The Problem With Labels

PeopleMaps was designed to deliberately avoid the use of labels. Labelling would make life easier for PeopleMaps, however, they have inherent problems, which is why the decision was taken not to use them.

Labels Are Pejorative

No one likes to be pigeonholed or stereotyped. 

Labels are rarely neutral, meaning that an individual will have a preference for some labels and an aversion to others. This affects the results and usefulness of a system.

Labels Encourage Gross Oversimplification

The complexity of human personality cannot be reduced into a single word, phrase or letters, this would be a gross oversimplification. Personality profiles are designed to enable an understanding of a personality. Oversimplifying will not provide sufficient understanding.

We must never forget that every human is unique. When labels are used, the idea of uniqueness is lost.

Labels Require Interpretation

All labels require interpretation and this causes variations that can distort because they expose the vagaries of that interpretation. Two people may give very different interpretations for any given label.

Once interpretation is needed, training to conduct the interpretation will be required. The quality of both training and students add further factors/detractors to the accuracy of the system. These vagaries increase the error margin, which means that for some, the accuracy of the system will be significantly compromised.

Effective training takes weeks and costs thousands of pounds to do properly. The PeopleMaps stance is that most people do not want to spend a great deal of time and money on training that, when completed, accredits the individual undertaking the training in its use, not the company.

Peoplemaps provides online training, however, not in interpretation, It is in the use and understanding of the system.

Carl Jung Did Not Use Labels

PeopleMaps is a Jungian system. Jung did not create labels when he wrote “Personality Types” in 1921. This was not an oversight, it was deliberate as Jung always emphasised that every individual is unique. 

A personality assessment can help us understand each individual and he claimed that its greatest use was as a compass. He also said that he would not for anything be without that compass.

Accuracy and Margins of Error

Any system that measures anything, does so with a margin of error. As any scientist will tell you. Something that we would say is 1 meter is actually 1 meter +/- 0.01mm, depending on the accuracy of the system.

Labels introduce a margin of error that in some cases will be significantly higher than the unit it is measuring. Something akin to 1m +/- 1m, effectively making the system redundant.

When looking at profiling systems it is crucial to understand where the errors sit. All systems have error margins, however, the largest contributor to error is the vagaries of interpretation by the individuals involved. By removing labels and their need for interpretation, PeopleMaps has removed the largest element that affects the accuracy of profiling systems and in doing so, has increased Peoplemaps accuracy.

Advice on Completing the PeopleMaps Personality Questionnaire

Here's what to do if you have been asked to complete the PeopleMaps personality questionnaire. For Existing Employees If you are an existing employee and you have been asked to complete the personality questionnaire, then this is what you need to know. The first thing...

Can You Change Your Personality Type?

A common question I am often asked is, "can you change your personality type?" or "does your personality type change over time?" Clearly, some things change over time but what is changing is unclear. All personality assessments are low resolution by design. When you...

Custom personality profiling in less than 5 minutes

Is Your Organisation Personality-Centric? Register For A Free Trial Today.

Share This