Dr. Blackford, on No. 7: “Highest grade and finest-textured of any of the foremen yet considered. He is also intelligent, honest, industrious; has high principles; is careful in his work, and will take very great pride in it. He is naturally artistic and ought to turn out very beautiful work. He is clean morally and physically, thorough, and will always prefer a fine quality of goods and workmanship to coarse quality. He is distinctly a quality man. With training and opportunity he ought to develop into a fine man for greater responsibility than he now carries.”
Perhaps, in some ways, an even more convincing evidence of the reliability and practicability of the observational method may be found in the results obtainable by analysis from photographs. A photograph is, in a sense, a purely mechanical product. It is, in graphic form, a record of the subject’s physical characteristics, stripped of all of the atmosphere, so to speak, of his personality. A photograph cannot talk, cannot act, cannot reveal the man within by any subtle appeal to what are called the intuitions. Photographs as the basis of analysis are used extensively in employment and vocational work. These analyses are usually written out in detail and stand, in black and white, undeniable records of the analyst’s observations and conclusions. The analysis of Sidney Williams appearing on pages 206 to 210 is a sample of the definite and specific manner in which these analyses are made. It has been impossible for us to trace and verify in detail every one of these records. They are being made all the time, and in one form or another, by many of those who are now using this method. But we have traced several hundred of them for purposes of verification and have found amongst them only three which have differed with the facts in the case in any essential particular. In fact, some analysts are far more reliable in making analyses from photographs than in personal interviews. In dealing with the photograph they apply the principles and laws of the science relentlessly and almost mathematically, while, in a personal interview, they are irresistibly influenced by their sympathies, their likes and their dislikes.
As a test, we have had some analyses made without even a photograph as a guide, using simply standard charts of the essential physical characteristics of the subjects. For this test five subjects were chosen, all of them unknown to the analysts. Their physical characteristics were charted by those acquainted with the method and five copies were made of each chart.
In order to give the reader an idea of the nature of the data upon which these analyses were made, we reproduce here, in ordinary language, the information contained in the chart made out for Subject Number One: