Assessmentof personality is simply the measurement of personal characteristics.Personal characteristics or personality is a complex thing. Since ithas been developing from childhood to young adulthood. In this, manyinterconnected factors have been influencing and molding the personto what is visible at the present (Romero, 2013). Some of thesefactors are the environment, genetic and social components thatcontribute to a person’s personality. Therefore, since ourpersonalities are not made by one component, it is necessary to havea test that will encompass all of the rich texture and complexity.Personality assessment offers a range of objective, formal andempirically evaluated tests for psychologist and professionals toanalyze and range a person’s characteristics (Barondes, 2012).
Howeverassessment of personalities is not only done by psychologists andprofessionals. Everyone is subject to these assessments in theirdaily lives. Human encounters are by some proportions a personalityassessment. In an informal way, when we speak about others andourselves we talk about various characteristics of a person’spersonality. In this, we are giving an informal personality test andanalysis of others and ourselves. Psychologists do pretty much thesame thing when conducting a personality assessment. Although forthem, it is more systematic and scientific than just speculation.They offer test and procedures backed up by research in analyzing thecomposition of an individual’s character traits (Christiansen,2013).
Hence,the major goal of personality assessment is the understanding of anindividual’s personality. Therefore, what is a personality? Itincludes all the traits and special characteristics that make oneunique and different from others (Romero, 2013). These may beattitude, energy, charm, disposition, temperament, cleverness and theevery behavior and feeling they portray. In addition, personality isequitably the stable though patterns, behaviors and emotions thatdistinguishes one person from another (Ford, 2012).
The knowledge about personality is of wide use for both professionaland personal. It can helps in understanding an individual’sbehavior. In this, giving a basis for outlining the future course ofaction of the individual. In addition, it can even help in predictingthe person’s unique future behavior. In psychology, the scoring ofthe administered tests and their interpretation helps in giving abetter diagnosis of a disorder, construct and advice psychologicalinterventions, and also give a better analysis and prediction ofbehavior in a variety of setting and contexts. These results willhelp in advancing a psychological theory or help in decision makingwhere the charter is tested for example at a job interview (Barondes,2012).
Thereare primarily two types of personality tests. These are objective andprojective tests. The objective tests are the most common ones, andthey include the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2,the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III) and the 16PFtests. The projective tests include the Draw-a-Person tests, theRorschach Inkblot Test, and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) (Romero, 2013).
Theseare the most common test they are usually pen to paperself-inventories. These tests require people to answer questionsabout their typical behaviors. These tests ask people to describethemselves and other asks people to describe themselves in the mostsimple, easiest and co-effective way. In these, the self-raters havea lot of information gained (Christiansen, 2013). Since, indeed noone else knows yourself that yourself. In this, they have accessinformation that may not be readily available to others is availableto the self-rater i.e. their thoughts emotions and intentions. Theseself-inventory tests have offered a very good validity on variousoutcomes. This is because self-consciousness ratings are a good basefor the prediction on overall academic performance and jobperformance. In this, researchers have concluded those self-inventorytests are good predictors of occupational attainment, mortality, andeven divorce. In addition, the self-inventory tests have importantties to psychopathology. Especially the MMPI-2, a 567-query testwhich is a good measure of dysfunctional personality. Although, sinceit was designed to help professional to determine symptoms forpsychiatric disorders that best suit an individual, it is not verywell suited to test healthy people (Ford, 2012).
TheMMPI-2 was developed from the earlier version MMPI in the 1980s. Itcontains 567 questions these questions either are answered by truefalse or cannot say. The revised version is sub-divided into a 14subsets to help psychologists analyze the test. Four of these subsetsindicate whether the test taker was careless while answering thequestions (Romero, 2013). The other ten are clinical and tell aboutthe person’s personality. However, it is the overall test scorepattern helps the psychologist in knowing the psychological disorderof the test taker and not an individual score on a single question.The test measures personalities such as psychopathology, hypomania,paranoia, masculinity/femininity, and social introversion, etc.(Deaux & Snyder, 2012).
