2. Know Yourself - Different Types of Test Behavior
"Hello, nice to meet you, please allow me to tell you, who you are." Such is the introduction, friendly but firmly, from personality tests.
Annie Murphy Paul.
Thus Annie Murphy Paul opens her book "The Cult of Personality Testing".
"The reality is that personality tests can not measure the complex people we are," she writes. "They can not predict, how we will react in specific roles or situations. They can not predict how we change over time. Many tests seek (and find) diseases and bad traits much more than health and strength. Many others do not meet objective criteria for scientific standards of validity and reliability.
The consequences of these errors are real. Our society makes critical decisions - whether a father or mother must have custody, whether a worker should be offered a job, if a student must register for a school or a particular program - based on deeply erroneous information."
She believes that only with introvert/extrovert and possibly aggressive/not aggressive, you can perhaps talk about innate dispositions. All the rest can change with age and as result of life experiences. Also we are fully able to adapt our behavior to the situation. Sophisticated personality test will simply put labels on people at an early age.
Her book was published in 2004 and appeared to have got a pretty grim reception by the powerful psychiatric industry in the U.S. and their lackeys among the Newspaper editors. We can not find a link to a review, which gives it justice.
But here in DH-debate, we highly recommend the book. It tells about the artist Rorschach and his ink blot test, Starke Hathaway and his purely empirical MMPI test, the unusual relationship between Henry Murray and Christiana Morgan and their TAT test, the intelligent housewife Isabel Myers and her MBTI test, the work-addict Raymond Cattell's eccentric personality and his 16PF test.
Everything is told in a warm and empathetic style. The book is significantly more well written than the reviews, which have been written about it.
"We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die."
See also: The Boston Globe - Against Types
Gps writes on "Great Plains Skeptic": Personality assessment – Science or Pseudoscience?
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