A personality test is a method of assessing human personality constructs. Most personality assessment instruments (despite being loosely referred to as “personality tests”) are in fact introspective (i.e., subjective) self-report questionnaire (Q-data, in terms of LOTS data) measures or reports from life records (L-data) such as rating scales
The origins of personality assessment date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when personality was assessed through phrenology, the measurement of bumps on the human skull, and physiognomy, which assessed personality based on a person’s outer appearances. Sir Francis Galton took another approach to assessing personality late in the 19th century. Based on the lexical hypothesis, Galton estimated the number of adjectives that described personality in the English dictionary Galton’s list was eventually refined by Louis Leon Thurstone to 60 words that were commonly used for describing personality at the time.
There are many different types of personality assessment measures. The self-report inventory involves administration of many items requiring respondents to introspectively assess their own personality characteristics. This is highly subjective, and because of item transparency, such Q-data measures are highly susceptible to motivational and response distortion. Respondents are required to indicate their level of agreement with each item using a Likert scale or, more accurately, a Likert-type scale. An item on a personality questionnaire, for example, might ask respondents to rate the degree to which they agree with the statement “I talk to a lot of different people at parties” on a scale from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to 5 (“strongly agree”).
Resources and Online Tests
- 16 Personalities
- Open Psych Metrics
- Jung Personality Type
- Information about Personality Types MBTI T-shirts
- Enneagram Personality Assessment: Test and About
More Tests from Similarminds.com
Right Left Brain Tests
Tests from Open Psych Metrics: https://openpsychometrics.org/
- Nerdy Personality Attributes Scale
- Exposure Based Face Memory Test
- Vocabulary IQ Test
- Statistical “Which Character” Personality Quiz
Career Preference Quizzes
- Alabe.com Free Astrological Profile Sign Descriptions
- Western Astrological Compatibility
- Oriental Astrology Reading
- Chinese Zodiac Compatibility
- Tarot Card
Discussion-worthy questions/statements from assorted tests
- Do you prefer to make lists or rely on your memory?
- Are you bored by time alone or do you need time alone?
- Are you satisfied or unsatisfied with the way things are?
- Do you keep your room clean or just put stuff wherever?
- Do you think being ‘robotic’ is an insult or would you prefer to have a mechanical mind like a robot?
- Are you more energetic or mellow?
- Do you prefer multiple choice tests or essay answers?
- Are you like things that are chaotic or organized?
- Are you easily hurt or thick-skinned?
- Do you work best in groups or alone?
- Are you more focused on the present or the future?
- Do you prefer to plan ahead or plan things at the last minute?
- Would you rather have people’s respect or their love?
- Do parties wear you out or get you fired up?
- Do you prefer to fit in or stand out?
- Do you prefer to keep your options open or commit to something?
- Do you want to be good at fixing things or fixing people?
- Do you talk more or listen more?
- When describing an event, do you tell people what happened or what it meant?
- Do you usually get work done right away or procrastinate?
- Do you more often follow your heart or your head?
- Do you prefer to stay at home or go out on the town?
- Do you like to focus on the big picture or the details?
- Are you more likely to prepare or improvise?
- Do you think morality should be based on justice or compassion?
- Do you find it difficult to yell loudly or does yelling loudly come naturally?
- Do you like things that are theoretical or based on empirical evidence?
- Which describes you more accurately? I play hard. I work hard
- Which is more accurate? I am uncomfortable with emotions. I value emotions.
- Do you like to perform in front of other people or prefer to avoid public speaking?
- Which are you more curious about – ‘Who, what when, where” or ‘Why”?
- Is it difficult for you to introduce yourself to other people?
- Does your mood change quickly or do you tend to be even-keeled?
- Do you like or dislike being the center of attention?
- At a party, two people start to argue and it’s getting tense. What’s your gut reaction?
- Which personality tests have you taken?
- What did you think of results from various tests? How accurate were they?
- Do you think personality results can be meaningful? How so? Which ones?
- Do you believe in astrology, tarot, or fortune telling?
Additional Information about types of personality tests (from Wikipedia)
- The first modern personality test was the Woodworth Personal Data Sheet, which was first used in 1919. It was designed to help the United States Army screen out recruits who might be susceptible to shell shock.
- The Rorschach inkblot test was introduced in 1921 as a way to determine personality by the interpretation of inkblots.
- The Thematic Apperception Test was commissioned by the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) in the 1930s to identify personalities that might be susceptible to being turned by enemy intelligence.
- The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was published in 1942 as a way to aid in assessing psychopathology in a clinical setting. It can also be used to assess the Personality Psychopathology Five (PSY-5), which are similar to the Five Factor Model (FFM; or Big Five personality traits). These five scales on the MMPI-2 include aggressiveness, psychoticism, disconstraint, negative emotionality/neuroticism, and introversion/low positive emotionality.
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. This 16-type indicator test is based on Carl Jung’s Psychological Types, developed during World War II by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs. The 16-type indicator includes a combination of Extroversion-Introversion, Sensing-Intuition, Thinking-Feeling and Judging-Perceiving. The MBTI utilizes 2 opposing behavioral divisions on 4 scales that yields a “personality type”.
