Retest reliability - does a Facet5 Profile change if someone completes it again?

Article author
Rachel Scriven
  • Updated

Retest reliability

Facet is a British Psychological Society and Det Norske Veritas registered psychometric. This means we retest frequently, giving us and you confidence in its retest reliability.

Often retest reliability scores are generated from an artificial situation, such as getting a sample group to complete the questionnaire twice in short succession purely for test purposes.

With Facet5 we try to capture retest data from the real world, using genuine respondents from our database who have completed the questionnaire twice. This might be from interest to see if they had changed in some way, or because it had been a long time. 

The below retest scores are from a sample of 1058 respondents and indicates that even when Facet5 is completed in different languages and from different countries, the stability of the factor scores is strong.

 

Will .79
Energy .80
Affection .69
Control .78

Emotionality

.76

 

So what do these numbers mean?

 A score of 1 would be a perfect correlation, meaning exactly the same scores. Generally anything above .65 in a personality measure is a robust reliability score. Put simply, this means that most of the time if a person retakes a personality assessment, they will get very similar results. 

Of course very similar results are not identical results!  Even over a short space of time scores will fluctuate a little.

 

Does a Facet5 Profile change if someone completes it again?

Facet5 retakes typically fall within 1 STEN score of the original score. This indicates a small degree of fluctuation and typically does not change the interpretation of the overall profile.

You can see this visually represented below.  11 out of the 12 in this team had a very similar profile to their original kite shape (green profiles) when they completed Facet5 again 3 years later (blue profiles).

 

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Naturally, there are circumstances where significant life events can alter our personality. Incidents such as loss of a loved one, unemployment, mental health, trauma and physical brain injury can all contribute to significant changes in personality.

Here you can see that 1 individual did have a noticeable profile shift - with a higher Will and much lower Affection scores in their second shape. In this case, their divorce experience resulted in a significant change in how they answered the questionnaire for certain factors.

What we don't know is whether their personality may have returned to something close to their original shape over time. People often adapt and shift back towards their baseline shortly after an event - whether negative or positive in fact. However, results are likely to be a true reflection of that individual at the time they took the assessment, so while the change in scores may be temporary they shouldn't be discarded as inaccurate.

This means that the majority of respondents will not need to complete the Facet5 questionnaire a second time. However, if they do request to complete it again, don’t be quick to dismiss them with retest statistics - explore why they wish to take it again. If they were just tired, not in a good mood, or interrupted, you can reassure them these will not impact their responses enough to require a retake.

 

What if they have worked very deliberately or had coaching on developing in particular areas?

We would expect behavioural changes from personal development to be reflected in 360-degree feedback or performance reviews rather than minor personality changes. Our personality will often “pulse” and flex from our default starting position, but the underlying tendencies and preferences remain.  

Remember that personal development should be as much about harnessing natural strengths and style, as well as adapting to others and the situation. It's not about changing our personality, but being aware of how this influences things like our contribution, impact and wellbeing. 

 

In summary

We recommend someone takes the questionnaire again if…

  • They were under 25 when completing the questionnaire - such as graduates, apprentices, interns
  • They have experienced significant life events since completing the questionnaire
  • It was originally taken for recruitment/selection purposes. While the questionnaire is designed with item ambiguity, it is possible people might adjust some responses to try to better “fit” the role they are applying for. 

Personality is quite stable overall and unlikely to change significantly if someone was to complete the questionnaire again. This is one of the great benefits of having personality data – it offers insights you can return to and make use of for years to come, across different roles, teams and organisations! 

 

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