Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Personality Tests

Last semester I took a course entitled "Psychological Testing." The first part of the course covered how tests are created, verified, and scored. The rest of the course covered different types of tests. One of the things the professor did was have us take and score at least one of every type of test covered in the class. As a teaching tool, this worked rather well. For some of the "bigger" tests (with our permission), the professor provided us with a more detailed analysis of what our individual scores meant. This is how my life long dream of being a psychopathic deviant was crushed. The MMPI said I just wasn't going there. *grinning madly*

Tests designed to measure personality or different aspects of personality are a large part of the psychological testing venue. So I'm visiting over at Tammi's World and what do I see, but this post about The Five Factor Personality Test. (Hey, I almost made a sentence completely of links to other things! LOL) One of the best known personality tests is the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator or, scoring the same factors, the Keirsey Temperment Sorter. These tests are based on Jung's theories and produce four letter results that define a personality type (i.e., ESFJ, INTP, etc.). Briefly these tests score the person in four areas - introverted/extroverted, sensing/intuitive, thinking/feeling, judging/perceiving. These tests are used not only by psychologists, but also by businesses. I once worked for a company that had created a new position within the department. Everyone got to take the Myers-Briggs so that the company could decide on what personality type would best fit within the group. (I guess having the necessary job skills wasn't as important.) If you want to read more or want to take one of these tests, start with the Google page on Myers-Briggs.

So what does this have to do with The Five Factor Personality Test? Well....I took a look at it and it looks like a mini test that scores some of the same areas as the Myers-Briggs and Keirsey. Actually the questions are very similar. I wonder if the test writer has done any reliability and validity studies. *grin*

Did you know that a test can be reliable, but not valid (or valid, but not reliable)?
Just in case you care, I'm an INTJ. hehehe

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