Distributor Spotlight: A&D Resources Helps Drive Hogan's Global Proliferation

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Thu, Feb 16, 2017

Hogan’s reputation as the global leader in personality assessment and leadership development didn’t form overnight. In the organization’s early years, Bob and Joyce Hogan knew the only way to improve the global workforce was through the use of the Hogan assessments, and that meant putting the products in the hands of those who could spread their message far and wide. What started as a daunting endeavor eventually evolved into the Hogan Distributor Network – a robust collection of the world’s finest I/O psychologists and HR practitioners spanning 60 countries.

A&D Resources, a 15-year Hogan distributor serving Denmark and the Benelux region, is a perfect example of Bob and Joyce’s original vision – empower talented people with the best personality assessments in the industry and then get out of their way. That’s exactly what A&D Founder & Managing Director Joan Jakobsen did. She is solely responsible for introducing the Danish adaptation of Hogan products, and has since built a team of extremely talented psychologists to build on that success. Her passion and drive continues to elevate the Hogan brand and develop more Hogan advocates. This was demonstrated recently in a LinkedIn post authored by Thomas Hedegaard Rasmussen, Vice President of HR Data & Analytics at Shell, who worked with Joan to implement Hogan tools at his organization.     


“There is one really easy way to deliver more impact in HR. It's about being evidence-based and providing an excellent user-experience: Insist on only working with HR companies and HR products that are evidence-based and make the science easy to use - i.e. they make it a pleasure to work with stuff that actually has a proven effect. I'd like to start an evidence-based-HR-peer-to-peer-word-of-mouth recognition round by thanking Joan Jakobsen (pictured here) & A&D Resources for supporting Shell's implementation of Hogan Assessments’ Leadership 360 & Leadership Development tools (HPI, MVPI, HDS): Evidence-based, easy-to-use, to-the-point, clear edge and global benchmarks - tools that help provide excellent feedback to leaders. That is important because Leadership matters for the value companies create for employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders. If you know a great HR company with an HR product that is evidence-based and easy to use, let the rest of us know - they deserve the spotlight via some evidence-based-peer-to-peer-word-of-mouth recognition.”  

Testimonials like this are why the Hogans got into the assessment business, and why the organization remains at the forefront of the industry decades later. The company’s commitment to science and validation, coupled with a global network of partners, clients, and distributors such as A&D Resources, make Hogan the premier choice for every organization’s selection and development practices.

Topics: personality, distributors, distributor, 360 feedback

Economists Get It: Personality Predicts Performance

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Fri, Sep 16, 2016

Provided by Guest Blogger, Allison Howell

The financial costs of personnel decisions are well documented. For each poor hiring decision, companies can lose, on average, $25,000-$50,000 - even more if you take into account lost productivity, employee morale, and client relationships. Less well understood, however, is the economic impact of personality differences among good hires.

A newly published working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research sheds some new light on the topic. This research shows significant links between the personality of CEOs and the financial outcomes of their businesses.

The study authors, from Harvard, Stanford and the University of Chicago, used linguistic analysis, a systematic mapping of words and speaking styles, to identify scores for the Big Five personality traits for over 4500 CEOs.

The Big Five is arguably the most widely accepted taxonomy of personality traits among psychologists; it categorizes personality into degrees of agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience. The linguistic analysis used in this particular study has been established as a reliable method of predicting personality.

As an example, a CEO who is high on the agreeableness scale would display speech patterns that include use of adjectives such as appreciative, considerate, gentle, and trustful. The analysis also looked at the number of words spoken, the presence of qualifiers, and other parts of speech—adverbs and conjunctions.

After the language was mapped to the personality traits, the authors examined the associations between personality traits and the CEOs’ investment and financial choices, and then looked at the connection with the overall performance of the CEOs’ firms.

In terms of the investment and financial choices, this study shows that higher levels of openness are associated with higher R&D intensity, a measure of a company’s spending toward activities aimed at expanding the sector and product knowledge. Openness was also negatively correlated with net leverage, a measure of the company’s debt load. In other words, the more open the CEO, the higher the spending on R&D activities and the lower the net leverage of the company.

Higher degrees of conscientiousness, which refers to a leader’s self-discipline, willingness to follow rules, and cautiousness, were associated with lower levels of growth. In addition, companies led by more extraverted CEOs showed lower returns on assets and lower cash flow.

Although this study warrants replication, the biggest take away is that personality does indeed influence performance - in concrete and measurable ways. Moreover, at the CEO and executive level, personality can affect the overall health of a company. In other words, personality predicts performance.

