Thomas PPA Preparatory Material

July 16, 2017 | Author: Radhika Adgule | Category: Validity (Statistics), Behavior, Psychology & Cognitive Science, Behavioural Sciences, Cognition
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Preparatory Material For

Thomas International Certification Programme

Making People Profitable 1

Please find enclosed notes on the Thomas International Certification Programme. These will give you a background about Thomas Systems and will help you understand the concepts better. It is advisable that you read the preparatory material before attending the Thomas International Certification Programme. The following notes provide details of what you should do: 1. Read the four pages entitled Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance, and all the other papers attached. 2. Preparation of a Job Description for any position in your organization. We will make use of this Job Description in the Certification Programme.

We look forward to meeting you at the workshop and are confident that our system will benefit your organisation.

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A. PERSONAL PROFILE ANALYSIS - BACKGROUND The Personal Profile Analysis represents a breakthrough in the analysis of a person’s ability to handle a job. In 1928 Dr. William Marston designed the original model of this instrument; he postulated that people would display four basic characteristics: 1. DOMINANCE 2. INFLUENCE 3. STEADINESS 4. COMPLIANCE Dr. Marston claimed that people would generally display one or more of these basic characteristics in the working environment. Psychologists have been cautious to adapt measurements, which are not objective, and to adopt an analysis, which is based on a person’s evaluation of him or herself. The Personal Profile Analysis forces the person being evaluated to select the words most and least describing him or herself. By charting these choices scientifically we are able to get an insight into how this person will behave in the job and in the work environment. Also, it will be helpful in understanding how this person copes with this environment and in turn gives us a key to his/her present attitudes and possible performance. It is not a magical key for understanding actual behaviour, but it does help to tie together other information about the person such as experience, training and ability. Careful and thoughtful use of the information provided through the Personal Profile Analysis can enable you to counsel, place, train, and motivate more skillfully on the job. Through self-description we are freeing the individual as much as possible from the mould in which the job and automatic reactions have placed him or her. You will place him or her again in the context of the evaluation, but the Personal Profile will have given you thought-provoking insights into this individual. From this self-image and the maintaining of it, most people develop a moderate degree of consistency, which provides a basis for the prediction of an individual’s reactions. The Personal Profile is not a clinical instrument. It is intended for use only in business and not for diagnosis of abnormal behaviour. This technique for measuring behaviour requires approximately fifteen minutes and because we use the forced-choice technique in the Personal Profile, it makes it difficult to distort.

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W. Moultan Marston, (1928) “Emotions of Normal people” Theoretical Perspective PERCEIVED SITUATION Hostile, unfriendly, antagonistic Assertive Driving Competitive Forceful Inquisitive Direct Self - starter


(an active positive posture in a hostile or unfriendly environment. Confronts in order to overcome and in doing so avoid failure).


(a cautious undecided response to an antagonistic environment designed to negate the degree of antagonism and thus avoid trouble or conflict).

active behaviours Influential Persuasive Friendly Verbal Communicative Positive

Compliant Careful Systematic Precise Accurate Perfectionist Logical

passive behaviours


(an active, positive posture designed to move away from an unfriendly situation towards a more friendly and favourable state by using persuasion thus avoiding rejection).


Dependable Deliberate Amiable Persistent Good listener Kind

(a passive response in a hostile situation. Attempts to maintain status quo until hostility is over in order to avoid insecurity).

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Friendly, favourable

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DOMINANCE Loves a challenge. May be considered to be restless by some. Always ready for competition. When something is at stake, it brings out the best in him or her. Has respect for authority and responsibility. Aims high and wants his or her authority to be accepted at face value. If challenge is not present, this person may stir up trouble. Will work long hours continually, especially to overcome tough situations. In dealing with people this person is usually direct, positive, and straightforward, saying what he or she thinks; is blunt and even sarcastic although not a grudge-holder. Can explode and take issue with associates. Takes for granted that others think highly of him or her. Likes to be out in front and have the spotlight. If he or she is not the centre of the stage, he or she will sulk. May hurt the feelings of others without realising it. Tends to be responsive to flattery since he or she is basically egotistical. Usually a rugged individual and self-sufficient. Can be excessively critical and fault-finding when things or people do not meet his or her standards. After saying what he or she has to say, forgets it. Will usually join organisations for the furtherance of some goal rather than social activity. Is interested in the unusual and the adventurous. Is curious and usually has a large range of interests and willing to attempt anything. Is a self-starter. Because of multiple interests, prefers an ever-changing environment. May loose interest in a project once the challenge is gone and prefers others to complete the job to an obvious conclusion. May spread him/herself thin in order to be an active part of as many facets as possible. Due to innate restlessness, continually seeks new horizons. Tends to be dissatisfied and impatient, though capable of doing detailed work necessary to obtaining a goal, provided the detail is not repeated or is constant. Is generally resourceful and able to adapt easily to most situations. May turn over jobs frequently, during career because of impatience or belligerence. In order to get a job done or advance position, may overstep prerogatives. Must see a goal ahead and be recognised for effort.


