Reliability and Validity
The FIRO-B instrument measures behaviors driven by interpersonal needs in three
areas—Inclusion, Control, and Affection—and addresses how such behaviors can affect
one’s interactions with others (Hammer & Schnell, 2000). The FIRO-B model is
based on the theory that fulfillment of these interpersonal needs serves as motivation
in people’s daily functioning.
The need for Inclusion refers to the extent to which individuals need to have
social interactions and associations with others. The need for Control refers to
the extent to which individuals want to lead and influence others as well as the
extent to which they prefer to be led and influenced (Hammer & Schnell, 2000).
The need for Affection refers to the emotional connections between people and the
extent to which individuals seek to establish relationships with others, particularly
one-on-one relationships (Waterman & Rogers, 1996).
The FIRO-B instrument measures the extent to which each of these interpersonal
needs is expressed or wanted (Schnell & Hammer, 1993). Expressed needs refer
to behaviors individuals demonstrate toward others, whereas wanted needs refer to
behaviors individuals prefer to have exhibited toward them by others (Schutz, 1958).
The FIRO-B instrument also measures overall needs (e.g., Total Inclusion) and
overall behaviors (e.g., Total Expressed), and provides an Overall Interpersonal
Need Score. Respondents receive a numerical score as well as a categorical score
(low, medium, or high) for each measure.
The current norm sample for the FIRO-B instrument includes a U.S. national sample
of 3,091 individuals who took the assessment in 1997 (Hammer & Schnell, 2000).
In examining the internal consistency reliability of each measure for the national
sample, results indicate that reliability coefficients for all measures are satisfactory,
ranging from .85 to .96. Test-retest reliability coefficients also demonstrate good
reliability—ranging from .71 to .85—for three different samples reported in the
FIRO-B® Technical Guide (Hammer & Schnell, 2000).
Research results also support the validity of the instrument. A number of studies
have shown the FIRO-B assessment to be related to measures of leadership (e.g.,
Fiedler’s Least Preferred Co-worker scale, -.43 to .46), personal value such as
community service (.05 to .27), and relationships/friendships (-.03 to .27) (Hammer
& Schnell, 2000). Additionally, relationships are also found with assessments
such as the MBTI® Form M instrument (-.56 to .29) and the CPI™ instrument
(-.48 to .51) (Hammer & Schnell, 2000).