Monday, August 21, 2006

Multiple-Choice Testing

Recently, I took the CIA job recruitment personality quiz and discovered that I am a "Thoughtful Observer" . . . not an "Innovative Pioneer," not a "Daring Thrill-Seeker," not a "Curious Adventurer," and not an "Impressive Mastermind." Oh well. Apparently the CIA still wants me, although a five-question test -- one of which involves my favorite superpower -- probably isn't the best diagnostic instrument.

A few months earlier, I visited, an explicit recruitment arm of the U.S. armed forces and took a much more extensive online test to identify my personality type, a common practice in corporate America, which has been lampooned by Barbara Ehrenreich. I took the online test, the Keirsey personality sorter (all 70 multiple choice questions) and discovered that my personality type was "Rational." Supposedly, I should reflect upon whether I am an "architect," "mastermind," "inventor," or "field marshall" as a defining subcategories. Unfortunately, it would cost me a non-taxpayer-subsidized $14.95 to find out exactly which one I am, so that route of self-discovery is closed to me. But at least now I know the following complimentary nugget of wisdom: "Rationals have an insatiable hunger to accomplish their goals and will work tirelessly on any project they have set their mind to. They are rigorously logical and fiercely independent in their thinking--are indeed skeptical of all ideas, even their own--and they believe they can overcome any obstacle with their will power."

And speaking of reductionism, check out this protest against impending Federal recommendations for multiple choice pedagogy in higher education from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.



Post a Comment

<< Home