Robert Hogan (psychologist)

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Robert Hogan
Robert Hogan headshot.jpg
Robert Hogan

1937 (age 83–84)
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
Known forPersonality testing
Joyce Hogan
(m. 1974; died 2012)
Wendy Hogan
(m. 2014)
Scientific career
InstitutionsJohns Hopkins University, University of Tulsa

Robert Hogan (born 1937, Los Angeles), known for his innovations in personality testing, is an American psychologist and an international authority on personality assessment, leadership, and organizational effectiveness. Hogan's research with Joyce Hogan created socioanalytic theory.[1][better source needed] The theory postulates two competing motivations; a desire to get along with others and a desire for status and power. The theory is mainly used in the area of job performance and promotability criteria.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hogan was born in Los Angeles in 1937 and grew up in Fontana, California, which was a rural area at the time. His parents moved to California from Oklahoma during the Great Depression.[3][better source needed]

Hogan found school tedious and was frequently disruptive in the classroom. Outside school, adolescent Hogan read Freud and Darwin.[4]: 2 [better source needed]


While Hogan was in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, he began attending UCLA on a Navy scholarship, and graduated in 1960.[4][page needed][failed verification]

He earned a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, in personality psychology in 1967.[5]


After undergraduate school, Hogan served as a U.S. Navy officer from 1960 to 1963. His gunnery unit became the highest-performing unit on the ship, earning him a letter of commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.[4]: 2 [better source needed]

After serving in the U.S Navy, he worked at the San Bernardino County (California) Probation Department from 1963 to 1964.[4]: 2 [better source needed]

Hogan was McFarlin Professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Tulsa from 1982 to 2001.[4][page needed][better source needed]

In 1987 he co-founded Hogan Assessment Systems, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[6][failed verification]

Hogan Assessment Systems[edit]

Hogan Assessment Systems was founded in 1987 by Hogan and his wife, Joyce Hogan. It was a startup to scientifically measure personality for business. Today it offers products and services in 56 countries and 47 languages. Hogan remains president of Hogan Assessments.[7]

Personality psychology research[edit]

Hogan has contributed to the development of socio-analytic theory, which maintains that the core of personality is based on evolutionary adaptations. Humans, in this view, always live in groups, and groups always demonstrate status hierarchies. This in turn leads to two further generalizations: people are motivated to get along with other group members but also to get ahead (to enjoy the perquisites of status).[citation needed]

His book Personality and the Fate of Organizations was published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates in June 2006. The 167-page book offers a systematic account of the nature of personality, showing how to use personality to understand organizations and staff teams, and how to evaluate, select, deselect and train people.[citation needed] He is the co-editor of the Handbook of Personality Psychology and has published the Hogan Personality Inventory, the Hogan Development Survey, the Motives Values, and Preferences Inventory, and the Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory, as well as the Hogan Guide (2007).[citation needed] In 2012 he and Gordon Curphy authored The Rocket Model, a practical model for building and managing high-performing teams.[8]

He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology.[9][10]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2020 he has given the RHR International Award for Excellence in Consulting Psychology at the Society of Consulting Psychology (SCP) annual conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[11]

He has received a number of research and teaching awards.[6][failed verification]


"In the 20th century, 167 million people were killed for political reasons, 30 million people were killed by invading armies, 137 million people were killed by their own government. So it really matters who's in charge. I mean, if you get the wrong people in charge, they'll kill you."[12]

"From the point of view of a lot of economists, leadership ability is completely fungible, completely interchangeable. It's simply not true. Some people have a talent for leadership, most people don't have much talent for leadership, and some people are like Muammar Gaddafi, they're just actually quite disastrous. And the data shows that the personality of the CEO counts for somewhere between 14 and 17 percent of the variance in a firm's performance. So it really matters who's in charge from a financial point of view."[12]

"Leadership is all about being able to get people to follow you when they are free to defect. And I can tell you where it is relevant; it has to do with, how do you retain high potentials. Because the high potentials are free to defect. So then leadership becomes absolutely essential to keep them on board because they can take their act elsewhere. If they're not free to defect, it's not leadership, it's something else. This is why I always say military leadership is an oxymoron. Because in the military, they say 'Do this' and you say 'Why', they say, 'These stripes on my sleeve, that's why.' Or, 'I can have you shot if you don't do it. That's why.' That's not leadership. That's just coercion."[12]

