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The Mind Takeaway Podcast

119 EpisodesProduced by Peter & MiraWebsite

The Mind Takeaway podcast empowers listeners to develop their leadership skills and cultivate a thriving workplace culture by sharing valuable insights on leadership, psychology, and creativity. Hosts offer reflective commentary and engage in stimulating conversations with guests to provide listener… read more


Micro Episode 25 - The Dark Side of Personality Tests

Humans are so varied and complex that no one phycological test has yet to determine how diverse we are or can even begin to identify your team's strengths.

"We learned through our work supporting leaders that these tests are also not well suited to people outside of western cultures, and they are constructed to be ableist, racist, sexist, and classist."

Timestamps and takeaways

01:43 Some facts and figures about personality tests to date and how it is a $2bn dollar industry, growing by 15% each year.

02:22 Leaders often use them as jumping-off points to get to know their teams. However, that is where they become dangerous.

03:57 Personality tests are not based on good psychology or science and are no better than horoscopes.

04:04 What we learned is that these tests are also not well suited to people outside of western cultures, and they are constructed to be ableist, racist, sexist, and classist.

05:04 We get drawn to these tests because we as humans are constantly searching for who we are and our purpose in life, and we also seek certainty/security.

05:48 We will never be able to find out who we truly are by doing a personality test because we are constantly changing and growing.

08:33 Personality tests are rubbish tools for HR and recruitment to create hiring or efficiency shortcuts; there are no shortcuts for getting to know someone.

12:09 Humans are not so good at being comfortable with uncertainty, and it's this grasping for certainty when it comes to wanting to know someone that can get us into trouble.

13:26 The alternative, instead of doing personality tests, is to listen to understand each other, allowing everyone to learn about themselves.

Some further resources on this subject:

7 and a Half Lessons about the Brain, book by Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett

Persona - HPO documentary about personality tests and their origin

'They become dangerous tools': the dark side of personality tests, The Guardian

Why personality tests don't work, PsychMechanics magazine

Personality Tests Don't Work Heres Why and Alternatives, Noble Academy

Reasons why personality tests don't work, Wise Step


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