Straight and Curly Ep 38: Personality Tests – Useful or Total Rubbish?

Carly’s not the hugest fan of personality tests because she thinks anything that requires people to self-assess needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Meanwhile, I love them (because my personality type LOVES personality tests! No really, it does!).

In this episode we share a bit about how personality testing even came about, how effective they actually are, and how much they actually help with self-awareness. We also run through some of the most popular personality tests/frameworks/models/quizzes on the market and the insights we’ve gained about ourselves from them.

A quick note

Carly and I come at everything we do and say from a ‘self-improvement’ point of view. We try to be careful to ensure listeners know we are enthusiasts not experts. With that in mind, my friend Ellen from Potential Psychology would like to share these quick clarifications about the broad range of things that fall under the ‘personality tests’ banner:

Big Five is a model of personality (the most researched of all) not a test. There are tests, like the Truity one, that are based on the Big Five model. MBTI is popular and I love it for certain applications, like general self-awareness, but it has limitations. No one really knows if DISC is any good as it’s a commercially licensed product and researchers can’t get the data to assess it. Gretchen Rubin’s stuff is fun but she’s a lawyer and writer, not a psychometrician so I doubt you can really draw much from it. Ditto Sally Hogshead. Personality is endlessly fascinating (to some of us at least) but also incredibly complex. Which means good, valid and reliable tests are few and far between.


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