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QUESTIONS Examen Psicotecnico
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is PDA?

PDA is a powerful tool that, through a simple, accurate and scientific method, allows you to discover and analyze the behavioral profile of individuals. It also allows you to evaluate the behavioral demands of a position and to generate detailed compatibilities applicable to different HR processes.

It is administered online and delivers immediate results.

Through PDA you can obtain, quickly and online, a description of the behavioral profile of your employees and candidates.

A tool that analyzes the behavioral profile of individuals and their skills, identifying their strengths and areas for development.

Generates complete reports, written and charts, that help to enhance HR selection and development processes.

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2. What does PDA measure?

It measures the Behavioral Profile of persons allowing you to describe and familiarize yourself in detail with their skills, strengths and areas for development.

PDA does not rate behavioral profiles as "good or bad", but describes the behavioral characteristics of the assessed individual. When generating a Compatibility Study between a Candidate / Employee and a position it simply describes and details the strengths and possible weaknesses.

It generates Compatibility Studies between candidates & positions to determine the person's ability to perform successfully in that position.

It measures the sales skills of individuals, identifying how they generate new contacts, and how they relate and negotiate, how they close sales, how they follow up on customers, etc..

It measures the management skills of individuals, identifying how they makes decisions, how they motivate others, how they lead, how they develop their team etc..

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3. What does PDA not measure?

PDA does not measure Pathologies, this implies that PDA cannot assess the psychological health of people.

PDA does not describe the performance of people, but describes their Job Profile, with their strengths and possible weaknesses to perform in certain positions.

Remember that a successful person is not only determined by their Job Profile, it is also influenced by their experience, training, motivation, guidance and leadership among several other factors.

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4. What is the procedure to evaluate an individual?

Administering PDA is very simple. It can be given "online" or face to face. To administer the analysis, the facilitator should strive to create a favorable environment for its completion. This means, whether in person, via web or via email, provide a comfortable environment to complete the analysis, properly explaining the purpose and intention.

If the evaluation is online, once the individual being evaluated has completed the PDA Form the system automatically sends an email notice instantly to the email address previously configured in the system.

For more information regarding aspects related to the "instructions" and other specific items of the Administration & Evaluation of PDA we invite you to visit our "Calendar of Seminars".

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5. The PDA reports are written or graphic?

PDA generates written and graphic reports that allow you to perform in-depth analysis.

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6. Which chapters are included in the "written and descriptive section" of the PDA Report?
  • List of Descriptive Words of the profile
  • Description of the Natural Profile
  • Leadership Style
  • Decision-Making Style
  • How to lead them successfully
  • Persuasive Skills
  • Analytical Ability
  • Sales Skills
  • Motivation Level
  • Main Skills & Strengths
  • Areas of development

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7. What charts are included in the “Chart Section" of the PDA Report?
  • PDA Graphs: a bar graph, easy to interpret, which allows the administrators to know the Natural profile of the assessed individual. It includes a brief description of the profile of the person in relation to each of the 5 axes and their intensities.

  • Analyst Charts: a comprehensive line chart that allows administrators to know in depth the Natural profile of the assessed individual. It includes many additional indicators to the PDA Chart but requires a level of certification to be well interpreted and to take advantage of all the information provided by the Natural Profile of the individual; their Role profile, which describes the current changes being made by the person in their quest to adapt to the behavioral requirements of their current position; intensity of the profile, which tells us how true to form of behavior is this person; Energy Level available and Energy Balance, which indicate their level of motivation or current stress; and many other indicators of enormous value to the Administrators.
If you are interested in accessing the Analyst’s Charts you must be certified as a PDA Analyst. See the "Schedule of Seminars".

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8. Is the information in the reports easy to interpret?

