Have you ever taken a personality test?
Personality tests generally rate a person on a scale that compares others with that same or lack of aspect of a personality. Some personality tests can measure traits and help give a portrait of the individual.
Many personality tests use the Big Five Factor of Personality Traits. These included:
- extraversion - how you interact with other people
- agreeableness - how cooperative and pleasant you are with other people
- openness - how you experience activities and events
- neuroticism - intense emotions you feel
- conscientiousness - your reliability, self control, organization capabilities
Some personality tests include more than these aspects, but most all of them include these big five traits in their inventory evaluation.
Generally, personality tests look at the patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. If someone takes a personality test for a job, the test must comply with the laws of fair employment practices. Personality tests can't ask about physical disabilities or religious or political beliefs, sexual preferences, drug use, or other personal information.
Personality tests look at broad characteristics and can't pick up specific habits and thoughts of people. Some tests like the MMPI, which are given to police and firemen measure psychological abnormalities.
Personality testing is based on the person's own self reporting, and self presentation. Self reporting is the individual's own perception about themselves. Self presentation is the way a person taking the test supports general statements that are not directly personal about themselves.
Some personality tests will ask the same question in different ways to make sure the person is being truthful about their personality and increases measurement accuracy. .
Accuracy depends partly on the length of the test. Longer tests are generally more accurate than shorter tests. Ten items is about the minimum number of items for a reasonably valid personality scale.
Accuracy also depends on how precisely the test tries to categorize you. A test that tries to predict whether people perceive you as above average or below average on a trait will be correct about 70% of the time. A test that tries to predict more precisely whether people will perceive you as below average, average, or above average will be exactly right about 50% of the time, but will make extreme mistakes (identifying a below average person as above average or vice versa) only about 7% of the time. If you are uncertain about the accuracy of your test results, you should share them with people who know you well to get their views
You can read more about the Big Five Personality Traits by clicking here