The validity of the CPP report

August 23, 2019 | By Maretha Prinsloo

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There are several factors that could render a CPP result invalid. This blog outlines some of those factors that could potentially impact on a candidate’s CPP results report.

The factors contributing to invalid CPP results:

There are a number of factors that could render CPP results invalid. Acceptable test conditions with regards to noise, temperature, lighting and privacy, are prerequisites for obtaining valid assessment results. Factors such as incorrect administration; inadequate language proficiency (a grade 5 mother tongue language proficiency is required for a valid CPP result); computer illiteracy; emotional factors including anxiety, demotivation, preoccupation and depression; health-related factors; disabilities and medication amongst other factors, may all affect the validity of a CPP assessment result.

The most common factors contributing to invalid CPP results are, however, anxiety, demotivation and inadequate language proficiency.

In some cases, invalid reports will either not be scored by Cognadev or will be flagged as “Validity questionable”. It is, however, the task of the CPP practitioner involved, to clarify whether a report is valid or not.

The most common causes of invalid reports:

Practitioners can determine the validity of CPP reports by checking for the most common cause of invalid reports, namely performance anxiety. They can also contact a Cognadev consultant for an expert opinion.

Anxiety or preoccupation, both of which may affect concentration, are usually indicated by significantly lower scores on the “Pragmatic” and “Judgement” dimensions as compared to other processing scores in the CPP report. These two scores indicate the candidate’s task focus. Relatively low scores on “Pragmatic” and “Judgement”, in combination with a “Trial-and-error” and/or “Reactive” style, may indicate performance anxiety or preoccupation during the time of the assessment. Please note that these two styles alone do not indicate an invalid CPP result but may actually reflect a tendency to go about problem-solving in an unplanned, reckless or superficial manner in unfamiliar contexts. In other words, “Trial-and-error” and/or “Reactive” styles may be a valid reflection of a person’s cognitive approach.

Candidates from disadvantaged educational backgrounds may show undeveloped cognitive capability. They are likely to obtain relatively low scores on the “Analytical”, “Logical” and “Judgement” processing competencies of the CPP. In other words, they are unlikely to independently analyse issues by pulling them apart and critically reason about further possibilities. Instead, there may be a tendency to memorise, rely on intuition and capitalise on previous experience. Their “Learning“and “Memory” scores are thus often significantly higher than all the other processing scores. In the case of educationally disadvantaged candidates, it should be pointed out that analytical skills can be acquired relatively easily via cognitive training aimed at the internalisation of certain metacognitive criteria. Cognadev can advise HR practitioners in this regard.

Although CPP reports characterised by significantly lower scores on “Logical reasoning” and “Verbal Conceptualisation” only, as compared to the rest of the processing profile, are not necessarily invalid, they indicate a personality- or culturally-based resistance to transformational thinking. It thus shows a preference for the familiar and a tendency not to apply critical thinking or to reconceptualise issues. This tendency may also affect the candidate’s performance in everyday life and work. Such a profile may at times indicate a degree of demotivation.

The CPP has not been devised to diagnose neurological problems caused by factors such as trauma, long-term stress, substance abuse and/or psychiatric conditions. Alternative evidence of a person’s cognitive functioning may be required in the case of possibly invalid CPP reports. This can be obtained through structured interviews, performance appraisals, assessment centre evaluations or other techniques.

Invalid CPP reports nevertheless offer valuable information that can be interpreted qualitatively.

To read more on the reassessment of the Cognitive Process Profile, follow the link provided