The information provided by PDA is very easy to interpret and apply, however we suggest two alternatives or levels of training to users:

  • "Induction to PDA Seminar" provides a "Basic" level of knowledge
  • "PDA Certification" provides a "Advanced" level of knowledge

Induction & Advanced Level: "Basic Level" is a more generic level of interpretation of the information of the individual that PDA provides. Descriptive reports and PDA charts developed by PDA allow for quick and easy interpretation of the behavioral profile of the individuals, although they are a detailed "summary" of an enormous amount of information the PDA tool, in its advanced level, can provide. This "Basic Level" of interpretation allows the user to see the behavioral profile of the person and get lots of information of value, solid and consistent in order to make decisions in selection and development processes of people, although it is the level at which can be achieved without Analyst Certification Training.

Certification & Advanced Level: "Advanced Level" is the deeper and more complete level of interpretation of the information that PDA provides enables. The PDA tool is very complete and thorough so this "Advanced Level" certification requires an adequate training as an analyst. PDA Certified Analysts have access to the Analyst Charts, through which they reach a deep level of analysis and interpretation of the information the tool provides.

To reach the "Advanced Level" administrators should be trained as PDA Certified Analysts, for which they must participate in the "Certification Seminar". This seminar includes in its agenda the consolidation the theoretical and conceptual, practical, and case study. It lasts for 3 days in order to convey to the participants a solid knowledge base to generate concrete and appropriate actions with the information that PDA provides.

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9. Does it have theoretical support?

PDA is a powerful tool, with over 50 years of study which form its base, supported on numerous theories and statistical studies. It is scientifically proven with 90% reliability.

The PDA is based on a five-axis model measuring the following dimensions and their respective intensities:

  • Orientation to results
  • Orientation to people
  • Orientation to details
  • Conformity to rules
  • Emotional Self-Control

Theories that form the basis of the development of PDA (Personal Development Analysis):

  • The Structure of Personality by W. M. Marston
  • Theory of Self-Consistency
  • Theory of Self
  • Theory of Perception
  • Semantic Study

For more information, enter:

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10. Has the tool been validated?

The PDA holds a Validity Certificate for its application. In 2000, demographic and semantic studies that were conducted allowed the PDA tool to be validated for its use. This study involved the administration of the form to more than 3500 people from different countries and various social layers.

Once again in 2011, the PDA was validated by the American Institute of Business Psychology (AIOBP). This study certified once more the validity and reliability of the Personal Development Analysis (PDA) for its implementation worldwide.

Also, we are currently managing new revisions of the Personal Development Analysis (PDA) in the EFPA (European Federation of Psychologists Associations) and HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa), both studies will be completed by mid-2012 and add further backing and consistency for the PDA to be used worldwide.

The PDA has a structure of theories that serve as basis and studies that support it, yet we understand that the main backing of the instrument comes from its high degree of success achieved through thousands of applications in recruitment and talent management, which strengthen the consistency and support its "empirical validity".

Psychometric experts have assessed the validity of the evaluation methodology by comparing it with various tools and methodologies such as:

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test (WAIS)
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • Cattell 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire (16-PF)
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

In addition, it counts with more than 50 years of research behind it. It is supported on several theories and various statistical studies. It is also scientifically proven and validated by the American Psychological Association.

For more information go to:

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11. Is there any association that approves it?

It strictly complies with the standards of the EEO Guide (Equal Employment Opportunities) which require the following points:

  • Must be developed according to the rules of the American Psychological Association (Standards for Exam and Test).
  • Technical Manual.
  • Being related to the employment – (Selection or Job Definition to generate “fair and objective” Compatibility Studies).
  • To have validity in relation to its structure and criteria.
  • To be consistent. To have proven reliability.

The measurement method applied by the PDA has been used and proven on thousands of people for many decades and in various fields. Several associations and societies have made numerous psychological tests on the reliability of the system and have determined that its accuracy exceeds 90%.

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12. What are the similarities and differences in relation to Cleaver and DiSC?