- OAD Survey is an adjective word list designated to measure seven work related personality traits and job behaviors: Assertiveness-Compliance, Extroversion-Introversion, Patience-Impatience, Detail-Broad, High Versatility-Low Versatility, Low Emotional IQ-High Emotional IQ, Low Creativity-High Creativity. It was first published in 1990 with periodic norm revisions to assure scale validity, reliability, and non-bias.
- Keirsey Temperament Sorter developed by David Keirsey is influenced by Isabel Myers sixteen types and Ernst Kretschmer‘s four types.
- The True Colors (personality) Test developed by Don Lowry in 1978 is based on the work of David Keirsey in his book, “Please Understand Me” as well as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and provides a model for understanding personality types using the colors blue, gold, orange and green to represent four basic personality temperaments.
- The 16PF Questionnaire (16PF) was developed by Raymond Cattell and his colleagues in the 1940s and 1950s in a search to try to discover the basic traits of human personality using scientific methodology. The test was first published in 1949, and is now in its 5th edition, published in 1994. It is used in a wide variety of settings for individual and marital counseling, career counseling and employee development, in educational settings, and for basic research.
- The EQSQ Test developed by Simon Baron-Cohen, Sally Wheelwright centers on the empathizing-systemizing theory of the male versus the female brain types.
- The Personality and Preference Inventory (PAPI), originally designed by Dr Max Kostick, Professor of Industrial Psychology at Boston State College, in Massachusetts, USA, in the early 1960s evaluates the behaviour and preferred work styles of individuals.
- The Strength Deployment Inventory, developed by Elias Porter in 1971 and is based on his theory of Relationship Awareness. Porter was the first known psychometrician to use colors (Red, Green and Blue) as shortcuts to communicate the results of a personality test.
- The Newcastle Personality Assessor (NPA), created by Daniel Nettle, is a short questionnaire designed to quantify personality on five dimensions: Extraversion, Neuroticism, Conscientious, Agreeableness, and Openness.
- The DISC assessment is based on the research of William Moulton Marston and later work by John Grier, and identifies four personality types: Dominance; Influence; Steadiness and Conscientiousness. It is used widely in Fortune 500 companies, for-profit and non-profit organizations.
- The Winslow Personality Profile measures 24 traits on a decile scale. It has been used in the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and every draft choice for Major League Baseball for the last 30 years and can be taken online for personal development.
- Other personality tests include Forté Profile, Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Swedish Universities Scales of Personality, Edwin E. Wagner‘s The Hand Test, and Enneagram of Personality.
- The HEXACO Personality Inventory – Revised (HEXACO PI-R) is based on the HEXACO model of personality structure, which consists of six domains, the five domains of the Big Five model, as well as the domain of Honesty-Humility.
- The Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) was developed in September 2012 by the DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders Workgroup with regard to a personality trait model proposed for DSM-5. The PID-5 includes 25 maladaptive personality traits as determined by Krueger, Derringer, Markon, Watson, and Skodol.
- The Process Communication Model (PCM), developed by Taibi Kahler with NASA funding, was used to assist with shuttle astronaut selection. Now it is a non-clinical personality assessment, communication and management methodology that is now applied to corporate management, interpersonal communications, education, and real-time analysis of call centre interactions among other uses.
- The Birkman Method (TBM) was developed by Roger W. Birkman in the late 1940s. The instrument consists of ten scales describing “occupational preferences” (Interests), 11 scales describing “effective behaviors” (Usual behavior) and 11 scales describing interpersonal and environmental expectations (Needs). A corresponding set of 11 scale values was derived to describe “less than effective behaviors” (Stress behavior). TBM was created empirically. The psychological model is most closely associated with the work of Kurt Lewin. Occupational profiling consists of 22 job families with over 200 associated job titles connected to O*Net.
- The International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) is a public domain set of more than 2000 personality items which can be used to measure many personality variables, including the Five Factor Model.
- The Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey examined 10 factors that represented normal personality, and was used in both longitudinal studies and to examine the personality profiles of Italian pilots.
Personality tests of the five factor model
Different types of the Big Five personality traits:
- The NEO PI-R, or the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, is one of the most significant measures of the Five Factor Model (FFM). The measure was created by Costa and McCrae and contains 240 items in the forms of sentences. Costa and McCrae had divided each of the five domains into six facets each, 30 facets total, and changed the way the FFM is measured.
- The Five-Factor Model Rating Form (FFMRF) was developed by Lynam and Widiger in 2001 as a shorter alternative to the NEO PI-R. The form consists of 30 facets, 6 facets for each of the Big Five factors.
- The Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and the Five Item Personality Inventory (FIPI) are very abbreviated rating forms of the Big Five personality traits.
- The Five Factor Personality Inventory — Children (FFPI-C) was developed to measure personality traits in children based upon the Five Factor Model (FFM).
- The Big Five Inventory (BFI), developed by John, Donahue, and Kentle, is a 44-item self-report questionnaire consisting of adjectives that assess the domains of the Five Factor Model (FFM). The 10-Item Big Five Inventory is a simplified version of the well-established BFI. It is developed to provide a personality inventory under time constraints. The BFI-10 assesses the 5 dimensions of BFI using only two items each to cut down on length of BFI.
- The Semi-structured Interview for the Assessment of the Five-Factor Model (SIFFM) is the only semi-structured interview intended to measure a personality model or personality disorder. The interview assesses the five domains and 30 facets as presented by the NEO PI-R, and it additional assesses both normal and abnormal extremities of each facet.