DMIT vs Conventional Career Counseling

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  DMIT vs. Conventional Career Counselling About DMIT: Dermatoglyphics refers to the branch of science which constitutes the study of the patterns i.e. prints of skin (dermal ridges) on the fingers, toes and the soles of human beings. Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence test is a biometric assessm ent of the individual’s finger prints to map his/her brain functioning. Conventional Career Counselling, on the other hand takes aid of standardised Psychometric Tests in order to identify an individual’s i ntelligence, interests, aptitude and personality. These factors are then carefully analysed and a summary of most suitable careers is drawn for the individual, keeping in mind his/her identified attributes. To briefly discuss the history of DMIT: in 1926, Harold Cummins proposed the term “Dermatoglyphics” for the study of fingerprints at the American Morphological Society. After this, Noel Jaquin researched and proposed that each fingerprint pattern corresponds to a specific type of personality, in the year 1958. Subsequently, in the year 1981, Professor Roger W. Sperry and his co-researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Biomedicine for their research work on the left and right brain functions as well as the dual-brain theory. Finally, in 2008 Prof. Lin Ruei procured U.S. Patent for Dermatoglyphics. Dermatoglyphic Multiple Intelligence Test [DMIT] came into being when the idea of Dermatoglyphics was combined with the theory of Multiple Intelligence. Multiple Intelligences was theorised by developmental psychologist Howard Gardner in the year 1983 in his book 'Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences'. Gardner’s theory opposes the idea of one dominant factor of intelligence. He states that there can be several different types of intelligences, i.e. linguistic, musical, kinaesthetic etc. The idea is to not generalise intelligence as one factor and put a numerical value to it, but to identify the areas towards which the individual has inclination in terms of potential and interest. For example, a child with low IQ score as determined by convention methods could have an exceptional musical ability, a feature often observed in William ’s syndrome, that would be his specific intelligence. Career Counselling process, as mentioned earlier, tests an individual on three different  parameters. Intelligence: which informs about the overall cognitive capacity of an individual to understand instructions and adapt to the environment. Aptitude: this helps identify the specific area in which an individual has potential. Interest: this is an objective and systematic method of concluding which field will be most suitable for the individual, given the activities that interest him. Personality: different jobs require a different personality type. For example, it would be very difficult for a shy and introvert person to be a party conductor. Thus knowing one’s personality traits and determining the career path ensures that one enjoys their work in a stress free manner. DMIT is, hence , a so called ‘psychometric’ tool  to assess the specific intelligence and innate aptitude of an individual. Proponents of DMIT advocate it to be a better alternative to Conventional Career Counselling. By the time a foetus is six months old and approximately 12 inches in size, his/her fingerprints and footprints are fully developed. Once formed fingerprints are static and do not  change with age  —  so an individual will have the same fingerprints throughout life. This is  pointed out as an advantage of the DMIT technique, as the results are a pure measure of innate abilities, not tampered by environmental conditions. However, Environmental factors definitely play a role in finger print formation, such as the foetus's exact location in the womb as well as the density of the mother's amniotic fluid. Conventional Career Counselling, on the contrary, does not claim to measure innate factors exclusively, rather it takes into account  both genetic and environmental factors. One of the main pros of DMIT that is often emphasised is that the test cannot be forged or get confounded by social desirability as it is not possible for the client to influence the input. This is the primary advantage that DMIT claims to have over Conventional Career Counselling. However, most of the psychometric tests used in the process of Conventional Career Counselling have an in-built lie scale or some sort of correction for social desirability. Therefore, this argument is not entirely one-sided. Criticism of DMIT: To begin with, DMIT is adherent to the premise that intelligence, interests and behaviour  patterns are innate i.e. physiological / genetic   and have no influence from environmental factors, whatsoever. In the nature v nurture conflict it lies entirely on nature end of the continuum. This could potentially be the biggest drawback of the concept, since cumulative research has notably suggested that it is a confluence of the two. Genes make a substantial difference in intelligence, but they are not the sole determining factor. They account for about half of all differences in intelligence among people; the other half comes from environmental factors. Genetic determination of intelligence also