How do you know your process is accurate?

That all depends on what you mean by “accurate.” How is the “accuracy” of any assessment determined? Our culture places a great deal of weight on scientific accuracy, meaning things that can be measured quantitatively and then compared against each other to determine their “accuracy” relative to one another.

Unfortunately, human beings are not so easily quantified. Nor are there objective, quantifiable standards against which to measure human behavior. For that reason, researchers have long compared humans against humans in attempts to create “norms” for evaluating various human characteristics. Norms may have value, but even if a person is accurately described relative to some “norm,” how valuable and meaningful is that? For example, suppose someone scores in the 78th percentile for some trait like dominance. That score may be “accurate.” But is it relevant? How much does it help us understand the person? And what do we do when we find the person not looking very dominant?

The scientific “accuracy” of the assessment we use (called SIMA®), has been evaluated against other forms of assessment in a number of formal studies. One of the most important was The Leadership Profile Project, carried out in 1989-1990 by Dr. John Crites (1928-2007), one of the leading vocational psychologists of the 20th century. The objective of the research was to evaluate the usefulness of SIMA® for identifying potential leaders for executive and managerial positions. The research design followed test standards established by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1985 for determining the psychometric characteristics of assessment techniques (i.e., scoring objectivity, reliability, and validity).

Dr. Crites conducted seven studies to assess the extent to which SIMA® approximated the APA standards. He concluded that SIMA® was both theoretically sound and empirically reliable and valid for use as a selection tool. He found that it met all applicable APA standards for the assessment and selection of leaders, and that an individual MAP® profile is stable over time.

In his summary remarks, Dr. Crites praised SIMA®, noting that it achieved “positive results” in all studies. He saw that as a “unique and highly positive outcome for this type of project.” He further stated that “the weight of the evidence for these findings is indeed impressive,” concluding that “SIMA® can be used with confidence as a selection and leadership identification method.”

Dr. Crites’ validation studies corroborate The Giftedness Center's experience that SIMA®’s accuracy is consistently demonstrated by its uncanny ability to predict a person’s behavior in a given set of circumstances. For fifty years, SIMA® has been used with hundreds of thousands of people in a wide range of situations Time and time again it has anticipated how a person will function when placed in a given context. Often that foreknowledge has superceded—and even disproved—expectations that were generated by other forms of assessment. That remarkable reliability offers strong (albeit unscientific) evidence of SIMA®’s “accuracy” in describing individual persons.