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M-PULSE™ Inventory
Matrix-Predictive Uniform Law Enforcement Selection Evaluation Inventory

Robert D. Davis, Ph.D., M.P.
& Cary D. Rostow, Ph.D., M.P.


Read New Study:
Comparing the M-PULSE Inventory and the MMPI-2

Update:  The M-PULSE™ documentation and reports have been updated to reflect recent changes in the California POST dimensions. A Service Orientation scale was added and the Substance Abuse scale has been moved and retained as a supplementary scale.

The M-PULSE Inventory is an effective pre-conditional and post-conditional offer screening instrument designed for law enforcement officer selection. It can be used either pre-offer to identify candidates’ liability potential, or post-offer as part of a total assessment battery that includes historical, interview, and observational data.

The M-PULSE Inventory produces results for 18 Liability Scales which help predict officer misconduct, 16 Empirical Scales, which gauge attitudes, values, and beliefs, and 10 California POST Scales, which measure facets of personality that are of prime importance to police work. There are also 2 Validity Scales to assess response bias, and a Supplementary Scale that assesses potential for substance abuse problems.

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Key Features

  • specifically developed for hiring law enforcement officers
  • designed to reduce liability for law enforcement agencies by assessing job performance risks
  • includes scales to assess POST personality-based competencies
  • 455 statements
  • 50 to 90 minutes administration time
  • normative sample consisting of 2,000 candidates 
  • web and paper-and-pencil administration 
  • simple web-based scoring which produces reports in minutes 
  • option to generate Follow-up performance reports 
  • easy to read and understand reports
  • psychometrically sound with excellent reliability and validity
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Validity Scales

There are typically two reasons why scores on the validity indices may be elevated—either a candidate is trying to create a good impression (Impression Management), or he or she has a negative attitude towards the testing process (Test Attitude). If either validity index score is elevated, the M-PULSE Inventory results may not be accurate.

Scale Brief Description of High Score
Impression Management This candidate may have misrepresented himself/herself in an overly positive way.
Test Attitude Test respondent had a negative attitude toward test-taking which may have affected the results in unpredictable ways.
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Liability Scales
The M-PULSE Inventory takes into account certain liability risk areas that are associated with officer misconduct. The 18 misconduct areas that are assessed are as follows:

Scale Brief Description of High Score
Interpersonal Difficulties At risk for problems with personal relationships.
Chemical Abuse/Dependency At risk for problems associated with chemical abuse/dependency.
Off-Duty Misconduct At risk for “conduct unbecoming an officer”, including, for example, being drunk, fighting, indiscretions, etc.
Procedural and Conduct Mistakes At risk for frequent occurrences of procedural and conduct mistakes.  
Property Damage At risk for causing damage to official property.
Misuse of Vehicle At risk for the inappropriate use of a police vehicle.
Motor Vehicle Accidents At risk for being involved in an at-fault motor vehicle accident.
Discharge of Weapon At risk for firing a weapon in the line of duty (whether justified or not).
Inappropriate Use of Weapon At risk for inappropriate use of a weapon.
Unprofessional Conduct At risk for conduct that is inappropriate for an officer while on duty (e.g., verbal abusiveness, aggressiveness, rudeness, ethical violations).
Excessive Force At risk for use of excessive force or aggressive behaviors that are inappropriate.
Racially Offensive Conduct At risk for racially inappropriate behavior (e.g., racism or targeting a particular race in law enforcement).
Sexually Offensive Conduct At risk for violation of sexual boundaries.
Lawsuit Potential At risk of having a claim filed against them or for being sued.
Criminal Conduct At risk of being arrested, charged, detained, or convicted of criminal activity or corruption.
Reprimands/Suspensions At risk for receiving a formal written reprimand and/or suspension for breeches of acceptable conduct.
Potential for Resignation At risk for resigning prematurely from the job as an officer.
Potential for Termination At risk for being terminated for cause.
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Empirical Scales
The empirical scales of the M-PULSE Inventory gauge attitudes, values, and beliefs that have direct relevance to law enforcement work.

Scale Brief Description of High Score
Negative Self Issues Negative self-views that affect emotions, actions, and/or attitudes.
Negative Emotions Poor mood, unhappiness, lacking confidence, and shyness.
Egocentricism              May think he/she is above the rules, may be seen as arrogant, or a "show-off." 
Inadequate Views of Police Work     May lack high level of motivation to become a good officer, and views of policing may nt be adequate.
Poor Emotional Controls Prone to temper outbursts, poor behavioral controls, and hard-headedness.
Negative Perceptions Related to Law Enforcement Undesirable attitudes toward use of force, overly traditional views of police work,


Inappropriate Attitudes About the Use of Force Strong attitudes that condone the use of force in policing situations.
Overly Traditional Officer Traits Unrealistically hyper-masculine or idealized views of police officers.
Suspiciousness Distrust or suspicion regarding the intent of others.
Unethical Behavior Beliefs and attitudes that are of questionable morality.
Lack of Personal Integrity Willingness to cross ethical boundaries, or transgress (e.g, lie, cheat) to protect self-interests.
Negative Views of Department/Leadership Distrust or suspicion regarding departmental systems or individuals who are in charge.
Amorality Questionable ethical beliefs about police officers and others.
Unpredictability   Risk taking and thrill seeking.
Risk Taking High enjoyment of risks and thrills.
Novelty Seeking Adventurous and prefers new and varied experiences.
*Main scales shaded in gray. Subscales appear below the associated main scale.Back to the top

California POST Scales
The 10 M-PULSE Inventory Scales below are analogous to the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) screening dimensions that have been detailed by the California Commission.
Scale Brief Description of High Score
Social Incompetence May have problems communicating with others in a tactful and respectful way.
Lack of Teamwork May have problems working effectively with others to achieve goals.
Unreliability May have problems maintaining diligent, reliable, conscientious work patterns.
Reckless-Impulsive May be predisposed to impulsive or risk behavior. 
Rigidity May handle change poorly, showing inflexibility or difficulty managing change or complex situations
Lack of Integrity/Ethics Opinions regarding morality and ethical situations seem questionable
Emotional Instability-Stress Intolerance May have trouble staying calm and composed in difficult situations. Coping skills for handling stress may be poor.
Poor Decision-Making & Judgment May use impractical approaches to solving problems. May have difficulty sizing up situations and taking the proper actions.
Passivity-Submissiveness May be too submissive and yielding in situations where assertiveness is required.
Poor Service Orientation Does not show an active interest in helping others: does not go out of the way to help others, and generally doesn't show respect or compasion for others.
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Supplementary Scale
The M-PULSE includes a supplementary scale that serves as an indicator for potential substance abuse issues.
Scale Brief Description of High Score
Substance Abuse May indicate proneness to behavior that is inappropriate or self-damaging (e.g., alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or gambling).
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Sample Report

Sample Items

Follow-up Form