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Exercise: Measuring Personality for Use in Career Development
Psychology of Adolescence (PSYC 322)
Using a personality test to help someone make decisions about his or her career is a well-established process. The basic idea is that your personality type fits best with some careers and not so good with other careers. Therefore, recommendations can be made as to which careers you are best suited. Many people dispute this and say that personality tests cannot tell you anything about which career you should pursue. They liken it to a horoscope; the information applies to everyone. Imagine that your friend has said that personality tests are a bunch of crap. I want you to gather personal evidence to support or disconfirm this statement. You will take a personality test which has been used in career advising, and then determine whether or not you think this is a valid and useful process. The test you will be taking is an online version similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This is very much so an informal version of the Myers-Briggs. Please do not consider this version to be psychometrically sound, and thus results from it sound be interpreted with caution.
After you have taken the test, write a persuasive essay in which you convince your friend and/or other readers who are not familiar with the use of personality testing in career decision-making, that this is a valid process or not such a valid process.
Step 1: Take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. To take the test, follow these steps:
1) Go to the following website:
2) Take the test by clicking on “Do It”
3) Answer the questions; when finished, click on “Score it”
4) From here you will find out your personality type and a brief description of the type. You will also get four categories of information. You want the categories under “You.” Read the categories in the “You” section.
Step 2: Write a persuasive essay in which you answer the following questions. It would be a good idea to take some time to think about the answers to these questions before you begin to write.
1) Open your paper with a discussion of the reason you are writing your paper. What is the purpose of the paper? What position are you taking on the use of personality tests to help someone choose a career field? Make sure you focus on using personality tests to select a career and not using personality test for hiring decisions.
2) Provide some background information about the use of personality tests in career decision-making. This information should be about using personality tests in career selection. How does it work? What is theory behind this idea? Don’t focus on describing the MBTI or using personality tests for hiring decisions. This information must be cited.
3) Describe your personality based on the type you received from the Myers-Briggs. Describe both the individual letters and the entire type. For example, if you are an ENFJ. Describe what E/extraversion means, N/intuitive, F/feeling, and J/judging AND then describe the ENFJ type. The descriptions of the individual letters can be found at the website: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/my-mbti-results/ or other such websites. The description of the entire type (ENFJ) can be found on the testing website. These descriptions should be written in your own words. You may have no more than 3 direct quotes/sentences. These descriptions should be your understanding of the type and NOT a word-for-word description from the website.
3) Provide at least 2 examples each of how your type has been evident in your behavior/actions. In answering this question you need to be sure to list specific (concrete) behaviors or actions. Do not just list personality characteristics similar to those listed by the test, and say, “This is me.” For example, don’t say “I’m prone to procrastinate.” Say something like this, “I’m prone to procrastinate. An example of this is…..” Your information should not pertain to career choice because this is addressed below. You need a total of 2 examples; not 2 examples per personality trait.
4) Provide at least 2 examples of how your type has not been evident in your behaviors/actions. In answering this question you need to be sure to list specific (concrete) behaviors or actions. Do not just list personality characteristics similar to those listed by the test, and say, “This isn’t me.” For example, don’t say “I’m not prone to procrastinate.” Say something like this, “I’m not prone to procrastinate. An example of this is…..” Your information should not pertain to career choice because this is addressed below. You need a total of 2 examples; not 2 examples per personality trait. Even if the test described you perfectly, you still need to answer this question.
5) Explain how information regarding your personality type (as indicated by the letters) might relate to your career choice. In answering this question, you will need to indicate your career choice, the personality characteristics that you think are necessary for this career choice, and whether or not the Myers-Briggs indicates that you have these personality characteristics. You may also want to consider including information on whether or not your MBTI results indicates that you would be well suited for this profession. You can find websites that list specific professions for each personality type.
6) What are the advantages and disadvantages of using this method? You must address at least one of each. However, a well-written paper will point out more advantages if you support the use of personality tests and more disadvantages if you do not support the use of personality tests in career decision-making.
