Sometime last year I read The Cult of Personality (since retitled to The Cult of Personality Testing). I picked it up on a whim at an offbeat bookstore in Half Moon Bay between two church services.
I loved it and found it utterly persuasive. I’ve had a long-simmering aversion to personality testing (rooted in a bad experience in seminary, observing friends get shafted by the Assemblies of God personality screening system for missionaries, some biting passages about psychology by Richard Feynmann, and being a critical thinker). Something about them always felt wrong (and I could even put parts of my unease into fairly persuasive words), but I never had the facts I needed to understand exactly where the problem lay. This book changed all that.
I mention it because I just read an article by Malcolm Gladwell called Personality Plus that covers the same ground. It’s a great intro to the concepts covered in the book.
So if you’re in the habit of referring to people by their Myers-Briggs type, or if you like to use the terms sanguine and choleric in casual conversation, or if you’ve ever made a decision based on the results of a personality test, READ THIS BOOK (or at least Gladwell’s article).