Self-Report Personality Tests

PsychologyPersonality Psychology

Have you seen people who take personality tests for self-evaluation, determining their symptoms for a particular disordered behavior? Do you ever wonder why people rely so much on such personality tests? Furthermore, what exactly does a personality test yield? For all the above questions, let us dive into this guide.

What are Self-Report Personality Tests?

Self-report personality test, also known as a self-report inventory, is a Likert-type test; wherein each question has to be answered with a tick on either "yes" or "no." These tests are helpful for the assessment of individuals' personalities which then reveals their symptoms of disordered behavior. An individual is asked questions depending on the distinct formats of this test. Listed below are the examples of formats discussed.

Adjective type − An adjective that refers to a person's personality. For the same purpose, questions are based on how an individual refer themselves to an adjective. For instance, four adjectives will be offered for the same individual who has to choose one which suits them reasonably. An adjective representing the personality is mainly provided to choose between warm, tidy, efficient, active, furious, etc.

Sentence type − Here, a few sentences are formulated for an individual where they have to choose between different sentences followed. The most accessible yet convincing personality test is used to draw up the evident personality of an individual. For instance, simple sentences such as "I like to attend parties," "I have a passion for reading," etc.

Reporting behavior − Such format in personality tests is a unique way to describe a person's behavior. When an individual systematically reports their behavior, it becomes helpful for the examiner to assess the individual's personality. Reporting simple behavior indicates accepting wrong or even right behaviors commenced from the past. One example of reported behavior is "I have been drinking and driving for many years."

Likert scale − The primary type that every psychological test consists of is the Likert type scale; easy to comprehend for the examinee and easy to assess for the examiner. Such scales consist of two options, mainly "yes" and "no" for every following question. An individual has to tick the right option which suits their situation comprehensively.

Henceforth, test-takers are asked to indicate how reasonably one item describes them; following the answers, the examiner then marks scores and identifies a particular personality.


Problems with a Self-Report Personality Test

It includes −

  • A psychological test is designed to acquire a score from a particular trial; therefore, tests like IQ have a correct scoring pattern with accurate answers, and specific rules are present to describe the quality of the IQ a person holds. Unfortunately, the self-report personality test lacks such vital characteristics as test-takers are biased when answering questions as there are no right or wrong answers to any questions, and their responses are influenced to stay favorable.
  • Patients may exaggerate their symptoms in a clinical setting to exhibit how critical their situation appears. In contrast, they may also wrongly answer the questions indicating less severity in their symptoms to get unrestricted from such clinical settings. For the same reason, such personality tests are prohibited from performing by clinicians with individuals suffering from severe mental health disorders.
  • A major problem lies with the exaggeration of some particular traits, which makes it difficult for a layperson to comprehend. As questions are less comprehensive, wrong answers are bound to come about. A less strict and more accessible way of questions must be presented so that every individual can relate to their situation and respond accordingly.
  • Sometimes, scoring becomes difficult to compass, and psychometricians take weeks to yield results as too much research and calculations are to be done. Most of them have stopped using self-report inventories., leading to the biggest disadvantage.

Apart from such problems, many still opt for personality test as it helps individuals understand their errors and correct them with time and with the help of a psychometrician.

Models of Self-Report Inventories

16PF − Cattell identified 16 source traits (essential traits underlie the surface trait). These 16 source traits are seen as trait dimensions in which there are two opposite traits at each end with a range of possible degrees for each trait measurable.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI − Based on the idea of Carl Jung, looks at four personality dimensions: the sensing/ intuition (S/N) dimension, the thinking/feeling (T/F) dimension, the introversion/extraversion (I/E) dimension, and the perceiving/judging (P/J) dimension. These four dimensions can differ for each individual, resulting in 16 (4*4) possible personality types.

Central depression inventory − A scale designed to measure the severity of depression in an individual. Questions are asked about how you feel over the last two weeks, and scoring is done accordingly. One question as the following alternative: "all of the time," "most of the time," "slightly more than half," "slightly less than half," "some of the time," and "at no time," accordingly an individual has to tick the correct answer which is reasonable to his feeling.


It is always the right thing to get the assessed personality of an individual. Assessments help for self-evaluation, wherein an individual is interested to know his character for his knowledge. Further, it allows for treatment and diagnosis, wherein an individual's proper treatment plan is generated through a personality test to help cure his disorder. Personality tests are wildly used among thousands of psychometricians, and fortunately, they have helped various individuals know what kind of behavior leads to their personality.

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