Research Q&A: What is “Kaizen psychometrics?”


kaizenPerhaps the best way to understand Kaizen Psychometrics is by considering each part of the phrase separately.

  • In the most literal sense, Kaizen means “good change” or “continual improvement.”
  • Psychometrics are the statistical analyses we conduct when developing or evaluating our assessments.

So, when we talk about assessment properties such as validity and reliability, those are based on psychometric analyses. But when we talk about analyses aimed at improving and/or updating our assessments, those are Kaizen psychometrics.

Why does Hogan talk so frequency about Kaizen psychometrics?

We talk a lot about Kaizen psychometrics because one of Hogan’s core values is to continually improve our business products, services, and practices. The foundation of all of these initiatives is our assessments.

Although this sounds simple, it is surprising how few test publishers work to update and improve their assessments. This is particular ly true for personality assessments, where the intervals between original content and new items or forms can often be measured in decades rather than years. Even worse, most are never updated at all.

The reason so few test publishers update their assessments is that it requires immense amounts of time and energy. Also, the effort needed is often multiplied by the number of translations available for an assessment (such as the 40+ we have for the HPI, HDS, and MVPI). But the costs of not updating assessments and related information such as norms can be much greater. Whether we like it or not, items become outdated, norms lose their relevance over time, and there is always room for improvement in even the most carefully constructed scale.

What are some examples?

In recent years we’ve improved our core assessments and will continue to make improvements in the future. Some examples include:

  • Creating and implementing new Global Norms for the HPI, HDS, and MVPI.
  • Updating items on the MVPI to remove references to religion.
  • Creating a new form of the HDS that now includes subscales.
  • Regularly testing and updating translations and local norms as new data become available.
  • Continually writing and piloting new items for potential use in future forms.

For more information about these or any other efforts aimed at continuing to improve our assessments, please contact Blaine Gaddis, Senior Manager of Product Research.