I recently took a personality test for my personality psychology class. No, not by the way I sleep, by the why I eat Oreos, or by the position of the stars on the day I was born. On the contrary, I took a 250 question-long questionnaire known as the NEO PI-R. This is what appears on the cover page of the questionnaire:
The Revised NEO Personality Inventory measures five broad domains or factors of personality, and six more specific traits or factors within each domain. The responses that you gave to the statements about your thoughts, feelings, and goals can be compared to those of other college-aged respondents to give a description of your personality.
The NEO Personality Inventory measures differences in personality traits. It is not a test of intelligence or ability, and is not intended to diagnose psychiatric disorders. It does, however, give you some idea about what makes you unique in your ways of thinking, feeling, and interacting with others
This summary is intended to give you a general idea of how your personality might be described. It you completed the inventory again, you might score somewhat differently, and other people might have different views of what you are like.
This last paragraph gives you an idea of how complex personality testing is. You just can’t get your personality from mundane things like what your favorite colors are, or how you eat your food. But moving on, this test describes the “Big Five” factors of personality traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Below are the results I got from the test. Hopefully it will give you an idea of how these personality test results look like:
Traits in the N domain reflect different ways of reacting emotionally to distressing circumstances. Low scorers are resilient, rarely experiencing negative emotions; high scorers often have strong emotional reactions. Overall, your responses suggest that you are low on this factor. Specifically, you are calm, relaxed, and generally free of worry. You seldom feel frustrated, irritable, and angry at others and you rarely experience lasting feelings of sadness or depression. Embarrassment or shyness when dealing with people, especially strangers, is only occasionally a problem for you. You report being good at controlling your impulses and desires and you are able to cope well with stress.
The E domain measures traits related to energy and enthusiasm, especially when dealing with people. Low scorers are serious and introverted; high scorers are outgoing extraverts. Your total score puts you in the very lower range on this factor. You are somewhat formal and distant in your relationships with others and you rarely enjoy large and noisy crowds or parties. You are reluctant to assert yourself and prefer to stay in the background in meetings and group discussions. You have a low level of energy and prefer a slow and steady pace. Excitement, stimulation, and thrills have little appeal to you, but you experience as much joy and happiness as most men.
Openness to Experience (O)
The facets of this domain measure responses to various kinds of experience. Low scorers are down-to-earth and conventional; they prefer the familiar and the tried-to-true. High scorers are imaginative and open-minded. You score in the high range. Your responses suggest that you are generally open. You consider daydreaming and fantasy a waste of time, and have a limited imagination. You are like most people in your appreciation of beauty in music, art, poetry, and nature, and your feelings and emotional reactions are normal in variety and intensity. You sometimes enjoy new and different activities and have a moderate need for variety in your life. You are interested in intellectual challenges and in unusual ideas and perspectives and you are generally liberal in your social, political, and moral beliefs.
This domain is concerned with styles of interpersonal interaction. Low scorers are hard-headed and competitive; high scores compassionate and cooperative. Across the six facets in this domain, you describe yourself as being generally average on this domain. In particular, you easily trust others and usually assume the best about anyone you meet. You are very candid and sincere and would find it difficult to deceive or manipulate others, and you are reasonably considerate of others and responsive to requests for help. You often give in to others, and are reluctant to express anger even when it is justified. You are quite proud of yourself and your accomplishments, and happy to take credit for them. Compared to other people, you are particularly sympathetic to those in need, and your social and political attitudes reflect this concern.
Traits in this domain describe differences in motivation and persistence. Low scorers are easygoing and not inclined to make plans or schedules. High scorers are conscientious and well organized. Compared to other college-aged respondents your score falls in the very high range on this factor. You are rational, prudent, practical, resourceful, and well-prepared. You are very neat, punctual, and well organized, and you are highly conscientious, adhering strictly to your ethical principles. You have a high aspiration level and strive for excellence in whatever you do. You are determined, persistent, and able to force yourself to do what is necessary. You are cautious and deliberate and think carefully before you act.