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Are Brainscans a Better Way To Do Job Interviews?

Illustration for article titled Are Brainscans a Better Way To Do Job Interviews?

An article by Tim Lahey suggests that medical schools could change the admissions process to make sure the most deserving students get in by replacing the traditional student interview with, of all things, an MRI brain scan. Never gonna happen, for every reason you've already thought of. But even so... is it maybe a good idea?


Lahey's suggestion is based on fascinating research to find out which parts of the brain dictate different emotions. When empathetic people watch video of someone in pain, the "empathy region" of their brains lights up on MRI. Psychopaths, who have no empathy whatsoever, show no such change. Lahey says that, instead of an interview that relies on the opinion of the interviewer, a brainscan could make choosing the most qualified applicant completely objective.

On the one hand, there's no way a machine can pick up on the subtle intricacies of personality. But on the other hand, no amount of ass-kissing or hand-shaking will change an MRI. So what do you think? Would you prefer a brain scan over a face-to-face interview when applying to schools or jobs? Or is this just one more way to steamroll the human element into low-tech oblivion?

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So I'm confused. Are medical schools looking for empathetic people or psychopaths?