Compulsory Psychometric Testing of candidates for High Posts Open Letter to Civil Society representatives of CC and EC:
Posted on August 10th, 2016

Courtesy The Island

It is essential that the Constitutional Council and the Elections Commission examine and evaluate, whether nominations acceptance criteria must include a compulsory assessment of the Physical and Mental Health status of High Post Candidates, and future aspirants contesting for election as the President and Prime Minister.

High post candidates in the Private sector, especially those candidates posted to work in overseas unfamiliar territories, are usually subject to psychometric testing prior to new appointments. Psychometric testing is believed to be the only accurate predictor of traits and responses. It is quoted that “In humans, the only real ability we have to change things is by how we respond to circumstances as they present and challenge us. Thus, private sector companies and government agencies are realizing the need for testing at the CEO and other high-ranking levels, to analyze leadership qualities, situational judgment capabilities and other critical traits.”.

An article in Forbes pointed out that, in crisis situations, people expect leaders to, in one way or another, answer three questions:

Do you care about me? Show me that you do.

Can I trust you? Tell me the truth. Don’t sugarcoat the future.

Are you committed to the best actions? Tell me your plan.”

It is reported that “A ‘fruitcake test’ has been used by the UK Independence Party to uncover unsuitable characters who might embarrass the party. Psychometric tests were used to analyse the personalities, reliability and honesty of more than 300 people wanting to run in European elections. Experts were called in to prevent a repeat after UKIP candidates were accused of sexism, racism and homophobia.

“The Fruit Cake Tests comprised;

Psychometric test – Answer 160 questions about your personality and rank response 1-7

Media test – Face a grilling from a journalist, giving sound bites without flustering

Writing test – Produce a press release which a local newspaper would willingly use

Public speaking test – Address a room of people, who score your ability to wow a crowd

Information test – Scour a bundle of information and give a pithy response, in line with party policy”

The demand for psychometric tests surfaced internationally during the run up to the French Presidential Elections and even in the current US Presidential race. Counter Punch of March 18 2016 carried an article titled “Perilous Unknown; the Mental Health of Presidential Candidates” which stated “It’s become normal for Americans to demand—and receive- a professional assessment of the physical health of the candidates for president—just as they expect updates on the medical state of the president himself. After all, there have been many infamous cases of presidents, from Franklin Roosevelt to Jack Kennedy, who secretly endured serious debilitating illnesses”.

This shows need for psychometric testing to obtain insights about sustainable leadership qualities of candidates for high position.

Chandra Jayaratne

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