By Fiona Smith, Columnist for BRW
The Myers-Briggs psychometric test is regarded as having little more scientific validity than astrological signs, yet it remains wildly popular among employers.
Imagine being turned down for a role because your star sign did not qualify you for the job. Leos are fine, but Capricorns should look somewhere else.
It would be silly, right? Yet millions of people around the world have been analysed and sorted by a 20-minute test that has questionable scientific validity and is generally ignored by psychologists.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has become wildly popular in business settings since being developed 60 years ago by two fans (untrained in science or psychology, but often derisively described as housewives) of the theories of psychologist Carl Jung.
It is now one of the most popular tools used by business and, as an industry, is said to be worth $US20 million a year. It is used to help employees develop some self-knowledge, to help managers know how to deal with the preferences of their staff and to assess people’s suitability to join teams or perform roles.
However, psychologists are concerned that a test, that some describe as “pop psychology”, is being used to make serious decisions about people’s potential.
Doctor of neuroscience Dean Burnett recently wrote of his concerns about the test in an article in The Guardian : “… the more you look into the specifics of the MBTI, the more questionable the way its widespread use appears to be”.
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