The Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) inventory, is a 144 item self-report questionnaire that measures twenty different concentration skills, personal and interpersonal attributes. Those specific concentration skills and personality characteristics can be thought of as the building blocks upon which more complex human behaviors depend.
Concentration skills, and the ability to shift both the width and direction (internal vs. external) are critical determinants of success or failure in virtually any performance situation. You cannot cross the street safely, without paying attention to performance relevant cues. You cannot communicate with another individual effectively without paying attention to the right cues. You cannot problem solve, without shifting attention and focusing on task relevant cues. You cannot get out of the starting blocks in the Olympics in time to win the race, without paying attention to the right cues.
The ability to shift attention, to pay attention to the right cues is affected by two things: 1) The strength of a particular focus of concentration. For example some people find it easier to attend to internal cues than they do to external ones. Some individuals find it easier to narrow concentration than they do to broaden their focus. 2) Changes in emotional arousal have a direct effect on the ability to shift ones focus of attention.
Scores on the TAIS attentional scales allow you to identify an individuals concentration strengths and relative weaknesses. Scores on TAIS personal and interpersonal scales allow you to anticipate the types of performance situations which are likely to interfere with a persons ability to control their level of emotional arousal. These two pieces of information, combined with an understanding of the concentration skills and interpersonal characteristics required by any specific performance situation will allow you to anticipate how a person will perform under pressure, and help you determine the specific steps that will be most helpful in overcoming any identified problem.
TAIS was first published in 1976 and has been through several revisions, the latest in 2007. TAIS is the instrument of choice when you need to make comparisons between a subject’s scores and those of some normative population.
The 20 scales on TAIS are as follows:
- Aware: The ability to read and react at an instinctive level to events going on in the world around you.
- Externally Distracted: The tendency to become distracted at critical times by task irrelevant things going on in the world around you.
- Analytical/Conceptual: The ability to analyze, strategize, plan, and problem solve.
- Internally Distracted: The tendency to become distracted at critical times by task irrelevant thoughts and feelings.
- Focused: The willingness and ability to pay attention to details, to polish and perfect things, and to follow through on assignments.
- Under-Inclusive: The tendency to become too narrowly focused, failing to attend to all of the task relevant information.
- Information Processing: The extent to which the individual enjoys the challenges associated with multi-tasking and adjusting to change.
- Speed of Decision Making: How quickly the individual processes information and makes decisions.
- Orientation To Rules and Risks: This scale measures the willingness of the individual to challenge conventions in order to achieve success.
- Controlling: The extent to which the individual is, and wants to be, in a leadership position.
- Self-Confident: The level of trust or faith the individual has in his or her abilities.
- Competitive: The extent to which the individual enjoys the challenges associated with head to head competition.
- Self-Critical: This is a measure of the mood of the individual at the point in time that he/she takes the test and is used to place the other scores on the test into perspective.
- Focus Over Time: The extent to which the individual is willing to make sacrifices in other areas of his or her life to accomplish a particular goal or objective.
- Performance Under Pressure: The extent to which the individual enjoys the challenges associated with high pressure situations, and wants to be in a leadership position when everything is on the line.
Interpersonal Style Scales
- Extroverted: The extent to which the individual enjoys and needs the company of others.
- Introverted: The extent to which the individual enjoys and needs personal space and privacy, time alone.
Communication Style Scales
- Intellectually expressive: The extent to which the individual enjoys expressing his or her thoughts and ideas and having his or her thoughts and ideas challenged by others.
- Expression of Criticism and Anger: The extent to which the individual is willing to confront others and set limits.
- Expression of Support: The extent to which the individual is willing to provide positive support and encouragement to others.
TAIS has been administered to tens of thousands of high-level performers around the world. The test can be taken in multiple languages and there are over 50 different normative populations that an individual’s scores can be compared with.
Normative Populations Include:
- World Champion Athletes
- Professional Athletes in A Variety of Sports
- Intercollegiate Athletes
- SWAT Team Personnel
- Police Officers
- Various Military Groups
- Corporate CEO’s
- Business Executives
- Sales Managers
- Engineering Managers
- Sales Personnel
To purchase TAIS you must meet the test purchaser requirements established by the American Psychological Association and/or be an EPS certified service provider.
- To learn more about TAIS and about the instruments reliability and validity click here.
- To learn more about the relationship between concentration skills, emotional arousal, and performance click here.
- To contact a TAIS certified professional click here.
- To purchase TAIS click here.
- To take TAIS if you already have a username and password, click here.