Personality tests and the broad category of ‘which ____ are you’ are absurdly common all across the online sphere, and for good reason: people love them! Surprisingly enough though, while many of these tests are just for fun, they can also be very beneficial to our understanding of both the world and ourselves. Here, we’ll discuss why people love personality tests so much and what the benefits of personality tests are, and also give you a few of the most famous personality tests you can try and take for yourself.
If you’ve been on the internet for anywhere longer than two seconds, you’ve probably seen a link on the side of a website with a bold flashing headline: Click Here To Figure Out What Type of Bread You Are! Well, maybe not exactly that title, but the principle of the thing is what matters.
Why We Love Personality Tests
For many of us, personality tests are a fun and interesting way to investigate our innermost qualities, but that investigation does a lot more than just provide a fun diversion. Part of why we love personality tests so much is the idea that they’ll show us something we don’t know about ourselves. The idea of learning something new about ourselves is an almost irresistible lure to most of us, because, as we all know, humans are curious by nature. Additionally, personality tests provide us with something very simple: a feeling of connection. By dividing us into groups, these tests show us people that we are similar to, people that we belong with. Finding our people can be very reassuring, and is just one of the many benefits of personality tests.
“A simple reason that we tend to identify with our personality test results is that we have an inherent need to belong,” says Dr. Jennifer Fayard in Psychology Today
The Benefits of Personality Tests
Personality tests benefit us in several ways. They provide us with a deeper understanding of ourselves and can also guide us to more specific paths. Certain career choices might be better suited to people with certain personality types, and certain types of studying or certain kinds of academics might be easier or harder depending on where your personality falls.
Knowing your personality type can help you improve your life, by finding where you best fall on the spectrum of experiences and can help you maximize your own performance.
Additionally, knowing more about personality tests can give you a deeper understanding of how other people differ from you and can help you bridge those gaps in social situations. Knowledge is power after all, and personality tests can tell you a lot.
Some Famous Personality Test You Can Take
Since we’re all stuck at home right now, what better time is there to take a look at some of these personality tests?
Here are three of the most famous personality tests you can look into right this second.
1. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, is one of the most famous personality tests of all time. Developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Cook Briggs based on the psychological theories of Carl Jung, the MBTI is a self-report questionnaire that is so widely known that some companies even use it when hiring employees.
It takes four pairs of characteristics, each symbolized by a letter, and sorts you into one of each pair, creating a unique four-letter combination for your type, with sixteen total types of personalities. The pairs are Introverted v Extroverted (I v E), Intuitive v Sensing (N v S), Thinking v Feeling (T v F), and Judging v Perceiving (J v P). That means you might be an ENTJ, or an ISFP, or something else entirely! What do all those letters mean? Take the test and find out!
2. The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality, also known simply as The Enneagram, is a personality test that started to come around sometime in the ‘50s, though it’s not exactly clear when. Derived from Greek words meaning ‘nine’ and ‘drawn’, The Enneagram (shockingly) sorts people into one of nine archetypes, each numbered (shockingly) one through nine. These include types like #2: The Helper, #3: The Achiever, #7: The Enthusiast, and #9: The Peacemaker, each characterized by unique traits.
There’s also an added layer of complexity provided by “wings”, which are leanings of certain types towards their adjacent archetypes, meaning maybe instead of just being a 5, you’re a 5 with a 4 wing. The Official Enneagram Site charges 12 dollars per test, but if you don’t want to shell out the money you can still read the detailed type descriptions and see if any of them call to you.
3. The Big Five Personality Traits
Coming from similar roots as the MBTI, The Big 5 is a popular model of personality in modern psychology also called the “five-factor model” or the “OCEAN model”; OCEAN being an acronym for the five traits that The Big 5 examines. How it works is the test will give you a score for where you fall on each of the five traits it measures; these being Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The Big 5 can be used to understand how you interact with the world, and also as a predictor of your later life, as it stays more or less constant throughout your lifetime. The Big 5 is a hugely beneficial personality test to take, so what are you waiting for?
People love learning about themselves, about the world, and about each other, and personality tests allow us to do just that! Plus, they benefit us by giving us a direction to take our development in, helping us learn how to understand others’ points of view, and bonding us together. In these times, with Covid-19 cutting us off from each other, that connection is more important than ever, so why not try a few of these out and see where it takes you?