Oops! I’m Biased #14: The Barnum Effect

The Barnum Effect: Why your candidates' personality test results do not specifically reflect them

What if the results on your candidates’ MBTI or 16 Personalities test specifically reflect their personality? Or maybe it’s just the Barnum Effect?

In this episode, Charlotte talks to neuroscientist Marcia Goddard, about a bias that makes us interpret general personality statements as specifically applicable to the test-taker. How does this affect pre-employment tests? They also cover why personality tests are not intended for candidate selection, how behaviour assessments are different, and what the confirmation bias and the framing effect have to do with all of it. And how can you minimise the Barnum effect? Marcia Goddard and Charlotte Melkert share some tips!

A bit about

Marcia Goddard

Marcia Goddard, Ph.D, is a neuroscientist with a specialisation in work floor behaviour: how do you create a company culture that allows people to thrive? For the past years she has used neuroscientific insights to help organisations grow. In addition to her consulting work, she was the Head of Science and Innovation at international recruitment agency YoungCapital, as well as Head of People & Culture at impact company Tony’s Chocolonely. 
Topics on which she works include diversity, equity & inclusion, mental health & wellbeing, recruitment, performance management, learning & development, and building high performing teams.

A bit about

Charlotte Melkert

With years of experience in the field of recruitment, both by starting a recruitment agency as well as being the Co-Founder & CEO of the hiring software company Equalture and her dedication to ensuring equal opportunities in hiring, Charlotte’s knowledge about the importance of neurodiversity within the workplace is thorough.

Her first years of being an entrepreneur have led her to several public speaking activities and nominations, including the top 8 most talented female entrepreneurs of The Netherlands, Forbes 30 Under 30, Top 30 Most Inclusive Leaders NL, LOEY Talent Award, Sprout 25 under 25 and Sifted’s top 14 European Gen Z Founders.

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Oops! I’m Biased #16: Objective Hiring Criteria