Everyone loves personality quizzes. They get to tell us all about ourselves (our favourite topic) and also provides a basis for comparison with other people, so we know for sure who is more superior in which ways. Talentoday is the new hit app among Singaporean Facebook users. It uses a hundred or so “would you rather” style questions to determine our relative scores on certain work-related strengths. It is slightly unnerving, though, that there is a Merlion-looking logo at the bottom, seemingly hinting that the government is also very interested in our scores.

If you’re interested, you can visit the website at talentoday.com and try out the profile. You’ll always be good at something so there’s no fear of turning in a profile announcing to the world what a good-for-nothing otaku hikkikomori you are.

Of course, there are a lot of drawbacks relating to this style of questionnaires, which are probably plainly obvious to you as well. For one, it only compares your relative score within the items, but doesn’t actually show how you fare with other people, or in absolute terms. Furthermore, a forced dichotomy where sometimes both choices seem to talk about the same thing means people may end up choosing the slightly better of 2 bad options.

Do you know that when you read a personality profile of yourself, you subtly change yourself to suit that profile? This is why astrology descriptions continue to be “accurate” to this day. The ones who believe it gradually change to become like it, thus making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can be sure that I will be more likely to organise and take responsibility in my work from now onwards.

Knowing about your strengths is also one way of making yourself happier, according to personality psychology. Of course, all the strengths in TalenToday are work-related, so they do not form the exhaustive list of possible character strengths a person can have. However, simply knowing what you’re good at increases your mood and self-esteem as you reflect back on the times when you have acted according to these strengths and perhaps achieved something as a result.

Some employees give psychometric tests to prospective employees as part of the job interview process. I believe I’ve mentioned this before in a previous entry about industrial and organisational psychology. Such tests, though, can come in 2 forms, Self-Report or Behavioural data. S data, the more common kind, would ask questions where the employers accept the answer at face value. Things like “I am prudent in my work”. B data, on the other hand, which is more often used by real psychologists to test for things like mental disorders, ask questions where they interpret the participants’ answers. For instance, things like “I am the best person in the world” isn’t the sort of question where employers believe the rating at face value. It may indicate narcissism, or lack of modesty, or some other things, depending on what scales they design.

I doubt Talentoday would have that big an impact on your working life or job prospects in the future, but it may give you an indicator on what you might want to do in your career.


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