Topics: personality

The Economy of Human Nature

Posted by Derek Lusk on Thu, Mar 03, 2016


Adam Smith, author of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (aka The Wealth of Nations), is considered the father of modern economics. Since its publication in 1776, The Wealth of Nations has influenced virtually all modern economists and, to some extent, much of western philosophy. Smith argued that unregulated competition engenders unbridled, self-interested behavior that is ultimately good for the collective. This Darwinian, egocentric paradigm persisted for over 200 years as business leaders emphasized the division of labor, productivity, and efficient business processes while discounting the most consequential force on Earth—human nature. Indeed, the theoretical foundations of classical economics need qualified by recent ideas regarding human nature.

Although resembling later Darwinian thought, Smith’s invisible hand philosophy largely ignored universal human needs outside individual self-interest. On the other hand, socioanalytic theory – a theory that integrates research findings in sociobiology, psychology, human genetics, and evolutionary psychology – tells us that people are internally motivated to get along with others, achieve power and status (i.e., self-interest), and find meaning and purpose in life. These motives, while unconscious, are adaptive and increase the odds of survival and reproduction: the ultimate driving force and explanation of human behavior.

Survival and reproduction is the basic human need that drives behavior. If we look one level down, getting along, getting ahead, and finding meaning facilitate survival and reproduction. From these unconscious motives, people develop values—such as preferring recognition and fame or believing the major preoccupation in life is obtaining power and control of resources. At the next level down, and less abstract, values are expressed as interests through language and represent an individual’s identity and self-concept: “I like tennis” or “I enjoy visiting art museums.” Interests, such as sports or art, are pleasing because they fulfill our underlying values and needs—in fact, these preoccupations and institutions were created for the sole purpose of fulfilling our longing for social attachments, status, and meaning. In other words, they are projections of our motivational dynamics.

The goal of social interaction is to convince others of our identity (i.e., what we think about ourselves) and negotiate acceptance and status. Reputation – defined as what other people think – is how our efforts are evaluated. Reputation is exceedingly salient because it determines whether or not other people grant us belongingness and status; that is, personality and social skill largely influence if you’re fulfilled and happy in life and work. Moreover, it is the aggregate of past behavior and we know that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. And consequently, measuring reputation to predict job performance should be the major purpose of any personality assessment used in the workplace.

Reputation influences leadership performance because, to satisfy the universal human needs posited by socioanalytic theory, humans evolved a psychological template through the process of natural selection to identify leaders worth following. Across cultures, followers look for leaders with a reputation of good judgment, competence, vision, and integrity. To be sure, ratings of integrity are by far the best single predictor of employee engagement. As our evolutionary history would suggest, people prefer egalitarian environments and avoid those likely to abuse power and not share acceptance and status. An easy way to disengage your team, considering this fundamental psychology, is through an authoritarian leadership style that degrades trust by emphasizing only productivity, economics, and self-interest.

Adam Smith knew a great deal about money, but much less about people. One valid assertion by Karl Marx is that working in an egocentric, capitalistic society is inherently alienating. But, here’s the good news: Over time, psychology has exposed the limitations of classical economics—essentially that those espousing this individualistic paradigm projected their conceptualizations and theories about money onto people. Because researchers have found a strong empirical relationship between engagement and manifold aspects of team and organizational performance, economics – and the overall business community – at least partially accepts the salience of human psychology. Moving forward, the key for organizations is to satisfy follower needs by focusing on leadership reputation, values match, and the congruence between identity and job role. This is a worthwhile endeavor because engaged employees are energized, proud, and committed; they set aside self-dealing for the benefit of the collective while others sabotage, free ride, and shop on the Internet all day.

Topics: personality, behavior

How Someone’s Taste In Music Truly Reflects Who That Person Is

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Mon, Dec 28, 2015

In an article on Elite Daily, Hogan CEO Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic explains how the significance of music — and its relation to personality — revolves around three important factors:

  1. Music can improve your performance across a variety of different tasks
  2. Music can help improve your own “intellectual curiosity”
  3. Music can manipulate or influence [your] own emotional state with the goal of achieving a desired mood state

According to Chamorro-Premuzic, “given that mood states are closely related to our personality, and given that people use music for emotional regulation, a scientific understanding of musical preferences should provide the perfect window into a person’s soul.”

Read the full article on Elite Daily.

Topics: personality

How different are your online and offline personalities?

