The American psychologist Gordon William Allport (1897-1967) is best known for his personality theory, which is one of the first attempts to explain human personality psychologically and emphasizes each characteristic of individuality and the positive aspects of our nature that motivate us to achieve a goal or certain objectives.
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.
His contributions are significant in the recruitment process; one of his most used tests is the “Gordon test”. This psychological test allows one to evaluate a person’s character through eight main traits for a person’s daily functioning, such as emotional stability, sociability, cautiousness, originality, personal relationships, vigor, ascendancy, and responsibility.
What is the Gordon test?
It is a set of psychological assessments with two principal instruments; the Gordon Personality Profile (GPP) and the Gordon Personality Inventory (GPI), which assesses nine different aspects of each person’s personality as a function of daily life events.
The profile and inventory consist of four descriptive statements called “tetrads”. Each of the four personality traits (in the ARES profile; in the COPV inventory) is represented by one agent from each tetrad.
Gordon Personality Profile (GPP)
Gordon’s personality profile (GPP) allows us to explore the four main aspects of each person’s personality as well as their development and social and daily reactions to various events.
These dimensions are Ascendancy, Responsibility, Emotional Stability, and Sociability. This group of attributes is known as ARES, where the sum of the points of each aspect will show the level of self-esteem of each individual.
Ascendance(A): High scores reflect verbally dominant individuals who actively participate in a group, tend to make decisions independently, and feel secure in their relationships with others. On the other hand, individuals with a basic role within groups, who tend to listen more than talk, have little self-confidence, lack the enthusiasm to take the initiative, and regularly rely on the opinion of others, tend to score low on this aspect.
Responsibility (R): People who persevere in the work assigned to them and are resilient, determined, and reliable tend to score high on this scale. People who cannot stick to uninteresting tasks and are inconsistent or irresponsible almost always score low.
Emotional Stability (E): High scores on this scale are generally obtained by people who are emotionally stable and relatively free of worry, anxiety, and nervous tension. Low scores are associated with excessive anxiety, irritability, neuroticism, and poor tolerance to frustration. Very low scores usually reflect a poor emotional adjustment.
Sociability (S): High scores are characteristic of people who enjoy working with others and are naturally social. Low scores reflect a lack of sociability, general limitations in social interaction, and avoidance of very authentic social relationships.
Self-esteem (SE): The sum of the scores on the four GPP scales provides a measure of the level of self-esteem of the evaluee.
Gordon Personality Inventory GPI
This inventory evaluates four qualities in people, which are related to how they react and behave in their daily life.
The four dimensions present in this inventory are Cautiousness, Originality, Personal Relationships, and Vitality, denoted by the abbreviation COPV for each quality.
Cautiousness (C): Very cautious people who consider a situation very carefully before making a decision and who are risk-averse tend to score high on this scale. Impulsive people, who act without thinking, make rash or sudden decisions, love risks, and seek thrills, tend to score lower.
Originality (O): People who find it crucial to work with challenging problems, are intellectually curious and enjoy thought-provoking questions and discussions that generate new ideas, tend to score high on this aspect. On the other hand, low scorers do not like dealing with complex or challenging questions and are less interested in acquiring knowledge or in thought-provoking questions or discussions.
Personal Relationships (P): High scores reflect individuals who have trust in people, tolerance, patience, and understanding. Low scores reflect a lack of hope or trust in others, a tendency to criticize others, and anger and irritation at the actions of others.
Vigor (V): People who score high on this scale are energetic and dynamic, like to work and move quickly, and can accomplish more than the average person. Low scores were associated with low levels of vigor or energy, a preference for a slower pace, a tendency to fatigue, and below-average performance and productivity.
How is the Gordon personality test applied?
This test can be taken individually or in a group, but each person must always answer according to their own rules and convictions.
There are no wrong answers in the Gordon test because it is answered according to each person’s personality.
Each item must be labeled “Plus” or “Minus” or may be unmarked. Each unit labeled “Plus” receives 2 points, and each unit labeled ” Minus” receives no points; unmarked items receive 1 point.
The maximum total score for each test is 36 PPG and 40 IPG.
After all, this type of test helps us to understand each person in more detail. Therefore, its application in the labor sector is of great relevance helping to place human talent in the work areas where they perform better, where they feel more comfortable, and where they fit better; details that will undoubtedly increase productivity within an organization.