27th - The testing of America By Caroline Hsu Are you an...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The testing of America By Caroline Hsu 9/20/04 Are you an introvert or an extrovert? A confronter? An idealist? An analytical Enneagram type 5, or a free-spirited orange? Or are you, like most people, just a good old ESTJ? Whether you see the world through four-letter personality types, believe in ayurvedic doshas , or completed an online assessment before getting a job, chances are you've taken a personality test. If not, just wait: Personality tests are increasingly a part of American life, used to assess preschool applicants, match up college roommates, award promotions, and even match life partners. And they're big business: Personality testing companies make up a $400 million industry that's growing at an average of 10 percent a year. The tests are used in hiring, promotions, and professional development by a third of U.S. businesses. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the most popular, is taken by an estimated 2.5 million people a year, and in the past three months alone, the online testing website Tickle administered 10 million personality tests. Who are you? Yet despite some of the tests' scientific trappings, they may reveal less about "personality" than meets the eye. Within the field of psychology, there's not even a consensus on whether personality can be tested at all. While some psychologists regularly use tests to predict and understand behavior and guide individual change, others believe that personality is a moving target, determined by past experience and current environment. Some tests, like the Rorschach inkblots, are highly controversial yet still remain in use. And others, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and its legions of imitators, have little academic support but are seen as largely harmless and sometimes very helpful in therapy and personal coaching. "Personality tests are popular because they promise a shortcut," says writer Annie Murphy Paul, author of the forthcoming book The Cult of Personality: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern