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Personality Tests

Personality tests have long been a popular trend among many.  Although used mostly for casual entertainment and among friends, some have also been used professionally in designing compatible teams of workers and, in one case, even to assist in medical treatment (not diagnosis). However, personality tests have just as many skeptics as believers. In an effort to dispel some disagreement, I have taken five, recorded my results, and rated their accuracy.

Five-Factor Scale

This five-factor scale test rates its users with, fittingly, a scale for each of its five “factors” based on their answers to a set of questions. These are Extroversion, Emotional Stability, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Intellect/Imagination. Your “score” is calculated from the percent of other people who have taken the test that you scored higher than.

I found my results pretty accurate. The questions asked are direct and efficient, and the percentage-based scale logically simplifies your beliefs. Overall, the five-factor scale test is a simple, straightforward, and effective personality diagnostic test.

Meyer-Briggs personality test

The Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)‘s scoring method is very similar to that of the five-factor one’s, the main difference being that it assigns you a four-letter code instead of five percentages. Like with the five-factor scale, your answers place you on a set of percentages. With the MBTI, though, scoring below 50% on any will assign you one of two letters. Scoring above 50% will give you the other. For example, if you score a 75% on the Extroversion scale, you’ll be assigned the letter E (for extroverted). If you’d scored a 25%, though, you’d have an I (for introverted). The key is as follows:

1: I (introvert) / E (extrovert)

2: S (sensor) / N (intuitive)

3: T (thinker) / F (feeler)

4: J (judger) / P (perceiver)

Every combination of letters corresponds to a different personality type (INFP for “mediator,” ESTJ for “executive,” etc). In order to develop the Hawk Teams, this year Forest Hills Eastern utilized this personality test to sort groups of similar students into their respective teams. To calculate the students’ theoretical compatibility, we were all required to take this test. 

Similar to the five-factor scale, this test doesn’t do much extrapolation from your answers, instead directly computing them into percentages. Because this matches you into a group with specific traits, though, it’s likely that you won’t align with at least some of the declared attributes of your assigned group.

This test is fun, but I wouldn’t look to it for accuracy. It’s popular among kids looking to find a group of like-minded people, but perhaps isn’t specific enough for actual diagnosis or advice.

Hogwarts house test

At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Gryffindors, Slytherins, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws act as families. Nearly everyone would love to attend this school of magic, so when J.K. Rowling released an official House test on Pottermore (the website for every hungry Potterhead), it quickly became a favorite among Harry Potter enthusiasts. (The test on Pottermore presents its user with a random set of questions from a master list, so here is a quiz which features every possible question that a user can be asked.)

Unfortunately, this test only has four possible results, so their descriptions are semi-general (compared to other quizzes). Because of this, it’s likely that you’ll align with most of your house’s values, but they won’t be specific enough to be useful outside of entertainment.

Ayurvedic dosha test

Some traditions of ayurvedic medicine have stood the test of time from their conception in the Bronze Age. One of these is that someone is medically treated based on their personal constitution, which manifests as a combination of three “doshas:” Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. A person’s ayurveda type can be one of the three or a mixture (Vata-Pitta, Kapha-Vata, Vata-Pitta-Kapha (or Tri-Dosha), etc.), for a total of ten possible types. As in much of eastern (and especially ayurvedic) medicine, the mind and body are entwined, so the attached test asks about both personality and body.

Each ayurvedic type and their needs are very in depth and specific, so refer to this website’s descriptions of each (and their free test!). Additionally, I’ve attached a chart of each type below.

Vata dosha

This is the only test that I find scarily accurate, and is actually the one that inspired this article—from the over-worrying to cracking joints to hating the cold, every aspect of Vata (my dosha) describes me precisely.

Horoscopes

Horoscopes have been in use since 400 B.C.E. The difference between horoscopes and most other personality diagnostic tests is that your horoscope is based on your birthday and not sets of questions. Most people know the most basic form—where your date of birth determines your sign (for example, Leo is mid-July through mid-August); however, astrology deals with much more than that. If you input your information here, it will calculate the location of the sun, moon, and planets at your time of birth and diagnose different aspects of your personality with information based on which sign each was in. Everyone has three primary symbols—one is derived from the time of your birth in relation to the sun cycle, one from the location of the sun, and the other from the location of the moon. The first is your “rising” symbol and determines how others perceive you. Your sun sign determines your conscious personality, and your moon describes your subconscious. Each of the planets have their own meaning, too: Mercury relates to your mind and intelligence, Venus your love, etc. The far astral bodies (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) move slowly and thus apply not to you individually but to a wider generational age group.

Children love to ask for the reason behind their name, so I was introduced to the idea of zodiac signs very young. I also never particularly agreed with my primary sign; Leos are fiery, passionate, and proud, but I am not. However, my rising sign, the moon’s, and each planet’s are much more accurate.

I was pleasantly surprised by my findings from this pseudo-experiment. Although I knew that every quiz would contain some truth, I wasn’t expecting to agree with many of the results. I suppose it makes sense, though—after all, giving a website information about your personality will generally lead to it being able to tell you about your personality.

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