On a “research based field trip” at Disney’s EPCOT park, the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow in Orlando FL on a ride called Spaceship Earth I found evidence of just how popular personality testing has become and how important a tool it is in understanding our human experience here on planet earth. Riders travel up through the history of man starting with cave painters and mammoth hunters all the way through the most critical events in man’s history finishing with the creation of personal computers in Steve Job’s garage. During the slow gradual decent riders answer an on-screen test made of a few interest and four personality questions that look remarkably similar to the kind of items presented in the Golden. While not in the Golden’s advanced item format the questions are clearly formed from the most reliable items measuring Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling and Organizing/Adapting scales. One question for example, asked “would you prefer to live in the country or in the city”, an extraversion/introversion item. When finished riders view a visual cartoon depiction of what their unique future looks like. Ironically, a technology glitch prevented me from seeing my cartoon future. Nonetheless, the outcome was entertaining and, while not a reliable or valid assessment of personality, it was fascinating. It’s great to see Jung’s ideas and modern personality assessment techniques being used in such an entertaining and mainstream fashion. Twenty years ago Jungian ideas, first described in 1911, were hardly excepted by academics, let alone mainstream society. How far we’ve come! Every day now, tens of thousands of visitors at Disney’s EPCOT park take a personality assessment based on Jung’s constructs and Golden global scale like items.
I was grateful to find the personality assessment at the end of my ride, because it eased my NF guilt for not being at work and by providing the ingredients for a new blog which I wrote while on a break from my “research” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Seriously, Some might see this as trivializing an important tool, but I see Disney’s entertaining assessment as a good thing for personality assessments like the Golden. What do you think?