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I just heard of it (a friend has to take it) and it seems obvious that it's a product marketed directly to business people. I'd expect that the test isn't worth much because it was made in 1955 and personality theory has changed much since and because most research shows little incremental validity (above intelligence) even for the good and recent personality tests in job assessment.

What impresses me, is that they don't even seem to care much about keeping up the appearance of a scientifically grounded test. When I call up their research database, it doesn't return any articles about the PI. They don't link to any peer-reviewed research from their main page, and the FAQ items about reliability and valditiy just serve to explain the concepts.

When I searched the company's name I found one recent study referencing their coefficients, which were apparently assessed by Perry and Lavori back in 1983. The research was commissioned and not peer-reviewed, so it is not going to hold up very well against accusations of bias. They don't show criterion validity, but some other PDFs on this pi-mgmt site (which I didn't find via the main site). None of those show v. above intelligence.

But they say: "The PI has been investigated in over 400 criterion-related validity studies since 1972, (16 of these studies were conducted in 2003 alone) for a variety of jobs and in a variety of industries, and has been shown to be job-related in all of these studies."

It was job-related! Thank goodness. Can they refer to 400 studies if they were never published anywhere, not even online and be in accordance with standards of truth in advertising? With the MBTI the research is there, it "just" doesn't show that the instrument is good and most business executives don't find out. But the PI practices strike me as even more audacious.

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Leaving aside my prejudice in the matter I'll note that businesses which have an abundance of qualified applicants can afford to ignored many of them in order to select a pool that is just slightly more manageable (or whatever other metric they are looking for) than normal. Which means that the criteria for "good enough" may be pretty weak. –  dmckee Sep 11 '11 at 18:18
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@dmckee What you're referring to is being able to afford a lot of false negatives (according to my professor that's not the case in the current job market situation for the level of position that such tests are usually used for), but even if that was the case their studies don't demonstrate high specificity at the cost of low sensitivity (in fact I haven't seen them mention the concept). If all applicants are qualified, the topic is moot of course. –  Ruben Sep 13 '11 at 18:56
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protected by Oddthinking Apr 9 at 1:55

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