M refers to the count of the number of adjectives a participant selects on the PI Behavioral Assessment. It does not measure the candidate’s personality traits and is not intended as a way to select candidates.
While M is not a measure of any construct, it does play a role in the scoring of the PI Behavioral Assessment. Specifically, factor scores for people who have very low or very high M scores may be unstable. The Predictive Index (PI) does not recommend making decisions on Self or Self-Concept patterns that are generated with M scores below 6 or above 80. Instead, if the candidate is otherwise qualified, you should ask them to retake the assessment.
What is M?
M is simply the count of adjectives a participant has selected when completing the PI Behavioral Assessment. For example, if a person were to endorse 40 adjectives on the Self checklist, he or she would have a Self M score of 40 points. Because M is a byproduct of a participant’s free-choice response pattern, it is sometimes referred to as a Resultant Factor or Response Level in The Predictive Index’s technical documentation. M is not a measure of any construct, and PI does not endorse its use in workforce decision-making.
When Factor M is Very Low or Very High
When M is very low or very high, the respondent has not provided much information about their personality. If the respondent only endorses a few adjectives, very little information is available to estimate the relative proportions of the personality drives that will be shown in their PI Behavioral Assessment pattern.
The same is true for someone who selects a lot of adjectives on the PI Behavioral Assessment. In this scenario, they have provided very little information about which words do not describe their personality. Again, this leaves little information about which personality drives are higher or lower for that person’s pattern.