In one of the most famous scenes from the Harry Potter series, a group of kids, new to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, line up before an old and crumpled wizard’s hat. It is the sorting hat. The hat will tell them which house they’ll belong to during their Hogwarts education.
There is something deeply appealing about the sorting hat. It is wise. It seems to know people better than they know themselves.
We humans love this kind of insight. And our drive to better understand ourselves and the people around us has led to the creation of a multi-billion dollar industry built around personality testing.
Probably the most famous of all personality tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI. But there are plenty of others, too. These tests categorize people based on personality traits. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Someone who likes unexpected challenges, or someone who prefers structure and calm? Many of America’s most successful companies use personality tests to gain a better understanding of their workers. Many individuals use them to gain a better understanding of themselves.
One Hidden Brain listener, Ally Adler, took the Myers-Briggs test when she was 26 and miserable in her job.
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