Sunday, 6 October 2013

Test Instruments

When I take my students through a broad range of aptitude, personality, thinking, interests and values tests, I tell them that each test informs them of 1 degree of themselves as a 360 degree person.

Their final assessment is a reflection, looking at themselves and their fit with the material we have explored in the course, as well as their own personal discoveries and a personal development plan.

Hopefully that teaches them that no one test will give you insight into who they are, and we talk a lot about everything - including the mood in which you take each test - being situational. This means that some test results might not be the same the next time you take each test.

Professor Adam Grant of the Wharton School in the US recently blogged an article critiquing MBTI. This has become a bit infamous quite quickly, as it was published on the LinkedIn network. Adam feels that MBTI is as useful as a horoscope at predicting work performance; and I personally think that Adam's criticisms are valid. 

However, I also still feel that MBTI has value, particularly in teaching students to understand and accept difference. Additionally, I don't think MBTI should be used as a sorting or selection device, because the design of the test was not to judge, but to provide insight

That didn't stop two government departments in New Zealand (The Department of Conservation and Ministry of Business & Innovation) doing just that recently!



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