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Types of Personality Tests

Madhavi Ghare Jul 28, 2020
Personality tests help in assessing and understanding an individual's personality. Let's talk about the various types of tests used for analyzing personality traits.
The personality of an individual determines his character traits, and helps in identifying his thought and behavioral patterns. Personality tests help in determining these traits. Although, they are used for several purposes, the most important use of these tests is to ascertain the personality traits of an individual.
They are often used by psychiatrists to treat their patients. Nowadays, these tests are also being used in the corporate world. Employers generally use personality quizzes to understand potential employees.
The tests follow the pattern of popular methods of personality testing. They are in the form of a questionnaire with multiple choice answers. The individual taking the test chooses the answers which best relate to him. The personality type is then determined by the scores one gets. Here are a few popular methods used by professionals all around the world.

The Rorschach Ink Blot Test

The Rorschach Ink Blot Test is a well-known method of psychological evaluation.
There are in all, ten Rorschach ink blots - five of them are black ink on white paper, two are black and red ink on white paper, and the remaining three are multicolored. The ink blots are shown to the individuals to be tested.
The individual takes a look at them one by one. He then talks about what he perceives from the picture; and the reason why he perceived it in a certain way. While the patient talks, the psychiatrist takes notes. These responses are then analyzed to gain an insight into the patient's personality.
These responses are then analyzed to gain an insight into the patient's personality. The determining factors are:
  • What the ink blot is and what makes it like what it is supposed to resemble.
  • How close is the response to the actual look of the ink blot.
  • Capacity for mental organization of the patient.
  • Illogical and incoherent parts of his responses.
The psychiatrist then performs a series of mathematical calculations, and comes up with a structure of the patient's personality.

Myers-Briggs Personality Type Evaluation

This test was created by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers who devised, what is known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Their theory and model was built around the theories of renowned psychologist, Carl Jung.
The theory states that there are 4 primary ways in which people differ from each other; divided into a set of two ways of mental processing, and two kinds of mental orientation.
The first set refers to how people perceive the information around. Some tend to 'Sense' the data, while some form 'Intuitive' assessments of the larger picture, based on the data available. The second set refers how people form 'Judgements' or decisions. It tells how some peopleĀ 'Think' and decide, while others prefer to decide based on 'Feelings'.
There are two sub-sets within a set of type indicators from mental orientation. One defines the energy orientation of the people, while the other defines outer world orientation of that energy. With regards to energy orientation, one can be an 'Introvert' or an 'Extrovert'; and with regards to outer world orientation, one can be 'Judging' or 'Perceiving'.
These permutations and combinations form 16 distinct personality types and are defined in 4 'letters'. These help identifying the factors as:
  • First Letter E or I: Favored energy source.
  • Third Letter T or F: Favored Judging Mental Process.
  • Second Letter S or N: Favored Perceiving Mental process.
  • Fourth Letter J or P: Favored Outside World Orientation Process.
Thus, the 16 Personality Types under the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are: ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ, ESFJ, ISFJ, ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ, ESTP, ISTP, ESFP, and ISFP.

Keirsey Temperament Theory

Loosely taking off from where the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator leaves off, the Keirsey Temperament Theory claims that there are two sides to the personality: the temperament and the character.
While the temperament indicates the inclinations of an individual, the character outlines his habits. Thus, the temperament is the predisposition of an individual, while the character is the disposition of the individual.
Keirsey, too, divides the personality types into sixteen different combinations corresponding with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators. According to him, there are four temperaments: Rational, Idealist, Artisans and Guardians.
  • The Rationals are divided into Architects (INTP), Masterminds (INTJ), Inventors (ENTP), and Field Marshals (ENTJ).
  • The Idealists are divided into Healers (INFP), Counselors (INFJ), Champions (ENFP), and Teachers (ENFJ).
  • The Artisans are divided into Composers (ISFP), Crafters (ISTP), Performers (ESFP), and Promoters (ESTP).
  • The Guardians are divided into Inspectors (ISTJ), Protectors (ISFJ), Supervisors (ESTJ), and Providers (ESFJ).

16 Personality Factors or 16PF

This personality test was devised by famous psychologist Raymond Cattell. He stated that individuals describe others, as well as themselves, using sixteen different factors. He then used these factors, as a basis for formulating his questionnaire which is popularly known as the '16PF Questionnaire'.
The sixteen primary factors used are:
  • Tension
  • Openness to Change
  • Abstractedness
  • Sensitivity
  • Liveliness
  • Rule Consciousness
  • Dominance
  • Warmth
  • Reasoning
  • Emotional Stability
  • Social Boldness
  • Vigilance
  • Privateness
  • Apprehension
  • Self Reliance
  • Perfectionism
Individuals can either be in the high range or low range of all of these primary factors. This would thus help in assessing the personality of that individual.
One can easily find various personality tests on the Internet for self-assessment. They play a very important role in helping an individual understand himself better. This helps in developing personal potential and increases one's effectiveness at work, and in life.