Posted by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on Tue, Dec 01, 2015

Our habits define us. But how true is this for our digital habits? Are we the same online as offline? In the early days of the internet, it was probably safe to assume that our online behaviours did not reveal much about our real-world personas. This notion was popularised by the “on the internet, nobody knows you’re dog” caption of a famous New Yorker cartoon.

As the internet gained prominence in our lives, we gave up anonymity and also the desire to mask our real identity online. Indeed, online activities are no longer separable from our real lives, but an integral part of it. According to Ofcom, UK adults are now spending over 20 hours a week online: twice as much as 10 years ago. Similar metrics have been reported for the US, with the biggest chunk of online time (around 30%) devoted to social networking.

Like in reality TV shows, it is harder to fake it online when you are being observed for a longer period of time. Conversely, deliberate deception and impression management are relatively straightforward during short-term interactions, such as job interviews, first dates and dinner parties. We all have a window for displaying the bright side of our personality and adhering to social etiquette, but what happens when a great portion of our lives is being broadcasted?

Although we are more than the history of our browser, it is feasible that our web searches and web page visits, emails and social network activity contain traces of our personality. Prior to the digital age, our identity, style and values were mainly revealed by our material possessions, which psychologists described as our extended self. But human inferences were required to translate these signals into a personality profile.

Today, many of our valuable possessions have dematerialised. As Russell W Belk, an eminent consumer psychologist at Canada’s York University, noted: “Our information, communications, photos, videos, music, calculations, messages, written words, and data are now largely invisible and immaterial until we choose to call them forth. They are composed of electronic streams of ones and zeroes that may be stored locally or in some hard-to-imagine cloud.”

Yet in psychological terms there is no difference between the meaning of these dematerialised digital artefacts and our physical possessions – they both help us express important aspects of our identity to others and these identity claims provide the core ingredients of our digital reputation. A great deal of scientific research has highlighted the portability of our analogue selves to the digital world. The common theme of these studies is that, although the internet may have provided an escapism from everyday life, it is mostly mimicking it.

Most notably, our typical patterns of social media activity can be accurately predicted by scores on scientifically valid personality tests. This research is the product of Cambridge’s Psychometrics Centre, led by Dr Michal Kosinski (now at Stanford). For instance, studies show that Facebook “likes” reflect how extroverted, intellectual and prudent we are. Mining tweets reveals how extroverted and emotionally stable people are. This can be done by analysing the content of tweets (personality predicts what words you are more likely to use) as well as the number of tweets and followers people have. Twitter can also be used to infer dark side personality characteristics, such as how machiavellian, psychopathic or narcissistic people are.

In addition, studies indicate that our media preferences and online purchases also reflect elements of our personality. Thus computer-generated algorithms may not just predict what you will watch on Netflix, listen to on Spotify, or buy on Amazon – the may also explain why. Our own research has highlighted many associations between personality and both reported and actual artistic and musical preferences. Unsurprisingly, research has also identified a connection between online porn consumption and impulsive/obsessional personality features.

William James, the father of American psychology, once suggested that we have as many personalities as the number of situations we are in. Although our digital identity may be fragmented, it seems clear that our various online personas are all digital breadcrumbs of the same persona; different symptoms of our same core self. We are still far from the development of a Shazam for the soul, but the more we can integrate and synthesise our segregated online data, the more complete our picture of ourselves will be.

Businesses will clearly benefit from leveraging this data and the corresponding algorithms for making sense of it. To the degree that they can overcome ethical and legal barriers – presumably by enabling consumers to opt in in a conscious and transparent way – they will be able to move beyond programmatic marketing tools that predict future behaviours to deeper psychological tools that can explain and understand it. This may not only enable them to personalise and curate products and services more effectively, but also educate individuals about their own personality and perhaps even help them become smarter and happier consumers.

This article originally appeared on The Guardian.

Topics: personality

FAQ Blog Series: The Foundation of Hogan

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Thu, Nov 12, 2015

In this first installment of our FAQ blog series, the Hogan Research Department (HRD) answers common questions related to the foundation of Hogan. If you have others, leave them in the comments and stay tuned for the rest of the series for answers to all of your Hogan inquiries.

Q: What is the theoretical basis for the Hogan tools?
A: Hogan tools are based on Socioanalytic theory, a view of personality that combines Evolutionary theory, Sociology, and classic Psychoanalysis. Socioanalytic theory suggests that humans are social creatures by nature, and driven by needs to: (a) gain acceptance from others, (b) achieve status and power, and (c) make sense out of the environment. As people interact, they create reputations for themselves. Their reputations describe the way they generally interact with others at work and in private. The Hogan tools predict reputation, which reflects the stable patterns of behavior individuals demonstrate while attempting to get along, get ahead, and establish order and predictability in their own environment.

