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Psychometric Profiling in Driver Training - Useful or Misleading?

 

As a Driving Instructor giving driving lessons in Nottingham I am interested in the benefits of new techniques such as Psychometric Profiling. Like many driving instructors in Nottingham I am concerned about the safety of my pupils after passing their driving test as they begin their individual driving careers. Can we really determine how a person will conduct themselves on the road after answering a series of simple non specific questions?

 

Psychometric profiling in Driver Training – Useful or misleading?


As a Driving Instructor giving driving lessons in Nottingham I am interested in the benefits of new techniques such as Psychometric Profiling. Like many driving instructors in Nottingham I am concerned about the safety of my pupils after passing their driving test as they begin their individual driving careers. Can we really determine how a person will conduct themselves on the road after answering a series of simple non specific questions?

In any analytical situation a person has a certain way of viewing themselves which is purely subjective and often at odds with how others perceive them. Psychometric profiling seeks to assess the knowledge and attitudes held by potential drivers in order to predict how an individual will view risk and is now used in the fleet training industry to assess future employees.

The test usually presents the individual with a series of questions grouped into sets with a simple three column tick box with agree, not sure and disagree. There are no right or wrong answers. Using the answers given by the client a course of action would then be presented which would hopefully improve driver behaviour by specifically targeting areas of immediate concern. But how accurate is it?

Profiling questions may relate to the happy and outgoing nature of the client against a sullen self deprecating nature. Most people would be biased towards being happy and outgoing simply because these are the character traits most favoured in our society. As an extrovert answer carries a positive score and an introvert answer carries a negative score the client would be subconsciously drawn towards a positive answer without even realising it.

Anyone wishing to be employed as a driver would naturally answer the questions according to what they think an employer deems desirable rather than what they regard as honest. Few would answer Yes to a question such as “Do you become nervous in heavy traffic?” or “Do you hate long journeys?”. On many psychometric questionnaires I have seen, especially online, the gradings are visible to the client as well as the course of action required should such scores be achieved which would lead to even more bias. Many people would answer in such a way that lead to a performance driving course rather than a remedial refresher course.

In my experience as a driving instructor I have seen many pupils who had a good knowledge of driving and displayed a favourable attitude during lessons and then on test. They passed easily and then went on to be involved in minor accidents or be banned for speeding offences under the new driver act. For me an attitude of personal responsibility should be promoted instead of attempting to force people into convenient categories. As any one in teaching knowsArticle Search, people just do not fit into boxes!


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


 

Hello there. My name is Russ Chaplin. I am a DSA approved driving instructor giving driving lessons in Nottingham. I hold the Diploma in Driving Instruction. I teach driving at all levels and also deliver the Pass Plus post-test training course. After nearly 10 years working as one of the driving instructors in Nottingham I am still as enthusiastic as ever.



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