Can you Cheat Harrison Assessments

Can You Pretend to be Somebody that You Are Not with Harrison Assessments?

I often get asked “Can Harrison Assessments be Manipulated? Can someone put on a mask with Harrison Assessments and present themselves in a different light? How reliable is the assessment?”

Dan Harrison on Test-Retest Reliability

Dan Harrison, the founder of Harrison Assessments has some great things to say about the ability to detect inconsistencies in Harrison Assessments.

The Harrison Assessment test-retest scores are very high with correlations above 85.

All psychometric tests can be manipulated to different degrees. However, the Harrison Assessment has minimized that chance in the following ways:

  1. Test items are neutral and ranked rather than rated. This is very important as rated answers have proven to be skewed much more often.
  2. The assessment is focused on what the individual wants related to employment and thus there is much less motivation to deceive, especially in an employee development context.
  3. Existing employees have little motivation to falsify the results because doing so would amount to career satisfaction suicide. Even if the organization believes and responds to the false results, the individual will end up in a less satisfying career situation.
  4. Any skilled HR person or manager who knows the person should have a good indication that the results were falsified. To some degree, this is less the case when it is used for promotion but in that case it should be treated with the same care as in a recruitment.

HA has a consistency detector that is far more effective than any other means I have seen to assure reliability.

On Allowing a Re-Take

Dan was asked a question about whether a person who scored lower on job fit, or on consistency, was allowed to retake the assessment – would they get a better score?

Of course, if someone takes the assessment related to a specific job and the results are given back to the person subsequently allowing them to “try it again”, you are not only informing the person of the consistency detector, you are giving the person what they need to respond with “better answers”. In that case, there is a higher likelihood that they can try to fudge and pass the consistency check as well as get a higher score against the same job. Usually they won’t pass it though.

No behavioral assessment should be administered in this manner. That would be equivalent to asking an applicant questions at a job interview, scoring them, giving them feedback as to how they answered and then starting the interview all over again, pretending you never had the first interview. Who would do this? Does it mean that your interviews are not reliable because if you got different (better) answers the second time? Or does it mean that your interviewer is not reliable?

Job applicants will not know the full spectrum of 30-40 factors out of 175 factors that will be used related to a specific job, and especially will not know how they are mathematically configured. They may be able to guess at some but won’t be able to know the full formula and certainly will not be able to know the derailer traits which are very important to the formula and completely invisible during the assessment.

Job applicants do not know there is a consistency detector and are initially given only one chance to pass it. If the applicant requires a second chance, it indicates the result will be a little less reliable and at least indicates that the applicant was not paying attention the first time.

In short, the reliability problem here is related to the administrator, not the test.

A Final Word on Falsified Answers

Falsified answers are the major obstacle for any behavioral assessment whether it is done as a formal assessment or at an interview.

We have taken extraordinary and effective measures to reduce or eliminate deception which I believe are far superior to other assessment and interview methods. However, assessments must be administered according to our guidelines to achieve the maximum benefit from these measures.

Thanks, Dan.

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