Q: How do the scales relate to/correlate with the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality?
A: The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) was the first measure of normal personality based on the FFM and designed to predict occupational performance. The structure of the HPI and the FFM differ in two ways. First, the HPI breaks the FFM Extraversion factor into scales measuring Ambition and Sociability. Second, the HPI separates the FFM Openness factor into Inquisitive and Learning Approach. Otherwise, the HPI and the FFM are identical: FFM Neuroticism (Emotional Stability) links to HPI Adjustment, FFM Agreeableness links to HPI Interpersonal Sensitivity, and FFM Conscientiousness links to HPI Prudence.

Q: How do Hogan assessment results relate to 360-degree, full-feedback data? How are they different?
A: 360-degree performance appraisals describe what people do. The Hogan assessments concern why people do what they do. Understanding personal and motivational characteristics is the foundation for understanding performance effectiveness.

Q: Why are the Hogan assessments not considered self-report measures?
A: Our answer to this question differs from all other test providers in three ways. First, when people respond to questions on our assessments, we do not believe they are reporting on their behavior, but rather telling us how to think about them and how they want to be regarded—exactly as they would do in any conversation. Second, we don’t care how people respond to items; we only care about what their responses predict. Consider the item, “I take a different way home from work every night.” People who answer “True” tend to be creative and adventurous, and that is the important point. We don’t care whether they really take a different way home from work each night; we care about what it means to say that they do. Third, we are not trying to measure anything; we are trying to predict performance at work.

Q: How do the Hogan assessments mitigate faking good strategies?
A: The topic of faking is important for those psychologists and business people who argue that personality can’t predict occupational performance. They base their conclusions on inferior research (e.g., small student samples instead of large samples of real job applicants), inconsistent definitions (e.g., faking as socially desirable responding, inflation of scores, responding to match a desired profile), and dubious assumptions (e.g., people intentionally and effectively fake response patterns). Nevertheless, to deal with these critics, Hogan consultants monitor the response patterns of individuals on several subscales of the Hogan Personality Inventory to ensure that they do not match a faking good strategy.

Topics: personality

This Is How Your Brain Judges Others' Personalities

Posted by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on Tue, Nov 03, 2015

Our personalities define us. They're the sum of what we think, feel, and do in different situations. They're what make us unique. After about a century of research, personality psychologists now have a good grasp of what distinguishes one personality type from another—things like how extroverted, emotionally stable, ambitious, or inquisitive we are relative to the general population. These dimensions are to our minds what height, weight, and skin color are to our bodies.

But while scientists study those features using carefully designed tests, the rest of us evaluate one another's personalities all the time.

Always Sizing Up
Because we assess others' personalities quickly and intuitively, many of the judgments we make about them remain unconscious. That reality has been shown to factor into workplace interactions in ways we're only just beginning to realize and respond to.

Other times we devote a great deal of thinking to try to figure someone out—whether he's trustworthy, smart, sincere, what makes him tick. Needless to say, not everyone's willing to admit they actually do this, since we don't want to be seen as prejudiced or narrow-minded. But multiple studies have shown that whenever we interact with people, we adjust our behaviors according to our implicit attitudes toward them. We're behaving like amateur psychological profilers pretty much all the time, whether we realize it or not.

Getting It Right
A key question, then, is how accurate our judgments of others’ personalities actually are. Of course, our evaluations don’t need to be accurate in order to impact the ways we react. You might be wrong thinking I’m stupid, but if you really believe it, you'll probably treat me as though I am.

But that doesn't mean all of the judgments we make are totally baseless all the time—some personality stereotypes do have a kernel of truth to them. Indeed, the average correlation between scores on validated personality tests and intuitive inferences by others is statistically significant (at around 0.30 to 0.40). In other words, we're accurate enough about the judgments we make at least enough of the time to keep making them.

That correlation gets stronger the more familiar two people are, but only up to a point. For example, our work colleagues and friends can describe us better than strangers, and so can our partners and closest friends and family members. We base some of our inferences purely on appearance, but—especially as we get to know someone—we also consider what they say, feel, and do in different circumstances.

In fact, studies also show that other people’s views of our personality are often better predictors of our future behaviors than our own views about ourselves are—in part because we tend to think of ourselves a little more favorably than others see us.

Getting It Wrong, Or Just Not Getting It
Not everybody is equally legible, though. Extroverts tend to be easier to read. In fact, that very fact may be one of the biggest disadvantages of being extroverted. It makes you unwittingly leak information about your character, even when you don’t want to.

