Roger Birkman

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Roger Birkman
Born(1919-02-01)February 1, 1919
DiedMarch 26, 2014(2014-03-26) (aged 95)
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
OccupationPsychologist
Known forpsychology and social perception in the workplace

Roger Winfred Birkman [1] (February 1, 1919 – March 26, 2014) was an American organizational psychologist. He was the creator of The Birkman Method, [2] a workplace psychological assessment. Birkman received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1961 from the University of Texas at Austin. He was the founder and chairman of the board of Birkman International, Inc.

University of Texas at Austin public research university in Austin, Texas, United States

The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. The University of Texas was inducted into the Association of American Universities in 1929, becoming only the third university in the American South to be elected. The institution has the nation's eighth-largest single-campus enrollment, with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff.

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Career

Birkman began his studies in psychology at the University of Houston before enlisting in the United States Army Air Corps and becoming a B-17 bomber pilot. He became interested in the exploration of individual psychological differences while serving during World War II. His experiences with the impact that perceptions, and misperceptions, among his crew and fellow pilots had on performance led him to the study of social psychology. He began developing The Birkman Method in the late 1940s while working with a group of scientists at the University of Houston surveying psychological instruments for pilot selection by the Air Force.

University of Houston state research university in Houston, Texas, United States

The University of Houston (UH) is a public research university in Houston, Texas and the main institution of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1927, UH is the third-largest university in Texas with over 46,000 students. Its campus spans 667 acres in southeast Houston, and was known as University of Houston–University Park from 1983 to 1991. The Carnegie Foundation classifies UH as a doctoral degree-granting institution with "highest research activity."

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Birkman sought to create a single instrument that would measure self-concepts, social expectations, stress behaviors, and occupational interests valuable to both work and life. By 1951, he had completed his first iteration called the "Test of Social Comprehension." A self-report questionnaire eliciting responses about perception of self, social context, and occupational opportunities. Scales were empirically developed by comparing self-report item results with descriptions of likes, dislikes and behaviors provided by third parties. The Birkman Method took its final form in his 1961 doctoral dissertation. His work aligns with the social psychology theories of the organizational psychologist Kurt Lewin.

Thesis document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree

A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings. In some contexts, the word "thesis" or a cognate is used for part of a bachelor's or master's course, while "dissertation" is normally applied to a doctorate, while in other contexts, the reverse is true. The term graduate thesis is sometimes used to refer to both master's theses and doctoral dissertations.

Kurt Lewin German-American psychologist

Kurt Lewin was a German-American psychologist, known as one of the modern pioneers of social, organizational, and applied psychology in the United States. Exiled from the land of his birth, Lewin made a new life for himself, in which he defined himself and his contributions within three lenses of analysis: applied research, action research, and group communication were his major offerings to the field of communication.

Birkman authored two books: True Colors (1995) and A Man of Understanding (2002). He was certified as a Licensed Psychologist in the State of Texas and was a member of the American Psychological Association, the Southwestern Psychological Association, Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology, and the Texas Psychological Association.

He died in his sleep on March 26, 2014, at the age of 95. [3] [4]

The Birkman Method

The Birkman Method is an online personality, social perception, and occupational interest assessment consisting of ten scales describing occupational preferences (Interests), 11 scales describing “effective behaviors” (Usual behaviors) and 11 scales describing interpersonal and environmental expectations (Needs or Expectations). A corresponding set of 11 scale values was derived to describe "less than effective" behaviors (Stress behaviors). Occupational profiling consists of 22 job families with more than 200 corresponding job titles all connected to O*Net.

The construction and comparative analysis of the Birkman Method is designed to provide insight into what specifically drives a person's behavior, with the goal of creating greater choice and more self-responsibility. It attempts to measure social behaviors, underlying expectations of interpersonal and task actions, potential stress reactions to unmet expectations, occupational preferences and organizational strengths. It is empirically supported by reliability and validity studies, including studies using classical test theory (CTT) and item response theory (IRT). The Birkman Method has 3 different types of assessments available. [5] [ non-primary source needed ]

Classical test theory (CTT) is a body of related psychometric theory that predicts outcomes of psychological testing such as the difficulty of items or the ability of test-takers. It is a theory of testing based on the idea that a person’s observed or obtained score on a test is the sum of a true score and an error score. Generally speaking, the aim of classical test theory is to understand and improve the reliability of psychological tests.

