Personality is something that every human possesses. Even though there are certain ways to test personality types, no one person is exactly like anyone else, which might beg the questions what is personality and how does one measure it? The answer to the second question might be simple; by taking a personality test; however, one cannot measure personality if he or she does not understand the meaning. Herein is a discussion of what personality is, the features and concepts of one particular personality, and personality testing.
I would describe personality as a culmination of different characteristics or personal qualities that make up who a person is and what makes the person liked or disliked. Each person is different. The differences come from what part of the world they were raised, the kind of people who raised them, economical status, and environment. Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, to name a couple, believed that there were many reasons for personality and how it is developed. Although they had differences in opinion in how personality is measured, both agreed on one thing; the way humans feel, act, perceive, and demonstrate themselves makes up personality. There are basically eight aspects of the human’s environment that make up personality differences; they are “unconscious aspects, ego forces, biological being, conditioning and shaping, cognitive dimensions, traits/skills/predispositions, spiritual dimensions, and interaction” (Friedman & Schustack, 2012, p. 2). The features and concepts of personality are also considered when determining personality type.
Personality Features and Concepts
Carl Jung believed that personality could be measured by sensation, intuition, thinking, and feeling. The perception of these features is said to be able to determine personality type if questions were formed about different parts of the self, such as if a person acts before thinking or thinks before acting. There are many different types of personality tests. The one in which I am very familiar with is the Myers-Briggs testing method. Although there are many more modern tests available, the Myers-Briggs tests always seemed to give me more accurate results of my personality type. According to a Myers-Briggs test I took several years ago and have taken many different types my personality type is ENFP, which stands for extraversion (E), intuition (N), feeling (F), and perceiving (P). These features and concepts of my personality show that I more comfortable and am highly affected by the way people act or talk around me, that I act before thinking many times, and that I have a knack for sensing when someone around me is not feeling well or is in a negative mood. Each time I have taken the Myers-Briggs test I have basically come up with the same result. I have noticed that, depending on how I feel, I may think before acting or I may not “care” what others are feeling. However, more times than not, my results have remained consistent. There are many factors that may have brought on the differences in my test “scores.” That is why it is very important to be sure the personality test that is being taken is reliable and valid.
There are basically two ways to tell if a test is reliable and three ways to tell if the test is valid. As it relates to personality testing, the reliability of the test is determined by how often the expected results are obtained. That is where the test-retest reliability comes in. When a personality test is taken more than once and the same results are obtained more often, the test meets the test-retest requirements. The validity of the personality test measures what is actually “supposed to be measuring” (Friedman & Schustack, 2012, p. 29). The other two ways to determine validity is by construct and content validity. Construct validity is “a test [that] truly measures a theoretical construct” of personality (Friedman & Schustack, 2012, p. 29). According to Friedman & Schustack (2012), the content validity “refers to whether a test is measuring the domain that it is supposed to be measuring” as they relate to the particular test that is being conducted (p. 30).
All humans have personality. The difference is what makes each person different and the means that are taken to determine the differences. Personality tests often focus on questions that provoke a response based on one feature or concept of a person’s inner self. The reliability and validity of the tests are determined by how accurate the test is and often the test is accurate. All-in-all, personality makes each person different and unique.
Friedman, H. S. & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality: Classic theories and modern research (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
Featured image: Winterland, S. (Posted: February 12, 2013). Give your home a makeover according to your personality. Retrieved from http://besthomeideas.com.au/give-your-home-a-makeover-according-to-your-personality/
Image source for Carl Jung: Pauli, W. (n.d.). Pauli and Jung. Retrieved from http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2013.web.dir/kasie_baker/page3.html
Image source for personality faces: Horizon Entertainment & Attractions, Inc. (n.d.). Personality tests. Retrieved from http://www.horizongiggles.com/item/novelty-items:personality-tests
Image source for personality test: Giang, V. (Posted: March 29, 2013). 3 Dangers of using personality tests to screen workers. Retrieved from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/dangers-personality-tests-screen-workers/