7) Based on your experience using tests similar to the Myers-Briggs and all of the information discussed above, what do you think about the idea of using personality tests to help young adults pick a career? Bottom line, if you were a career counselor, would you recommend the use of the Myers-Briggs in career advising? In supporting this opinion, summarize the major points of your paper that are consistent with this view.
** You must cite the website(s) used for this exercise. It is considered plagiarism to use information from this or other websites without appropriately documenting this information. This is the case even if you paraphrased from this website. There is a “help” document located in the Assignments link on Blackboard.
Note: “Persuasive writing, also known as the argument essay, utilizes logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. It attempts to persuade a reader to adopt a certain point of view or to take a particular action. The argument must always use sound reasoning and solid evidence by stating facts, giving logical reasons, using examples, and quoting experts.” Passage taken from: http://essayinfo.com/essays/persuasive_essay.php#.UC45Xd2PUpU You may find additional information about writing persuasive essays at this site.
Grading Rubric for Exercises: MBTI Adolescence
Intro (2 pts) –
____ Introduction includes a description of the purpose of the paper. (1 pt)
____ Introduction includes a statement as to the specific position that will be argued in the paper(1 pt)
Background Information (6 pts) –
_____ There is a paragraph with at least 4 sentences about the use of personality tests in career counseling. (2 pts)
_____ The information in this section is thorough, of good quality, and related to career decision-making. Information must be cited. (1 – 4 points based on quality.)
Describe your type – check all that apply (8 points)
_____ Paper includes a description of each letter in the personality type. Example, “E stands for extraversion, and extraversion is……..” Information must be cited. (1-4pts)
_____ Paper includes a description of the type based on the combination of letters. Example, “An ENFJ is…….” Information must be cited. (1-4 pts)
Example of how type is correct – check all that apply (8 points)
____ Paper includes two examples of how type is correct. (2 pts each, 4 pts)
____ Examples are specific. “When deciding on which restaurant to go to, I rarely disagree with the recommendation. vs. I get along well with others” (1 – 4 pts – points awarded based on being specific)
Example of how type is incorrect (8 points)
____ Paper includes two examples of how type is incorrect. (2 pts each, 4 pts)
____ Examples are specific. “When deciding on which restaurant to go to, always recommend something else. vs. I don’t get along well with others” (1 – 4 pts – points awarded based on being specific.)
Match between type and career choice– select all that apply (8 points)
____ Paper states your career choice (2 pts)
____Paper explains what personality characteristics are needed to excel in this career field. (1-2 pts)
____ Paper discusses whether or not the MBTI indicates that you have or don’t have these personality characteristics (1-4 pts)
Pro/Con of MBTI for career selection – select all the apply (8 points)
____ Paper lists and explains at least one advantage. (1-3 pts)
____ Paper lists and explains at least one disadvantage. (1-3 pts)
____ More weight is given to the side that the author is supported. (i.e., if writer supported the use, more advantages are given and vice versa.) (2 pts)
Conclusion (2 pts) –
_____ Paper states personal opinion about using personality tests for career selection (1 pts)
_____Conclusion summarizes main points made in the paper; must be consistent with position. (1pt)
Mechanics (-5 points)
_____ The paper is highly organized with paragraphs that are well written, flow logically (transitions) and are without spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. (0)
______ The paper is organized, & paragraphs do flow logically (transitions) but there some errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. (-2)
_____ The paper is organized, but paragraphs do not flow logically (few transitions) and/or contain many errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. (-4)
_____ The paper is disorganized with paragraphs that are weakly developed and/or significant errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation (-5)
APA formatting for documenting sources (-10 points)
______ Paper has both in-text citations and a reference list but done incorrectly (-3 )
______ Paper is missing either the in-text citation OR the reference list (-5)
______ Paper is missing both the in-text citation AND the reference list (-10)
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