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Q: Psychological and Values Tests for Screening Applicants ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Psychological and Values Tests for Screening Applicants
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: nronronronro-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 01 Sep 2002 14:55 PDT
Expires: 01 Oct 2002 14:55 PDT
Question ID: 60745
I would like to buy tests to screen candidates.  Not the typical
"honesty" tests.  Rather we would like to screen for (1) optimism and
(2) altruism/selflessness.

We realize these are not the typical screens;  if no such tests are
available, perhaps we could try some kind of "structured interviewing"
or "content analysis" of work/personal history.

Our current problem is this: we are finding plenty of very smart
people with (hidden) major negative attitudes.  They say all the
"right" things in the interview.  But after a few weeks, their true
natures surface.  This creates all sorts of problems for their happier
co-hires.  And for everyone else!   Thanks.
Subject: Re: Psychological and Values Tests for Screening Applicants
Answered By: jeremymiles-ga on 01 Sep 2002 15:15 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Altruism is one of the facets measured by the NEO-PI(R), devised by
Costa and MacRae.

This web page briefly describes the test, and where it can be

Note that the NEO-PI is a commercial psychometric test, and so is not
available online.

Search strategy: I was aware that the NEO-PI(R) had such a subscale,
so searched Google for NEO-PI altruism.

Optimism can be measured through the "Life Orientation test", devised
by Scheier and Carver, or the revised version, by Scheier, Carver and

This web page lists the original test:

This page lists the revised version:

Search strategy:

Again, I knew the test existed, so used the search terms:

"Life Orientation Test" Carver


I hope that this has answered your question.  If not, please feel free
to request clarification.  If so, please feel free to rate the answer.


Clarification of Answer by jeremymiles-ga on 01 Sep 2002 15:22 PDT
Having typed that answer, it struck me that a further aspect of
testing you might be interested in is social desirability.  This is
people's desire to do or say the right thing, even if it isn't true. 
One such test which measures this is the Marlowe-Crowne Social
Desirability Scale.  A short form of the scale can be found here:

It contains questions such as "I am always courteous, even to people
who are disagreeable."  The 'right' answer is yes.  The truthful
answer is almost certainly no.

However, before you go using such tests, I would strongly recommend
consulting a professional who can advise you (or even do the testing
for you).  Apart from anything else you might find yourself in legal
hot water, if it is later shown that the tests are unfair with respect
to things like race or sex.

nronronronro-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Wow!  Very impressive.  I was afraid the great work of Martin Seligman
was all I would ever find.  Thanks for the thoughtful and quick reply!

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