From the June 18, 1965, issue of TIME
June 11, 2015

This week’s issue of TIME explores the unexpected ways that personality tests are reshaping the workplace. The esoteric questions–what does understanding why stars twinkle have to do with getting a job?–are but the latest step in a process that’s been going on for a long time. Almost exactly 50 years ago—on June 18, 1965—TIME printed an earlier example of just such a test.

It isn’t hard to see how frustrating it could be to take. After all, how would an employer make use of an applicant’s answer to true/false statements like these? I have not lived the right kind of life. I brood a great deal. Once in a while I laugh at a dirty joke. I feel uneasy indoors. I dislike to take a bath. I like mannish women. I practically never blush. I would like to hunt lions in Africa. And, of course: I never attend a sexy show if I can avoid it.

Many of the concerns expressed by TIME readers over that 1965 story are similar to those faced by potential employees today: Is this an invasion of privacy? Is it accurate? Is it going to help? One TIME reader suggested a more puckish response, which ran in the letters section the following week:

Read more about the contemporary use of personality tests in this week’s issue of TIME

Write to Lily Rothman at

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