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Alain Jourdier

Don't disguise anything. Calling an asshole an asshole is what it's all about. I just left a company with a reigning asshole. Gee, I hope it doesn't take one to know one!

Bob Sutton

Ally and Polly,

I have to confess that both of you are thinking in a more sophisticated way about this! I think this test does hit at some of the aspects of assholes and might be useful. But I also have to be clear -- as it says in the book and I should have said here -- that this isn't validated. For better or worse, I spent the early part of my career of a survey researcher, and I think it is safe to say that researchers who have studied bullying and abusive supervision have developed decent instruments. Indeed, the next time I do a post, I think I will talk about what peer reviewed studies have done. There are some pretty good studies. And although I tend to think that arguments thast things are getting better or worse tend to be suspect, my gut feeling is a lot like yours Maureen, they are getting worse. Indeed, a simply explanation is that some of the worst causes of mental health problems are unemployment (or underemployment), job insecurity, and overwork. The unemployment rate is bit better, but in all other ways, things are worse than in past decades. Anger, insecurity, and exhaustion are all things that turn human beings into assholes!

Maureen Rogers

I love the idea of "disguising" the title and maybe neutralizing the language just a bit for the HR Arsenal (great word choice, Ally Polly).

Also note that not only are there more assholes today, but they're bigger assholes.

It would also be interesting to see the distribution, median, etc.

Ally Polly

Bob,
This is encouraging news ( I suppose).
but I'm still somewhat obsessed with the notion of Outing Assholes by getting them to take the test without knowing what they are being tested for.
Can Electic Pulp link it to various business sites and disguise it by calling it " What Kind of Executive Are You Test" or something like that. People take the Myers Briggs and don't necessarily know what it tests for. Is there a brave corporation you work with who would incorporate this into their HR Arsenal without exposing the conclusion beforehand?

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