Whenin need to test and diagnose a simple personality disorder then theMillon (MCMI-III) is the one to be used. It takes a third of the timetaken to answer the MMPI-2. Hence, it is used to arrive at the DSM-IVpersonality disorder (Romero, 2013).
Sinceas earlier stated the MMPI-2 I not able to measure personalities ofhealthy people the other methods like the 16PF have to be used. TheSixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) tests sixteendimensions of personality. These test has 187 questions that help thetest taker to understand where their personality fall on the sixteenbasic personalities. These tests helps a person to understandthemselves better. In addition, it also helps the psychologist toknow which method to best employ in treating the person (Ford, 2012).
However,self-inventory tests can have several advantages and disadvantages.In this, the test usually offer the same question to all its subjectsand the subjects have to select an answer from the choices provided. The tests are also objective by which different people would scorethe same test the same way. Although the interpretations are andmaybe different. Hence, this means the psychologists gets a preciseanswer to standardized questions for easier interpretation andanalysis (Romero, 2013). Although sometimes, the questions aretransparent, making it easier for the test taker to lie on the test.In addition, the social desirability also can affect theself-inventory tests. In this, people may end up stating what theywish was true rather than what actually is true. To minimize this,the test makers need to develop tests that do not evoke it as much.Another disadvantage is that people don’t remember the aspect ofexperience the questions are asking about. Even many times peoplealso don’t understand the questions themselves (Barondes, 2012).
An individual’s personality possesses some qualities that are notin their conscious awareness (Widiger, 2012). These thoughts feelingand emotions are very important and must not be left unassessed.Hence the development of the projective personality tests. These aretest that measure subject’s response to ambiguous stimuli. Thesestimuli can be pictures or phrases that can be interpreted in manydifferent ways. These tests are based on the projective hypothesisthat people will interpret the ambiguous stimuli in ways that willreveal their needs, feeling, desires, concerns and conflicts (Deaux &Snyder, 2012).
TheRorschach test is one of the projective tests. The test contains teninkblots, five of which are black and white, and the other five arein color. The subject is shown the inkblots and asked to tell theprofessional what they see. The psychologist the uses complex methodsto score the subject. The score are based on the subject’scharacteristic on the response like the originality and the area theinkblot describes. The test gives insight to a psychologist about thesubject’s personality and the stresses they might be experiencing(Ford, 2012).
TheThematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a test also in the projectivecategory. It comprises of a variety of cards with pictures andscenes. These cards are mainly of people in a different ofsituations. In the test, there are 31 cards a few containing objectwhile one is completely blank. The subject is asked to tell the storyin the various cards. In this, the psychologists looks for the themesin the subjects response. The cards or the pictures in the cards haveno inherent or correct story. Hence, anything a person says may be aturmoil they are facing at that period of their lives (Christiansen,2013).
Theadvantages of these test are that it allows access to the unconsciouspart of the subjects mind to the psychologist. In addition, thesetests are not transparent. In this, the subject cannot know by whichmeans he is being graded. Hence, it is not easy for the subject tocheating. However, these tests have a serious reliability andvalidity issue. To deal with these validity and reliability issues ininterpreting responses of different individuals. Several methods ofinterpretation are being used (Deaux & Snyder, 2012). For examplethe Comprehensive System for interoperating the Rorschach scoringscheme. In addition, the TAT scoring scheme that can be used tointerpret motives developed by Atkinson, McClelland, and colleagues.However, the validity of the Rorschach has been a matter of greatdebate. With its supporter arguing that it does possess some abilityto predict significant results. On the other hand its critics arguingthat it does not offer any further knowledge or information than thatwhich can be acquired from simpler measures like self-evaluations.Although, the validity in TAT is considered very impressive as itsability to predict important outcomes is significant. Continually,it can be able to provide more information than the objective tests. Despite these many flaws in the projective tests, many psychologistsand clinicians use the methods as they see them to provide usefulinformation (Ford, 2012).
