Personality psychologists are interested in what differentiates
one person from another and why we behave the way we do. Personality
research, like any science, relies on quantifiable, concrete
data which can be used to examine what people are like.
There are several popular personality tests in use today.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
personality assessment tool is a written instrument that "indicates"
a person's likely psychological type. Psychological type describes
the different ways people:
- prefer to take in information
- prefer to make decisions
- are energized by the outside world or by the inner world,
- prefer to keep things open or to move towards closure.
These four preferences result in a person's psychological
type, sometimes called personality type. The theory of psychological
type says that people with different preferences naturally
have different interests, perspectives, behaviors, and motivations.
Awareness of preferences helps people understand and value
others who think and act quite differently.
The Big Five
The Big Five Personality Test was pioneered in the 1960's
and 1970's by two independent research teams - Paul Costa
and Robert McCrae (at the National Institutes of Health),
and Warren Norman (at the University of Michigan) and Lewis
Goldberg (at the University of Oregon). Each team took slightly
different routes at arriving at the same results: that most
human personality traits can be boiled down to five broad
dimensions of personality, regardless of language or culture.
This theory classifies the main non-cognitive personality
- Emotional Stability Intellect
Each of the Big Five dimensions is like a bucket that holds
a set of traits that tend to occur together. The definitions
of the five super factors represent an attempt to describe
the common element among the traits, or sub-factors, within
International Personality Item Pool (IPIP)
The International Personality Item Pool, developed and maintained
by Lew Goldberg, has scales designed to work as analogs to
the NEO factors and facets. IPIP scales are 100% public domain.