they often neglect to balance the team’s psychological roles. Psychological roles are dictated by people’s personalities. There are five psychological roles to which people naturally gravitate: results, relationships, process, innovation, and pragmatism.

  1. Results - Individuals who gravitate toward the results role take responsibility for managing the team. They are comfortable taking charge, and are needed to communicate ideas, work processes, individual contributions, progress, and problems to the team.
  1. Relationships – Team members in the relationships role tend to be concerned with harmony and cooperation. They may also be the champion of the customer and stakeholders – someone who empathizes and understands how those outside the team will see things. Personally, they tend to be upbeat, gregarious, and outgoing.
  1. Process – Individuals who naturally focus on process are concerned with implementation, the details of execution, and the use of systems to complete tasks. They are reliable, organized, and conscientious about following rules and protocol.
  1. Innovation – Team members who gravitate toward the innovation role anticipate problems, and recognize when the team needs to adapt. They spot trends and patterns quickly, enjoy solving problems, and generate creative solutions.
  1. Pragmatism – Team members who are drawn to the pragmatism role are practical, somewhat hard-headed challengers of ideas and theories. They promote realistic approaches and aren’t easily swayed by the need to preserve harmony or innovation for its own sake.

To find out more about how to find the right balance of personalities for your team, check out our complimentary eBook, Dysfunctional Team? It's Your Fault.

Topics: teams

Research Q&A: What is "Kaizen psychometrics?"

Posted by Blaine Gaddis on Tue, Sep 16, 2014

kaizenPerhaps the best way to understand Kaizen Psychometrics is by considering each part of the phrase separately.

  • In the most literal sense, Kaizen means “good change” or “continual improvement.”
  • Psychometrics are the statistical analyses we conduct when developing or evaluating our assessments.

So, when we talk about assessment properties such as validity and reliability, those are based on psychometric analyses. But when we talk about analyses aimed at improving and/or updating our assessments, those are Kaizen psychometrics.

Why does Hogan talk so frequency about Kaizen psychometrics?

We talk a lot about Kaizen psychometrics because one of Hogan’s core values is to continually improve our business products, services, and practices. The foundation of all of these initiatives is our assessments.

Although this sounds simple, it is surprising how few test publishers work to update and improve their assessments. This is particular ly true for personality assessments, where the intervals between original content and new items or forms can often be measured in decades rather than years. Even worse, most are never updated at all.

The reason so few test publishers update their assessments is that it requires immense amounts of time and energy. Also, the effort needed is often multiplied by the number of translations available for an assessment (such as the 40+ we have for the HPI, HDS, and MVPI). But the costs of not updating assessments and related information such as norms can be much greater. Whether we like it or not, items become outdated, norms lose their relevance over time, and there is always room for improvement in even the most carefully constructed scale.

What are some examples?

In recent years we’ve improved our core assessments and will continue to make improvements in the future. Some examples include:

  • Creating and implementing new Global Norms for the HPI, HDS, and MVPI.
  • Updating items on the MVPI to remove references to religion.
  • Creating a new form of the HDS that now includes subscales.
  • Regularly testing and updating translations and local norms as new data become available.
  • Continually writing and piloting new items for potential use in future forms.
For more information about these or any other efforts aimed at continuing to improve our assessments, please contact Blaine Gaddis, Senior Manager of Product Research.

Topics: psychometrics

A Letter to Prudence

Posted by Michael Sanger on Thu, Sep 11, 2014

lettersDear Prudence,

Admittedly, I’m writing you on impulse. I’ll just come out and say it: I have issues with my direct boss, our company CEO, and I don’t know what to do. The thing is, it’s complicated. He’s also my former husband. For the sake of this letter, I’ll call my ex Cye Tubble.

Cye gave up on us, Prudence. And I don’t mean the family. I mean the office. He just threw his arms in the air and quit today. We never saw it coming. I mean, I suppose there were warning signs we ignored. He was always so optimistic about projects and then suddenly pessimistic. Reflecting back, one could say he was somewhat volatile. I always tried to persuade people this was an intense passion. I tried every which way to get them to see the positive side of demonstrating emotions. But it didn’t help that he would get so easily disappointed when things didn’t go his way.

