Q&A

We answer your questions

Why haven’t I heard of the Five-Factor Model or the WorkPlace Big Five Profile™?

What languages is the WorkPlace offered in?

My company has been using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (DISC, etc.) and is satisfied. Why should we change?

How do clients use the WorkPlace?

What is the validity/reliability of WorkPlace Big Five Profile™ 4.0?

None of the standard competencies address precisely what we’re looking for. Is there a way to develop our own competencies?

What are the legal implications of using the WorkPlace Big Five Profile™ for selection?

Are we practicing covert discrimination if we limit a person’s duties according to how they score on a personality test? For example, if a person does not fit the ideal “leadership profile,” shouldn’t we still allow them to take a try at leadership? Otherwise, aren’t we creating a “super leader race”?

In most personality tests, the subject fills in what s/he thinks s/he is like. How can we factor in the degree of self-knowledge (or the lack of it), self-denial, or self-deception?

Will profiles change over time? Do you have research to document such change or the lack thereof?

The Five-Factor Model suggests personality traits and talents are genetic. Does this mean then that we take on similar traits as our parents? If so, how do we explain the differences in traits exhibited by siblings?

If all five traits are distributed normally across all kinds of cultures, how do you explain differences in cultures? For example, how do you explain politeness in several Asian cultures? Is Agreeableness/Accommodation really normally distributed there?

How much do your products cost?

What types of services do you offer?

Do you publish any books?

Why the WorkPlace Big Five Profile™?

How do I start using the WorkPlace?

Can I use your products outside the U.S.?

Can I see samples of WorkPlace and SchoolPlace reports?

Why haven’t I heard more about your assessments?

 

Why haven’t I heard of the Five-Factor Model or the WorkPlace Big Five Profile™?
The Five-Factor Model is the standard for psychologists and has its origins in psychological and academic communities. It is an empirical assessment, not based on theories like more commercially well-known assessments, and requires vast computations possible only with the widespread use of computers. Jane and Pierce Howard were the first researchers to write and publish an article about the Five-Factor Model in a trade journal in 1995. The model was first shared with the corporate world in the early 90’s and continues to win market share and converts from theoretical assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The WorkPlace Big Five Profile has never been marketed in the traditional sense but rather has grown steadily in use through word–of-mouth referrals and solid results.

What languages is WorkPlace offered in?

Language

Questionnaire

Trait Report

NarratorReport

Trait Capacitor Report

ConsultantReport

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International Spanish

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German

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Portuguese

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Simplified Chinese

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Finnish

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Coming Soon

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Swedish

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Japanese

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WorkPlace Big Five Profile: Languages in Development – French

My company has been using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (DISC, etc.) and is satisfied. Why should we change?
The Five-Factor Model is what researchers are using—it is more precise and goes beyond types that look at the traits themselves and combinations of traits. Types only cover a small percentage of the population. Many people feel that the WorkPlace Big Five Profile offers greater depth and insights in a cohesive reporting framework. The Five-Factor Model addresses an individual’s uniqueness in a way not covered in other assessments.

How do clients use the WorkPlace?
Primary applications include Team Building, Coaching, Leadership Development, and Selection. Others include: Succession Planning, Management/ Supervisory Training, Career Development, Sales Training, Conflict Management, and OD Interventions.

What is the validity/reliability of the WorkPlace Big Five Profile 4.0?
The WorkPlace Big Five Profile and SchoolPlace Big Five Profile have co-efficient alphas (a measure of reliability, or consistency) of .83 and are some of the highest in the industry. The re-test on the assessments from first to second administration across the five supertraits averages .88. Both assessments are in compliance with International Test Commission standards.

Predictive validity is measured by performing a validity study for a particular job using the instrument that provides a target profile. That target profile is then used to hire candidates into the job and to study the results of performance for those candidates selected based on the target profile. The predictive validity of the WorkPlace correlates successfully with the industry standard, NEO PI-R. If you are interested, the Center for Applied Cognitive Studies has validity case studies that can be shared.

None of the standard competencies address precisely what we’re looking for. Is there a way to develop our own competencies?
Yes. The Center for Applied Cognitive Studies helps translate your competencies or customize the assessment to include your competencies.