After Marston developed the theory of "Emotions of Normal People" different assessment tools began to emerge based on their concepts. These tools were developed and with a focus on the advantages and benefits that this methodology provided in both the military and the workplace. The tools that emerged in that very beginning are the "complete" tools, also known as "pure" tools because they contain all the indicators and are based on the original model, without any reductions or simplifications (eg PDA...).

Since its first applications the tool showed its enormous contribution in terms of quantity and quality of information, but operationally the mathematical process being carried out by the analyst since the assessed finished completing the form until the results were obtained were very slow and complex to interpret: it took to a certificated Analyst about two hours from the time the assessed ended the form until they came to the results.

In the late 60's, Dr. John Greier from University of Minnesota conducted research on the Marston's model and to make ammendments with the purpose of simplifying the mathematical process led from the form to the results. His studies focused on simplifying the mathematical process to make the tool simpler and applicable. Thus was born the model is now known in the market as DiSC or Cleaver, which is just simplification or synthesis of the complete Marston model which determine the "pure" tools such as PDA.

Basicly the change that Greier brought was "modification of the form". From this change, although the time between the form completed and the interpretation of the results was significantly shortened and simplified. However what happened is that it lost a lot of information of great value for interpretation, such as:

  • Axis Intensity: measures the intensity of each of the Behavioral Trends.
  • Profile Intensity: Measures how committed is the assessed to its own behavioral style. It helps to know the level of flexibility/rigidity of the person.
  • Energy Level: Is the amount of energy available. It helps to determine the level of Motivation & Stress.
  • Consistency Indicator: Measures the level of consistency and quality of information.
  • Self-control Axis: The 5th Axis, which measures the ability of individuals to control their impulses and emotions. This is strongly associated with the "Emotional Intelligence".
From the 90's, with the possibility that each HR employee count with a PC on their desk, Internet access and the ability to systematize the process of "form load" and issuing automatic graphics and reports, shows the benefits that "complete" & "pure" tools, such as the PDA brings over the simplifications offered by the Cleaver model (DiSC).

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13. What are the differences with Psicowin, PPP, Armstrong, etc ...?

It is important to clarify this point, as it can generate some confusion. We must make clear the differences between those which are "Psychometric" or "Assessments" or "Tests" and those that are "online platforms" that group several assessment tools. The Psicowin itself is neither a test nor a Psychometric, or an evaluation, but a provider who developed an "Online Platform" that focuses more on one site evaluations.

It is important to note that all "assessments" that are included and are sold through these "online platforms" are copyrighted and the use and distribution of these "assessments" are restricted. It is essential to consult in relation to this aspect because who are selling them do not always have those rights.

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14. Is it PDA form that short? Are those 3 steps enough to get in-depth results? Is it just that?

The 3 steps are the only 3 stages of PDA form. The theories and studies support that info is more than enough. Perhaps from a first glance seem simple or too short, however it is important to understand that the PDA is a projective assessment and through these 3 steps collects an enormous amount of information. Consider that each of the words on the form have no meaning, but each person completing the form will give their own meaning, and that meaning it is related to how each person is and how it perceives the word and the environment as well as each person responds to different situations and behaves according to each situation. There are 2 listings of 90 words where the possible combinations are endless.

To understand more about this, PDA International offer the opportunity to participate in one of our "Analyst Certification Seminars". On these activities we train the HR professionals in PDA practices so they know in detail the theories that support it, the studies of validity and reliability and all the material needed to properly apply and interpret the results.

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15. What are the areas of application of PDA?

Recruitment and Selection:
Information about the Work Profile of candidates
Correlation of the candidates profile vs the position to be filled
Simple and fast online evaluations
Centralization of all candidate information
Information for interviews

Development of key skills
Information for individual and group counseling & coaching
Identification of strengths and possible weaknesses
Focus on areas of opportunity
Valuable information for developing a career guide

Leadership Development
Identification and development of new leaders
Strengthening and development of management skills
Analysis of different leadership styles
Study of group leadership trends
Design of activities for the development of management skills

Team Integration
Information on the work profile of groups of individuals
Communication styles and listening abilities
Productive integration of members of a work team
Design of group activities

Identification of training needs
Analysis of strengths and weaknesses
Design of activities to suit the needs of the group.
Action plans in HS Consulting

Programs for Young Professionals
Attraction and selection of youth with potential
Career Plans
Areas of development
Monitoring & Coaching

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16. Does PDA allow you to perform compatibility studies between people and positions?

