Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Comments on Persona: The dark truth behind personality tests

Psychology has long captivated the imagination of the media and entertainment industry alike. This is hardly surprising. The phenomena and constructs that psychologists study are not only fascinating but of public interest. Sometimes, this fascination can have positive effects on the discipline.

Showing what psychologists actually do can demystify science and motivate in favor of greater funding for critical research. On the other hand, when a one-sided or skewed view of psychology is portrayed it can do much damage to the profession.

Recently, HBO Max and CNN Films released a documentary entitled: Persona: The dark truth behind personality tests. Unfortunately, the production made several unfounded generalizations that could be potentially damaging to the IOP profession.

Most notably, while the documentary accurately decried the use of the MBTI in selection assessments, it did not highlight the existence of scientifically credible alternative assessments, such as Big-Five-based personality measures or assessments of cognitive abilities. What’s more, it portrayed talent assessments as irresponsible, one-size-fits-all solutions with potential deleterious consequences for both employers and candidates.

In response to the documentary, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), has released an official statement and will continue to advocate with media channels for a more balanced, accurate view of talent assessments as applied by IOP professionals.

Here at TTS, we support the accurate portrayal of IOP as a profession and encourage all IOPs to support organizations like SIOP that advocate on behalf of the discipline.

For the full SIOP response, click on the link below.

Read the Full SIOP response

April 7, 2021