"In the context of human evolution, leadership was an absolutely essential resource for the survival of the group. The best-led groups were the ones that prevailed. The worst-led groups ended up being someone else's dinner. And my point is, people have built-in, pre-wired cognitive categories that they use to evaluate the leadership potential of other people. Because it was so important in the history of the species, we're pre-wired to be able to evaluate."[12]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • "A socioanalytic theory of personality". In M. Page & R. Dienstbier (Eds.) Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1982. Pp. 55–89.[13]
  • "Traits, tests, and personality research" (with C. B. DeSoto & C. Solano). American Psychologist, 1977, 6, 255–264.[14]
  • Hogan, R. (2006). Personality and the Fate of Organizations. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.[15]
  • Hogan, R. Blickle, G. (2018). "Socioanalytic theory: Basic concepts, supporting evidence, and practical implications". In V. Zeigler-Hill & TK. Shackleford (Eds.). Sage Handbook of Personality and Individual Differences. New York: Sage. Pp. 110–129.[16]
  • Hogan, R. Chamorro-Premuzic, T. "Personality and the laws of history". In T. Chamorro-Premuzic (ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of individual differences. London: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp 501–521.[17]
  • Hogan, R., Curphy, G., Hogan, J. (1994). "What we know about leadership". American Psychologist, 49, 493–504.[18]
  • Hogan, R., Hogan, J. (1995). The Hogan Personality Inventory manual (2nd ed.). Tulsa, OK: Hogan Assessment Systems.[19]
  • Hogan, R., Hogan, J. (1997). Hogan Development Survey Manual. Tulsa, OK: Hogan Assessment Systems.[20]
  • Hogan, R., Hogan, J., Roberts, B. W. (1996). "Personality measurement and employment decisions: Questions and answers". American Psychologist, 51, 469–477.[21]
  • Hogan, R., Raskin, R., Fazzini, D. (1990). "The dark side of charisma". In K. E. Clark & M. B. Clark (Eds.). Measures of leadership. Greensboro: Center for Creative Leadership. Pp. 343–354.[22]
  • Hogan, R., Shelton, D. (1998). "A Socioanalytic Perspective on Job Performance". Human Performance, 12, 129–144.[23]
  • Hogan, R., Smither, R. (2001). Personality: Theories and Applications. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.[24]


  1. ^ "The Theory Behind Measuring Personality" (PDF). Hogan Assessments.
  2. ^ Blickle, Gerhard; Fröhlich, Julia K.; Ehlert, Sandra; Pirner, Katharina; Dietl, Erik; Hanes, T. Johnston; Ferris, Gerald R. (February 1, 2011). "Socioanalytic theory and work behavior: Roles of work values and political skill in job performance and promotability assessment". Journal of Vocational Behavior. 78 (1): 136–148. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2010.05.010. ISSN 0001-8791.
  3. ^ "We Don't Build Bridges from Instinct: An Interview with Dr. Robert Hogan". June 12, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Kaiser, Rob. "Robert Hogan and the Revival of Personality Theory and Assessment" (PDF). Hogan Assessments. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  5. ^ "Oklahoma Psychologists License Renewal". Retrieved June 7, 2016.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b "Team Hogan | Hogan Assessments". Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  7. ^ "Top contributions of Dr. Robert Hogan in the field of psychology". November 23, 2018.
  8. ^ Curphy, Gordon; Hogan, Robert (April 26, 2012). The Rocket Model: Practical Advice for Building High Performing Teams. Hogan Press. ISBN 9780984096985.
  9. ^ "Fellows Database". American Psychological Association. Retrieved June 23, 2016. Enter "Hogan" in Search field followed by Return (or click magnifying glass).
  10. ^ "All Fellows". Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  11. ^ "Dr. Robert Hogan Receives RHR International Award for Excellence in Consulting Psychology" (Press release). Tulsa, Oklahoma: Hogan Assessment System. February 18, 2020 – via Business Wire.
  12. ^ a b c d James, Kenneth (May 14–15, 2011). "Psychology's iconoclast" (PDF). The Business Times Weekend. pp. 8–9 – via Optimal Consulting.
  13. ^ Hogan, R. (1983). "A socioanalytic theory of personality". Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: 55–89. PMID 6843718.
  14. ^ "Handbook of Personality Psychology - PDF Free Download".
  15. ^ "Personality and the Fate of Organizations by Robert Hogan". Personnel Psychology. 60 (4): 1055–1058. 2007. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2007.00101_2.x.
  16. ^ "Socioanalytic theory: Basic concepts, supporting evidence and practical implications". APA PsycNet.
  17. ^ "The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Individual Differences | Wiley".
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Personality measurement and employment decisions: Questions and answers". APA PsycNet.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Hogan, Robert; Shelton, Dana (1998). "A Socioanalytic Perspective on Job Performance". Human Performance. 11 (2–3): 129–144. doi:10.1080/08959285.1998.9668028.
  24. ^ Hogan, Robert; Smither, Robert (2008). Personality: Theories and Applications. ISBN 978-0981645735.

External links[edit]