Saturday, July 03, 2004

Personality Tests

There are a lot of online personality tests out there, many of which are probably quite crap. So I want to recommend an "official" one which is remarkably good (and originally brought to my attention by a psychology lecturer at uni) - the IPIP-NEO test.

You've probably done the Myers-Briggs ones before (I'm apparently an INTJ), which are good fun but don't really tell you very much beyond a few overly-broad generalisations. This test, by contrast, not only measures your personality against the "Big Five" character traits (Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience), but also subdivides each domain, which allows for a lot more detail. It's also interesting to see when you have large variations within a single domain - in which case the averaged number alone might not be very meaningful.

My own interest in these things is purely recreational, but they apparently have some practical use too. Agreeableness and Conscientiousness both correlate with good job performance. Personally, I think the "Openness to Experience" domain (which really means "intellectual curiosity") is the most interesting one. As a general rule, I would suspect that people relate best to those who have similar scores to them in this particular domain. I'd be curious to hear if others agree or disagree with me on this point though.

A full explanation of each category & sub-category is provided on the results page, if you try the test yourself. It's probably important to read that, as some of the names are a bit misleading on their own. Each number is a comparative percentile rating, e.g. a "5" for Extraversion means 95% of people are more extroverted than I am.

Update 16/7/04: I've retaken the test, and bracketed my old results if different (I originally took the test late last year). It's nice to see that I'm even less "neurotic" than I used to be.

Extraversion: 4 (5)
Friendliness 3 (2)
Gregariousness 3 (6)
Assertiveness 64 (59)
Activity Level 27 (46)
Excitement-Seeking 0
Cheerfulness 6

Agreeableness: 78 (79)
Trust 82 (86)
Morality 85 (88) [note: this subcategory really means something like "sincerity"/"frankness"]
Altruism 58 (52)
Co-operation 48 (54)
Modesty 39 (29)
Sympathy 94 (96)

Conscientiousness: 95 (90)
Self-Efficacy 83 (78)
Orderliness 52 (38)
Dutifulness 87 (91)
Achievement-Striving 83 (79)
Self-Discipline 88 (82)
Cautiousness 99

Neuroticism: 23 (34)
Anxiety 80
Anger 42
Depression 17 (26)
Self-Consciousness 43 (71)
Immoderation 1
Vulnerability 27 (32)

Openness to Experience: 90 (87)
Imagination 81 (88)
Artistic Interests 81 (68)
Emotionality 59
Adventurousness 24 (11)
Intellect 93
Liberalism 99

So that's that. I'd be curious to hear other bloggers' results, to see if there are any noticable trends, etc. So if you're reading this and have a blog of your own, consider taking the test yourself and posting the results on your site (and leave a link here so I can go see!).

Responses are now being tracked via the meme (and its GUID) explained here.


  1. A lot of the links here seem bad.

  2. Thanks, I've updated the post accordingly.

  3. Mine-
    OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE.....97 ***********************************

    Artistic Interests.......77
    Intellect................87 Liberalism...............99

  4. Maybe the reason you care so much about personality test is your low extraversion score - Introvert type.
    Basically, I guess that for you guys Openness to experience is the most important thing, as a self-assertion. But remember the Hegel's story about the Master and the Slave


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