The Allport Values Test is a psychometric-type test developed by Gordon Allport, Philip Vernon, and Gardner Lindsay; it is considered one of the first psychological instruments to measure a person’s underlying values or motivation.
According to Allport, a good way to analyze the character of a particular individual is to assess their moral values. In this sense, he emphasized the present rather than personal history, which was the focus of the psychoanalytic wave that dominated psychology at the time.
The objective of the test is to determine the relative weight of the six values for a particular individual: theoretical, economic, aesthetic, social, political, and religious. We will describe the definitions of these core motivations in more detail below.
Allport tests can be helpful when companies are trying to learn more about job candidates than just their knowledge or skills in a specific subject. This test can tell a lot about a person.
How is the Allport test designed and how to apply it?
The test consists in determining the basic preferences of the person tested. To do this, it places people in different scenarios to evaluate their behavior and, based on this, their values.
The Allport test has two parts. The first part consists of dichotomous questions that candidates must answer by giving 3 points according to their preferences.
The second part contains statements with four possible answers, which must be ranked in relative order according to the preference degree of each person.
A total of 240 points are awarded for the entire test; 90 points for the first part (according to the value assessed) and 150 points for the second part (according to the order of each response item).
The test can be used individually or collectively. Although there is no time limit, the candidate has to try to answer the question as quickly as possible without thinking too long.
What values does the Allport Test measure?
The results of the Allport test seek to obtain six scores at the end of it, one for each of the motivational items proposed by Allport. A variable’s comparison with other indicators indicates how significant each value (or behavioral tendency) is for a person.
The values evaluated in this test are presented below:
People with a high theoretical value seek to discover the truth of things, that is, to achieve orderly and systematic knowledge obtained through logical and empirical standards.
This value is related to the focus on material and lucrative aspects that include things such as the accumulation of goods and a utilitarian conception of relationships with others; i.e., the person only seeks to relate to others purely for economic and status aspects.
As its name indicates, those who obtain a high score in this motivational factor emphasize aspects such as beauty, personal care, and harmony of things, which to some extent, goes against the theoretical value. For these people, satisfaction comes from either or both creating and thinking about aesthetic experiences.
For this section, people’s motivation is based mainly on their relationship with others; they seek to have the company of other people, and helping them is their most motivating factor. The highest scores in this aspect indicate that the person has values such as kindness, generosity, and compassion.
In this variable, with a high score, we found that people’s motivation is mainly related to obtaining power and control over the behavior of different individuals. It is also associated with leadership.
People with a high score in this aspect orient their actions according to their spiritual beliefs; for these people, the center of their motivation has to do with God and acting well in his eyes.
Finally, it is good to note that values determine what a person wants to achieve. Congruence between values, goals, and chosen professions must be maintained for maximum personal and professional growth. For this reason, many companies include this test in their selection process and are complemented by other psychometric tests relevant to decision-making.
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