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Personality Essay

Autor:   •  August 30, 2017  •  1,026 Words (5 Pages)  •  398 Views

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Assessing personality can be done in multiple ways, psychological tests such as projective tests, and self-report inventories are among the most widely used. A projective test is a type of personality test that involves a person’s interpreting an ambiguous image; used to assess unconscious motives, conflicts, psychological defenses, and personality traits. The most well known projective test is the Rorschach Inkblot Test which consists of 10 cards, 5 that show black-and-white inkblots and 5 that depict colored inkblots. Numerous scoring systems exit for the inkblot test and interpretation is based on such criteria as whether the person reports seeing animate or inanimate objects, movement, or if the response deals with the whole blot or just fragments. Another projective test is the Thematic Apperception Test where a person looks at a series of cards that depict an ambiguous scene and is asked to create a story about the scene. Being more structured than Rorschach’s inkblot test, the stories created are scored on motives, needs, anxieties, and conflicts of the main character. Projective tests are typically confined to counseling and psychotherapy as opposed to research due to drawbacks such as the testing situation or examiner’s behavior having possible influence on the response and scoring is highly subjective.

The other widely used test is the self-report inventory, or a type of psychological test in which a person’s responses to standardized questions are compared to established norms. The most utilized self-report inventory is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) consisting of over 500 statements in which the subject responds true, false, or cannot say. Topics covered are social, political, religious, and sexual attitudes; physical and psychological health; interpersonal relationships; and abnormal thoughts and behavior. Another self-report inventory that is used and has been adapted from the MMPI is the California Psychological Inventory where subjects answer over 400 questions in a true or false fashion. A forced-choice format in which the subject must respond to each item by choosing one of the three alternatives is called the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire. Of the self-report inventories, one of the most well known is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that categorizes people into discrete personality types. A pitfall to self-report inventories is a subject’s capability of faking responses or answering in a socially desirable way.

Perspectives on personality provide a basis for many forms of psychotherapy, however testing and assessing each of the theories is typically used for providing insights about the psychological makeup of people. It is doubtful that any one of the theories will ever capture the essence of human personality in its entirety (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2014).


Hockenbury, D. H., & Hockenbury, S. E. (2014). Discovering Psychology (6th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.


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