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

A pre and post-conditional offer screening instrument for law enforcement officer selection


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.

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.

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

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.

• 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.

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:

• 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 behaviours that are inappropriate.

• Racially Offensive Conduct – At risk for racially inappropriate behaviour (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.

Empirical Scales

The empirical scales of the M-PULSE Inventory gauge attitudes, values, and beliefs that have direct relevance to law enforcement work.

• 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 not be adequate.

• Poor Emotional Controls – Prone to temper outbursts, poor behavioural 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 Behaviour – 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.

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.

• 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 behaviour.

• 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 & Judgement – 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 compassion for others.

Supplementary Scale

The M-PULSE includes a supplementary scale that serves as an indicator for potential substance abuse issues.

• Substance Abuse – May indicate proneness to behaviour that is inappropriate or self-damaging (e.g., alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or gambling).

About the Authors

Robert D. Davis, Ph.D., M.P.

Robert D. Davis, Ph.D., M.P. is a licensed Medical Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, and Clinical Neuropsychologist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is owner of RD Associates, LLC, a largely forensic private practice dealing with civil and criminal litigation; he is also the owner and President of Matrix, Inc., the Police Psychological Services Corporation (and broader Public Safety Corporation). He is board certified in Police Psychology, Medical Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and Forensic Neuropsychology. Dr. Davis is nationally known for the development of inferential statistical models for the actuarial prediction of discrete liabilities in law enforcement (and other public safety professions) to better meet federal legal mandates and reduce the cost of litigation to agencies, municipalities, and insurers.

Dr. Davis is the senior author of the M-PULSE™ (Matrix-Predictive Uniform Law Enforcement Selection Evaluation) Inventory, as well as the M-PULSE Methodology (the comprehensive post-offer evaluation to predict each of the 18 liabilities in law enforcement). Dr. Davis is a graduate of LSU’s 147th Law Enforcement Basic Training Academy, and provides numerous professional services to myriad agencies including law enforcement selection, critical incident/stress debriefing and diffusion, fitness for duty evaluations, officer advisory programs, and executive consultation. He is the Chief Police Psychologist for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and the Police Psychologist for Louisiana State Police. He is the co-author of A Handbook for Psychological Fitness-for-Duty Evaluations in Law Enforcement (Rostow & Davis, 2004), and more than two dozen peer-reviewed publications in police psychology.

Cary Dennis Rostow, Ph.D., M.P.

Cary Dennis Rostow, Ph.D., M.P. attended the University of Illinois in Chicago and received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. Dr. Rostow is a licensed Medical and Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist at Matrix, Inc., in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has a master’s degree in psychopharmacology and holds the Diplomat in Police Psychology from the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology. He is nationally recognized for the development of police psychology services including stress training, fitness of duty examinations and police candidate pre-employment screening.

Dr. Rostow has held a number of academic appointments in his long career. He is the senior author of A Handbook for Psychological Fitness for Duty Evaluations for Law Enforcement Executives (with Dr. Robert Davis, 2004) and is also a co-author of the Matrix-Predictive Uniform Law Enforcement Selection Evaluation (M-PULSE), a methodology and inventory for the determination of the actuarial probability of civil rights violations and other misconduct for law enforcement officer candidates and for law enforcement officers.

M-Level Assessment – May only be purchased for use in law enforcement agency settings.


Get our free eBook!

SEARCHING FOR SUPERSTARS: Identifying Top Performers with Tests

Avoid other company’s rejects.
Improve your hiring process.
Choose the right assessment.
Get the edge you need.

Your subscription includes access to our newsletter, with additional tips and sales! We respect your privacy; we will not share your details with anyone.

Additional information

Appropriate For


Administration Time


Scoring Options



Interested in purchasing one or more copies of this test? We can help to ensure it's the right test to meet your specific needs. We look forward to hearing from you; please complete the inquiry below.