the best predictor of future behavior

The best predictor of future behavior

Hiring for Competencies at MIT

Why Hire for Competencies?

Matching people with jobs based on both behavioral and technical competencies results in a better job-person "fit". This leads to greater satisfaction on the part of both the employer and the employee.

Competency-based interviewing has already been practiced widely at MIT with positive results. It has been used in diverse areas (e.g. Information Systems, Dept. of Facilities, Technology Review, Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education, School of Engineering) for a wide range of positions (from support staff to the Executive Vice President). See Competencies in Human Resource Practices at MIT: The Human Resources Practices Development Team (HRPD) Recommendations in this guide for more information.

The basic principle of interviewing for competencies is this:

Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

In competency-based interviewing, you ask the candidate to tell you about specific, actual past events in which he or she played an active role. You listen for evidence that the person demonstrated behaviors in those situations that are identical to or similar to the competencies you are looking for. For example, if you hear about a candidate trying to persuade a supervisor to change a decision, that would constitute evidence of the Ability to Influence competency.

Getting this type of information can greatly increase the power and precision of the interview process. Specifically, this approach is more reliable and effective than asking people to say what they would do in a hypothetical situation.

What CompQuick Can Do For You

CompQuick can help you…

  • …focus your questions. The structure of competency interviewing helps you be clear about what qualities you are looking for in a candidate.
  • …tap an additional source of data. Listening to and assessing the stories that candidates tell in response to competency questions provides rich information you probably would not get otherwise.
  • …begin thinking in terms of competency requirements for the positions you hire for. Using the technique of competency interviewing can help you deepen your understanding of what will lead to successful performance in the job for which you are hiring, and how to look for it when interviewing.

Should You Use CompQuick?

  • CompQuick is limited to the Administrative Staff Core Competency Model (with a similar model for support staff to be added in the future). If you want to interview for competencies other than the core competencies, read Using a Customized Competency Model, and consider taking Competency Modeling and Competency-Based Interviewing and Selection (see Next Steps: Enhancing Your Competency Interviewing Skills).
  • CompQuick is just a simple introduction to competency-based interviewing and selection. If you want develop your interviewing skills beyond CompQuick, the course Competency Modeling and Competency-Based Interviewing and Selection is offered on a regular basis. The course offers more in-depth information and practice in probing for competencies, assessing different levels of competency, and selecting appropriate competencies for a job or group of jobs (competency modeling).


Best prediction of future behavior is past behavior

Best prediction of future behavior is past behavior. So, a bankruptcy usually means that the person got out of control with their finances. And the statistics show that a high percentage of people who get out of debt by bankruptcy, or being given money, just do it again. It’s not usually an issue of money, but an issue of spending. It’s like weigt loss. Treat it like a diet, and you gain it back. Treat it as a lifestyle change, and you can beat it.

I know that some people have actually had somebody bad happen to cause the financial problem, such as huge medical bills, house fire, earthquake, etc. But most of us simply got in over our heads with credit and spending. And that is what they are looking for.

Also, insurance companies have figured out that people with bad credit get into more accidents. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is the stress. Perhaps they think people who are careless with money are more careless with driving. I really don’t know. But they have done studies and found that people with bad credit do cost them more in paying out insurance. So, they charge higher rates for people with bad credit.


predicting behavior from actions in the past

Is it possible to predict human behavior from the actions they took in the past?

The ability to Predict behavior sounds like a super power that cannot be attained however the good news is that psychology made it quite possible!!

Human beings are too complex to understand but because they develop certain goals as a result of their past experiences then try to achieve them throughout their lives predicting their behavior becomes an easy task once you understand these goals.

In this article i will tell you how you can use someone past actions to predict his behavior.

How past actions can help in behavior prediction

Brad and Justin are brothers, Because Brad was the second one to be born the family's attention suddenly shifted to him and this made him feel that he is the center of the world.

When they grew up Justin always believed that someone is going to be favored over him while Brad always tried to be in the center of attention to maintain his status.

Knowing this little fact about their past made predicting their future actions possible.

If both went to school together we can easily guess that Brad will do every possible action to be in the center of attention in school. If he was brave he would do that constructively by trying to be the first or to answer the teacher's questions while if he wasn't brave he might turn into a problem child or even a bully.

I am not saying that predicting human behavior is 1+1=2 science but what i am trying to say is that the more information you have about someone's past the easier it will be to predict his behavior and future actions.

If i was interested in predicting consumer behavior because i had a car store for example and then i knew this fact about Brad i would predict that he will aim for an expensive sports car. Justin on the other hand would be interested in a practical and reliable car.

Of course knowing a new fact about these guys or knowing about a past action that they took might let me alter the predictions i made for their future behavior a bit, that's why collecting enough information about someone is crucial if you want to correctly predict his future actions.

More examples on behavior prediction using past actions

The moment i see someone driving a sports car i conclude that he is a showy person who needs attention. Now if i knew that this person doesn't think that he is attractive (because of certain action he took in the past) i can easily predict that he will want to marry a very beautiful women in order to both show off and compensate for his perceived lack of attractiveness.

Past actions can even help you predict criminal behavior. A criminal commits a crime because he wants to fulfill a certain psychological goal, like for example feeling superior to others as a result of feeling inferior. ( See Why do people commit crimes)

Once you understand the psychological drives behind the criminal's actions you will easily be able to predict whether he will stop committing crimes or whether he will re-offend few months later.

quick summary for predicting human behavior

  • Their past experiences is as important as their past actions: Knowing every possible thing about the person's past will make it much easier to predict his behavior and future actions
  • Past actions reveal intentions: Past actions reveal the psychological goals the person is trying to reach which is the key to understanding his personality and predicting his future behavior
  • Problem facing style and behavior prediction: Back to Justin's example, if the guy got used to escape from problems then we can easily predict that he will grow up to become a shy adult. Justin always thinks that someone's is going to favored over him as a result of his past experiences and because he likes to escape he will avoid that situations all together by becoming socially isolated

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.