Finding the right person who is well suited for a job position is vital in any organisation’s success. There are numbers of factors in which employers base their judgments and decisions; some of which are the personality, attitude and knowledge of the applicants. Test taking plays a vital role in knowing and understanding these aspects in a deeper sense. This article explains the importance of psychometric tests and its development over the years.
The enthusiasm for using personality and ability tests in selection and development waxes and wanes. It is still a big industry. There are many defenders and distractors who periodically “have a go at each other” on a number of repeated issues. What is the future of psychometric tests?
It is unusual to go on any training course without having to complete a test that tells you about your style, personality, or preferred team role. These are tests of attitudes and beliefs, of preferences and traits, strengths and agility, learning style, thinking style and coping style. These are tests of real general intelligence, of emotional intelligence, of practical intelligence and of multiple intelligence. These are tests of bright and dark side personality: normal as well as abnormal functioning. There are tests of motivation and values. Consultants and test publishers know that this is big business.
There are many reasons why trainers like tests. Tests can give people new concepts, language and hopefully self-insight even if they reject what the test says.
Tests give comparative, specific and numerical data. Unlike references and testimonials, which flourish on euphemisms and double speak, tests give numeric data. One cannot get away with “satisfactory”, “high spirited” and “quirky” in tests. Good tests have normative data so we can measure up oneself against population norms.
Test taking can also be a drug for a few narcissists. For most people, it soon loses its power because it is as much confusing as entertaining; as much befuddling as enlightening. If you are serious about using tests to improve your insight, choose one that has been psychometrically validated based on a social theory; and one that describes process, not only typologies.
About the Author
Adrian Furnham is Professor at the Norwegian Business. He is also the Principal Psychologist at Stamford Associates in London. He has just finished his 93rd book.
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