Tag Archives: CPP

Understanding Human Consciousness: Theory and Application

Maretha Prinsloo
October 08, 2018

The study of consciousness attracts the attention of psychologists, philosophers and scientists. It is, however, mostly dealt with in a descriptive and speculative manner, without explaining the nature of the subjective experience and the dynamics involved.
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Towards an Integrated Assessment of Leadership Potential

M Prinsloo
August 15, 2018

This paper focuses on the assessment of leadership potential in terms of a number of related philosophical, theoretical, and technical considerations. A critical evaluation of current assessment practice is followed by the introduction of alternative assessment methodologies and techniques aimed at measuring consciousness, cognition, and motivation. Practical guidelines for integrated and holistic leadership assessment, as well as the future of assessment, are also addressed.
Introduction The issue of leadership is central to the practice of industrial psychology and psychometrics, the purpose of which include realising human potential and transforming counter-productive cultural patterns in order to enhance sustainability, integration, and evolution within the realm of organisational and other social systems. Leadership research includes a focus on the individual (for purposes of personal development); an organisational orientation (to enhance performance and value add in the work environment); or an existential-philosophical perspective (focused on the evolution of consciousness). The aim of this paper is to contextualise the construct of leadership potential in terms of complexity, collective consciousness, and personal traits. Factors related to cognition, levels of consciousness, and motivation are integrated in terms of a Jungian perspective based on the work of Mindell in particular. Given the shortcomings of current psychometric offerings, alternative assessment methodologies and techniques are proposed for the measurement of the following:
  • cognition by the Cognitive Process Profile (CPP);
  • levels of consciousness by the Value Orientations (VO); and
  • motivational factors by means of the Motivational Profile (MP).
This paper is the first in a series of four on leadership, including:
  • this discussion of leadership assessment solutions;
  • a second article describing a theoretical model of cognitive processing;
  • a third contribution proposing an integrative theoretical framework of levels of consciousness; and
  • a fourth paper explaining the development of consciousness and cognition within the leadership context.
These four aspects represent a holistic perspective on the assessment and development of leadership potential.
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Technical Report Series

P Barrett
August 15, 2018

Technical Report Series These articles provide detailed expositions of analyses undertaken as part of the evidence-base supporting Cognadev products. Each contains an executive summary, along with the logic, analysis-details, results, and critical evaluations supporting the statements made in that summary.

  • Evaluating the relationships between 4 subscales and the Full IQ scales of Sigma Assessment System's Multidimensional Aptitute Battery (MAB)
  • Evaluating the relationships between the Abstract Reasoning subscale of Psytech International's General Reasoning Test Battery (GRT2) and a range of CPP attributes which appear in/contribute to the CPP assessment report. The sample numbered 259 South African employment candidates assessed within a recruitment process by an organizational development consultancy. 143 cases completed the CPP, with 138 cases with complete data on both the CPP and GRT2 Abstract Reasoning scale.
  • Evaluating the relationships between the Verbal and Numerical subscales of Psytech International's Critical Reasoning Test Battery (CRTB2) and a range of CPP attributes which appear in/contribute to the CPP assessment report. The sample numbered 128 South African employment candidates assessed within a recruitment process by an HR consultancy.

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Technical Report 1

  • The retest reliability of the VO was assessed, where the test results to be compared are two ordered-category sequences of selected and rejected orientations, consisting of up to three orientations per sequence (Accepted Values) and one or two orientations (Rejected Values). A new computational comparison analysis algorithm was constructed to work with ordered category sequences, generating a percentage match index varying between 0% (no agreement) to 100% (absolute identity).

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Technical Report 2

  • Using the VO Technical Manual mixed-gender sample dataset of n=3,683 cases, four homogeneity (reliability) coefficients were computed for every values orientation "scale"

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Technical Report 3

  • Analysing and reporting upon the relationships between VO selected and rejected values orientations, MBTI personality scores & types, Belbin ranked team types, and CPP attribute-scores, levels of work, and ranked cognitive styles.

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Technical Report 4

    Investigating short, medium, and long-term (> 5 years) retest reliability using two samples of data:
  • 87 students undertaking an Accounting degree course at a South African University
  • 2,724 respondents comprised primarily of job applicants who had completed the CPP on two separate occasions, but also included some students, and attendees at CPP training courses.

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Technical Report 5

  • Does a small deviation r-square value have any pragmatic value at all?
  • What magnitude of deviation r-square is worth reporting beyond: nothing to see here?

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Technical Report 5

  • This paper investigates how the cost of implementing the Q12 Employee Engagement assessment may be critically evaluated in terms of calculating the likelihood of making or losing money as a corporate-wide Q12 score is increased. i.e. The question posed and answered via computational simulation is "what are the odds of a company making or losing money as a result of an increase in score from 36 (average) to something higher".

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Technical Report 5

  • This study is aimed at answering the question of whether the CPP results of individuals tend to match the complexity requirements of their work as indicated by the Stratified Systems Theory (SST).

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Technical Report 5

  • This study investigates the relationship between: - Cognadev’s Cognitive Process Profile (CPP) - Cognadev’s Values Orientations (VO) - Bar-On’s Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQi)

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Technical Report 5

  • This study investigates the nature of the proposed holonic model of information processing constructs on which the Cognitive Process Profile (CPP) is based, and what distinguishes low and high information processing competency groups in terms of their preferred cognitive styles, functional area of employment, and educational qualifications.

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Technical Report 10

  • In this investigation, we look at how preferred cognitive styles vary over different job families and age-groups, equated on their educational level. A sample of the most recently acquired 60,572 cases of CPP data were used, subdivided into four age groups (20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50 and above). We computed the median ranked style for each of the 14 CPP cognitive styles, within each age-group, across 10 job families.

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Technical Report 11

  • This investigation examines the variation in scores on the 14 CPP Information processing competencies (IPCs) as a function of various current employment categories, age at CPP completion, and highest attained educational level, using a sample of the most recently acquired 60,572 cases of CPP data.

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Technical Report 12

13. THE BINOMIAL EFFECT SIZE DISPLAY (BESD) Is this always an accurate index of effect?
  • I provide the definition, some warnings of the conditions under which it may not always produce accurate results, and some worked examples demonstrating those conditions. Overall, I think it’s a pretty good ‘quick approximation’ … but it is no substitute to having all the data at hand to calculate the actual effect/accuracy implied by a correlation/validity coefficient.

For the full article in .pdf click the icon

Technical Report 13

Two articles support the content of this technical report: 

Rosenthal, R., & Rubin, D.R. (1982) A simple, general purpose display of magnitude of experimental effect. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 2, 166-169.

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A simple, general purpose display of magnitude of experimental effect.

Hsu, L.M. (2004) Biases of success rate differences shown in Binomial Effect Size Displays. Psychological Methods, 9, 2, 183-197.

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Biases of success rate differences shown in Binomial Effect Size Displays.

14. EQUIFINAL PROFILING I was asked this question recently by an executive responsible for hiring in a large corporate:
  • “We observe too often that people with seemingly disparate profiles can excel in the same role. What type of analyses can someone do with a big dataset of predictors and criteria to determine whether multiple "profiles" can predict success? It seems that traditional model approaches can’t do this as they just create a single ‘average’ profile or solution.”

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Technical Report 14

15. RAW SCORE TRANSFORMATIONS This report provides the rationale, computational information, and graphical examples associated with score transformation methodologies in use by Cognadev, other test publishers, and data scientists.
  • Written by Paul Barrett

For the full article in .pdf click the icon

Technical Report 14

The “protective” long term effects of education on information processing skills

By Paul Barrett and Maretha Prinsloo on August 7, 2018

Written by Paul Barrett and Maretha Prinsloo

In this investigation, we look at how the scores on the 14 Information Processing Competencies (IPCs), which are graphically represented in the CPP reports, vary over various current employment categories, as a function of age at CPP completion, and highest attained educational level.

The dataset we used was a sample of the most recently acquired 60,572 cases of CPP data where a subset of cases provided a current employment position which we subsequently coded into 9 categories (for example: Professional/Technical Consultant, Managing Director/CEO, Supervisor/Foreman). Some categories are not entirely discrete and are broad in terms of the industry sectors represented by cases within a category. However, for the purposes of analysis they might still be considered ‘informative’.

Three levels of education were created from five fixed-response categories:

  • 10-12 year of schooling
  • Diploma/Certificates
  • A single degree, or multiple degrees, including postgraduate degrees

Step 1

We initially created 27 graphs, three for each current employment category (one for each educational level), displaying LOWESS smoothed trend lines for all 14 IPCs. An example of one of these graphs is shown below:

The graph is displaying the IPC score-trends as a function of age, for the single and multiple-degree group for Professional and Technical Consultants.

