FAQ Blog Series: The Hogan Development Survey

This installment of our FAQ blog series focuses on the Hogan Development Survey where our Hogan Research Department answers questions on derailing tendencies. Add your questions to the comments.

Q: Why does the HDS not have a faking good scale?
A: The HDS is used almost exclusively for development. Faking is only relevant in the context of personnel selection.

Q: Do certain work environments elicit more derailing behavior than others?
A: The HDS scales assess dysfunctional tendencies that may emerge during periods of high stress at work. Accordingly, stressful jobs (e.g., management jobs, first-responders) may elicit more derailing behaviors than more routine jobs. However, it remains true that all jobs entail some level of stress, so derailing behaviors associated with each HDS scale can emerge across jobs.

Q: How can an individual have elevated HDS scores when there is no evidence that this is affecting his/her performance?
A: Elevated HDS scores indicate the risk of the negative behavior in the workplace. Through self-awareness, coaching, or other developmental activities, individuals can learn to manage this risk and minimize the negative behaviors.

Q: Are there gender, age, or cultural differences in the types of derailer tendencies people exhibit?
A: Research by Hogan, in conjunction with Peter Berry Consultancy, indicates that there are minor differences in the derailers exhibited by various subgroups. These differences are statistically significant but small in magnitude. Thus, for practical purposes, there are no meaningful group differences. Nevertheless, these minor group differences underscore the importance of estimating and tracking Adverse Impact (AI) data to ensure that the inclusion of Hogan profiles in personnel selection does not negatively impact population subgroups. No Hogan selection profile has been subject to legal challenge for Adverse Impact (AI).

Q: Which HDS derailers appear more (and less) frequently?
A: None of the HDS derailers occur more often than others, but certain derailers may be more detrimental in specific contexts or occupations. For example, Hogan research indicates that managers and executives tend to be more Cautious, Bold, Mischievous, Colorful, and Imaginative than other occupational categories. Thus, managers and executives may derail if they take unnecessary risks (Mischievous), follow trends and fads (Colorful), avoid making decisions (Cautious), or pursue wild ideas to be different (Imaginative).

Q: How do you interpret apparent conflict between an HPI and an HDS behavioral tendency? Does one supersede the other?
A: Apparent conflicts or contradictions between scales and inventories often provide important insights into an individual’s behavior. Therefore, these conflicts or contradictions should not be dismissed as assessment errors. Rather, they should be probed to see how unique combinations of personality factors are manifested in the workplace.

Q: Which derailers make for the most challenging coaching scenarios? Which derailers are easier to change or mitigate?
A: From a coaching perspective, those derailers producing the least amount of observable behavior in the workplace can be challenging. For example, behaviors (or the lack thereof) associated with an elevated HDS Cautious scale score (measuring an unwillingness to make decisions) can be tough to detect and, likewise, to coach. Conversely, the HDS derailers that produce the greatest amount of observable behavior in the workplace tend to provide an easier target for change and tracking for improvement. For example, behaviors associated with an elevated HDS Excitable scale score (measuring emotional outbursts and over-reacting under stress) are typically easy to detect and coach.