HOW DO YOU RATE FOR PERSONALITY POWER?
Can the Lifeline test add to your self-knowledge? Mike Wright doubts it.
IF YOU are about to take on a new employee or branch out into a new job yourself then Lifeline, a self-analysis and career counselling program from William Stuart Systems could be what you are looking for. Written by a psychologist it is designed to highlight a person's particular strengths and on the basis of these give a character analysis.
Lifeline will run on either a 16K or 48K Spectrum. For your money you get the program, the plastic presentation box and a 13 page booklet. The booklet is a vital part of the package as it is used to give pen pictures of the main personality characteristics.
The program is easy to use and once you have entered your name and read the introduction page you are off. Lifeline is in two stages. The first is a question and answer session followed by the analysis. The session consists of 24 sets of four words. For each set you are asked to select which word is most like you and which is least like you. Even if you think that none of them are appropriate the choice must still be made. Your choice is made by pressing keys 1 to 4.
Once the selections have been made the program matches the responses to its inbuilt character types before displaying the results. It takes about a minute before that is completed and you can sit down with the booklet and work out where your strengths lie.
The results take the form of a series of bar charts which show relative strengths for four main characteristics. These are autocracy, social skills, persistence and precision. For each characteristic three bars are used to show the strength of the projected, the true and the self-perceived. Finally, a personality type is given for each of the three personalities with a choice to copy the screen to the printer. The printing option is intended for use with a ZX printer or other that supports the COPY command, although it was not too difficult to break into the program and change it to work with a full-sized printer.
In the first section the booklet lists the main tendencies of high characteristics, followed by advice on which occupational areas you may do well in. The second section explains the personality types, and includes advice on more specific occupations which are suited to that type.
In all sections the advice is very general and consists of the obvious; for example, "Convincer..... ability to use friendly persuasion to get others to move in your direction. Sales and Marketing..... suit you well."
This program could have a place in careers counselling and personnel work. Written 'tests' like this are already used. I feel however, that results from computer 'tests' are likely to be less accurate because fear of computers, which is still prevalent in the vast majority of this country's workforce, will lead to a lack of seriousness and bias the results.
William Stuart Systems, Quarley Down House, Cholderton, Nr Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0DZ.