Two major online dictionary publishers released their choices for 2013’s Word of the Year. The contrast between these terms struck us as an excellent metaphor for a key tenet of personality assessment – identity versus reputation.
SELFIE – 2013 Word of the Year from Oxford University Press
self-ie /sel-fee/ n. In use since 2002, selfie saw a 17,000% increase in use over 2012 – thanks in no small part to everyone from Miley Cyrus to Barack Obama keeping it in the news.
Definition – According to Oxford press, selfie refers to a photograph taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media site. Most teenagers, college students, or celebritites will tell you the perfect selfie can be elusive, requiring repeated poses to get just the right look.
Personality Perspective – Identity relies on personality from the inside – the way we see ourselves. As with a selfie, identity doesn’t tell anyone much about the real you. Finding the right angle with the camera is really just impression management, showing others only what we want them to see. And as Sigmund Freud used to say, “the you that you know is hardly worth knowing.”
SCIENCE – 2013 Word of the Year from Merriam-Webster
sci-ence /’si-en(t)s/ n. First used in the 14th century, science saw a 176% increase in lookups this year over last, and remained at the top of the list throughout the year.
Definition – Merriam-Webster defines science as knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method. At Hogan, that means using a massive volume of proven data to predict job performance.
Personality Perspective – Reputation refers to personality from the outside – the way others see you. Hogan’s scientific assessment of reputation produces a data-based, multi-dimensional picture of who you really are, giving you strategic self-awareness to build and maintain successful careers and relationships. And unlike identity, reputation remains stable over time.