HBO Max’s Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests explores the history and growing dangers surrounding the seemingly innocuous Myers–Briggs personality test.
Created by Isabel Briggs Meyers in the early mid-20th century, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator classifies participants into one of sixteen different personality types, all symbolized by four letters – from INTJ to ENFJ. Tim Travers Hawkins’s doc takes a deep dive into how the personality test evolved from a way to self-identify into a “dangerous tool” in the hands of the powerful.
“It’s being used to make decisions about who’s worthy and who’s unworthy,” an interview subject say in the trailer.
The doc, which will premiere on March 4 on HBO Max, raises a slew of ethical questions demonstrating how some personality tests may do more harm than good – like impacting online dating matches or job prospects. Produced by Dorothy Street Pictures, Persona also reveals the profound ways that ideas about personality have shaped our society.
Persona was commissioned by HBO Max in association with CNN Films. Julia Nottingham produced for Dorothy Street Pictures. Mark Monroe wrote and executive produced the project. Persona is informed by the book The Personality Brokers by Merve Emre who is also an executive producer on the documentary.