Brett Wells | Director of New Test Development

Brett M. Wells, Ph.D. was closely involved in the development, maintenance, and validation of Wonderlic assessments. He was also the coordinator of Wonderlic’s Research Donation Program, providing support to qualified, academic researchers who are interested in using Wonderlic Assessments for research purposes.


Brett earned his B.A. with honors in Psychology from Augustana College (IL), and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Social and Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Northern Illinois University. Prior to graduation, he was recipient of the “Northern Illinois University’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award” in recognition of distinguished scholarship and research. Brett’s research has been published in various peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and has been featured in The Boston Globe. In addition, he has presented at conferences for the Association for Psychological Science (APS), Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP), Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), and Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA).

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Re-Engaging Your Disengaged Employees

According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report, 20% of U.S. workers are actively disengaged at work, costing the U.S. an estimated $450 to $550 billion annually. Read more about Re-Engaging Your Disengaged Employees

Hiring Motivated Employees

You have probably always intuitively known that employee motivation—the internal drive, desire, and commitment to “get the job done”—matters a great deal within your organization. In fact, study after study validates your gut feeling and shows that employee motivation has a direct impact on an organization’s bottom line: Highly motivated employees work harder, have better relationships with both internal and external customers, are absent less often, and continue working at the organization longer.

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Advanced Skills in the Workplace

Although advanced skills are required for many jobs, HR professionals are having extreme difficulties recruiting skilled workers. For example, according to a 2013 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey of over 3,400 HR professionals, 55% noted that they had difficulties finding employees with sufficient writing skills.

Read more about Advanced Skills in the Workplace

The Cost of Employee Disengagement

The unfortunate fact is well more than half of employees are disengaged at work. We know employee disengagement is bad—but exactly how bad? Let's look at some statistics that should put the issue at the top of your priority list...

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The Goldilocks Effect: Which Leadership Style Engages Employees the Most?

In the classic children’s tale The Story of the Three Bears, Goldilocks stumbles upon an empty home where three bears reside. She finds that each bear has its own preference for porridge, chairs, and beds. After testing each of these, she determines that two of them are always too much in one extreme (e.g., too hot, too soft); however, one is always just right. Read more about The Goldilocks Effect: Which Leadership Style Engages Employees the Most?

Understanding the Wonderlic Automated Reference Check

Before extending a job offer, most employers first check applicants’ references. Traditionally, this involves asking about dates of employment, attendance, and salary. We recognize that while this type of information can be useful, it does not provide the breadth or depth of insight that is required to make informed hiring decisions. Read more about Understanding the Wonderlic Automated Reference Check

How Often do Employees Lie, Cheat, and Steal?

After being stripped of seven Tour de France titles and an Olympic bronze medal, Lance Armstrong finally came clean about his use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. It seems that cheating, and then lying about the cheating, is becoming more widespread in sports, especially when the stakes are high. For example, some of the best baseball players of all time (e.g., Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire) will likely never be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame because of their scandals.

Read more about How Often do Employees Lie, Cheat, and Steal?

The Cost of Student Disengagement

It is alarming that disengaged students represent approximately 18% of postsecondary students. Simply put, disengaged students are less motivated to improve their educational outcomes, and they place less emphasis on their education. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that disengaged students have the poorest educational outcomes, which are costly to the student, the institution, and society. Read more about The Cost of Student Disengagement

The Hidden Side of Predicting Student Performance and Success

Cognitive ability tests, such as the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (SLE), are widely used for student selection and placement. By measuring a potential student’s ability to learn, adapt and solve problems, the SLE has been proven to increase student retention, graduation and job placement rates, along with helping schools meet accreditation requirements. Read more about The Hidden Side of Predicting Student Performance and Success

What is Item Response Theory (IRT)?

Validation, implementation, and maintenance are major components of the research and development that goes into creating useful tests. Advances in the field of psychometrics such as Item Response Theory (IRT) allow for more accurate assessment of test takers.

What is IRT?

IRT represents a general framework for understanding the relationship between an individual’s standing on an underlying factor (e.g., a particular skill, ability, or trait) and their responses to assessment items designed to measure that underlying factor. Read more about What is Item Response Theory (IRT)?

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