Lynn Pettis (2/26/2008)
Isn't the 19th century when psychiatry came into being with people like Freud?
He, he. Yes, indeed.
And with that line of analysis came a whole lot more pigeonholes. Don't get me wrong, I agree with what's being said here about the value of knowing yourself and recognising patterns and characteristics in others. The trouble is that spotting similarities is one thing, but extrapolating it to classify people is quite another. As soon as you say "you're a type A", what you're also saying is "you're NOT a type B", even though, in reality, there may be quite a lot of overlap. The tendency is regrettably to focus on differences rather than similarities, and that can be devisive (and is, of course, part of the reason quite a few of these tests are not recommended as part of a hiring decision).
If we look around, it's quite amazing the number of ways in which people manage to develop a "them and us" attitude, and it can cause immense divisions and prejudices (I'm white, you're black. I'm British, you're foreign. I'm male, you're female. I'm Christian, you're Muslim. I support this football team, you don't. I'm straight, you're gay. I'm well off, you're poor. etc. etc.). My mistrust of classifications such as these is not in their accuracy so much as in how most lay people interpret them.
Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat