standardized test used as a screening tool measures:

  1. trustworthiness
  2. service orientation
  3. work motivation
  4. adaptability

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The Stanton profile is a standardized test, advertised by its proponents as an "attitude assessment" for potential employees. They claim it measures a person's work motivation, adaptability, service orientation, and trustworthiness.

The methodology behind the test is to have a pre-recorded voice repeatedly ask the subject a series of very similar questions, police-interrogation style, for about twenty minutes. The subject then responds by pressing 1 for yes, 2 for no. About two thirds of the questions are about your attitudes about other peoples' honesty: "Do you think most people lie?", or "What percentage of employees do you think steal from their employers?". The remaining questions all boil down to the following:

Are you a thief?

Now, perhaps being repeatedly asked if you are a thief by a pre-recorded voice isn't insulting to some people. I suppose that if one were a habitual thief, one would have to be a bit of hypocrite as well to get too upset at being asked, no matter how many times in a row it occurred. But I have to wonder about the effects of giving this test to potential employees. How many employees with a working sense of honor feel insulted and find a different job where they will be treated with respect? How many honest, but desperate applicants start their job feeling like suspects, not employees? Is the test even accurate?

The test seems to acknowledge that you can predict something about someone by examining what they expect of other people. For example, if a person expects everyone else to cheat them, then they are probably a cheat themselves. What, then, does that principle say about those who require everyone to take a test to determine if they are a thief?

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