Hey y’all, I wanted to talk to you about personality tests. I will be covering things like DISC, Myer Briggs, etc. Come check it out!
Small disclaimer: I am in no way a psychology expert. This post hatched because of a conversation I had with a friend of a friend I have.
All the tests I have taken
Now I have taken several personality tests in my lifetime. In general, I think a lot of people take them. I think my first experience was in high school when we took the “Colors” personality test where it puts you in a color category with personality traits to describe you. I don’t remember what I got and taking it now would be a different result so no.
Later my dad would introduce me to DISC profiling which is what his company uses. I took the free version and got high D (for dominance) and I don’t remember the rest of the ranking. It was cool but it was more interesting to see my parents ranking compared to me. I think they are both high I’s (for influence). My favorite memory regarding this test was when my aunt said she doesn’t like working with high D people. She said they are a##holes and then asked what I was. It was funny.
The same teacher from high school briefly mentioned Myer Briggs which is a test that puts you in 16 personality types. I took it almost immediately afterward (not in class though because that wasn’t allowed). I got INFJ. Later I took it again and got INTJ but I remember feeling like I related more to the INFJ.
When I read the Harry Potter books for the first time, I took the Pottermore Sorting Hat Quiz. It sorts you into your Hogwarts house based on your personality/ideals. (Ravenclaw pride FTW). I did briefly question if I was actually a Hufflepuff. Although as much as I love food I knew I just wouldn’t be able to be my smart, creative self.
When I met my mentor, she had me take the Clifton Strengths Test. It’s a test that is based on how you process information with a ranking of 34 different methods. I did the top 5 one and got Achiever, Discipline, Activator, Learner, and Responsibility.
Time for a hot take:
I don’t care for personality tests (with the exception of Clifton Strengths).
The Sorting Hat
They have greatly improved/changed the Sorting Hat quiz. Before it was easier to manipulate in order to get the answer you wanted but now it’s much vaguer. At the same time, it begs the question of whether or not some of the answers have much correlation to the results. I’m referring to the questions that ask things like what I’d look at first in an enchanted garden. It’s great if you are curious about your Hogwarts house and just doing it for fun though!
With the color personality test, it gives you four vague categories for you to identify with. Since it’s so broad, there are some who may not feel like they identify 100% with one color. It doesn’t feel helpful to know I am xyz color with these traits because the traits they list, you would know.
It was good for my teacher to quickly sort us into a group with one of each color. However, I don’t know if that greatly improved my ability to work in a team for that semester.
For the DISC profiling, I have a similar issue where it is very broad in the categories. Knowing what percentage of dominance, influence, compliance, and steadiness I have isn’t that helpful when it comes to social interactions or what kind of work I do.
This seems to be a great test if you pay for it. When you pay for it, it comes with a packet with in-depth analysis of your psyche. My dad brought home his and it was interesting but I wouldn’t say it impacted our relationship in how we interact.
Like I mentioned before, my results changed over time. This is the test that the friend of the friend and I were discussing that hatched this post. They asked if I was sure if I was an INFJ because I didn’t act like any of the other INFJ’s they had met. At some point in my life, I knew someone else obsessed with Myer Briggs and they told me it was based on your personality as a child to which INFJ would be accurate. I have since grown.
Myer Briggs is great for if you are bored out of your mind. Just kidding. When I was younger, I loved the idea of Myer Briggs because I loved the analysis part and it seemed like it was common enough that other people would be able to talk about it.
I’m not going to claim this test is perfect as I don’t believe in perfection when it comes to technology. What I can tell you is how this test is different:
- This is based on how you process information vs your personality/other factors. The way you process information is not bound to change over time very much so 10 years from now, I’ll still be an Achiever.
- The test is based on an AI that customizes the test. Your test could be anywhere from ~10 minutes to ~45 minutes (or even longer). There is no interview like the paid version of DISC. (In my opinion, this would decrease human error but who knows).
- It is specific. All 34 strengths fit into a broader category of either executing, influencing, relationship building, or strategic thinking. However, it also tells you how you function in those broader categories which I found to be much more helpful.
- It tells you what your strengths and weaknesses at the same time. From my understanding, your weaknesses are your strengths to the extreme.
Personality tests are good for many things. In general, they give you a language to communicate with others and give them insight into who you are. But here’s the thing, I think there’s a danger to them. If you fixate too much on defining yourself based on these tests, it doesn’t leave room for growth or allowing yourself to be or try something you typically are not. Similarly, it’s why I don’t care for the Zodiac. I don’t feel like these are things you should allow to define who you are.
The reason why I like Clifton Strengths is it doesn’t try to define you. It tells you what you are good at. It gave me a toolbox to go into for how I tackle problems in my life. Like when finals season rolls around, I know I’ll be fine if I make my giant whiteboard list, keep my sense of humor, and push through it. It gave my mentor and me a language to have really good conversations but knowing what someone is good at still allows for you to learn who they are as a person. So my mentor and I know what the other is good at, but are able to learn more of who we are as people (if that makes sense).
Thank you for reading my babble on personality tests, I appreciate it. Comment below if you agree or disagree with what I said and why or if you want more babbles in the future. If you like my content, consider subscribing to my mailing list at the bottom of the page or in the sidebar. See you in the next post!