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INFLUENCE Outgoing, persuasive and gregarious. Usually optimistic and can generally see some good in any situation. Principally interested in people, their problems and their activity. Willing to help others promote their projects as well as own. May lose sight of business goals in this respect. People tend to respond to this person naturally. Joins organisations for social activity. Meets people easily and is poised. Because intimate on a first name basis at the first meeting, with all the warmth of a life-long friendship. Will claim to know a tremendously wide range of people and can be name dropper. Tends to be superficial and shallow. Can switch sides of an argument without any apparent awareness of inconsistency. Tends to jump to conclusions and may act on emotional impulse. May make decisions based on a surface analysis of the facts. Because of his or her trust and willing acceptance of people, may misjudge the abilities of others. Feels he or she can persuade and motivate people to the kind of behaviour he or she desires in them. Usually performs well where poise and smoothness are essential factors. Public relations and promotion are natural areas of endeavor. Being reluctant to disturb a favourable social situation, may experience difficulty in the area of disciplining subordinates.


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STEADINESS Usually amiable, easy going and relaxed. Undemonstrative and controlled. Not being explosive and easily triggered, may conceal grievances and be a grudge-holder. Likes to build a close relationship with a relatively small group of intimate associates. Appears contented and relaxed. Patience and deliberateness characterise usual behaviour. A good neighbour and always willing to help those considered to be friends. He or she strives to maintain ‘status quo’ being wary of change, particularly when it is unexpected or sudden. Once in the ‘groove’ of an established work pattern this person can follow it with a seeming unending patience. Usually very possessive and develops strong attachments for his or her work group, his or her club, particularly, his or her family. Has deep family ties and will be uncomfortable when separated from family or base for extended periods of time. Operates well as a member of a team and can co-ordinate own efforts with others with rhythm and ease. Develops good work habits and can do routine work (this does not mean low level, however.)


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COMPLIANCE Usually peaceful, adapting to situations so as to avoid antagonism. Being sensitive and seeking appreciation, this person can be easily hurt by others. Basically humble, loyal and unaggressive, doing to the best of his or her ability whatever is expected. Being basically cautious and conservative, is slow to make decision until all available information has been checked. This may frustrate associates who are more quick acting. Because of a basic reluctance to make decisions, there is a tendency to wait and see which way the wind is blowing before acting. Many times, displays a good sense of timing and shrewdness in selecting the right decision at the right time. Is capable of moulding him/herself to the image expected of him or her. Will go to extreme lengths to avoid conflict and very seldom on anyone’s toes intentionally. Strives for a stable, ordered life and tends to follow procedure in personal as well as business life. A systematic thinker and worker. Proceeds in an orderly, predetermined manner. Is precise and attentive to detail. Usually sticks to methods that have brought success in the past. He or she tries to escape the unfavourable but may not show this tendency if not placed in an antagonistic situation.


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B. MATCING THE PERSON WITH THE POSITION To measure relative job compatibility, we have two evaluation techniques based on the same common denominators previously referred to - Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance (D.I.S.C.) To measure the job: We use the Human Job Analysis (HJA) To measure the individual: We use the Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) PROCEDURE FOR SELECTION 1.

The supervisor completes the Human Job Analysis form. This indicates the ideal behaviour expected by the supervisor for the job in question. 2.


The applicant being considered completes the Personal Profile Analysis thinking of him/herself in the job. It is important to determine if the graphs are similar to each other in order to prevent possible errors in selecting the wrong person for the position. This process will reduce turnover and increase productivity if used properly.

If the job requirements states by the supervisor are significantly different from the applicant’s perception of him/herself, it is obvious that the person will not fit the job.

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C. HUMAN JOB ANALYSIS From our experience in industrial engineering, job evaluation and organisation studies, we have observed many job measurement techniques. The Human Job Analysis has been designed to provide a practical means of establishing the job criteria. FACTORS IMPAIRING MEASUREMENT OF JOB REQUIREMENTS IN BUSINESS


1. Administration in most job measurement and description techniques is time consuming and costly.

1. The HJA is so designed that it can be completed for any job by a competent individual in five minutes.

2. Subjectivity-feelings and ‘mirror concept’ of rater produce bias and sometimes prejudice in job requirements.

2. The evaluation of requirements for twenty-four job elements in HJA adds objectivity to job definition.

3. Different judges or raters of a job very often seek different individual characteristics, often causing confusion and disagreements - for both incumbents and managers.

