What is the PI Word Test Program?​


The PI word test program randomly selects four test words from an item pool and presents those words to each assessment-taker on both the self and self-concept pages of the PI Behavioral Assessment. While these four test words may differ between assessment-takers, the same words will be displayed on the self and self-concept pages for each person.

In other words, the exact same checklist will be used on both pages of the assessment for a given person. The words used in the word test program are called “test words” and assessment takers’ selection of these words does not impact their results in any way. The data are simply collected and stored for consideration during future updates to the PI Behavioral Assessment. 

How was the program developed?

The word test program was released in July 2020. Words that were selected for the item pool underwent a selection and review process to ensure that they were aligned with all five factors of the PI Behavioral Assessment (Dominance, Extraversion, Patience, Formality, and Objectivity). Items were selected by a doctorate-level I-O Psychologist and reviewed by a team of subject-matter experts, including PI consultants and product managers. Careful consideration was taken to ensure that all words would be consistent with the eighth-grade reading level of the PI Behavioral Assessment, and that the terms would be appropriate for all  PI clients and assessment-takers. 

Why is the program in place?

When using assessments for critical decision making, it is crucial they are fair, up-to-date, and valid. The PI Science team regularly monitors assessment data to ensure satisfaction of these criteria. Test developers often add experimental sections to their assessments to gain a “backlog” of test items for replacing poorly functioning items when needed. The word test program helps the Science team develop a pool of statistically sound and non-biased items for future use on the PI Behavioral Assessment. This allows for quick and easy replacement of words on the PI Behavioral Assessment should the need arise with minimal disruption to clients or test-takers.

Who is enrolled in the program?

All clients on the latest version of the PI software are automatically enrolled in the word test program. The test words will be displayed for all assessment-takers who are administered an assessment from a client who is enrolled in the program, although different words may appear for each assessment-taker.  

How does the program impact assessment-takers?

As a courtesy to respondents, a disclaimer informing assessment-takers of the presence of test words on the assessment is displayed on the informational page prior to the PI Behavioral Assessment. However, the word test program does not alter the assessment experience for the assessment taker. Test words are displayed in the same format as the other words on the PI Behavioral Assessment. Assessment-takers will not know the difference between test words and the words that belong to the assessment. 

Test words do not impact an assessment-taker’s results in any way. Responses to the words on the word test program are recorded and stored separately from assessment results and only accessed when researchers need to analyze the response rates in order to make updates to the PI Behavioral Assessment. 

What does this mean for me as a client?

You may wish to set a company policy about whether and how you will inform assessment-takers of the presence of the word-test program. Even if you do not inform assessment-takers, they will still read in the instructions that there are unscored words on the assessment. You may get asked additional questions about the program; in this case, note that it is a standard practice for companies that develop assessments to test out new words so that they can keep the assessments relevant and up-to-date, as languages change over time. Also note that their selection (or non-selection) of the words does not impact their scores, nor is the selection of the words disclosed to any third parties, such as an employer or potential employer. 

To inform us of a typo or other error, click here. To request a new feature, click here.