Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A New Personality Assessment Test

Following up on yesterday: The world needs a personal-psychological assessment test that’s really useful.  A previous post talked about one I failed—DISC—and we all know about the Myers-Briggs assessment test.  Myers-Briggs uses Jungian psychological type preferences of Extroversion (E), Sensing (S), Thinking (T), Judgment (J), as well as Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), Perception (P).

Well, if those tests are so great, why are so many people still working in the wrong profession?  Falling in love with the wrong person?  Believing the wrong politician?  Time is proving those tests to be chimeras.

I say we need a test that works, so I devised one based on the Kubler-Ross Stages of grieving, when coping with death—often one’s own.  The stages are Denial (D), Anger (A), Bargaining (B), Depression (P) and Acceptance (C).

Denial (D)—You’ve seen them—Skinheads in O.J. Simpson shirts.  Parents who say their 37-year-old is thinking about law school.  Business owners telling bankers about their figures.  Bankers listening to store owners talking about their figures.  People who are strong in D are able to face reality in the eye and never see it.

Anger (A)—People strong in A are quick problem solvers.  They tend to sport bumper stickers that say, “Don’t like my driving? Call 1-800-EAT SHIT.  With their televisions set to the Fox News channel, they are hard chargers, see the world in black and white and brook no quarter.  The phrase, “often wrong but seldom uncertain” applies to them.

Bargaining (B)—B folks won’t take No for an answer, but they won’t take Yes, either.  Their drawers are full of unused grocery store coupons.  They always offer Groupon half the deal price, because you never know.  People high in B are challenged to accept certainty.

Depression (P)—If you’ve ever seen Rodin’s statue “The Thinker,” you’ve seen a representation of someone with high P.  Unlike Ds, Ps not only see reality, they see it in an infinite number of prisms, anyone of which can awaken them in the middle of the night and cause despair.  They seldom finish projects, because the path to completion takes so many twists and turns. If you’re high in P, you probably think “The Sorceror’s Apprentice” is a documentary.

Acceptance (C)—If someone high in C is called into her boss’ office, falsely accused of embezzlement and fired, she will immediately touch up her resume and look for another job.  C people tend to want to get on with things and not look back.

Those are the categories.  The next step is to put them into some kind of order (CP, DB, etc.) to make the test useful.  This is totally open source, so I’m interested in others’ ideas.



    This is a segment of a Radiolab Podcast dealing with self-deception. Apparently, some psychologists figured out how to quantify it and describe the characters of people who are good at it and bad at it. It kind of fits your denial profile, making me wonder if those other qualities have been quantified in some way...

  2. Well, I lie to myself. I'm the only one who believes me anyway. And someone killed the Radiolab link.