So, was it accurate? Let's find out.
I visited the Target / Ligthwave Social Space where I was given an iPad and asked to answer questions about myself. When I was done, an elastic band was placed on my wrist, and a thin metal biometric device was slipped underneath the band, its cool surface pressed against my skin.
I stepped into a small booth where a video began playing quick-cut vignettes, each apparently intended to evoke an emotional response, each a condensed tableau of loss, joy, despair, fear, adventure, hope, frustration, etc.
After a couple minutes, the video ended, I left the booth and the biometric device and band were removed. I was directed to a large screen where a beautiful, intricate graphic was forming...my biometric response chart!
Who I am vs. how I see myself:
The chart above shows how my self perceptions measure up against my biometric responses to the video stimuli.
Three of the Target staff gathered around the display and one of them said, "Wow. You know yourself better than almost anyone we've done today." I asked what she meant and she said, "Most people tend to over- or underestimate various aspects of their personality, but according to this, you're pretty spot on."
Specifically, she explained, I ranked myself high in the areas of compassion and sensitivity, lower in some other areas, and those answers mapped very closely to my reactions during the biometric test. She had one caveat: "You're actually more caring than you think." Well, that's okay, right?
Always the skeptic, I said, "I bet you tell everyone they're accurate."
"No, you can see for yourself." She pulled up various charts created that day, each showing fairly inconsistent — if beautiful — mappings. "Generally people tend to overestimate themselves in most areas," she explained.
I like to think of myself as a no-BS kind of person. Morever, I think being honest with myself is paramount; what's the point of self-deception anyway? So this little test was a nice confirmation.
Nonetheless, I remain skeptical: it was such a simplistic test and biometric readings are quite fallible. But it was fun to do, and now I have a beautiful graphic to hang near my desk.