How Accurate are Personality Tests?

People say if you want to know yourself, you should take a personality test. But researchers say some of them might not be worth the money. Personality questionnaires were used about a century ago by the U.S military to weed out people that couldn’t fly before they became prerequisites for employment in some other places.

If you take a personality test, you might find yourself in a category that describes your strengths, weaknesses, relationships, attitude to work, parenting, and even your animal spirit.  Some believe personality tests are an expose into the kind of person you will become, with examples of great men and celebrities who share your personality traits. Others see it as an insight into how they are at the moment. Some yet are not satisfied with the results; they do not agree with the conclusions, and why should they? There are numerous types of personality tests, and they do not all give the same answer.

photo credit: Med School Insiders

So, how can answering some questions be enough to show who a person is, you wonder? You are not alone.

Out of all the personality tests, the Myers-Briggs Type indicator is the most popular: as at 2012, it was estimated that about 50 million people took the test since its addition to the Educational testing service research portfolio in 1962. Although, many people would disagree that it is accurate.

Following closely is the temperament test.

Psychologists define temperaments as consistent individual differences in behaviour that are biologically based and are relative, independent of learning, a system of values and attitudes.

They are the combination of the mental, physical and emotional traits of a person- their natural predisposition. These tests show how your affinity for loud music can translate into every other thing you do, and how your love for personal space can also be an indication for many other things.

Are you choleric, or melancholic, Phlegmatic or Sanguine? Or are you a cocktail of temperaments?

On the difference between temperament and personality, this article says temperament is inborn, while personality is taken on as we grow.

Click here to read more on personality tests.

What About Being Introvert or Extrovert?

Introversion or the anecdote extroversion are defined as ‘attitudes’ which characterize a person. Ambiversion is another attitude that represents the middle of both, while some people believe that a person can only be one or the other, ambiverts find themselves a mix of both characters, which can be switched according to the situation they find themselves.

Although they are the most commonly used character descriptions, they are not the only ones, there is also the conscious and unconscious, rational and irrational, individual and social,

Assertive and Turbulent Personality Types

The first question that would go through your mind is ‘why should anyone’s personality be tagged turbulent?’ because turbulence is the opposite of calm, in this case, the opposite of assertive. These words are used to classify the degree to which a person has a grasp on their identity.

In conclusion, people will always take personality tests, some for the fun of it, and others to know how they come across to the world

We should keep in mind, however, that the challenge of objective tests, is that they are subject to the willingness and ability of the people taking the test to be open, honest, and self-reflective enough to represent and report their true personality.

So, you might be willing to be open and honest in taking the test. Yet if you take a test today and your result says ‘A’, your life experiences and knowledge base could grow in a few months or years, such that the next time you take the test, you find out you’re a D.

It’s not you, you have no blame in this game. You can blame the personality test; it’s not growing with you.

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