By comparing the trends in the three graphs, one for each educational level for a single current employment position, several patterns can be seen (which are detailed in our Technical Report #12 available from our Technical Report Series web-page). Of interest to us here is what looks to be a ‘protective’ effect of education on certain IPCs for certain kinds of employment position.


Step 2

In order to show more clearly the specific trends, a subset graph was constructed showing the LOWESS trends for all three educational-level groups, for a specific IPC and employee group. Five clear examples of these are shown below:








In all examples, we see a clear trend for the single and multiple-degree group to show less attenuation of the information processing competency as a function of age. Certainly examples 1, 2, and 4 show a clear monotonic trend for what might be referred to as a ‘protective of competency level’ effect of education.

This finding may, however, also indicate that graduates show higher levels of intellectual functioning to begin with and may migrate towards careers where intellectual skill is required and constantly practiced.

The decline in the average IPC scores of those in Operational roles (admin, clerical, trainee, supervisory…) with increasing age, may also be an indication that individuals with higher levels of cognitive capability, over time obtain further educational qualifications or get promoted to more complex job environments.

Organisational and leadership transformation: a case study

By Maretha Prinsloo on June 26, 2018

The following case study was conducted in a multi-national manufacturing company with head office in Switzerland and operations in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. However, the processes and principles that were applied are applicable in organisations of any size.


A due-diligence evaluation of the executive and organisational performance indicated that the core organisational challenge was associated with its culture, which closely resembled that of the broader industry-sector within which it operated; characterised by inadequate governance and compliance standards. Given the entrenched nature of business development practices in the industry, a fundamental approach to the cultural transformation of the organisation was required.

The solution involved the appointment of a new CEO and HR Director; a review of the executive leadership of the organisation; an evaluation of the organisational culture and its long term social and environmental implications; and the development of executive leadership capability and awareness. Aspects involved included the assessment of senior leadership; an evaluation of job-related competency requirements; an analysis of organisational practices; the optimisation of people-job matching at executive levels by focusing on the “right person for the right job at the right time”; and the personal development of the executive leadership.

Given the emerging possibility at the time of a merger/acquisition opportunity, the organisational effectiveness and its potential impact on the long-term sustainability of the industry as a whole, were important considerations in the design of the transformational solution.

The Strategy

In order to fully understand the various local cultural milieus and the local and global work requirements of the existing executive talent, a structured assessment and evaluation strategy was deployed on 300 executives across regions in Asia, Europe, North and South America. This holistic assessment strategy included an evaluation of the business-related factors and job analyses. The complexity and competency requirements of the executive positions were assessed by means of the Contextualised Competency Mapping (CCM) process as provided by Cognadev.

In addition to the normal annual performance appraisals that were conducted at executive levels in the organisation, specific psychological characteristics of the executives were assessed:

  • cognitive preferences and capabilities;
  • value orientations and worldviews;
  • motivational drivers;
  • personality and team role preferences.

The assessment battery comprised the following instruments:

  • Cognitive Process Profile (CPP)
  • Value Orientations (VO)
  • Motivational Profile (MP)
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • Belbin Team roles.

Supervised assessments were conducted globally by Cognadev. All executives received individualised feedback on their assessment results aimed at enhancing self-insight. Feedback sessions included the discussion of job-related performance issues. Competency reports were compiled for all participants.

After the assessment phase was completed, developmental initiatives were then implemented.

Although the executive team had been performing at a satisfactory level globally with the organisation showing adequate growth and profitability across regions, the assessment results indicated development areas that needed to be addressed.

Given the fact that time was of the essence, it was decided to restructure executive positions where necessary and to allocate executives to roles that best suited their personal profiles. Two thirds of the executive were subsequently moved to newly structured roles.

The psychological assessment results further informed the design of appropriate development programmes and business coaching initiatives which were undertaken by a leading European business school. In addition, the results of the job analyses and the competency reports were used by the HR Director of the company for the joint purposes of job structuring/refinement and people placement. His primary aim was to optimise person-job matching to achieve a sense of “flow” for the executives involved, as this was expected to optimise job effectiveness, job satisfaction and engagement at the executive level.

In collaboration with the organisation, the developmental initiatives undertaken by the business school comprised structured lectures and personal business coaching sessions. This systematic approach involved behaviour-based leadership interventions aimed at self and business awareness, self-empowerment, self-transcendence and the acceptance of accountability in pursuit of business, social and environmental goals.

