PI Behavioral Assessment

What is the PI Behavioral Assessment?

The PI Behavioral Assessment (BA) is a self-report measure of adult work-related personality based on prominent theories of workplace behavior. It has been developed and validated extensively and exclusively for use in the workplace.

The BA is untimed, takes an average of 6 minutes to complete, and is available through an easy-to-use online format.

How the PI Behavioral Assessment works

The Behavioral Assessment uses a free-choice response format. Participants are presented with 2 questions, each followed by a list of adjectives:

  1. The first question asks respondents to select adjectives that describe the way they feel they’re expected to act by others.
  2. The second question asks respondents to select the adjectives they feel actually describe them. 

Each of the adjectives on the BA is associated with one of five “factors”:

  • Dominance
  • Extraversion
  • Patience
  • Formality
  • Objectivity

These factors are referred to as Factors A, B, C, D, and E, respectively.

Dominance, Extraversion, Patience, and Formality are primary factors that determine the participants’ preferred behavioral drives in the workplace. Objectivity is used as a secondary factor describing a participant’s decision-making style in the expression of the four primary factors. 

These factors are presented graphically as a behavioral pattern. Each person has a unique behavioral pattern which can be interpreted by recruiters, managers, and co-workers for everything from hiring to talent development.

Learn more about factors and behavioral patterns.

How the Behavioral Assessment is scored

Respondents have free choice to select as many or as few adjectives as they like. Their selections influence the degree to which they exhibit each independent factor.

While factors are scored independently, the overall factor pattern is the best estimate of someone’s likely workplace behavior based on their assessment responses. What is the respondent’s highest factor? What is their lowest factor? That combination can be used to determine likely work-related behaviors.

The higher or lower an individual factor, the more pronounced that behavior. By contrast, when factors are close to the midpoint of the spectrum, they’re considered “situational.” These scores represent more adaptable drives; the respondent may have an easier time adjusting that behavioral factor, but generally will not strongly express the factor either way.

The width of a pattern can also be meaningful. Wider patterns tend to be more clearly and consistently expressed than narrower patterns.

Note: BA scores represent relative differences within people rather than between people. A high score does not equate to a “better” score, nor does a lower score equate to a “worse” score. The BA results are meant to highlight the unique characteristics of the respondent—not to compare that person to another.


Has the BA been reviewed by third parties?
PI employs a team of experienced scientists and researchers who develop, maintain, monitor, and document PI’s assessments to ensure that they are valid, reliable, and fair. The PI Behavioral Assessment has been in widespread commercial use since 1955, and the validity and reliability of the PI Behavioral Assessment have been investigated by numerous PI researchers and third parties.

The most comprehensive third-party review of the PI Behavioral Assessment was conducted from 2017 to 2018 through the certification company DNV-GL. In that review, the PI Behavioral Assessment was reviewed by two psychologists and independent auditors who evaluated the assessment against the guidelines published by the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA, 2013). This audit covered validity, reliability, fairness, development, norms, reporting, supporting documentation and training, and even pricing and distribution. The PI Behavioral Assessment passed this review and was certified under the EFPA model in September 2018. PI continues to maintain this certification through periodic reviews.

Learn more about the validity, reliability, and fairness of the BA.

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