The answer is yes, definitely. With PDA you can generate studies that measure the compatibility of people with:

1) Generic Positions: These are preset positions. 22 profiles divided into 3 categories (Sales, Leadership and Administration). They cover a wide range of alternatives and possibilities in reference to the behavioral requirements.

2) Defined Positions: If you have reviewed in detail the 3 categories and 22 generic profiles presented in the PDA system and found none among them which matches the description and adequately meets the behavioral requirements of the position to be filled, HS has available the JOB Process for defining custom Behavioral Profiles for the position.

The JOB Process of Defining Positions is the workshop through which a group of participants previously selected and guided by a Certified Analyst, following a preset series of steps, come to identify the behavioral requirements of a particular position.

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17. Can I use PDA to evaluate the management profile under the competence approach?

The answer is yes, definitely. With PDA you can generate studies that measure the compatibility of person with:

1) PDA predefined competencies: A Generic Model, defined by PDA Consultants based on the "classic" competencies model included in the Competency Dictionary of major companies.

2) Competencies of the Customer: Customer's own model describing their own Competency Dictionary.

For this last option you must conduct a detailed study of that model in order to translate it into PDA values, as the team leadership profile that a client requieres, needs or propose to develop is related to their own culture, market, values, strategy, etc. This detailed study is what we call customer customization model.

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18. How do I ensure that the evaluation did not lie or distort the answers?

In order to ensure quality and consistency of information in the reports, the PDA includes an indicator of consistency. This indicator integrates a number of variables whose consistency or inconsistency measure the degree of reliability and consistency of information. In cases where the person sought to falsify information or do not understand or did not comply with the instruction this indicator warns the inconsistency, from there we can choose to re-evaluate it or simply discard the candidate.

In cases where the inconsistency is total, the system directly generates an "Invalid Profile Report".

Beyond the "Consistency Indicators" and other filters that minimize the possibility of deception, we understand and can distort the information in a CV, the PDA as any evaluation tool, is exposed. Yet we understand that PDA should never be the "only tool" that leads us to collect all the information needed to make the best decision. Having the PDA as an important part of a process is the best way to use it and avoid surprises.

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19. Does the profile of a person changes over time?

Absolutely, it is highly likely that the profile of a person changes over time, but the changes tend to be "moderate". It is difficult to a person to change their "basic features". In PDA terms we would say that is less possible for a person to change their "dominant axis", as these are the predominant features of their style of behavior.

It is important to note that we are referring to people and as we could find people that is "changing" there are also people "more loyal and committed" to their own behavioral this we mean that the profile of a person changes or not change over time, depending precisely on how flexible the person is.

This aspect also affects the person's environment and how changes in the environment (work, boss, family, etc.) affects it.

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20. How often should I re-evaluate a candidate or employee?

The answer to this question is closely related to the response of the previous question as it depends heavily on the individual and their respective environment. We could say that the information of person's PDA report remains valuable and consistent for a period of 1 year, yet, if the person has suffered strong changes in their environment, changes that have impacted or could impact heavily on their behavioral profile, we can re-evaluate the person to validate the info.

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21 Does PDA measure the individual ability to successfully perform a job position?

PDA is a behavioral assessment that through a simple, precise and scientific methodology allows us to discover and analyze peoples’ behavioral profiles. It also allows us to evaluate the behavioral and competency requirements of a job thereby ensuring you select and develop the right people into the right positions.