Given the potential impact of organisational culture and the associated values and behaviours of the executive, a focus on culture and values formed a core component of the transformational initiative. It involved the identification of the core values of the organisation including those of people development, integrity and customer excellence. Efforts at embedding these values throughout the organisation involved the operationalisation of the broad values in terms of their behaviours.

This information was then incorporated into a performance appraisal system which was deployed among employees within all levels of the organisation, assessing criteria such as:

  • “lead self”, which refers to owning the desired values;
  • “lead others”, demonstrated by acting as a role model and continuously promoting organisational values;
  • “lead the organisation”, demonstrated by the alignment of business practices and decisions with the organisational values.

Throughout the entire process, the HR Director monitored the impact of the initiative on the organisational culture as well as the morale at both executive and operational levels of the organisation; taking feedback from the executives on the impact and effectiveness of the various components of the solution.

The Outcomes

The executive assessment and development strategy spanned approximately three years. On completion of the project, the performance of the executive teams in the various regions was again formally evaluated. Another due-diligence exercise was conducted to assess the broad impact of the organisational transformation process and its contribution to the organisation’s financial value in particular, this latter being especially important given the upcoming merger/acquisition opportunity.


1. Financial

A marked difference was found between the results of the two due-diligence procedures that were conducted within the 3-year time frame. The transformational initiative was gauged to have contributed to a significant improvement in the performance of the executive team and the organisation as a whole. This translated into an increment of approximately €3bn to the net asset value of the organisation, which had a significant positive impact on the value of its shares and, therefore, the final acquisition consideration of the organisation.

2. Human Capital

Additionally, the impact of the executive development initiative was observed in executives reporting greater self-actualisation and job satisfaction, and giving positive feedback on the effectiveness of the business coaching. The enhanced executive performance was verified by 360-degree feedback results in which the majority of executives received increased performance scores. The modal location within bell-curve representations of executive performance moved significantly toward higher levels of performance and effectiveness.

3. Business Unit Performance

All the business units showed a compelling degree of enhanced business performance. The CEO of the organisation publicly attributed this to the transformational initiative, led by HR, which had focused on the organisational culture and values as well as the assessment and development of the executive.


4. Organisational Governance

The previously identified organisational culture of inadequate compliance and governance was replaced by one more conducive to robust and enduring organisational success. The negative financial effect of unethical business practices (calculated as amounting to approximately a third of all organisational expenses) was substantially reduced without impacting on the turnover or market viability of the organisation.


The ROI of this organisational transformation project which primarily involved executive assessment and development exceeded all expectations. Not only did it result in employee engagement and effectiveness at the strategic levels of the organisation, it also benefited employee morale and contributed to a culture of compliance and ethical business practices that led directly to a significant increase in the financial value of the company.

Useful downloads and tools

January 01, 2017

If you are a registered Cognadev consultant and have completed the CPP training you can download some useful files.
Installation guides and tools Research and technical manuals The following technical manuals are available:
  • CPP Technical Manual
  • LOI Technical Manual
Contact Cognadev for the latest manuals.

So I’m CPP accredited – Can I use it for coaching?

By Cognadev on January 11, 2016

CPP PicPractitioners mostly use the Cognitive Process Profile (CPP) for selection, placement, job and organisational structuring, succession planning, career pathing, as well as people management and development. However, did you know that the information contained in a CPP report can also be used for coaching purposes?

Although many CPP practitioners are comfortable providing CPP feedback to delegates, not all are experienced in coaching.

The CPP identifies the most suitable current and potential work environments of an individual. However, the question most often asked by managers and candidates is how they could develop and realise their full cognitive potential. Although there are some developmental guidelines in the CPP report, it is important to know how to use this information effectively.

Elizabeth is a team leader at a financial institution. She has been identified as a possible candidate for the general manager position based on her performance. As part of the leadership development program, she completed the CPP. Her results indicated that she is currently comfortable in the Diagnostic Accumulation work environment with potential to function in the Parallel Processing environment. Her predominant cognitive styles are Logical and Reflective. The major stumbling blocks in realising her potential include being over-analytical, repeatedly checking detailed elements and working relatively slowly to achieve accuracy. In addition, she is not particularly self-aware and also lacks trust in her own intuitive insights. She thus obtained a relatively low score on the Judgement dimension of the CPP. This may cause her considerable anxiety and/or discomfort in unstructured and vague environments.

Elizabeth seems to be an ideal candidate for personal coaching. Coaching initiatives need to be informed by the person’s CPP profile as well as their current work-related challenges. Coaching highlights the current strengths and weaknesses of a person’s problem solving approach. The objective is to make the person more aware of their thinking processes and problem solving styles.

