What Are Personality Tests?
As mentioned before, personality tests are designed to help understand a human’s personality and to measure their individual characteristics and behavioral traits. There are two different types of personality tests:
- Self-reporting inventories. This test will require the test taker to read the questions and rate how much the question or statement applies to them. An example of an inquiry found on a personality test would be: “I do not enjoy being in public places,” followed by five answers such as: strongly agree, somewhat agree, indifferent, somewhat disagree, and strongly disagree.
However, in some cases, the answers may be as simple as true or false. Arguably the most famous self-reporting inventory test is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. This test has been around since the 1940s. It’s undergone several revisions but now contains over 500 statements that are answered either as true or false. The biggest weakness of these types of tests is the possibility for the test taker to lie or choose the “correct” answer.
- Projective Tests: This test involves presenting the test taker with a scene, scenario, or object and then have them give their interpretation of the specific test item. One of the most well-known projective tests is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. This test will show a series of 10 inkblot images in black, white, or gray and ask the subject to explain what they see.
Another popular example is the Thematic Apperception Test, where a person will look at random scenes and tell a story based on what is happening in the scene. They will be asked a series of questions such as: What is happening? How are the characters feeling? What happens next? The results of projective tests are generally subjective, as answers to the questions can be completely abstract and differ greatly from person to person.