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The Futility of Psychological Self-Tests: 2 Key Problems

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Countless psychological self-tests and compatibility analyses can be found on the Internet, and even many dating sites today have these sorts of evaluations in an attempt to improve matching success.

There are two problems with these self-tests:

  1. Actual personality and compatibility can’t be determined because self-tests are subjective and lacking in objectivity. A person filling out a self-report test invariably figures out the intent of the questions and answers how he or she believes they should answer to yield the most appropriate results.
  2. Besides not being able to accurately assess select personality areas, self-tests don’t assess key variables of real-life interaction, such as personality red-flag factors including complex fears and defenses.

Relying on dating site self-tests to screen potential romantic partners, for example, even those that are touted to include sophisticated “matching algorithms,” is a losing proposition.

Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Northwestern University Eli Finkel, in an article in the journal of the Association for Psychological Science says, “To date, there is no compelling evidence that any online dating matching algorithm actually works…our report concludes that it is unlikely that their algorithms can work, even in principle, given the limitations of the sorts of matching procedures that these sites use.”  More information here:
http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/grading-the-online-dating-industry.html

Although select self-tests can offer some interesting insight, such as serving as an opportunity for a team-building exercise, exclusive reliance on them invites trouble since they can be manipulated.

Alternatively, handwriting analysis is one of the most objective and non-discriminatory forms of personality analysis, giving you a distinct advantage, dramatically reducing your risk. http://scottpetullo.com/blog/2011/09/addressing-handwriting-analysis-skepticism/

Copyright © 2012 Scott Petullo

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