What are the legal implications of using the WorkPlace Big Five Profile for selection?
A selection test needs good psychometric properties, such as reliability, validity, and to adhere to principles of test construction. For the WorkPlace Big Five Profile, those properties are described in the Professional Manual. When developing the WorkPlace, The Center for Applied Cognitive Studies consulted with employment attorneys to ensure all questions asked are legal for use in pre-hiring screening in the U.S.
U.S. courts have ruled tests measuring personality disorders (such as the MMPI) may not be used for pre-hiring screening. Tests that measure personality traits (such as the WorkPlace) are permitted. If a test measures both traits and disorders, it is not permitted. [There are exceptions to this rule, such as the fact that you may look for disorders when hiring persons who will be carrying a gun or working in nuclear power plants.]
There are only two reasons that courts might find fault with personality trait testing: 1) poor tests and 2) poor testers. In other words, if a test is poorly constructed then you are liable. Or, if the test administrator administers the test improperly, handles results improperly, or doesn’t understand statistical analysis of test results or interpreting them, then you are liable.

Are we practicing covert discrimination if we limit a person’s duties according to how they score on a personality test? For example, if a person does not fit the ideal “leadership profile,” shouldn’t we still allow them to take a try at leadership? Otherwise, aren’t we creating a “super leader race”?
Certainly, if an individual’s profile does not perfectly fit the ideal and the individual wants to take a whack at leadership, s/he could be permitted to do so. The value of knowing the discrepancy between one’s personal profile and the ideal lies in being forewarned before taking on leadership responsibility. For example, a more introverted person who wishes to be a leader can approach leadership responsibility knowing that s/he must take special precautions to insure good communications. Over the long haul, such individuals need to realize the possible costs to their physical and mental health.
Ideally, in larger organizations, dual career tracks should be in place to allow a safety net for those who try leadership positions and who, after a while, decide they wish to return to the individual contributor role. It is also important to note that the unique culture of an organization can influence the ideal leadership profile best suited to that organization.

In most personality tests, the subject fills in what s/he thinks s/he is like. How can we factor in the degree of self-knowledge (or the lack of it), self-denial, or self-deception?
When an individual completes a personality inventory on him/herself, we say that the resulting report measures the individual’s “self-image.” When others complete the same inventory on that same individual, we say that the resulting reports measure the individual’s “reputation.” We refer to these two different uses of a personality inventory as the “self” version and the “rater,” or “other,” version. It is through examining the relationship between these two views of an individual that we are able to estimate the degree of an individual’s self-knowledge, self-denial, or self-deception.

Will profiles change over time? Do you have research to document such change, or the lack thereof?
There is a strong genetic component to personality that is resistant to change. However, part of personality is learned, and that part is changeable. Four kinds of such learned change have been observed:
Test-Retest reliability for the short term is .9, while long term is .7.
From age 20 to age 30, a developmental change has been detected in which N, E, and O tend to decrease, while A and C tend to increase. This has often been described as the task of “growing up”–becoming less reactive, less party-minded, less curious, more of a team player, and more ambitious and disciplined.
Energy level and ambition tend to decrease during one’s grey years.
Cultural emphases can affect personality change. For example, in the United States, traditional female roles have scored high on A, and a variety of “consciousness-raising” experiences tend to bring those A scores down.
The research behind these observations is available in both the professional manuals for the Big Five tests and in The Owner’s Manual for Personality at Work.

The Five-Factor Model suggests personality traits and talents are genetic. Does this mean then that we take on similar traits as our parents? If so, how do we explain the differences in traits exhibited by siblings?
Resist thinking in all-or-nothing terms. Personality originates partly (about 60%) from genes, partly from environment. The final result–you and me–is an interaction of the two. Identical twins show remarkably close resemblance in personality traits, and that is because their genetic material is identical. Yet identical twins will be more different from either one of their parents than they are from each other. That is because a child shares only 50% of one parent’s genes and 50% of the other parent’s genes. Thus, there is only a 50% chance that a child will inherit any one of one parent’s genes. Non-twin siblings are even more different from each other than from their parents, because non-twin siblings share only 25% of the same genetic material.

