Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Personality Tests Are the Astrology of the Office

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Personality Tests Are the Astrology of the Office

Psychometric tests like Color Code, Myers-Briggs and DiSC have become a goofy part of corporate life. But what happens when we take them seriously?

The New York Times,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Personality tests are fun to talk about, but if your manager asks you to take one, beware.

Editorial Rating



  • For Beginners
  • Engaging


At their best, psychometric tests can facilitate conversations about emotions and personality and may provoke the sort of introspection that leads to positive change. At their worst, psychometric tests lead to baseless generalizations and limit opportunities unfairly. Emma Greenberg, a researcher and writer for The New York Times, doesn’t bash the use of personality tests in the workplace but does warn against overemphasizing the value they can bring. If such tests are in use at your company or if you are considering introducing them, you should read Greenberg’s thoughtful exploration.


Personality tests in the workplace may give people a common language for discussing personalities, but they can also lead to troubling generalizations.

At many companies, managers and HR staff include psychometric tests in hiring, onboarding, corporate team-building and training exercises. Tests – including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Color Code, Gallup’s CliftonStrengths, and others – sort people into types to help assess job fit and growth opportunities. 

Personality tests can be a welcome break from daily office life. They can give people a way to explain their personal needs – for example, whether they want to...

About the Author

Emma Goldberg is a researcher and writer who has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Economist, and other publications.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Related Channels