The Californian Psychological Inventory (CPI)

What is the CPI?

The CPI personality assessment is an in-depth measure of professional and personal styles, offering a portrait of an individual and their potential.  It is particularly effective in the development of senior leaders and can complement leadership and organisational development programmes as well as performance improvement initiatives, inspiring the motivation to adapt and improve.

Credibility of the CPI

More than 50 years of research have contributed to the CPI and it is both a straightforward and practical psychometric tool.  The CPI adopts a quite unique approach, containing questions that have no obvious link to the personality trait being measured preventing deliberate or inadvertent manipulation of the results.  It takes into account that results on some aspect of personality can be affected by environmental factors.

What does the CPI measure?

The CPI measures behavior across a number of different personality traits including:

Dominance, Capacity for Status, Social Presence, Self-acceptance, Independence, Empathy, Responsibility, Well-being, Tolerance, Achievement, and Flexibility.

An additional benefit of the CPI personality questionnaire is that these personality themes are broadly cross-cultural and easily understood around the world.

As well as providing information on the personality themes above, feedback reports are available which describe behaviour in terms of how an individual perceives their own behaviour as well as how their behaviour is perceived by others.  An example of this is shown below.

Tends to see self as ambitious, efficient, industrious, and organised, but not as confused, dissatisfied, lazy or moody. Tends to be seen by others as active, ambitious, enterprising, and organised, but not as apathetic, cynical, moody, or shy.
Tends to see self as conscientious, modest, patient, and reserved, but not as assertive, irritable, outspoken, or sarcastic. Tends to be seen by others as cautious, inhibited, peaceable and retiring, but not as adventurous, daring, individualistic, or quick.
Tends to see self as complicated, humorous, pleasure-seeking, and spontaneous, but not as conservative, conventional, placid, or submissive. Tends to be seen by others as clever, frank, impulsive, and witty, but not as conservative, conventional, methodical, or timid.
Tends to see self as detached, frank, reflective and unconventional, but not as
cheerful, enthusiastic, forceful, or sociable.
Tends to be seen by others as dreamy, modest, quiet and unassuming, but not as assertive, energetic, outgoing, or talkative.

Reflecting on information which provides insight into both how an individual sees themselves as well as how other people might view them, is extremely valuable and raises awareness of how behaviour can influence the response of others.

When can the CPI be used?

The CPI can be used to assess both past performance and plan for future improvement, and is particularly useful in the following scenarios:

  • Team development and communication
  • Enhancing personal style
  • Relationships with stakeholders
  • Awareness of fit to future job roles
  • Conflict management
  • Executive business coaching at all levels

How long does the CPI take to complete?

Typically, the CPI questionnaire takes about an hour to complete but there is no time limit.  Feedback is provided by a qualified practitioner who is trained in the interpretation of the CPI and a selection of two comprehensive reports are available depending on individual requirements.

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© 2011 Alison Peggs Consulting
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