How Personality Tests Can be Harmful Ft. Benjamin Hardy PhD

What’s your Myers Briggs? What is your Enneagram? This week we sit down with Dr Benjamin Hardy and talk about how personality tests can be harmful. This will shock you!

How did you get into what you’re doing?

I have a PH D in organizational psychology. When I was 11 my parents got divorced and my father became a drug addict. Barely ended up graduating high school. Ended up serving a church mission finding meaning in my life. I got into journaling, reading, and learning and got me into psychology.

Why are personality tests unscientific and harmful?

My PH D is in organizational psychology, one big thing we do is we are experts in training development hiring leadership culture. A lot of that is testing. In order to be a scientist you have to measure and test them, I was super surprised, everyone of my professors would tell me tests like Enneagram Myers Briggs they are junk. If you are going to test something it needs to be a good test. If you step on a scale and get a different number it’s probably not you its the scale. No one is just one type of person. In different situations you are going to display different things. Identity and personality are two different things. Identity is how you define yourself and shapes your behavior which overtime becomes your personality. These tests create a fixed mindset. Labels create tunnel vision. The biggest problem is you take your current identity too seriously and you think who you are is who you’re always going to be. Your future self is going to be different from who you are today. If you overly take your current identity too seriously you assume who you are today is who you’re going to be forever.

What is the benefit to not being rigid in your mindset?

A good way of looking at personality is basically it’s the same thing as your comfort zone. Anything outside of your comfort zone is probably a different thing for you it creates uncertainty. One thing that shapes personality is unresolved trauma from your past. Could be big or small. Trauma leads you to be emotional rigid, you build a wall around your comfort zone so you don’t deal with emotions. You have to be flexible thats how you build confidence.

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