Yesterday, personality psychologist Dr. Jordan Marks was committed to a Toronto psychiatric hospital after retaking the Big 5 personality test.
“The last time I took the Big 5 I scored very high on conscientiousness and low on neuroticism, everything else was about average,” said Dr. Marks while rocking himself back and forth on the floor. “But when I took the test last night, I was in the 60th percentile for conscientiousness and my neuroticism had gone through the roof. It’s almost like I’m a different person than when I originally took the test in 1985.”
According to hospital officials, Dr. Marks won’t be released any time soon.
“The blow to his psyche is tremendous, I’m not sure if he’ll ever fully recover,” said psychiatrist Dr. Brenda Lourie. “We’ve had to put him in the PICU because within hours of intake he attacked the night nurse and stole her phone so he could go on 16personalities.com.”
Despite the grim prognosis, Dr. Lourie says there are available treatments.
“We have had some success in the past with bringing in a social psychologist to treat this kind of condition. By demonstrating the degree to which environmental and interpersonal factors affect who we are, we can slowly coax the patient away from a psychometric identity and towards a social theory of identity. But we have to be careful, because the patient could easily swing from one extreme to the other, entering a Foucaltian mind-plane of sociological determinism. If that occurs, and we are praying it does not, the patient is a lost cause.”
NOTES: Contemporary personality theory suggests that people have a personality that is stable across time yet variable across situations. Sometimes people who take personality tests take the results too seriously, and unfavourable or surprising results can trigger an unwarranted identity crisis.