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Dangers of Personality Tests (Research Paper Sample)


The task to write a research paper on the dangers of personality tests, which would later be delivered as a speech.


Student’s Name
Professor’s Name
Dangers of Personality Tests
The objective of this speech is to highlight the dangers of personality tests. This topic is particularly significant because almost everyone has taken a personality test without considering its possible dangers. Over time, organizations have utilized personality tests to determine the most suitable candidates for specific jobs during their hiring processes. Similarly, educational institutions have subjected students to personality tests for educative purposes without necessarily determining the potential dangers of such tests. Personality tests have played a vital role in assessing individual traits, strengths, and weaknesses. However, the results do not always reflect individuals’ true personalities. In this regard, it is critical to understand the critical dangers associated with personality tests to avoid over-relying on biased and inaccurate test results.
Understanding the dangers of personality traits requires some background information on the meaning and broad usage of personality tests. A personality test is a systematically designed technique used in assessing an individual's character, strengths, and weaknesses based on categorical constructs. Lopez et al. point out that personality tests employ introspective assessment instruments like self-reported questionnaires, which prompt individuals to closely examine themselves and provide answers that best describe them (9). These instruments help determine the behavioral patterns and traits that people depict in different scenarios. Personality tests feature broad usage in the business and medical fields. In business, they help predict one’s future success in a given career. They are also used in the hiring process to facilitate effective and accurate data-driven choices, especially in selecting candidates with the best organizational fit. Personality tests play a vital role in making clinical diagnoses and in decision-making concerning clinical interventions in the medical field. Based on the increased usage of personality tests by both individuals and organizations, analyzing their dangers is crucial to minimize reliance on flawed test results.
First, one of the dangers of personality tests is unreliability. Kyllonen and Kell claim that several factors, including mood-state and cognitive abilities, influence personality testing leading to variance in results over time (4). They support this claim by providing evidence based on tests conducted on children. These results indicate that out of 35 personality scales, 7 featured higher reliability for high ability groups than low ability groups, while 30 depicted nominally higher reliability. The authors concluded that conducting personality tests on children resulted in unreliable results since children lack developed abilities to discern their personality traits and provide reliable self-reports. In the same vein, Timms asserts that personality tests are unreliable because they yield different results for the same person over time. For instance, the Myers-Briggs test, a common personality assessment, has a 50% probability of placing one in a different personality type. Despite the existence of more reliable personality tests than Myers-Briggs, none of them guarantee 100% reliability. In addition, Timms argues that people are likely to change over time, and such changes would reflect in their personality assessment results. Therefore, even if personality tests provide reliable test scores concerning people’s behavior or performance, changes over time would make these results unreliable.
Second, personality tests are dangerous because they are time-consuming. One may spend so much time taking personality tests, which could be tiresome and frustrating, especially during a job interview. The frustration may worsen for candidates, especially if the company rejects them based on their personality test results. Bisceglio illustrates the time-consuming nature of personality tests based on a 1936 personality test called “Meet Yourself as You Really Are." Notably, it is a 336-page test that promises to reveal an individual's fundamental character. Such a personality test is tedious as it features probing and random questions. Hence, one has to provide further details to elucidate their answers. In addition, the assessment directs one to new sections based on their responses to the questions provided. Such personality tests waste one’s time and effort, especially when they provide details about themselves that companies may use to deny them employment opportunities.
Third, high cost is a significant danger of personality tests as it makes them inaccessible to some entities. Some personality tests may cost between $100 to $5000 per candidate. In this regard, they may be too costly for small organizations to administer. In addition, they may be inaccessible to individuals whose companies require them to take personality tests, thus causing them to lose significant job opportunities. Further, Chen argues that personality tests do not guarantee value for money. The commonly used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one such test. This personality assessment test costs between $15 to $40 per person (Chen). Nevertheless, psychologists have termed it one of the worst personality tests for reasons like unreliability, poorly structured questions, and false information. Therefore, persons taking such personality tests pay hefty prices but gain no value in return.
Fourth, personality tests are potentially dangerous due to inaccurate results that might be misleading. While personality tests work, they do not work as advertised by their developers. Timms posits that most personality assessments feature a disclaimer that discourages organizations from using them as the sole factor in making employment decisions. This aspect depicts inaccuracy as an inherent characteristic of personality tests. According to Timms, personality tests provide a distorted version of one’s traits. They may over-emphasize, underemphasize, misplace, or omit significant aspects of one’s personality, thus providing an inaccurate personality depiction. To this end, personality traits provide misleading versions of people's personalities, resulting in ineffective decision-making in the hiring process.
Lastly, subjectivity is also a danger associated with person

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