Since we had such a close interpersonal history, I understood it when those who knew him best at the office described him as temperamental and harsh. And, yes Prudence, I tried to finesse this feedback into several one-on-one conversations with him. I wanted to help him see that he needed to define his beliefs and interests better; that otherwise, even though he seemed cooperative, he could appear lacking in direction. I even attempted to charm him into seeing the light. But in the end, he left.

So, now what do we do? Are we better off without Cye?

Help us Prudence,
Miss Chievous

Dear Miss Chievous,

Trying to manipulate someone into seeing their development opportunities will never work. You need to bring a balance of sympathy and straightforwardness in reflective, behaviorally based coaching questions after you are sure trust has been established. In regards to whether or not you are better off, I would also want to evaluate how Cye tends to react to feedback, or in other words how coachable he really is. This information can also help you understand if and to what extent he learns from his mistakes, and therefore if he will make good judgments and decisions in the future accordingly.

Regarding the behaviors you described in your letter, I would recommend picking up Hogan Assessments’ e-book “Coaching Strategies”. It should be used in conjunction with the Hogan Development Survey (HDS). This user friendly document can help a coach strategically approach delivering feedback around derailing behaviors and cultivate the invaluable strategic self-awareness necessary for sustainable development and change. Performance implications, insightful coaching questions, as well as common specific reasons each derailing behavior emerges, including underlying interpersonal schema are provided.

By the way, I think in situations like these, it’s good for everyone to take pause and reflect. For example, Miss Chievous, it can also be quite risky working with your Ex. I wonder if any impulsive behaviors emerged as a result. But that’s a whole different letter…

Stay on track,

Topics: derailment

How to Flunk Uber

Posted by Robert Hogan on Tue, Sep 09, 2014

Delia Ephron, a best-selling American author, screenwriter, and playwright, published an essay in the New York Times on August 31st, 2014 entitled “Ouch, My Personality, Reviewed” that is a superb example of what Freud called “the psychopathology of everyday life.” She starts the essay by noting that she recently used Uber, the car service for metrosexuals, and the driver told her that if she received one more bad review, “…no driver will pick you up.” She reports that this feedback triggered some “obsessive” soul searching: she wondered how she could have created such a bad score as an Uber passenger when she had only used the service 6 times. She then reviewed her trips, noting that, although she had often behaved badly (“I do get short tempered when I am anxious”), in each case extenuating circumstances caused her behavior. She even got a bad review after a trip during which she said very little: “Perhaps I simply am not a nice person and an Uber driver sensed it.”

The essay is interesting because it is prototypical of people who can’t learn from experience. For example, when Ms. Ephron reviewed the situations in which she mistreated Uber drivers, she spun each incident to show that her behavior should be understood in terms of the circumstances—the driver’s poor performance—and not in terms of her personality. Perhaps situational explanations are the last refuge of both neurotics and social psychologists?

In addition, although the situations changed, she behaved the same way in each of them: she complained, she nagged and micro-managed the drivers, she lost her temper, and she broadcast her unhappiness to the world. Positive behavior may or may not be consistent across situations, but negative behavior certainly is. And the types of negative behaviors she displayed fit the typology defined by the Hogan Development Survey (HDS), an inventory of the maladaptive behaviors that occur when people are dealing with others with less power and think no one important is watching them.

All her actions had a manipulative intent—Ms. Ephron wanted to compel a fractious driver to obey her. Her behaviors were tactical in that they gave her short term, one off wins—she got her way; but the behaviors become counterproductive when she has to deal with the same people repeatedly—or when she is dealing with NYC Uber drivers. Strategic players carefully control what Irving Goffman called “their leaky channels”, the behavioral displays that provide information regarding a player’s character or real self. The tactical Ms. Ephron seems unable to control her leaky channels.

It was also interesting to learn that, although Ms. Ephron has been in psychotherapy for years, the way she mistreats “little people” seemingly never came up. This highlights the difference between intrapsychic and interpersonal theories of personality.   From an intrapsychic perspective, emotional distress creates problems in relationships; fix the emotional problems and the relationships will take care of themselves. From an interpersonal perspective, problems in relationships create emotional distress—fix the relationships (behave better) and the emotional problems will take care of themselves.  In the first model, intrapsychic issues disrupt relationships; in the second model, disrupted relationships cause intrapsychic issues.

