Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ook-Ook, Me Vote Conservative

Are personality tests making a comeback in the world of job-seeking? Looks like it, according to the Detroit Free Press. Most popular among these tests is "The Big Five", which sounds like a war-movie sequel starring Lee Marvin but which actually breaks the human personality down into five broad categories. This allows interviewers to decide if they a future Steve Jobs or mall sniper is applying for the job. Note that this test was developed in the 1970s, which, among other things, gave us pet rocks, mood rings, polyester, and deep-pile shag carpeting. Magic 8-Ball says: take with grain of salt.

The categories are: Extroversion (Not EXTRAversion, Free Press), Agreeability ("Agreeableness"? Guys...), Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Openness to New Experience. Scores per category are totaled. High Scorers in a category like conscientiousness "get chores done right away"; low scorers do "just enough work to get by." High-scoring Extroverts "captivate people." Low scorers keep "in the background."

Openness to New Experience is described as, "wide interests, imaginative, insightful, creative, broadminded. High scorer believes in the importance of art."

"Low scorer tends to vote for conservative political candidates." (My italics.)

Oh. Come. On. Why not just say, "high scorer supports NPR and uses eating utensils, low scorer likely hunter-gatherer who voted for Reagan," or "high scorer speaks in iambic pentameter, low scorer mostly goes 'ook-ook' while grooming other low scorers."

Anyway, the test is here. That is, assuming you aren't a conservative-voting low scorer who uses a keyboard primarily to break the marrow out of the bones of prey-animals, ook-ook.