Have you always wanted to know how and why businesses fell in love with personality tests? Personality, Incorporated, explores the uptake of personality tests in management and how our psychological capacities became valued as human capital. It tells the story of popular personality tests that we’ve come to know and love (or hate), like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Implicit Association Test, as a lens onto broader ideas about work, the self, and business. I am currently working on a book manuscript that takes the ideas, people, and tests from my dissertation and turns them into a more accessible and engaging book to share with anyone who uses or takes personality tests.
My dissertation, written for my PhD program in the history of science at the University of Toronto, “Personality Incorporated,” (2018) is available here. It argued that personality tests became important tools in the knowledge economy, as tools to measure and improve the human capital of workers. Alongside the history of personality tests, it traced the history of psychological concepts of motivation, intuition, and teamwork.