Sunday, February 10, 2008

Poking fun at personality tests

Scott Adams pokes fun at personality tests in today's Dilbert (link here after Sunday), but there is some truth behind the jabs.

For instance:

- It's too easy to make and distribute employment tests, and no governing or approval body to assist consumers in separating the rare wheat from the mostly chaff (e.g., "SIOP Certified").

- Tests can make it easy to label people--heck, I bet half of you reading this know what your Myers-Briggs type is. And that's not good--both because no test is perfect and because no one should be known simply by a test score.

- Often the questions on personality tests frustrate the taker--the scales aren't continuous and sometimes force what seem like bizarre comparisons (e.g., "Do you prefer pancakes or walks in the park?").

These are problems that have plagued tests, particularly personality tests, for a long time. What are we going to do about them?

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