Personality tests aim to measure an individual’s innate personality traits and characteristics.
Personality is a term which refers to the behaviour of individuals and the way they interact with people and the environment. They describe and measure aspects of a person’s character that remain stable throughout the person’s lifetime – the individual’s character, pattern of behaviour, thoughts and feelings. There are many different theories of personality and therefore different types of test. These include self-report personality questionnaires, and otehrs which measure motivation, interests or values.
Self-report questionnaires are the ones most commonly used. They usually adopt a trait approach, defining a trait as a fairly independent but enduring characteristic which all people display but to differing degrees.
Factors or traits assessed in personality tests include:
- extraversion and introversion, sociability, liveliness
- interpersonal sensitivity, warmth
- conscientiousness, planning and organisation
- emotional stability, anxiety, tension
- self assurance, dominance, tough-mindedness