In psychometrics, item response theory (IRT) is a paradigm for the design, analysis, and scoring of tests, questionnaires, and similar instruments measuring abilities, attitudes, or other variables. It is a theory of testing based on the relationship between individuals' performances on a test item and the test takers' levels of performance on an overall measure of the ability that item was designed to measure. Several different statistical models are used to represent both item and test taker characteristics. Unlike simpler alternatives for creating scales and evaluating questionnaire responses, it does not assume that each item is equally difficult. This distinguishes IRT from, for instance, Likert scaling, in which "All items are assumed to be replications of each other or in other words items are considered to be parallel instruments" (p. 197). By contrast, item response theory treats the difficulty of each item as information to be incorporated in scaling items.

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Related Research Articles

Industrial and organizational psychology, which is also known as occupational psychology, organizational psychology, work and organizational psychology, is an applied discipline within psychology. I/O psychology is the science of human behaviour relating to work and applies psychological theories and principles to organizations and individuals in their places of work as well as the individual's work-life more generally. I/O psychologists are trained in the scientist–practitioner model. They contribute to an organization's success by improving the performance, motivation, job satisfaction, and occupational safety and health as well as the overall health and well-being of its employees. An I/O psychologist conducts research on employee behaviours and attitudes, and how these can be improved through hiring practices, training programs, feedback, and management systems.

Psychology is the science of behavior and mind. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, and all the variety of phenomena linked to those emergent properties, joining this way the broader neuroscientific group of researchers. As a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.

Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and its variation among individuals. It is a scientific study which aims to show how people are individually different due to psychological forces. Its areas of focus include:

Social psychology scientific study of social effects on peoples thoughts, feelings, and behaviors

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of others. In this definition, scientific refers to the empirical investigation using the scientific method. The terms thoughts, feelings, and behaviors refer to psychological variables that can be measured in humans. The statement that others' presence may be imagined or implied suggests that humans are malleable to social influences even when alone, such as when watching videos, sitting on the toilet, or quietly appreciating art. In such situations, people can be influenced to follow internalized cultural norms. Social psychologists typically explain human behavior as a result of the interaction of mental states and social situations.

Psychology is an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of human mental functions and behavior. Occasionally, in addition or opposition to employing the scientific method, it also relies on symbolic interpretation and critical analysis, although these traditions have tended to be less pronounced than in other social sciences, such as sociology. Psychologists study phenomena such as perception, cognition, emotion, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships. Some, especially depth psychologists, also study the unconscious mind.

Applied psychology is the use of psychological methods and findings of scientific psychology to solve practical problems of human and animal behavior and experience. Mental health, organizational psychology, business management, education, health, product design, ergonomics, and law are just a few of the areas that have been influenced by the application of psychological principles and findings. Some of the areas of applied psychology include clinical psychology, counseling psychology, evolutionary psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, legal psychology, neuropsychology, occupational health psychology, human factors, forensic psychology, engineering psychology, school psychology, sports psychology, traffic psychology, community psychology, and medical psychology. In addition, a number of specialized areas in the general field of psychology have applied branches. However, the lines between sub-branch specializations and major applied psychology categories are often blurred. For example, a human factors psychologist might use a cognitive psychology theory. This could be described as human factor psychology or as applied cognitive psychology.

Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory, and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. Central to its practice are psychological assessment, clinical formulation, and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. In many countries, clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession.

Personality test psychological or character questionnaire

A personality test is a method of assessing human personality constructs. Most personality assessment instruments are in fact introspective self-report questionnaire measures or reports from life records (L-data) such as rating scales. Attempts to construct actual performance tests of personality have been very limited even though Raymond Cattell with his colleague Frank Warburton compiled a list of over 2000 separate objective tests that could be used in constructing objective personality tests. One exception however, was the Objective-Analytic Test Battery, a performance test designed to quantitatively measure 10 factor-analytically discerned personality trait dimensions. A major problem with both L-data and Q-data methods is that because of item transparency, rating scales and self-report questionnaires are highly susceptible to motivational and response distortion ranging all the way from lack of adequate self-insight to downright dissimulation depending on the reason/motivation for the assessment being undertaken.

