Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is a psychometric tool developed to assess normal personality characteristics that influence an individual’s fit for a career, occupation, or organizational culture. Rooted in over five decades of research and application, this inventory is widely recognized for its unique emphasis on assessing personality within occupational contexts, making it a preferred choice among industry professionals for recruitment, development, and talent management strategies.

Origins and Development

The HPI was developed by Drs. Joyce and Robert Hogan in the late 1980s, marking a transformative contribution to the field of personality psychology. The inventory is grounded in socioanalytic theory, which postulates that the core of personality is derived from evolutionary adaptations to social problems of survival, mating, and group living. The Hogans’ work was pioneering in its focus on “normal” or “bright-side” personality – traits that characterize us at our best, which contrast with “dark-side” traits that emerge under stress or complacency and can disrupt one’s career and relationships.

Structure of the HPI

The HPI is designed to assess seven primary scales or dimensions of normal personality, known as the “Hogan Seven.” These dimensions, which are based on an extensive review of both theoretical and empirical literature, include:

  1. Adjustment: This scale measures the extent to which a person appears calm and self-accepting or conversely, tense and self-critical. High scorers are viewed as resilient and stable, while low scorers may be perceived as reactive to stress.
  2. Ambition: This dimension evaluates one’s initiative, competitive drive, and desire for leadership roles. High scorers tend to seek out opportunities for advancement and recognition, whereas low scorers prefer contributing without being in the spotlight.
  3. Sociability: This scale assesses a preference for social interaction and extraversion. High scorers thrive in team settings and enjoy networking, while low scorers prefer solitary activities and are more selective in social engagements.
  4. Interpersonal Sensitivity: This measures tact, perceptiveness, and the ability to maintain relationships. High scorers are typically diplomatic and popular, while low scorers may struggle with social nuances, often appearing blunt or aloof.
  5. Prudence: Reflecting on conscientiousness, this dimension involves self-discipline, responsibility, and thoroughness. High scorers are organized and reliable, adhering to rules and ethical standards, while low scorers are more spontaneous, sometimes perceived as unpredictable or noncompliant.
  6. Inquisitive: This scale measures imagination, curiosity, and creative potential. High scorers are open to new experiences and ideas, often enjoying problem-solving, while low scorers prefer routine, practical tasks and may resist change.
  7. Learning Approach: Lastly, this dimension assesses the value one places on education and lifelong intellectual growth. High scorers enjoy academic activities and tend to seek out ongoing learning opportunities, while low scorers are less focused on formal education, often relying on job experience for skill development.

Applications in the Professional Realm

The HPI is revered for its robust predictive validity in various occupational and organizational outcomes, including job performance, leadership potential, and cultural fit. By understanding an individual’s strengths, preferences, and areas for development, organizations can make informed decisions about hiring, promotions, team assignments, and succession planning.

In recruitment, the HPI helps identify candidates whose personality traits align with essential competencies for the role. For instance, a role requiring innovation and adaptability may suit someone scoring high in Inquisitive and Learning Approach, while a regulatory compliance officer might need high Prudence and Adjustment scores.

In terms of personal and professional development, the HPI provides individuals with insights into their own behavior, promoting self-awareness and guiding development activities. For example, someone with low Interpersonal Sensitivity scores could benefit from training in communication and relationship-building to enhance team dynamics and collaboration.

Reliability and Validity

The HPI’s reliability and validity have been well-documented through numerous studies across various populations and cultures. The inventory demonstrates strong psychometric properties, including internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and validity across different jobs, industries, and cultures. This rigorous scientific backing underscores its effectiveness as a tool for both individual and organizational assessments.


Practicing for the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) can be beneficial for individuals preparing for job applications, interviews, or seeking to understand their personality traits for personal development. Unlike typical tests, the HPI doesn’t have right or wrong answers, as it measures personality characteristics. However, familiarizing oneself with the types of questions asked and the traits assessed can help individuals feel more comfortable during the actual assessment.

The Hogan Suite

Hogan Assessments provides a range of tools, each designed to reveal different facets of an individual’s personality:

  1. Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) – The HPI evaluates seven primary scales and six occupational scales to assess how individuals relate to others under normal circumstances. It predicts job performance by identifying the fundamental characteristics that foster productive relationships and effective working strategies.
  2. Hogan Development Survey (HDS) – The HDS identifies personality-based performance risks and derailers of interpersonal behavior. These are the characteristics that can impede work relationships or hinder productivity under stress or fatigue.
  3. Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI) – The MVPI delves into an individual’s core values, goals, drivers, and interests, helping to understand what motivates employees to succeed, fit with organizational culture, and job satisfaction.
  4. Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI) – The HBRI evaluates two kinds of problem-solving: tactical and strategic reasoning, predicting an individual’s problem-solving style, and ability. It’s unique in focusing on reasoning skills rather than IQ.
  5. Hogan Judgment – This module assesses decision-making style, post-decision reactions, and feedback receptivity, providing insight into how individuals process information and make decisions.
  6. Hogan 360° – A tool that combines an individual’s self-assessment with the perceptions of others, providing a holistic view of current performance, areas for improvement, and strategies for personal development.