It’s perhaps quite natural to believe that the Chinese personality is so different to others that it requires a special psychometric test to assess it. What better way to sell your new Chinese personality test than to state that it is “high time a test for the Chinese” were developed. However, this throws doubt upon the utility of rigorously developed international psychometric tests of personality.
Given the above, we embarked on a research program to assess whether Chinese people differ significantly comparied to others in terms of personality structure and whether personality tests that purport to assess Chinese Personality are able to predict any more work performance than internationally developed tests have already been proven to do!
You can read our research findings it: personality.cn, our Chinese Personality at Work Research Site.
No time to read the whole site? Here’s a quick summary:
Locally developed psychometric tests which purport to assess “indigenous” aspects of Chinese Personality were found to be less reliable than reputable internationally developed tests of personality. Furthermore, there is a big question as to whether so-called “indigenous” traits are Chinese-specific. Issues such as traditionalism or face also exist in other cultures! Moreover, the research has demonstrated that whatever we choose to believe about Chinese Personality, locally developed (Hong Kong) tests of “indigenous” personality add nothing to the prediction of performance at work that is not already accounted for by reputable internationally developed personality tests.
We present this research in a free HRM webinar which you can watch here. We held a vote at the beginning and end of our webinar whereby we asked attendees if they believed that Chinese Personality is so different that Chinese people need their own personality test. At the beginning of the webinar, the majority of the attendees said yes! By the end of the webinar only one attendee still believed this to be the case! We recommend choosing well designed psychometric tests with high reliability and validity. Personality is a universal construct, thus locally developed tests may have little benefit to the hiring manager!