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You couldn’t make it up!

April 30th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

This post comes up with the category ‘you couldn’t make it up if you try’.

The UK Department of Works and Pensions, responsible for paying unemplyment benefits to those presently without work, have introduced an online psychometric test which some claimants have been told they must take if they wish to claim benefits.

I have always been dubious of psychometric testing but have been sort of convinced they may have some befits in choosing careers. Not this test.

The test called is called My Strengths and has been devised by Downing Street’s behavioural insights or “nudge” unit, According to the Guardian newspaper

Some of the 48 statements on the DWP test include: “I never go out of my way to visit museums,” and: “I have not created anything of beauty in the last year.” People are asked to grade their answers from “very much like me” to “very much unlike me”.

When those being tested complete the official online questionnaire, they are assigned a set of five positive “strengths” including “love of learning” and “curiosity” and “originality”.

However it appears the software behind the tests is nothing other than vapourware. It does not make any difference what answers are given to what positive strength the test returns. The idea, it seems, is that merely filling in the test will ‘nudge’ claimants in a positive direction towards being employed.

The spokesperson for the Department of Works and Pensions said: “it is right that we use every tool we have to help jobseekers who want to work find a job.” Perhaps that might include finding some jobs for them to apply for rather than wasting their time and money playing games devised by overpaid behavioural economists.

 

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