Big Five Personality
High IQ Societies
Play Chess Now!
Bold = updated on
March 8 2008
ISBN: 0743280725 Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Annie Murphy Paul is a Yale graduate and former senior editor at Psychology Today so well qualified to write a critical book on Personality testing. With a title describing it as a cult, this was never going to be that complimentary. As the sub-text says - "How Personality Tests are leading us to miseducate our children, mismanage our companies and misunderstand ourselves"
With millions of workers compelled to take these tests as part oif their employument, it is a big business worth around £400 million a year.
In eight chapters Paul argues that Personality testing often breaks the guidelines as to what testing is legally allowed or not. One test, the Minnesota multiphasic Personality Inventory is classified as a medical examination and so should be forbidden in the USA as are any tests that discrimate againt colour or disability. Despite this, according to Paul, 15 million Americans have to take this every year.
Previously published as "The Cult of Personality" this book is packed with detail about the creators of personality tests, and deals with it rationally and sceptically. The last chapter explores the new approacxhes to testing using MRI to map the brain and identify types of behaviour.
If you've an interest, professional or otherwise, in Personality testing this is one book that is well worth reading. The Cult of Personality Testing