About Weighting in the IPA Analyses

Weighting is an important part of the way in which an IPA Analysis is interpreted. When a candidate distributes his or her “ticks” in the questionnaire, this distribution creates a score on each factor, as we see in the graphical representation of a given result of an IPA Analysis. And this result subsequently generates a written assessment where the score on each factor is interpreted in relation to the expected behaviour on the given factor.

But there is a further distribution of “ticks” in the questionnaire that can tell us something about the candidate in question. And this is how the candidate distributes his/her “ticks” on each main factor of the IPA Core Personality Analysis.

If the candidate distributes all his or her “ticks” (96 “ticks”) completely equally between the four main factors, he or she will place exactly 24 “ticks” on each main factor. But this rarely happens.

In the vast majority of cases, the distribution of “ticks” is unconsciously weighted by the candidate, so that some main factors are weighted above average and some main factors are weighted below average.

Weighting of the current candidate

The current candidate’s weighting is marked on the small scale placed above each main factor in the graphical representation of a result, with the centre point of this scale being 24.

A high weighting on a given main factor shows that the candidate in question has his/her attention and focus on that main factor. In our interpretation of a given result of an IPA Analysis, there are now three different outcomes, and thus three different interpretations.

If the answer to a given main factor has BOTH a high weighting and a high Unambiguity (and is therefore probably at or above the upper quartile on one or more of the factors on the given Main Factor), the interpretation will be that we can find here the areas of the personality on which the candidate builds his or her identity and conscious self-understanding, and probably also where the candidate draws his or her primary and fundamental motivation. So, in this case, we get an important indicator of what is most important to the candidate in question in relation to the fulfilment of a given job.

For example, if we see this combination of high Weighting and high Uniqueness on the Outcome factors, the candidate in question will be favourably disposed towards and motivated by actions that confirm these factors. Result-orientation, energy, achievement, competition, autonomy, measurability, etc.
If the answer to the given main factor has a high Weighting and at the same time a LOW Unambiguity (many contradictions), we have here an area of the personality that requires special attention, as the candidate in question has a pronounced focus on inner conflict areas that
can be expressed in many ways.

We should therefore consider such areas of the personality as points of attention that we should spend time clarifying with the candidate in our feedback. Finally, we have situations, albeit relatively rare, where a candidate on a Main Factor (and the following also applies to a single trait) has a high weighting and a high Unambiguity combined with a LOW score (at or below the lower quartile) on one or more traits on the given Main Factor. I
this case the same applies in principle as in the description of the outcome with high Weighting and Uniqueness and high score. The candidate in question is aware of e.g. a low Self-confidence or a high degree of introversion, or a lack of desire and motive for Influence. But the candidate’s experience of this position manifests itself in different ways.

Some candidates are reasonably settled with these positions. Perhaps it is a conscious choice on the part of the candidate. In any case, the candidate has accepted this position and is aware of the challenges that this position creates in the daily performance of the tasks.
Other candidates may react with a negative attitude and low motivation to the current factors. This implies that they will therefore try to avoid some of the things we associate with, for example, the performance factors. Individualisation, high performance requirements, competition, etc.

Concluding remarks on the weightings in the IPA Analyses

Between the outcomes and interpretations of a given Weighting in an IPA Analysis, which I have analysed here, there are countless other combinations. Such is the reality. But with this article, we have outlined the main lines and thus provided the overall framework for the interpretation of the Weighting in an IPA Analysis.

We leave the understanding of the nuances and depths of the diverse reality to the users of the IPA Analysis.