The PDA does not measure skills or performance, PDA measures natural tendencies of behavior, allowing us to understand what those strengths and behavioral tendencies more natural and spontaneous and not those that are natural to their own style and profile, demanding and effort to perform successfully in a position.

We say that the study of compatibility between the position and the PDA measures the degree of "effort" that will require to a person to perform successfully in any specific position. Assuming that the more similarity or parallelism between the profile of a person and the skills required for the position more spontaneously and naturally this person will perform, so in addition to ensuring good performance, will also ensure us motivation and employee productivity.

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22. What languages are translated into the PDA?

PDA is currently translated into Spanish, English, Romanian, Italian and Portuguese.

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23. I want to apply the one assessment to a salesperson and one for an assistant.

Unlike other tools that require different forms for different positions PDA consists of a single form. This form is applied to all people and it makes no difference whether an employee or candidate or position that it is planning to locate. Recall that the PDA gives us detailed and consistent information describing the behavioral profile of assessed their skills, strengths, motivators, etc.. and all this information that allows managers to know in detail the profile of the person and from that determine whether or not to allocate it to that position.

In order to assist the PDA users in selection processes it also has the possibility to "Select" position of a list of predefined position or "Define" positions to issue a compatibility studies between the behavioral profile of a candidate and Behavioral requirements of a certain position.

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24. Who sells PDA?

PDA was developed by PDA International, who is the company that not only markets and implements the product in the region but also has a team of consultants who, according to the client's needs, designs and implements Coaching & Human Capital Development activities leveraging PDA Individual Reports and the Group Analysis that PDA provides.

PDA International has a network of partners and distributors who market PDA in the region, providing local support and HR Consulting Solutions leveraged using individual and group analysis that PDA generates.

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25. Can I use PDA to evaluate the management profile under the competence approach?

The answer is yes, definitely. With PDA you can generate studies that measure the compatibility of person with:

1) PDA predefined competencies: A Generic Model, defined by PDA Consultants based on the "classic" competencies model included in the Competency Dictionary of major companies.

2) Competencies of the Customer: Customer's own model describing their own Competency Dictionary.

For this last option you must conduct a detailed study of that model in order to translate it into PDA values, as the team leadership profile that a client requires, needs or propose to develop is related to their own culture, market, values, strategy, etc. This detailed study is what we call customer customization model.

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26. How long does it take the individual to complete the PDA form?

Completing the PDA From is extremely simple and takes the individual between 10 and 20 minutes.

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27. Why is the self-control axis not included in the correlation with the required profile?

The Axis of Self-Control is independent and not integrated "physically" in the Marston Matrix as this axis affects and taints the other four axes, ie acting on the behavioral profile of the person and it is this profile that correlates to a greater or lesser extent with the job profile to which it applies.

It measures the "ability to reflect" of the person before they act, the process of reasoning and judgment.

People who have a high Axis of Self-Control tend to be rational and more cold and controlled. They base their behavior and responses are based on logic and facts.

People who have a low Axis of Low Self-Control tend to be more emotional, sensitive and spontaneous. They base their behavior and responses on their feelings and emotions.

The reason that is not included in the compatibility studies is that we believe it is appropriate for this sensitive analysis to be in the hands of the analyst, or the Administrator and not in the hands of the system.

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28. Is PDA a test?

Generally tests infer a "right or wrong" answers or answers that "approve or disapprove".... This is not the case with PDA as this is an "Assessment of the Behavioral Profile" and there are no right or wrong answers, nor are there any good profiles or bad profiles, just different behavioral profiles with different strengths and different areas of opportunity. PDA is a "nonclinical" tool developed specifically to know people and to infer or determine their behavioral profile, and not to diagnose abnormal behavior.

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29. Does PDA measure IQ?

No! PDA does not measure the level of intelligence. If you need to measure IQ you should use tools which have been specifically developed to evaluate this area.

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30. Is it possible to measure the "level of stress" of a person with PDA?