Still, not everyone is equally good at reading others’ personalities. Those with better social skills and more experience interacting with people make more accurate personality judges than those with lower emotional intelligence. It's also been found that introverts tend to read one another better than extroverts can read them, perhaps because extroverts aren't as focused on themselves. They're busy being the center of attention and sometimes miss out on information about those around them as a result.

A Room With A View
Sometimes we give other clues to our personality when we aren't even present. Studies show that our possessions and habitats—whether it's our office space, living space, or bedroom—reveal reliable information about our character. So much so that strangers can make accurate assessments about us based just on those spaces.

We leave traces of our personality wherever we go and whatever we do. The environments we inhabit don't look different for random reasons, but because they reflect the choices we make and the preferences we have—both of which are clear indicators of our personality. That's why when you visit someone's home for the first time, you're unlikely to be totally surprised by what you find there. (The handful of things you hadn't counted on are usually the result of how we behave differently in public and private.)

The Eye of the "We-Holder"
Finally, there's the power of collective thinking. Small groups tend to be more accurate in their judgments than individuals. If you ask a group of observers to assess someone's personality, then take the average of their evaluations, it's likely to be more accurate than the judgment of any individual observer in the group.

In that sense, our personalities are in the eye of the "we-holder," not the beholder. Accurate assessments can be crowdsourced the way IMDb does film trivia, TripAdvisor does hotel features, and Uber does driver ratings. It would therefore be pretty useful to learn what most people think of us, even though strangers and friends alike aren't always likely to weigh in objectively.

Our brains have evolved to gather information about the people around us all the time. Which means that in the realm of human interaction, there's no second chance for a good first impression.

This article originally appeared in Fast Company.

Topics: personality

Drinks with Hogan: Using Three Assessments Together

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Tue, Aug 11, 2015

Global Alliances consultant Rebecca Callahan discusses the benefits of using Hogan's suite of personality assessments together in our latest installment of Drinks with Hogan. Check it out.

Topics: HPI, MVPI, Hogan Personality Inventory, Hogan Development Survey, assessments, HDS, personality, Drinks with Hogan, Motives Values Preferences Inventory

How To Grow Employee Engagement Using Personality

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Fri, Jul 31, 2015

Hogan and Sirota Asia Pacific teamed up in a panel discussion for an exclusive look at how leadership is killing employee engagement in Singapore on July 30. Speakers included Lewis Garrad, managing director of Sirota Asia Pacific; Ho Wan Leng, CEO & chief consulting officer of Optimal Consulting; and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Ph.D., CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems. Human Resources Online covered the event in the article 3 tips on how to avoid selecting bad leaders.

Group Tomas-5
Lewis Wan

Topics: personality, employee engagement

2015 Q1 Article Review

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Tue, Apr 28, 2015

The Hogan Research Department is continually on the lookout for interesting and useful articles. Below is a rundown from Q1.

Kong et al. found that team member satisfaction predicted team performance when average agreeableness was low, but the two were unrelated when average agreeableness was high.

Although Cheung & Lun found that various attempts to consciously regulate one’s emotions at work might decrease job satisfaction, Hulsheger et al. found that many of those same strategies can increase customer satisfaction.

Along those same lines, Joseph et al. found that the predictive validity of EI is largely due to overlap with other measures, such as FFM personality.

And last up in relation to EI, Lerner et al. provide a thorough review of research examining the impact of emotions on decision making.

Owens et al. show that leader narcissism can have positive effects on follower ratings and behaviors when also counterbalanced by humility

Morris et al. explores when expert judgment in interpreting assessment results can improve prediction beyond just relying on empirical scores.

Munyon et al. examine the impact of political skills on a variety of individual and work-related outcomes.

As many journals push for more elaboration around methods, here are two useful new references: Bernerth & Aguinis outline best practices for using control variables and Bosco et al. provide benchmarks for correlation coefficients.

Rojon et al. highlight the importance of examining specific performance areas in criterion-related validity studies rather than just focusing on overall performance.

Pohler & Schmidt show that manager bonuses may strain relationships with employees if not offset by incentives for treating employees well.

Boyce et al. found that prolonged periods of unemployment can influence how a person responds on a FFM assessment.

Hamby & Ickes found that short simple personality items result in higher scale reliability than longer, more complex items.

Oc et al. offers interesting insight into how direct feedback from subordinates may help shape leader behaviors.

Topics: personality, research, Hogan Research Division

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