Have you ever taken a personality test? If you have, you are one of the many that is constantly fascinated with what other people can tell you about yourself. From advanced evaluations done by PhD professionals that can cost hundreds of dollars, to the free app download of “Fun Quizzes,” we have all, in some ways, gotten a form of self-evaluation. But do they really mean anything?
There are Jung Typology tests which are broken down into four categories: Extrovert or Introvert, Sensing or Intuitive, Feeling or Thinking, Judgment or Perception. The test places you in a four letter acronym category say for example, “ISTJ” which would be Introvert, Sensitive, Thinking, Judging. There are also “The Big Five” tests, which splits all traits into five traits: Social or Reserved, Limbic or Calm, Organized or Unstructured, Accommodating or Egocentric, Non-curious or Inquisitive. There is also a relatively new test called MOTIV and this test splits personality into five components as well: Materialist or Subjectivist, Offbeat or Conventional, Thinking or Emotional, Intimate or Withholding, Vital or Depressed. There are also many others, including left brain versus right brain tests, intelligence tests, and multi-perspective tests.
According to psychologist Robert G Heyward, the real reason for a personality test and the true reason that they are important is because they give us self-awareness. “Real self-awareness enables us to understand and live with all the things we do not really wish to know, admit, or believe about ourselves. It also levels us; makes us realize we are all human, limited, and that none of us has a claim to any more or less importance than another.”
Self-awareness is what fuels happy relationships. It is what helps each person relate to another and allows each and every one of us to realize what our imperfections are and fix them.
So can taking a personality test really change you? If you take the right one and understand that the faults that you are born with can be turned into your greatest strengths, then it can. If you allow yourself to be one of the multitude and prone to the same faults as others, it can humble you and help you be a better person.
So am I a proponent of personality tests? After taking the Jung Typology test and slowly reading my personality’s strengths and weaknesses — YES! Do I think that it is the be all and end all the world’s problems — NO! But it is definitely a big step in a person’s personal development and a stepping stone to becoming the person that we all hope to one day be.
As a Business Management Major, the career application of Robert Heyward’s self-awareness theory was all too clear. Human Resources, Sales, Administrative jobs — these all require an understanding of people and how they relate to the world around them. Understanding how you view something and how others view it is the key to smooth relationships. Using new found self-awareness to better your relationship with your peers, boss, and co-workers will help ease your path to your ultimate career goals, no matter what industry you pursue.