3. The HJA permits graphic comparison of the exact differentials between raters in terms of overall behaviour required. This makes possible a consistent criterion for the producing better both

jobunderstanding by incumbents and managers. 4. Existing approaches to measurement of jobs do not reveal human behaviour required and job incompatibility often results.

4. The HJA is designed to produce a graphic standard of the human behaviour required in the job for purposes of selecting the appropriate individual.

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D. PERSONAL PROFILE ANALYSIS - A COMMENTARY ON ITS HISTORY AND VALIDITY The Marston Theory The Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) had its original impetus from the writings of Marston (1928, 1931) who postulated a theory of human behaviour as a function of two bipolar dimensions, one external and the other internal: The External environment, which can be described in terms of a continuum with opposing poles, Antagonistic and Favourable. The individual's internal reaction which can be described along a continuum from opposing poles, Activity to Passivity. These two dimensions provided a matrix from which the individual's typical pattern of interaction could be described through four characteristics: DOMINANCE – environment INFLUENCE –







active positive movement in a favourable environment.

STEADINESS – passive agreeableness in a favourable environment COMPLIANCE – cautious tentative response to an antagonistic environment, designed to reduce the degree of antagonism. It is assumed that most people are capable of showing all four of these patterns at different times. However it is also assumed that an individual develops, through learning and reinforcement, a style of life, which places particular emphasis on certain aspects of behaviour and less on others. Further research by others in the 1950s confirmed this proposal that behaviour can be measured along the two-axes/four dimensions as suggested by Marston. These include Gordon (1953), Denton (1954), LaForge (1955), Suczek (1955) and Clarke (1956). THE PERSONAL PROFILE ANALYSIS SYSTEM ATTEMPTS TO MEASURE WHETHER AN INDIVIDUAL SEES HIM OR HERSELF AS CHARACTERISTICALLY SEEKING OUT AND/OR REACTING TO WORK PLACE SITUATIONS.

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Thomas Hendrickson In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Thomas Hendrickson of T M Hendrickson and Associates, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA developed Marston's insights further to produce the Personal Profile Analysis self report system for the work place. The Personal Profile Analysis system as conceived by Hendrickson is a forced choice IPSATIVE instrument. This means it describes the individual in a self referential way and is regarded as providing information of importance and value to employers making personnel decisions. The Personal Profile Analysis system attempts to determine whether individuals see themselves as characteristically seeking out and/or reacting to work place situations that they perceive as friendly or challenging and to reveal if the response pattern is one of activity or passivity. The Personal Profile is a self administered forced choice adjective checklist consisting of 24 tetrads of descriptive words from each of which applicants are asked to select which they believe describes them most (M) and which least (L). The words chosen in the first experiments were based on Marston's definitive work. As far as possible the words selected had "face validity" with Marston's model and each tetrad related to one of the four dimensions - Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. Original construction methodology The first empirical trials were conducted by Hendrickson on a small group of 115 people (67 males / 48 females) in 1958 and the occupational distribution was: 46 college students, 17 teachers, 27 supervisors, 16 other professionals, 13 office workers, 6 miscellaneous. Frequency distributions of responses were made and words were re-combined in tetrads such that each tetrad contained a word relating to each dimension. Moreover, attempts were made to combine words of relatively equal response strength in order to reduce the effects of social desirability in response patterns. High response words were grouped together with other high response words, low response words with other low response words. 76 of the original 96 words were absorbed in this manner and five extra tetrads were constructed to bring the total once more to twenty-four. Of the words retained 39% are the same as in Marston. The revised form was administered to a larger and more representative sample group of 500 (388 male/112 female) divided between the following occupations groups: 212 managers, 128 professionals, 62 clerical, 38 salespeople, 34 machine operators, 36 miscellaneous.

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A random sample of 100 was drawn from this group to determine split half reliability and intercorrelation among the four factors. The results indicated that the Personal Profile had a satisfactory internal consistency when assessed in this way. To eliminate non-discriminating items from the scoring key, an item analysis was initiated. A random sample of 185 (130 male/55 female) was drawn from a population of 1200 with an occupation distribution of 89 managers, 35 technicians, 26 office workers, 12 engineers, 12 sales people, 6 staff and 5 miscellaneous. The internal consistency was confirmed and the scoring key adjusted. At this stage, the Marston dimension of SUBMISSION was changed to STEADINESS and the Marston dimension of INDUCEMENT changed to INFLUENCE. A random sample of 100 (75 male/25 female) was selected to test the new scoring key and the results correlated against the original trials. To develop and add to the reliability, test/retest trials were conducted on a sample of 72 (47 male/25 female) with the new scoring keys. This research in the early 1960s and the final version formed part of an extensive paper on the question of behaviour in the work place. This paper was submitted to the American Psychological Society both in terms of the results the PPA achieved and the methodology of the research. THE ESSENTIAL PURPOSE OF PPA/HJA IS TO BE A STRUCTURED GUIDE TO AN INTERVIEW - FOR WHATEVER PURPOSE - AND BRINGS TO MIND RELEVANT AND INCISIVE QUESTIONS THAT FOCUS ON THE DEMANDS OF THE JOB ROLE. Introduction to the UK The PPA questionnaire as derived by Hendrickson, was introduced into the UK in 1981 following adjustments to take into account different perceptions between US and UK uses of the English language. The revised PPA questionnaire remained unchanged until 1997 when a revision was completed to allow for current attitudes to equal opportunities and gender neutrality. Going into the millennium Thomas has 50 language versions of the PPA questionnaire available and Thomas International operates in a total of 50 countries.

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RELIABILITY, VALIDITY and UTILITY It is generally accepted that efficacy of tests or assessments is best measured by studying three factors, Reliability, Validity and Utility. RELIABILITY A test is said to be reliable if it provides the same score for each subject on different occasions. Thomas International recommends that PPA be given at intervals of no less than 3 months. The minimum satisfying figure for test reliability is 0.7 (Kline). High test/retest reliability has been shown by PPA on retesting and UK data is regularly reviewed. As an example, a test/retest reliability analysis involved 72 people, (47 male, 25 female), all employed in executive or professional positions. Retest intervals ranged from 3-12 months with a mean of 6 months. The test/retest reliability co-efficients of the PPA dimensions of DISC were as follows: D

R 0.84







These results suggest PPA is a reliable measure having stability over time. PREDICTIVE VALIDITY Early data suggested that PPA and its interpretations from the DISC factors achieved a predictive validity of 85+ %. More recent research by Professor Sidney Irvine focussed on particular job roles for specific clients and the results were published in the journal "Current Psychology" (Irvine, Mettam & Syrad, 1994). The research shows that PPA gives good predictive validity when objective and verifiable criteria are used. It shows clearly distinguishable profiles for different job types and also differences within profiles for successes and failures in these jobs. Evidence for the validity of profile types as persistent and recognisable personal workstyles is due to be published in the near future by Professor Sidney Irvine.

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CONCURRENT VALIDITY Any test or assessment is valid if it measures what it claims to measure. Concurrent Validity is where test and retest trials using other instruments are conducted to confirm that PPA is saying similar things about the same people. Studies in the UK that compare PPA with 16PF and OPQ factor 3 indicate this is the case. Between 1981 and 1987 major trials by suitably qualified practitioners were conducted and these studies clearly showed that PPA is saying similar things about the same people as 16PF and OPQ factor 3. (Thomas Technical Manual 1986) UTILITY and ACCEPTABILITY The final question to be addressed is: "Is the PPA questionnaire really useful in the context of selection and development?" The PPA system is used daily in 50 countries and the feedback confirms that empirically PPA has a utility value that is extremely high. The essential purpose of PPA/HJA is to be a structured guide to an interview - for whatever purpose - and brings to mind relevant and incisive questions that focus on the demands of the job role. The inference made from information provided in PPA's extensive report system is derived from decades of clinical observations in the workplace. The reports offer to managers and personnel officers a valid personal workstyle frame of reference for each individual candidate. When used correctly, these inferences control for bias and unwanted side effects of unstructured traditional employment interviews. Conclusion Thomas International fully adheres to the guidelines published for non-psychologists by the British Psychological Society and the Code of Practice published by the Institute of Personal Development. All instruments distributed by Thomas International Management Systems (UK) Ltd are recommended for use only by trained clients. The supporting software programmes are "expert" systems and are constantly up-graded, as are refresher-training workshops for trained practitioners in Thomas Systems.

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REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING Kline. P: Personality: measurement and theory. Hutchinson, London (1983) Irvine.S.H. Personal Profile Analysis – A Contemporary Frame of Reference for Research and Development (1988) Irvine.S.H., Mettam.D., Syrad.T., Valid and More Valid? Keys to Understanding Personal Appraisal Practices at Work – Current Psychology, Spring 1994, Vol 13. Thomas International: PPA Technical Manual 1986 THOMAS INTERNATIONAL FULLY ADHERES TO THE GUIDELINES PUBLISHED FOR NON-PSYCHOLOGISTS BY THE BRITISH PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE CODE OF PRACTICE PUBLISHED BY THE INSTITUTE OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. SPECIAL THANKS TO TONY CHAPMAN MA.Dip.M. (Senior Consultant - Thomas International (UK) Ltd.)

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