The use of personality tests is ubiquitous in contemporary society; the personality testing industry is a $400 million industry (1). Personality tests have been used by both large and small institutions, including schools, corporations, and hospitals, to sort, classify, categorize, and assign diagnoses to people. References to personality tests and other forms of institutional control have even made their way into books and movies. An example is how the legendary wizard Harry Potter was placed into the Gryffindor House at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by a "sorting hat" that could gauge the temperament of each student (2). Professionals who work in the mental health and addiction fields are likely to be familiar with some of the types of personality tests applied in child custody hearings, forensic and other clinical diagnostic evaluations, and screening assessments in schools.
More by Scott E. Provost, M.M., M.S.W.