Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some Uses of Personality Tests: Expanding Your Self-Schema

What prompted me to write this item today was the following remark in psyblog entitled “Self-Schemas: Finding The Surprising Gaps in Your Self-Knowledge”: “... the only way for us to find out [about our blind spots in our own characters] is to ask other people ... .”

Surely this is not true.

I first encountered Keirsey's temperament theory about twenty-five years ago. Although I have never swallowed his ideas whole-hog I can say that considerable reading in that general area have helped me to a better understanding of how I compare with other people. I know that I still have blind spots though.

One came up the other day when I finally did the DiSC assessment. As you probably know the DiSC is sold to employers as a way of weeding out unsuitable recruits. Job seekers who anticipate having to submit to DiSC testing by an employer may decide to take the test beforehand so that they will be in a better position to defend themselves against any nasty assertions that the test makes.

I am not going to tell you and the entire world what awful flaw the DiSC discovered in my character. (I hope and pray it never comes out.) What I will say is that when I read about it I was truly surprised. (What, me?) I decided to tuck the idea into the back of my mind to see if I could remember anything that would support or refute what the DiSC claims. At this point in time, I would say that, yes, I can remember a few times when I have definitely displayed the characteristic claimed. I have no idea what I might do about it but there it is.

But, in any case, there are alternatives to asking others for their opinions. Not that you can't do that too.