On a more happy note, this week in our management class we looked at the topics of stereotyping and psychometric testing, which I always find fascinating. The idea of being able to use a bunch of survey questions to classify people is at once enticing and dangerous. After all, people are complex individuals, with personalities shaped by a multitude of factors, so pigeonholing people based on a few questions can restrict one's perceptions of that person and potentially deny them the opportunities to thrive socially and intellectually. Nevertheless, psychometric profiling such as Myers-Briggs, DISC, Littauer etc. can be useful in providing a baseline, a starting point from which we can then update our approaches to others as we receive new information about them (sort of a Bayesian approach to social interaction).
It also helps us to understand our own "default" behaviours and how we can be more self aware in our interactions. It is worthwhile to point out that personal behaviour is malleable and adaptable to the needs of a situation, so even if you are, say, a DISC-Dominant type, it is possible to mute those behaviours when other traits are required, it just usually takes more conscious application and mental energy.
In any case, this week's lectures (and having to do some of the psychometric tests as homework) reminded me of a hypothesis that I had back as an undergraduate at ANU regarding personalities, and that at least seemed to hold anecdotally. Since I now have a website with a survey functionality, I thought I would have a go at exploring the hypothesis with a little more rigour.
If you are able to complete the quick survey below (literally 5 questions), that would be fantastic.