Cyrus Mehri Congratulates Industrial Psychologists for Recognition of NFL Player Assessment Test

April 23, 2021

by M&S Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 23, 2021) — “It is one of my great privileges to collaborate with Dr. Harold Goldstein, Dr. Ken Yusko, and the National Football League on the NFL Player Assessment Test (NFL-PAT) and I’m incredibly proud of its contributions to the League. I am thrilled that the Society of Industrial/Organizational Psychology selected Dr. Goldstein, Dr. Yusko and their team as the winners of this year’s M. Scott Myers Award for Applied Research in the Workplace, the leading practice award in the field of applied psychology. This award is deserved recognition of the scientific rigor and overall success of their efforts to develop the NFL-PAT, the first assessment instituted league-wide to measure the comprehensive set of psychological competencies required to be successful as a player.

“Since being introduced in 2013, the NFL-PAT has created a new framework for players to shine and for teams to evaluate player prospects in a non-biased manner. Well over three thousand players who attended the annual NFL Combine from 2013 to the present have taken the test, demonstrating its utility to the League and team front offices. Unlike some previously used psychological evaluations, the PAT has been scientifically shown with rigorous validation studies to effectively predict future on-field performance of NFL draftees.

“The PAT is a state-of-the-art psychological tool that has influenced the NFL player evaluation process. Particularly important to me is how the PAT effectively minimizes racial and socioeconomic bias, since it is an objective metric that measures player capabilities such as conscientiousness and decision-making, without regard to their personal background. Many NFL Clubs have integrated the PAT into their draft selection and player development programs, underscoring the utility of the PAT to the League.

“Here are just a few reasons the NFL-PAT is a breakthrough for sport and society:

  • Using state of the art science and analytics it allows players a new vehicle to show their attributes and the wide variety of ways that they can succeed and contribute to their team;
  • It’s a rare means to predict success in sports through comprehensive assessment and can be used as a model for other jobs and industries outside of sports;
  • At a time when the nation is focused on racial equity, it is a welcome example of a testing procedure with greatly reduced racial disparities and debunks the widely held view that cognitive testing inevitably has racial disparities. The NFL PAT sets aside educational disparities and tests individuals on a level playing field. In that context, the NFL PAT is not only a step forward for science but could revolutionize how the nation views high stakes testing in general.

“The League, particularly Jeff Pash, Troy Vincent, Ken Fiore and the General Managers Committee – led by former NY Giants General Manager Ernie Accorsi – deserve credit for embracing and advancing this opportunity. Little did any of us know that eight years later it would result in the creation of a talent assessment tool that would be recognized as an outstanding scientific achievement.

“Industrial psychology is an oftentimes obscure field. But the NFL-PAT project does a great service to this profession by taking established scientific concepts and bringing them to the mainstream. It is hard for me to imagine a more fitting set of honorees than Dr. Goldstein and Dr. Yusko for this year’s M. Scott Myers award.”