By analyzing the PDA Charts it is possible to obtain interesting conclusions about the level of stress of the assessed individual. The results of PDA do not only indicate the level of stress (and their ability to confront situations which it creates) but also the possible "lack of motivation".

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31. Are there behavioral styles that are better suited for different jobs/positions?

While it is wise to understand that any behavioral style can adapt and learn to function successfully in any position, we cannot consider the motivation, the "comfort" and the concept of "emotional economy" means any person will be more motivated, feel more comfortable and require less "energy" function in a job / position that fits them and suits their "natural style of behavior".

For example:
People-oriented people tend to perform better on more "social" projects, where they can display their orientation to people, meet new people, display their extroversion and have contact with others.

People who are "competitive and risky" will tend to perform better on more "challenging" projects, where they can deploy their competitive orientation to results, take some risks, and obtain money, power and prestige.

People who are "Quality Oriented" will tend to perform better in more structured projects, with clear rules and procedures and consistent projects requiring steady advance, following rules and procedures.

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32. What do you do when an individual obtains two Invalid Profiles?

It is important to understand that beyond the technological functionality of the PDA platform where you forward an email to the person completing the form again always recommend to contact the person who obtained Invalid Profile to understand what was the reason that they were given an Invalid profile (remember that it may be anxiety, fear, not understanding the instructions, experiencing interruptions in the middle of the evaluation, conveying an image of "I can do everything", etc.) and secondly to reinforce the instructions (clarify the importance of spontaneous, direct and sincere) and thus prevent a recurrence of an invalid on a second chance.

To the extent that we understand why and reinforce the instructions there should be no trouble to complete a third time, but still keep in mind that "everything is information," as it is uncommon for a person to obtain Invalid twice.

It is also important to be alert and be aware that if any group of people who are being evaluated PDA there are many with invalid profiles the administrator should warn, strengthen and improve the instructions and communication in order to better manage any anxiety that could be generated in the "group" in the time evaluation.

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33. Does PDA meets the standards of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?
PDA meets the standards of the EEO because:
  • It makes no distinction of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability features (as seen in the statistical studies of the validity and reliability).
  • It is properly validated in structure and criteria (American Institute of Business Psychology – September 2011)
  • It is related to the work and its results are appropriate to the purpose of the employer.
  • It allows “users” to make adjustments or changes according to the requirements of the job positions.
  • It is a tool that is “consolidated” and not one that fits “coincidentally” to the needs of the “Managers”.
  • It has a Technical Manual and information Support describing the instructions for its use: its areas of application, instructions for proper application, supporting info that allows for understanding the effective use and understanding of its limitations.

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34. What´s the recommended minimum age a person should have to complete the PDA Assessment?

Marston developed his Personality Theory, in which PDA is based, considering Prescott Lecky´s (1945) Theory of Self-Concept. Lecky stated that during the first 16 to 18 years of life, and as a result of their experiences, people develop a relatively stable perception of themselves (Social Self). Additionally, he also said that people develop an expectation of what the environment demands and requires of them (Ideal Self). On this basis, Marston also stated that an individual`s behavior is determined by the interaction between perceptions of self and by those adjustments to the demands of the environment. Therefore, people’s perception depends on their self-concept and their different behavioral trends would be consistent with their Self Concept.

PDA Assessment Form consists on a free response self-assessment, in which a person will reject or pick the adjectives that describes them according to their perception and self-concept.

Although the PDA Assessment may be applied to those in their adolescence (13- 16 years old), PDA International recommends the application of this PDA Assessment Form to young adults (from 16 to 18 years old) in which their self-concept could be already established and therefore the behavioral trends variations throughout time would be significantly reduced. In case you might need to apply it in adolescents, it is important to take into account that the information generated in the PDA report will be an accurate and valid description of the behavioral trend of that person reflecting that particular phase, and could suffer some minor modifications in the following years until the self-concept is established or defined.

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