burg0433: November 2011 Archives

The Big Five

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The "Big Five" model of personality has become the basis for many personality assessments. Many companies these days even have potential employees take the test as part of an application process. The model is very popular but is it truly a reliable test of personality?

The first question i raise is what is personality? Personality is an abstract construct. How can one measure it and give it a numerical value when it is not even clearly defined? I think these kinds of test can be helpful to tell us more about ourselves. What it cannot do is give a definitive answer on who we are. These tests are not falsifiable. How can you give a numerical vale to how open one is to new experiences? I call shenanigans.

Another aspect i question is the way the tests are given. Not every person will interpret the question the same. If each person will take the test in a different way how can the "Big Five" test be considered reliable? Also, when given for interview purposes, clever individuals will simply answer the question to what they think the company prefers. I think the test is at its peak when it is taken alone and the results are only seen by the test taker. This way the person taking the test has no other motives to answer the questions to anyone others preference and will really be able to look inward at themselves. This way the test more accurate. Companies who give this out as part of an applicant process are really just kidding themselves. If you really want the best employee you can get and want to know their personality, give the person a good ole fashion interview and find out for sure!

Mozart Effect

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In a 1993 study, researchers Raushecher, shaw, and Ky found that college students who listened to about 10 minutes of a Mozart piano sonata showed a significant improvement on spatial reasoning task compared with a group of student who listened to a relaxation tape. This phenomenon was dubbed the "Mozart Effect." Our book describes the Mozart Effect as, " The supposed enhancement in intelligence after listening to classical music" (Lilienfeld 377).
Although the popular media ran wild with this theory, including marketing scores of CDs targeted toward babies, these findings have yet to be replicated. Those who found similar effects only saw very low magnitudes and durations only lasting an hour or less.
An explanation for such an effect could be that listening to such music elicits greater emotional arousal. Another study done found that subjects who watched a scary movie before memorization found similar effects to those who listened to classical music. Perhaps anything that boosts emotional arousal can increase spatial memory and long-term memory.
From now on when i try to block out my roommates nonsense while studying, i will switch from a white noise generator, to perhaps some classy classical!

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by burg0433 in November 2011.

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