implies that one’s aptitude, interest and behaviour  patterns are fixed and have no scope of change through lifetime; this again could not be further from the observed truth. An individual could be weak in , let’s say numerical ability, in their school years but develop impressive numerical ability in adulthood. One’s aptitude increases and enhances with experience and practice. The psychometric measures used in the process of conventional career counselling identify the individual’s aptitude at that given point of time. Thus the results that are obtained reflect a constellati on of all the factors that have played a role in the individual’s life  and hence the individual ’ s present potential. The traits that are measured via this process are a confluence of  both, one’s innate abilities and one’s learning. Thus the results might n ot be identical at all  points of time, which is a good thing. Since Convention Career Counselling can capture the enhancements that an individual has gone through and accordingly suggest what’s best for him/her from here onwards. Secondly, DMIT attempts to measure factors like IQ, AQ, EQ etc. IQ refers to Intelligence Quotient which is a numerical representation of one's intelligence. Scientific research has, till date, shown no specific correlation between IQ and fingerprints. Same applies for the other ‘Quotients’ as well. Conventional Career Counselling on the other hand, uses thoroughly researched, standardised tests that have been validated and proven reliable, where each item is carefully selected, to measure one’s IQ. Thirdly, DMIT is entirely based on the concept of Multiple Intelligences by Dr. Howard Gardner. There are many arguments which suggest that Gardner's theory is not built on  empirical evidence and is actually recognized as an example of pseudoscience. It is more of a concept rather than an empirically proven framework or model of intelligence. Fourth, another concept that DMIT heavily relies on is that of the 'left-brain vs. right brain lateralization' which became popular after the findings of neuropsychologist Roger W. Sperry's 'split-brain experiments' in1970's. These findings are now outdated and recent researches point towards the contrary. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting ‘  brain  plasticity ’  as opposed to brain localisation, meaning that the brain works like a whole network rather than different areas specialising in different functions. Thus this theory lacks support from modern brain research. The srcins of the 'finger-brain lobe connection' can be traced to Taiwan, and in specific the works of education Professor Lin & kindergarten Principal Mary Lai. They proposed the 'finger-brain lobe connection' hypothesis - which suggests that each finger represents a brain lobe on the opposite side of the body. This too is contradictory to brain research findings, that conclude that all five fingers have the strongest connection with only a small parts of the  brain that is known to represent the 'primary motor cortex' and the 'primary sensory cortex ’.  For example, according to DMIT 'Musical Intelligence' manifests in the hand through the left ring finger and is assumed to correlate with especially the right temporal brain lobe. Actually, according the cognitive neuroscience research today, musical skills actually require the involvement of both hemispheres and various brain lobes from both hemispheres are involved in the processing of music. Some serious concerns Since DMIT claims to report a child ’s  aptitude and interests from toddler years onwards, and also suggests that education and parenting should be tailored accordingly, this can have devastating implications in events when the analysis is inaccurate. This will lead to the child  being put in a box and forced towards only one kind of activities that he/she might not be suited for. Such a pattern of upbringing is detrimental to exploration and to the freedom of choice, at the core. It is a natural part of development to try out new activities and consequently infer what one’s best fit is. Since DMIT claims to pre analyse what one’s best fit is, this process is thwarted, and so is a major area of personality development. The errors in Conventional Career Counselling are less likely, since they are self-report tests, and also heavily based on scientific research. Also it suggests the best career path for an individual while giving a summary of their interests, aptitude and personality. It does not concretise an individual to a particular field. Additionally, i t recognises that one’s interests,  personality and aptitude change throughout life, and thus conventional career counselling is a lifelong process and takes into account these changes. Conclusion: To conclude, while DMIT is a new and innovative method of career suggestion, it might not  be the most trustworthy. Conventional career counselling might come with its own set of drawbacks, but it is a well tested and scientific method. This model has been functioning well for years, and if it must get replaced, it should be with something that stands even more firmly on scientific grounds. Since, what career path to chose is one of the most important decisions in an individual’s  life, it can, therefore, certainly not be taken a chance with.
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