Health psychology is the study of psychological and behavioral processes in health, illness, and healthcare. It is concerned with understanding how psychological, behavioral, and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness. Psychological factors can affect health directly. For example, chronically occurring environmental stressors affecting the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, cumulatively, can harm health. Behavioral factors can also affect a person's health. For example, certain behaviors can, over time, harm or enhance health. Health psychologists take a biopsychosocial approach. In other words, health psychologists understand health to be the product not only of biological processes but also of psychological, behavioral, and social processes.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to psychology:

The California Psychological Inventory (CPI) is a self-report inventory created by Harrison Gough and currently published by Consulting Psychologists Press. The test was first published in 1956, and the most recent revision was published in 1987. It was created in a similar manner to the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)—with which it shares 194 items. But unlike the MMPI, which focuses on maladjustment or clinical diagnosis, the CPI was created to assess the everyday "folk-concepts" that ordinary people use to describe the behavior of the people around them.

Social perception is the study of how people form impressions of and make inferences about other people as sovereign personalities. People learn about others' feelings and emotions by picking up information they gather from physical appearance, verbal, and nonverbal communication. Facial expressions, tone of voice, hand gestures, and body position or movement are a few examples of ways people communicate without words. A real-world example of social perception is understanding that others disagree with what one said when one sees them roll their eyes. There are four main components of social perception: observation, attribution, integration, and confirmation.

Psychological evaluation is defined as a way of assessing an individual's behavior, personality, cognitive abilities, and several other domains. The purpose behind many modern psychological evaluations is to try to pinpoint what is happening in someone's psychological life that may be inhibiting their ability to behave or feel in more appropriate or constructive ways; it is the mental equivalent of physical examination. Other psychological evaluations seek to better understand the individual's unique characteristics or personality to predict things like workplace performance or customer relationship management.

Positive affectivity (PA) is a human characteristic that describes how much people experience positive affects ; and as a consequence how they interact with others and with their surroundings.

Psychology encompasses a vast domain, and includes many different approaches to the study of mental processes and behavior. Below are the major areas of inquiry that taken together constitute psychology. A comprehensive list of the sub-fields and areas within psychology can be found at the list of psychology topics and list of psychology disciplines.

Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) is employee behavior that goes against the legitimate interests of an organization. These behaviors can harm organizations or people in organizations including employees and clients, customers, or patients. It has been proposed that a person-by-environment interaction can be utilized to explain a variety of counterproductive behaviors. For instance, an employee who is high on trait anger is more likely to respond to a stressful incident at work with CWB.

Individual psychological assessment (IPA) is a tool used by organizations to make decisions on employment. IPA allows employers to evaluate and maintain potential candidates for hiring, promotion, and development by using a series of job analysis instruments such as position analysis questionnaires (PAQ), occupational analysis inventory (OAI), and functional job analysis (FJA). These instruments allow the assessor to develop valid measures of intelligence, personality tests, and a range of other factors as means to determine selection and promotion decisions. Personality and cognitive ability are good predictors of performance. Emotional Intelligence helps individuals navigate through challenging organizational and interpersonal encounters. Since individual differences have a long history in explaining human behavior and the different ways in which individuals respond to similar events and circumstances, these factors allow the organization to determine if an applicant has the competence to effectively and successfully do the work that the job requires. These assessments are administered throughout organizations in different forms, but they share one common goal in the selection process, and that is the right candidate for the job.

In the field of personality psychology, Machiavellianism refers to a psychological trait centered on interpersonal manipulation, unemotional coldness, and indifference to morality. The trait takes its name from the political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, as psychologists Richard Christie and Florence Geis wanted to use his works to study variations in human behaviors. It is one of the dark triad traits, along with narcissism and psychopathy.

References

  1. Birkman, Roger (June 11, 1961). "Development of a Personality Test Using Social and Self-perception Inventories". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved June 11, 2019 via Google Books.
  2. "Who is Birkman?". Birkman International. Birkman International. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  3. http://en.hectorverdu.cat/2014/03/dr-b-legacy-remains.html
  4. Mention of Roger Birkman's death, Birkman International
  5. "Birkman Method - Personality Test". Birkman Method. Retrieved 2016-04-19.