Technology and psychology in practice: a stronger way of assessing talent

Written by Dr. Ted Kinney, Vice President, Research & Development

Talogy…a perfect alloy of psychology and technology. That concept is emotive and sparks vivid imagery, but what does it mean in practice, and why would it be so central to Talogy’s identity? To me, the concept of an alloy between psychology and technology is critically important. For our client partners to be successful, their talent solutions need to leverage science and technology. This concept underlies everything we do at Talogy.

Gone are the days of scientifically supported paper and pencil testing with simple, multiple choice bubble-sheet item-types. Gone are the days when a simple technology solution like an online application was the latest and most efficient, high-tech process. These days, science must guide every aspect of your technology, and technology must be the engine that drives your science. This is why Talogy is so unique – we have always had our eyes on this intersection; we have always sought to create this perfect alloy.

In my world, I like to think about assessment content. I have focused much of my career on building technology-enabled assessment solutions with uncompromising scientific integrity. This concept of psychology-technology has always been alive in the work we have done in research and development at Talogy. There are a few ways that I like to think about this:

  • Using technology to create new science – This is the aspect of the alloy that I like the most. As technology advances, it changes the ways in which we can measure people. We are able to build increasingly complex and realistic interactions in our assessments. At Talogy, we have moved so far beyond, for example, conventional multiple choice ability measures. Rather, we leverage technology to measure people with engaging interactive simulations. We have complex measures of the human information processing system (e.g., working memory, processing speed). We have figured out ways to use technology to measure job-related human attributes in ways that have never before been accomplished in the field of psychology.
  • Using technology to make our science engaging – Believe it or not, there was a time in the assessment industry where the candidate experience didn’t really matter that much. Clients didn’t ask about it and scientists didn’t think about it. Those days are long gone. When Talogy builds a solution, we consider participant experience equally with importance to validity, fairness, and utility. Leveraging technology to create an engaging experience that delights the assessment participant is core to every solution we build. By employing game-design mechanics, accessible design principles, and thoughtful experience journeys, we can keep the participants energized and virtually eliminate in-test drop out.
  • Using technology to capture new data – When participants interact with assessments, they do more than answer questions. At Talogy, we leverage technology to collect data on all sorts of job-relevant candidate behaviors. For example, in a behavioral simulation, we may measure how many mouse clicks or keystrokes or time it takes to do specific tasks. By building technology that captures these sources of trace data, our scientists can build shorter AND more reliable assessment solutions with robust measures of job-related competencies. In some of our solutions, in the time it would take a candidate to answer 30 items on a conventional assessment we may capture as many as 300 job-related, reliably measured behaviors.

In the end, you can’t have one without the other. Technology touches every aspect of our scientific inquiries. Psychology influences every platform enhancement and feature release. The alloy between the two is central to everything that Talogy does. This mix is essential to competing for talent in today’s labor markets. And, personally, the assessment industry has never been more exciting to me.

The breakthroughs that the Talogy R&D and Software engineering teams make – seemingly every week – have me more engaged in the work we do than I have ever been in my career. At Talogy, due to the strength of this alloy, we are shifting paradigms and pushing the science further and faster than ever before in our industry.

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