The personality assessment tests are used in a variety of fields andresearch. In this, doctors and clinical psychologists might use thepersonality test in the diagnosis of psychological disorders (Widiger, 2012). In this, the psychologist may offer a variety oftest to a patient with a number of symptoms to narrow down thepossible diagnosis. The psychologist would use multiple tests plusinterviewing the patient in a case like this. In order to know how tobest to counsel their patients about the problems of their dailylives, some mental institutions offer personal assessment test tobest suit them. In this, a counselor can give a personality test toan individual in helping them to choose a career. Organizationssometimes in selecting personnel for hire, they might offerpersonality assessment test to determine the best candidate(Barondes, 2012). Most importantly, researchers studying personaltraits administer the personality assessment test to individuals intheir studies. In addition, as stated earlier, personality assessmentis done by almost everyone on each day. As everyone is looking forthe character in a friend that can help them while still cautious oftheir own individual characteristics.
Inorder for psychologists to offer the best service, they need tounderstand the changing nature of culture and ethnicity. In this,psychologists are motivated to learn more about culture and ethnicity(Ford, 2012). Hence, these motivation that has opened doors tolearning about the new and greater cultural diverse society for apsychologist to provide a better care for their patients. . Thepresence of diversification has made a new set of values, culturalbeliefs and expiations to be developed in the field. Hence, for apsychologist to consider cultural expectations, diversity of valuesand interactional styles they need a social, cultural framework thatwill help in the systematic analysis of these issues. Multiculturalknowledge is mandatory in the intervention and assessment ofdiversity (Deaux & Snyder, 2012).
Inthe assessment of personality, the psychologists are also aware ofthese changes. Since the assessment of personality is influenced bythese changes in diversity, culture, and ethnicity (Widiger, 2012).Hence, the psychologists need the abilities to acknowledge culturaldiversity. They also need to understand the role that culture andrace/ethnicity plays in the growing economics and sociopsychologicalof a cultural diverse population. All this is done to enable thepatients to solve, maintain and understand their own socioculturalposition (Christiansen, 2013).
In order for all these issues to resolved and handled new guidelineshave to be created in the world of psychology. Development of newguidelines that help psychologist dealing in areas and workingsituation of linguistics, ethnicity, and cultural diversepopulations. Hence, there is a need for developing a framework thatwill enable psychologists to analyze, organize and systematicallyassess the utility for the present and future research in culturaldiverse and ethnical populations. In addition, the research methodsalso need to incorporate ethnical minority communities (Deaux &Snyder, 2012).
Theassessment measures provide the basic information about a person (Widiger, 2012). Even it is objective or projective they give anoverview of the person’s strengths and weaknesses. In this, theyare able to test on a person’s responsiveness to questions, hisability to communicate. Even it might give some insights on what orby how much he may perform while at a job or a personal level. Thepersonality assessment gives information about the present state ofan individual. How the person is at the moment that is very crucialin knowing how the person will be or even predict what the personwill become (Widiger, 2012). This information help psychologists togive a recommendation of a person or even solve the daily problems.This is possible because the current state of the individual is theone that outlines his current problems, objectives, ambitions andmotives. Hence, a person’s developmental state can be determined bythe measures of assessing personality (Christiansen, 2013). In this,it will give some insight to the stability and comfort ability andmotivation of a person and hence an overall on how productive he canbecome.
In conclusion, everything is subject for development. As we can notsolve todays problems with yesterday’s methods. In this, thesemeasurements of personality need to be developed to encompass thegrowing population and its demographic problems. In addition, moreevidence is supposed to be made and more methods to be developed thatwill go beyond the challenges and criticism of the present methods.However, at the present state the methods being utilized are justfine for their purpose (Barondes, 2012).
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Christiansen,N., & Tett, R. (2013). Handbookof personality at work.
Deaux,K., & Snyder, M. (2012). TheOxford handbook of personality and social psychology.New York: Oxford University Press.
Ford,D. C. (2012). Validatingidiographic regional assessment of personality.
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Widiger,T. A. (2012). TheOxford handbook of personality disorders.Oxford: Oxford University Press.