Can Psychological Personality Test Truly Assess the Personality?

Psychological personality test is frequently conducted at different situations and circumstances to measure and assess the type of psychological condition that an individual is suffering from. They are various in content, style, focus and results. One of the most used tests is the Rorschach inkblot test ™. Almost everyone on job has to face it at one or the other time. With the Rorschach test, you are given a series of inkblots, or random patterns of ink, and asked what the inkblots resemble.

Find out more about psychological personality testing in the article below.

What is Psychological Personality Testing?

To understand the purpose and meaning of psychological personality test, you must understand what personality refers to. Personality is basically the characteristic traits of an individual that defines him as a person. When someone asks you about another or when you start to describe yourself, you talk about that individual’s or your own personal characteristics. These characteristic traits make up the whole personality of the individual or of yourself.

This is an informal way of assessing or knowing someone’s personality. For clinical studies a more formal or in depth study of the personality is required to judge the behavioral pattern of the individual and to know what can be expected under certain circumstances from the same in the future.

Psychologists, therefore, researched into a way to develop a tool that could measure and/or assess the personality traits of an individual. This would be a similar to a tool that helps in measuring and assessing IQ, aptitude and mathematical skills etc. this is how they were able to come up with psychological personality test and to use this test to bring valid and reliable results about the personality is known as psychological personality testing.

What is the Purpose of Personality Testing?

A psychological personality test is carried out for many different reasons. These can be as follows.

  • A personality test can be carried out to test out the different psychological theories under use.
  • A personality test can be used to compare the changes that have occurred in someone’s personality.
  • Personality tests are also used to help in screening job applicants.
  • A personality test can be used clinically for the evaluation of psychological issues.
  • Personality tests can also be used repetitively to judge the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a psychological therapy.

What are the Different Types of Personality Tests?

Psychological personality test

Broadly speaking personality tests can be categorized into two different types which are as follows.

  • Projective Tests

Projective tests allows the examiner to get an insight about the individual’s personality by showing the individual either a vague scene, scenario or object. By giving his own interpretation, the individual projects his inner feelings, beliefs and, most of all, thinking. One of the commonly known and widely used projective tests is the Rorschach Inkblot test.

  • Self-Report Inventories

In the self-report inventories, the test takers are required to tell how well the given statement or question applies to them. A commonly known self-report inventory is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, also known as MMPI.

What Issues are Faced in Personality Testing?

The different kinds of personality tests that are administered have both pros and cons as well as restrictions. Let’s look at the positives, negatives and limitations of both types of personality testing mentioned above.

Projective Tests


There are a number of advantages to the Projective tests.

  • One of them is the fact that the psychologist or psychotherapist conducting the test can easily gather the necessary information right away from the test.
  • Another advantage is that it also allows the therapist to gain a further insight into the personality of the individual than is gained from the immediate verbal response. For example, besides the obvious answer, the individual’s body language and tone of voice can also give clues about what he feels.


  • Scoring the projective tests is a subjective process and each therapist might have his own interpretation to the individual’s response.
  • Accurate scores might not be achieved due to subjectivity.


  • Tests are not reliable as they are not consistent in producing same results.
  • Tests are also not valid because a doubt always remains whether a test is measuring what it is designed to measure.

Self-Report Inventories


  • Higher rate of reliability
  • Higher degree of validity
  • These tests can be standardized
  • These tests are easy to conduct


  • One of the major disadvantages is that the subjects can choose to give fake or deceptive answers in order to appear something they are not.
  • This test can also have a subjective approach but from the test-taker’s side or the test-taker might not be competent enough to give the right observation about himself.


  • This psychological personality test is too long and can, therefore, compel the test taker to give wrong answer in hurry.

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