Minnesota Importance Questionnaire

Minnesota Importance QuestionnaireThe Minnesota Importance Questionnaire (MIQ) is a measure of work needs and work values. Work needs are a person’s requirements for satisfaction in work. Job satisfaction results when the conditions in work (work reinforcers) correspond to one’s work needs. The MIQ measures work needs by asking the person how important the following 20 work reinforcers are to one’s job satisfaction: ability utilization, achievement, activity, advancement, authority, company policies and practices, compensation, coworkers, creativity, independence, moral values, recognition, responsibility, security, social service, social status, supervision—human relations, supervision—technical, variety, and independence.

Work values are basic dimensions of what is important to the person. Work values underlie work needs and are measured from them. The MIQ measures these six work values:

  1. achievement—the importance of using one’s abilities and having a sense of accomplishment;
  2. altruism—the importance of harmony with, and being of service to, others;
  3. autonomy—the importance of being independent and being in control;
  4. comfort—the importance of being comfortable and avoiding distress;
  5. safety—the importance of predictability, stability, and order; and
  6. status—the importance of recognition, prestige, and being important.

The MIQ is a self-report questionnaire that is available in two forms. In the Paired Form, each need is paired with every other need, and the respondent picks the need in each pair that is the more important. Most respondents complete this form in 30 to 40 minutes. In the Ranked Form, needs are presented in blocks of five, and the respondent rank orders the five needs within each block according to importance. This form requires a 21st need: autonomy. This form is usually completed in 15 to 25 minutes.

The MIQ is appropriate for persons who read at the fifth-grade level or higher. Test materials and manuals are available from the MIQ’s publisher, Vocational Psychology Research, University of Minnesota. The MIQ Manual provides information needed for test administration, score interpretation, and counseling use of the MIQ. A more technical manual that details the research about the development of the MIQ is also available. A Spanish-language MIQ is available.

Scoring services are provided by Vocational Psychology Research. The MIQ Report lists the respondent’s need and value scores and presents the scores in a profile. A validity score—consistency of response—is included.

The MIQ Report also details how well the respondent’s work needs correspond to the work rein-forcers present in various occupations as estimated by supervisors or incumbents in these occupations. The Standard MIQ Report gives correspondence information for 90 benchmark occupations representative of the full occupational range. The Extended MIQ Report provides the same information for 185 occupations. For each occupation, a prediction is made of the likelihood that the respondent will be satisfied in the occupation.


  • Rounds, J. B., & Armstrong, P. I. (2005). Assessment of needs and values. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work (pp. 305-329). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.