How might Allport, Murray, and Catell respond to if personality tests should be used to screen job applications?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Raymond Cattell's 16PF test or 16 personality factors test measures personality by asking 164 items in the form of statements. To these statements, the informed participant will answer a) agree or disagree,  b) neither, or c) strongly agree or strongly disagree). A job profiling test using 16PF would measure

1) warmth, 2) reasoning, 3) emotional stability, 4)dominance, 5) liveliness, 6) rule-consciousness, 7) social boldness, 8) sensitivity, 9) vigilance,  10) abstractedness,  11) need for privacy, 12) apprehension,  13)openness to change,  14) self-reliance, 15) perfectionism, and 16) tension.

Out of these factors, reasoning is of essence in matching someone to a job because the last thing an employer wants is a non-problem solver. Rule-consciousness would determine the manner in which the potential employee is willing to follow the organization rules. Openness to change is also essential because that is the gist of the 21st century paradigm; that society, the economy, demographics, and technology are in constant dynamic change and one needs to learn to survive and adapt. Although the others would be awesome to test, these 3 are the best indicators of job performance.

Murray's TAT (Thematic Aperception Test) is a reflective test just like the Rorschach where random pictures presented to the student. The latter will tell a story of what he or she perceives the picture to mean. From the answers, the therapist will find underlying needs or levels of need that then will be addressed. It would be very humorous to test a potential employee with a reflective test, because the potential employee will literally tell a lot about what really goes on in their minds, betraying their current state of mind. That is also what would make the test inadmissible; it is too subjective and what is more, it is too personal to have to correlated to a skill of work. Moreover, reflective tests such as TAT often tap on feigned emotions and suppressed feelings that would defeat the objective of a professional interview or job placement service.

Gordon Allport's Study of Values measures the theoretical, economic (most useful) values, social, aesthetic, political and religious values. Certainly it would be very beneficial to hire an employee with a defined system of values, because it is likely that an employee that has a system of values in place is likely to abide by a code of behavior, and standards for performance. With values may come self-control, temperance,balance, and limitations that can help predict the behavior of an employee in times when the latter might need to problem solve. However, values are not correlated to skills either. Unless there is a job that requires control (such as for example jobs that handle ready-money), then this type of personality testing might come quite resourceful.

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