If all five traits are distributed normally across all kinds of cultures, how do you explain differences in cultures? For example, how do you explain politeness in several Asian cultures? Is Agreeableness/Accommodation really normally distributed there?
Yes, the trait is normally distributed. But how it is expressed can differ from culture to culture. For example, in New York, an A+ might ignore your mistake, while an A- might say something like, “You have really screwed that up!” In Asia, an A+ would still ignore your mistake, but, because of a cultural value placed on courtesy, an A- might say something like: “Most gracious servant thinks honorable associate perhaps was napping while trying to spell this word!” The latter sounds more like A+, but still serves the purpose of confrontation.

How much do your products cost?
We offer discounted pricing to independent consultants and non-profit organizations, as well as government and academic institutions. Please contact us for pricing information.

What types of services do you offer?
Personality/behavioral assessments for the workplace, as well as personality/behavioral assessments for people aged 12-22. We also offer consulting services applying information from our assessments and publishings to work and school applications. Those services include executive coaching, teambuilding, leadership development, succession planning, and job profiling/validity studies. We can also help in the area of career guidance using research based on the Five Factor Model of Personality and related fields.
Please contact us for additional information on our services.

Do you publish any books?
We are a distributor and publisher of books by Dr. Pierce Howard and Jane Howard related to the Five Factor Model of Personality, including:

The Owner’s Manual for Personality at Work
The Owner’s Manual for Personality from 12 to 22
The Owner’s Manual for the Brain
The Owner’s Manual for Happiness
Professional Manual for the WorkPlace Big Five Profile™ 4.0
Professional Manual for the WorkPlace™ Performance 360°
Values Profile Professional Manual

Please contact us for pricing and additional information on our books or other materials.

Why the WorkPlace Big Five Profile?

  • Uses terminology consistent with the work environment
  • Only takes 10-15 minutes to complete
  • Based on the Five-Factor Model – the benchmark in assessing personality
  • It is psychometrically rigorous, is not based on theory but rather an empirical model and does not type.
  • Used by the Center for Creative Leadership in their flagship leadership development programs – a very strong seal of approval
  • Because it is a whole personality assessment, it is appropriate for a variety of Human Resource and Organizational Development applications
  • Easy online administration
  • Colorful, detailed reports
  • Very reasonably-priced compared to competitor assessments
  • Reports are clear, concise and use graphical representation to enhance understanding
  • Assessment and report language is neutral; making it a strong communication base for enhancing self-awareness and team understanding/dialogue
  • Popular, in-depth special topic reports, such as the Leader, Teamer and Career Guider can be run off a person or group’s WorkPlace reports
  • CentACS is customer service focused

The best way to understand the benefits WorkPlace offers is to take the assessment yourself! Please contact us to find out how you can take the WorkPlace Big Five Profile4.0.

How do I start using the WorkPlace?
The WorkPlace is classified as a Level B psychological test and, as such, requires at least an undergraduate degree in psychology or related field, with courses completed in tests and measurements (psychometrics), educational or psychological statistics, and/or test interpretation, OR appropriate licensure such as certification through CentACS.
We offer WorkPlace Big Five Profile Certification Programs quarterly in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as in-house private certification programs. Our designated Master Trainers also offer certification programs.
Individuals meeting the minimum requirements may apply to CentACS for qualification approval to use the WorkPlace products. Qualified individuals are required to purchase and read the WorkPlace Big Five Profile 4.0 Professional Manual prior to administering assessments.
See our requirements for use for further information.
The CentACS Dashboard provides certified and qualified WorkPlace consultants access to convenient online ordering, product information, research and news.

Can I use your products outside the U.S.?
Absolutely! Many of our clients are international and our assessments are offered in many languages (see table above). CentACS has a global network of consultants certified in the WorkPlace as well as business partners who can certify others to use the WorkPlace and support ongoing use.

Can I see samples of the WorkPlace and SchoolPlace reports?
Yes, we have examples of reports on the website. See sample WorkPlace reports and sample SchoolPlace reports.
Please contact us to learn more and see full reports.

Why haven’t I heard more about your assessments?
Our emphasis at CentACS is on research and continuous product improvement, rather than marketing. Our best source of business is satisfied customers who eagerly spread the word.

Read some of our success stories and case studies to see how our products and services can impact an organization, individual or special program projects.