Services

Our goal is to make accurate and dependable psychological assessments available to all public safety organizations. In order to accomplish this, we aim at:

Relevancy – By assembling a battery of psychological tests oriented toward gathering information relevant to public safety employment, and by scoring these specifically with public safety employment in mind, we are able to provide reports relevant to public safety work.

Validity – By developing and using tests based on standard psychological testing constructs, we are able to maintain reliability and validity.

Accuracy – By scoring these tests using custom-built computer programs, we are able to minimize the potential of human error.

Practicality – By enabling the test administration to be done easily by department personnel, testing can be done routinely on your timetable, not someone else’s.

Affordability – By keeping the entire process as simple as possible and automating as much as possible (without sacrificing accuracy), we are able to make this service affordable to nearly all departments. After all, if it doesn’t fit our budget, it might as well not exist!

Good Old-Fashioned Customer Service – We use computer programs to automate routine tasks, not our customer service! There are no menus to work through when you call us – only a messaging system in case you call while no one is here, or we are all on other lines.

 

What Tests Are Used

Our battery consists of three psychological tests, developed by us, that have been validated in public safety agencies. They are:

ART-E1 – This test measures intelligence, particularly non-verbal reasoning and common sense. The ART-E1 is less influenced by education and cultural background than are verbal IQ tests.

D160 & D80 – These tests measure personality and its malfunctioning. The D-160 considers personality factors much like the Sixteen Personality Factor (16PF) Questionnaire, a test which measures normal personality characteristics such as introversion, shyness, emotionality, behavioral control, etc. The D-80 considers emotional problems and disturbances. It yields scores on dimensions which relate to severe behavioral interference with public safety job performance, among others. The research literature regarding these instruments is quite extensive.

 

Administration & Turnaround

Designed for ease-of-use, all test materials and instructions are provided to the agency. A reasonably comfortable testing area and felt-tip pens or soft-lead pencils are the only things the agency must provide. Although there is no time limit, administration takes approximately one and a half hours, depending on how fast the applicant works. Once testing is completed, answer sheets are returned to us; they can be shipped to us, but we recommend faxing them via our toll-free fax number. This speeds up the total turn-around time and keeps the original answer sheets in your hands (removing the chance for shipping loss). We guarantee a 24-hour (business day) turn-around once we receive the completed answer sheets. Reports can be mailed, emailed and/or faxed, at the agency’s discretion.

 

The Reports

For most public safety positions, there are 3 reports that are returned on each candidate.

Screening Report – This 1-2 page report gives a good overview of the candidate and includes a hire/don’t hire recommendation. For police positions, it also estimates retention and develops a “community policing” score.

Health Report – This 1 page report looks at how the personality of the candidate might impact their health. Particularly useful in helping officers avoid burn-out.

Test Report – Aimed more at Mental Health Professionals, this report goes into more detail and may include background investigation suggestions.

 

Hiring Recommendation Decision Rules

PR rules consider intelligence (as measured by the ART-E1), personality factor composite factors labeled “anxiety” and “neurotic conflict,” and all emotional disturbance dimensions. In short, the intelligence score (which is subjected to curvilinear transformation so as to diminish the significance of differences among extremely high scores) provides a backbone number. This number is decremented on the basis of personality test scores which are unfavorable indicators (based on research with these tests). Certain personality malfunction patterns, those known to be unfavorable indicators of police performance, automatically decrement the number sufficiently to reject an applicant. In addition, certain combinations of scores (e.g., anger and exploitativeness without adequate intellectual controls) produce a report which indicates that the applicant is marginal and directs the interviewer’s attention to specific areas of concern.

The specific decision rules used by PR are as follows:

  1. Persons below average in intelligence will be unable to learn procedures and will not have adequate intelligence to show good judgment in many situations. The ART-E1 has substantial data attesting to its validity and reliability as a measure of intelligence, and thus we establish a cutoff at the low end of the average range.
  2. Grossly disturbed persons perform poorly in nearly all jobs, at least over the long run. As the D-80 is a validated, reliable measure of such disturbances, we exclude persons with high scores on such scales.
  3. Exploitative, destructive and manipulative individuals are clearly poor candidates for many jobs, particularly those in which they are given control over others. The D-160 and D-80 identify such persons well. Again, extreme scores on this dimension disqualify applicants.
  4. Self destructive feelings and impulses have been found to predict not only self harm, but also other behaviors that exemplify poor judgment, recklessness and insufficient concern about avoiding needless danger. D-80 provides good measures along these lines. Very high scores are disqualifiers, moderately elevated scores raise issues for further investigation.

 

Court Supervision of Tests

The type of decision rules used by PR permit rank ordering of candidates, a practice currently used by several large departments. This ranking procedure, incidentally, was overseen by the Federal District Court in Atlanta as part of a settlement of two related discrimination cases (Reeves vs. Atlanta; Afro-American Patrolman’s League vs. Atlanta). In its effort to resolve a three-year “hiring freeze,” the court permitted a closely supervised administration of the PR battery and a test from a different source. As a result of this experience, the PR battery was written into the negotiated settlement, and the Department continues to use this procedure.