The History and Application of Personality Testing in the Workplace

1971 WordsOct 27, 20138 Pages
We’ve all had some experience with personality testing in one way or another. Since the beginning of the twentieth century personality testing and psychological assessments have been a staple in the recruitment and selection processes in all manner of position. Be it high level executives down to janitors, no candidate is immune to what has become a trusted and normal practice in recruiting. There is currently a long-standing debate among HR professionals and sociologists alike regarding the effectiveness and relevance of testing and its application in making hiring decisions. In order to understand the effectiveness or lack thereof in regards to personality testing one must take a holistic approach and understand the…show more content…
Human personalities are far too complex to be measured by simple and broad classifications. For example, one of the parameters measures whether an individual is an introvert or extrovert. No one individual is completely introverted or completely extroverted. All humans fall somewhere in-between the two on an immeasurable spectrum. The over simplification of human psychology and sociology is one of the strongest arguments against the testing with regards to the pre-employment screening. The next argument against the test is with regard to its scientific accuracy and validity. Due to the ambiguity and subjectivism inherent in the test, it’s difficult to glean any scientific data from results. What is damning to the MBTI however is the low reliability the results of test takers. One study, conducted by Dr. Paul Tieger, sought to demonstrate how inaccurate MBTI truly is in terms of reli-ability. The study concentrated on the test-retest parameter to measure testing reliability, whereby an individual is given an initial test and then within a controlled time frame, given an identical test. Advocates of the test would have you believe that your personality is fixed and unchanging and one would assume that when an individual is given two identical tests that the outcomes would be the same an overwhelming majority of the time. What the study concluded is that nearly 50% of respondents, when given the exact same
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