Personality Assessment

PsychologyPersonality Psychology

The word personality comes from the Latin word persona. A persona was the term used in antiquity for the theatrical mask used by performers. While most people associate masks with hiding one's identity, the theatrical mask's initial function was to represent or signify a certain feature of a character's personality. Psychologists use the term personality to define a distinct pattern of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It is the distinctive and permanent way our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are organized. It refers to psychological distinctions between individuals, not physical or biological differences (e.g., height or age).

Meaning of Personality Assessment

An individual's personality can be assessed by gauging their level of various psychological states, traits, values, interests, attitudes, worldviews, cognitive styles, etc. Personality assessment involves the administration, scoring, and interpretation of empirically supported measures of personality traits and styles in order to refine clinical diagnoses, structure and inform psychological interventions, and improve the precision of behaviour prediction in various circumstances and environments (e.g., clinical, forensic, organizational, educational).

Type Vs. Trait Approaches

Personality assessments may be classified into two categories: type and trait-based assessments. In all types of personality assessments, it is presumed that a person's personality is fixed, inherited, and responsible for their tendency to act consistently in most situations.

Type-based approaches consider sets of personality qualities that impact an individual's behavior in specific situations. Personality theories classify personality types to explain human behavior. These assessments are easy to comprehend and useful for team development, but they are less psychometrically sound and tend to "pigeonhole" individuals. This affects individual comparisons and should not be utilized in tasks that demand correct distinction. These assessments may be valuable for team building. It focuses on how individuals are similar to one another to classify them; for example, "I am an ENFP; therefore, I am similar to other ENFPs." One popular example of this approach is The Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. The inventory is based on the hypothesis that individuals have consistent preferences in the manner in which they take in information and make judgments.

Trait Based approaches examine how a person's personality affects their behavior. Different people's personalities vary, which explains the diversity of personality descriptions. These allow the determination of the minimum variables or components necessary to explain the inter-correlations seen in observable phenomena. Such evaluations were created to explain personality in professional environments. These tests may be harder to grasp and utilize in team development, but they are more psychometrically sound and allow for more reliable comparisons. These assessments can be utilized with other approaches in recruiting and selection. The NEO PI-R measures a person's personality that consists of five major dimensions and thirty components or facets that characterize each domain. It is, without a doubt, the most common type of personality model (especially in research).

Types of Personality Assessments

The methods for measuring or assessing personality vary based on the theory of personality utilized to construct such approaches. The purposes for which personality evaluations are administered can also vary.

School of Thought Type of Assessment
Psychoanalysis, Humanistic Interview
Psychoanalysis Projective Tests
Behavioral, Social-cognitive Behavioral Assessments
Trait Theories Personality Inventories

It is a procedure in which information about the interviewee's personality is gathered by the interviewer in the form of questions directed toward the interviewee. In an interview, the assessed individual must be given considerable liberty in expressing his views. The verbal and nonverbal aspects of communication are both important in interviews. Structured and unstructured interviews are the two primary types of interviews that may be conducted, with the distinction between the two coming down to the objective of the evaluation. In a structured interview, the number of questions, the types of questions, and the order in which they will be asked are all predetermined. Structured interviews are utilized when accurate quantification is necessary, for instance, during recruitment. In an unstructured interview, neither the sort of questions nor the order in which the interviewer would ask them has been decided in advance. Detailed responses can be offered, and assessment is typically subjective. Clinical psychologists, counselors, and other mental health professionals use it.

Projective Tests

These are some of the earliest personality tests ever researched and used. These consist of stimuli that are open to interpretation. The basic idea behind these tests is that one cannot rely on people's conscious awareness of themselves to comprehend their fundamental nature. According to the projective theory, an individual will provide unstructured inputs in some form of organization in a way that is congruent with their fundamental personality. The assessee's capacity to impose some structure on the unstructured stimuli is considered while interpreting the personality using the projective method. Examples include the Rorschach Inkblot test (RIBT), the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), etc.

Behavioral Assessments

These may be used to identify target intervention behaviors, causal variables, etc. It incorporates various testing procedures such as observation, self-report, and psychophysiology.

Personality Inventories

These are instruments for assessing a person's personality that typically takes the form of a set of statements covering a variety of characteristics and patterns of behavior, to which the participant responds by selecting one of a set of predetermined answers, such as true, false, always, often, rarely, or never, as applicable to himself or herself. The scoring of these types of examinations is objective, and the results are interpreted in accordance with standardized norms. An example is Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).


Personality is the distinct and permanent pattern of individual ideas, feelings, and behaviors. Various psychological states, characteristics, values, interests, attitudes, worldviews, cognitive styles, etc., can be used to evaluate an individual's personality. Personality evaluations may be classified into the type and trait-based evaluations—methods for measuring personality dependent on the personality theory used to develop such techniques.

Updated on 13-Oct-2022 11:19:47