Trust in name brand assessments: The case of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Name brands act as simple cues for consumers, signaling products’ reliability and quality. This phenomenon is explored in the context of employee assessments and is applied specifically to the widely recognized name brand Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment. Selecting or evaluating assessments based on simplistic name brand cues rather than substantive but difficult-to-evaluate properties (e.g., validity) can substantially impede optimal evidence-based management. Organizational practitioners (human resources professionals, n = 112) and organizational scholars (industrial-organizational psychologists, n = 75) rated their preferences for using name brand assessments and then completed cognitive and affective measures of trust in the MBTI. Practitioners placed far more trust in the MBTI (d = 1.97 and 1.88) than did organizational scholars, and differing preferences for name brand assessments helped to explain this difference. Further, participants’ intuitive (but not rational) decision-making styles led to greater preferences for name brand assessments, which in turn led to greater trust in the MBTI. The decision-making processes of practitioners and scholars highlighted here sheds light on the MBTI’s resounding popularity among practitioners despite scholars’ concerns with the assessment. The implications of this study are twofold. First, branded assessments may not be evaluated critically in light of the intuitively derived cue-based evaluations that work in their favor. Second, high-quality unbranded assessments, which tend to be overlooked for use in the workplace, would likely benefit from branding cues (e.g., professional image, logos) to encourage acceptance and use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)