Academic paper: fake DWP psych test is tool of neoliberal manipulation

The SKWAWKBOX

Back in April, the SKWAWKBOX started to expose how the government, via the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) and David Cameron’s pet project the ‘Behavioural Insights Team’ (BIT), colloquially known as the Nudge Unit, was coercing benefit claimants to take an unvalidated, unscientific psychometric test devised by a US ‘torture guru’ by threatening them with the loss of their benefits if they didn’t comply.

The government claimed that this test was ‘scientifically proven’, but the truth turned out to be very different. The questions used in this psych test were cherry-picked from a larger test issued by a US organisation (the VIA) – and had been used without permission, effectively stolen. Complaints were made to and by the British Psychological Society, and to a healthcare oversight body (the HCPC), leading to the investigation of a top DWP psychologist for approving the use of the ‘test’, and a Guardian article

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