As further evidence that Ms. Ephron lacks a strategic understanding of social behavior, she is surprised to learn that other people keep score of her behavior. This means that she pays no attention to her reputation. But her reputation is the best source of data other people have concerning how to deal with her. She might not care about her reputation, but those who deal with her do. All the data suggest that she will have the same reputation with hair dressers, psychotherapists, and purse repair people as she does with the Uber drivers of New York.

Finally, people flunk Uber the same way as they become unemployable and then flunk life—they flunk one interaction at a time. After every interaction there is an accounting process, after which something is added to or subtracted from peoples’ reputations. The score accumulates over time and at some point, the Uber drivers refuse to pick them up. Ms. Ephron is a successful artist, and her success buys her a degree of idiosyncratic credit—she is allowed to misbehave in the artistic community—but there are consequences when she misbehaves in the larger community of ordinary actors.


Topics: personality

2015 Workshop Schedule

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Tue, Sep 09, 2014

Even the most advanced assessment tools won’t do any good if you don’t know how to use them. The Hogan Assessment Certification Workshop and Advanced Interpretation Workshop are tailored for executive coaches, HR directors or generalists, organizational development or training professionals, and industrial/organizational psychologists looking to become certified in the administration, interpretation, and implementation of Hogan assessments.

Workshops are facilitated by seasoned professionals who have in-depth experience with the Hogan inventories, and count toward continuing education requirements for many professions. Check out the 2015 schedule and register.

Certification Workshop Advanced Workshop
February 17-18, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia
March 10-11, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia
May 19-20, 2015
Atlanta Georgia
September 15-16, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia
July 14-15, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia
August 25-26, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia
December 1-2, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia

Topics: certification

Hogan Has An App

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Mon, Sep 08, 2014

appsAre you looking for any easy way to sharpen your interpretation of the Hogan Personality Inventory? There’s an app for that.

Now available for iOS and Android tablet devices, Hogan Pick 2 HPI allows you to easily interpret the high or low score implications of any two HPI scores by tapping LOW or HIGH for any two HPI scales. The INTERPRETATION panel will display behaviors you can expect from someone with similar HPI score combinations.

Hogan Pick 2 HPI features:

  • Clean interface for easy comparison between HPI scales
  • Clear, concise interpretive text
  • Toggle between light and dark themes
  • Randomized low and high score animation
  • Easy access to additional web-based HPI resources

Check out Hogan Pick 2 HPI in the app store today.

Topics: HPI scales

5 Ways Teams Fail

Posted by Ryan Daly on Tue, Sep 02, 2014

An unbalanced team can be an operational nightmare – projects stall, ideas dry up, and morale plummets. Fortunately, unbalanced teams manifest themselves in five predictable ways, each of which can be fixed by bringing in people to fill gaps, or reassigning people where too many individuals are trying to fill a role.

  1. Nobody, or everybody, seems to be in charge

Teams need one or two individuals who naturally assume a managerial role to organize work, clarify roles, distribute tasks, and evaluate outcomes. Without someone to take charge, teams tend to drift away from their goals. Too many of these team members, however, can result in infighting.

  1. Nobody gets along

No matter how strong the individual members of your team, if they won’t work together, it does little good. Relationships-oriented team members are important for building cohesion within the group.

  1. They aren’t producing any big ideas

Large companies have trouble innovating – they tend to be risk averse, set in their ways, and hindered by bureaucracy and internal politics. Companies rely on small, nimble teams to drive promising ideas from conception to market, and teams rely on innovative individuals to produce those ideas.

  1. Their ideas never get anywhere

A team’s big ideas don’t serve anyone if they never make it to market. To stay productive, organized, and on schedule, teams rely on people who naturally focus on process.

  1. Nobody plays the Devil’s advocate

Every team needs a good pragmatist – a practical, somewhat hardheaded challenger of ideas and theories. They promote realistic approaches and aren’t easily swayed by the need to preserve harmony or innovation for its own sake.

Achieving the right mix of skills, experience, and personality is the key to creating a productive team. To find out more about how to find the right balance of people on your team, check out our complimentary eBook, Dysfunctional Team? It’s Your Fault.


Topics: teams

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