Ineffective thinking strategies are addressed by guiding the candidate towards the application of appropriate metacognitive criteria. These criteria are then practiced until they are internalised and therefore automatically applied.

Metacognitive criteria refer to a small number of critical questions that problem solvers needs to ask of themselves, such as “is this relevant?”, “does this make sense?”, “is this necessarily so?” etcetera. Given Elizabeth’s profile, she probably has an emotional need to be correct and may thus over-emphasise the metacognitive criteria of “accuracy” and “precision” at the cost of questions related to “what is my gut feeling about this?”; “what is the core meaning?”, “what is most appropriate?” and so forth.

Focusing on the cognitive styles, using both facilitative and anchoring styles, can also be useful in a coaching session to develop the way in which the person is thinking. Although an analytical style is effective (and expected) when executing certain tasks, over-analysis can be ineffective where a more abstract, generalised or broader view is required. Elizabeth can be guided towards the application of both an Analytical and a more Holistic or Integrated problem solving approach. She needs practice in considering the big picture and capitalising on her intuition in order to come to more integrated and contextualised solution, rather than getting lost in the detail.

Emotional factors, language patterns, and reframing techniques can also be capitalised on as part of coaching aimed at cognitive development.  

The Thinking Skills Coaching course

Cognadev provides a 1½ day training course specifically aimed at CPP accredited practitioners. The aim of the course includes enhancing the coaching skills of CPP practitioners to enable effective guidance of others in realising their cognitive potential. The course outline is as follows:

  1. Quick overview of Information Processing Competencies
  2. Emotional factors that influence thinking (e.g. impulsivity, making assumptions, over-generalisation)
  3. Identifying emotional patterns that interfere with effective thinking and problem solving
  4. Language patterns supporting or detracting from effective problem solving
  5. The role of the coach (derailing factors, communication, collaboration, rapport, identifying and adapting to own emotional responses)
  6. CPP measures used in coaching
  7. Coaching others in the application of metacognitive criteria
  8. Coaching others to use metacognitive criteria to guide their thinking
  9. Framing and reframing techniques
  10. Practical application through case studies and role playing, using real CPP results in coaching scenarios

The Thinking Skills Coaching Course delegates earn 12 CEUs towards their CPD portfolio. Please contact us to book your place.

Investigating the reliability and validity of the Cognitive Process Profile (CPP).

May 20, 2014

How do we assess the reliability of an assessment which, by its very nature, precludes re‐assessment within a period of time where familiarity of what was undertaken previously will distort future performance on the assessment? This is the conundrum facing investigation of reliability of the CPP.
When we investigate validity, we have two questions to answer, the first is concerned entirely with measurement, the second with meaning:
  • Does the test measure what it claims to measure?
  • Does the test score show the expected relationships with other theoretically‐relevant scores, behaviours, and outcomes?
But, from consideration of an alternative perspective on validity, another simple question arises for which an answer can be sought: Do clients find substantive value in using the CPP? For the full article in .pdf click the icon below. Investigating the reliability and validity of the Cognitive Process Profile (CPP)

Cognition: Theory, Measurement and Implications

M Prinsloo & P Barrett
May 15, 2014

This article focuses on cognition, which is of critical importance within educational and work environments, as well as within the context of leadership assessment and development. Up to a point, cognitive factors enable the emergence of consciousness, and very importantly, the implementation of one’s world view, or level of awareness, as covered in a previous article in this journal. This does not imply a linear relationship between cognition and consciousness.
People with high levels of cognitive capability, for example, can be found at any of the various levels of consciousness as hypothesised by various consciousness theorists and developmental psychologists (Prinsloo, 2012). Here, cognition is also not merely regarded as intellectual “ability”, which has been the dominant perspective within psychology and psychometrics for more than a century.   The view proposed here involves an integration of various scientific questions posed by different research traditions within the field of intelligence and cognition, aimed at addressing the:
  • “what” of intelligence as embraced by Differential psychology and the IQ tradition.
  • “how” of thinking as reflected by the Information Processing paradigm, and cognitive and computational neuroscience;
  • “when” of cognitive capacity explored by Developmental psychologists such as Piaget and Vygotsky; and the…
  • “where” of competence as researched by the Contextualist school
While focusing on a theoretical model of cognitive processes and a methodological approach for the measurement of cognitive capabilities and preferences, as well as contextualising cognition within the real world and the broader spectrum of consciousness.
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