Psychological Testing to Assess Motivation in the Workplace

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Psychological Testing to Assess Motivation in the Workplace

Every employer seeks to find new employees that are a perfect match for the available position in their company. Many employers are now leaning towards organizational psychologists to assist them in finding the “perfect” employee. Organizational psychologist are able to assist companies in screening possible employees for personality traits that are necessary for the person to be successful at the potential job. Employers have also started to integrate psychological testing into the interview process to assist psychologists in picking out potential candidates who hold these desired traits. In addition, psychological testing is used to test current employees to determine what company improvements are needed to improve overall success. A largely researched topic in this area of psychology is motivation and reasons for motivation in employees. Article Summary

The ability to measure factors that energize, channel, and sustain work behavior over time is essential for capturing employee motivation and for developing interventions aimed at enhancing motivation, job satisfaction, and performance (Tremblay, Blanchard, Taylor, Pelletier, & Villeneuve, 2009). Tremblay et al. (2009) suggests that self-determination theory (which focuses on why a person is motivated) applies to activities which people find interesting, challenging, or pleasing. This type of motivation is called intrinsic motivation. In addition, activities that are not experienced as interesting or pleasing are unlikely to get accomplished, unless there is an instrumental reason in doing so. This is called extrinsic motivation.

The self-determination theory states that intrinsic motivation leads to the most positive outcomes, whereas extrinsic motivations lead to more negative outcomes such as counterproductive performance and employee withdraw (Tremblay et al., 2009). Low work motivation has been linked to depression in employees,...