“Holistic” assessment is unreliable, said Scott Highhouse at Wake Forest University’s “Rethinking Admissions” conference. Highhouse, a professor of industrial-organizational psychology at Bowling Green State University, warned that research shows personal interviews don’t predict who’ll succeed on the job and who’ll flop. The audience was not happy to hear that, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education.
One social psychologist in the audience asked Mr. Highhouse about the importance of personality traits, such as conscientiousness, that seem to correlate highly with student success.
“That’s the million-dollar question,” Mr. Highhouse said. “How to measure conscientiousness in a way that is standardized.”
He’d titled his talk, “Don’t Shoot the Messenger.”
I worry that an emphasis on interviews, essays and “community service” claims will reward bullshit artists rather than performers. Take Susan Boyle. She doesn’t know how to package or present herself. But she can perform.