FAQ Blog Series: The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)

In this third installment of our frequently asked questions blog series, the Hogan Research Department addresses the Hogan Personality Inventory scales and HICs, which are also known as subscales. Add your questions to the comments below.

Q: Why are there uneven numbers of HPI items/subscales?
A: The number of items in each scale differs because of the varying breadth and depth of the constructs reflected in the HPI’s primary scales. For example, measuring a person’s level of Adjustment involves a greater range of concepts than measuring their level of Sociability. Accordingly, the number of subscales or Homogenous Item Composites (HICs) for each primary scale reflects the number of concepts needed for that scale.

Q: Is there item-weighting on the HPI?
A: No. For the HPI, we use direct summative scoring to generate scores for HICs as well as the primary and occupational scales. We use the same process to score the HDS and MVPI scales. Hogan does not use item weights to score any scale on our assessments.

Q: How did Hogan create the HPI subscales?
A: In developing the HPI, the Hogans discovered that each of the seven primary dimensions of normal personality breaks down into a group of related sub-themes. For example, the Adjustment scale contains themes about worry, regret, complaints, patience, irritability, and so forth. Because the items in these sub-themes clustered together, they referred to them as Homogenous Item Composites, or HICs. Hogan researchers subsequently refined these HICs to arrive at the current set of 41 HICs across the seven primary scales. In sum, the HPI HICs reflect a 30-year process of item development, empirical and theoretical refinement, and factor analyses.

Q: How did you decide which HICs to associate with a particular HPI primary scale (e.g., why isn’t empathy associated with Interpersonal Sensitivity rather than Adjustment)?
A: The HPI Technical Manual notes that some HICs are related to more than one primary scale. The final placement of the HICs on primary scales was the result of a long process of pilot testing, and subsequent refinement and factor analysis. For example, the Empathy HIC is placed on the Adjustment scale instead of the Interpersonal Sensitivity scale because (a) correlational analyses indicate that Empathy is more closely related to the Adjustment scale than the Interpersonal Sensitivity scale; and (b) factor analyses illustrate that the Empathy HIC loads on the Adjustment scale.