Good Critical Thinking On Personality Tests
Personality tests can be beneficial to some doctors when they are striving to diagnose psychiatric disorders, and they are informative to law enforcement when they are trying to understand the actions of a serial killer. Additionally, certain types of tests can be helpful to school systems (to keep from hiring a sex-offender, for example), or manufacturers or sellers of firearms (to keep the mentally ill from purchasing a weapon), or even to financial institutions (to ensure that millions are stolen from customers). Doctors, law enforcement, and the military (in these examples), are trained in the uses of personality tests. They use valid, appropriate tests, and they can read the results of these tests as simply one indicator of personality. These professionals also know enough about the validity of these tests to know not to use it as a sole indicator. To use a personality test for a potential fry cook position at McDonald’s, for example, or for an administrative assistant at a local corporation may be a little excessive simply because most human resources personnel do not understand the complexity of these exams and these novice exam administrators may not fully comprehend the danger of misreading or misusing test data. Therefore, people should not use personality tests for personnel decisions because many tests are unreliable. Many test administrators, additionally, do not know how to administer or interpret those personality tests. The danger of misreading or misusing data is simply too great.
Likewise, using personality tests in social situations seems unnecessary. Knowing who is administrating a personality test and why they need the information is crucial. Occasionally, readers can stumble across personality tests on line, on Facebook or on some other social media site. These are for fun; answering these questions does not label one in any serious or lasting way as having a personality disorder when such a disorder can keep one from employment, housing, or educational opportunities.