Brain and Body

Here's a Personality Test with Actual Scientific Basis

October 19, 2015 | Sarah Tse

Phrenology Chart
Photo credit: Wellcome Images

Perhaps the attempt to classify something as complex and fluid as human personality is pointless, even impossible — but that doesn't stop us from trying. 

The Internet abounds with personality tests of varying credibility, each purporting to help you better understand yourself and your abilities. The problem is that most of these tests have almost no scientific basis in their efforts to sort the infinite range of human personality traits into a handful of binary categories. Even the renowned Myers-Briggs test, beloved by colleges and employers, isn't immune to criticism, particularly since Myers and Briggs were a mother and daughter who simply enjoyed studying Carl Jung in their spare time. 

If you're hankering for a more scientifically accurate assessment of your personality, you might want to take a dip in the International Personality Item Pool. This test uses five spectrums to measure personality: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. Each spectrum in turn has six subcategories, resulting in a much more comprehensive and nuanced portrait of the human personality. The Personality and Social Dynamics Lab at the University of Oregon offers a full breakdown of the five dimensions.

SEE ALSO: Made a Poor Decision? Blame Quantum Physics.

The full test contains hundreds of questions and can take up to 45 minutes to complete, but there's a shorter version that can give you an evaluation within 20 minutes. Over 20,000 people have taken the short version, so the results have a large enough sample size to be scientifically valid.

While we can't guarantee that the results will give you the ultimate definition of your personality, it's certainly worth a try. You may come away with a new way to think about yourself that stretches beyond the limits of "judging" versus "perceiving" or "thinking" versus "feeling."

Take the test here.

Hot Topics

Facebook comments