Contrary to popular belief, psychology tests aren’t necessarily something that only psychologists and psychiatrists use to diagnose a patient with a particular mental disorder. These days knowing a thing or two about psychology might even save your life, or the lives of those you care about one day.
Over the past two hundred years or so, modern psychology has not only accumulated a lot of data but also increased our understanding of the human mind significantly. Several different approaches to modeling, understanding, and interpreting human behavior have emerged, and they all rely on using various assessment processes to evaluate individuals. The result is that people are now able to access any type of test they need to determine their mental well-being. We have all heard of psychology tests before, but many of us don’t know what they are exactly. So, let’s begin with a quick definition.
What are psychology tests?
Any written, verbal or visual method used to assess the cognitive and/or emotional state of a person based on previously collected data can be considered a psychology test. Historically speaking, psychology tests have been around for at least three centuries, even though some sort of assessment of one’s intelligence and behavior has been going on ever since ancient times. That’s because comparing one thing to another is a part of our natural instincts.
How are psychology and personality tests used?
Psychology tests are used in many ways these days, whether by psychologists or general practitioners. Every year hundreds of thousands of psychology tests are taken by people around the world. They help determine the psychological and behavioral profile of a person, and they allow psychologists to get more accurate results for their experiments.They are also used to evaluate the presence of many mental disorders, including phobias, autism spectrum disorders, communication disorders – even psychotic disorders (and the list goes on). In modern times, psychologists use tests in order to get a better understanding of the person in front of them and to help them in a more efficient way. Sometimes these tests are suggested and/or ordered by doctors in order to determine whether the patient’s problem is strictly on a physical level.
What are the most popular personality and psychology tests you can take?
Discover the psychology and personality of the people around you with this list of top 7 psychology and personality tests. Psychology is a science that deals with the human mind, behavior, and emotions. The subjects of psychology include human development, abnormal behavior, cognition, motivation, emotion, social processes, personality & individuality, perception & psychophysiology, etc.
For most of us, psychology tests are not only interesting but terribly useful in our own personal development. Let’s take a closer look at the history of psychology tests, their different types, and what makes them so valuable.
- The Enneagram test is, as Don Richard Riso put it, “at its most abstract, a universal mandala of the self—a symbol of each of us.”
- Featuring 9 different personality typing systems, the Enneagram helps to clarify patterns in how people perceive the world and can help them learn to manage their emotions by illuminating them.
- It can help us to see ourselves on a new, more objective level. This can obviously be of great value to us as we journey along our path to self-knowledge.
- You can use the Enneagram to learn about why you behave the way you do, and it is a great tool for self-growth. Take the Enneagram Test right here.
- We’ve all heard of Rorschach’s inkblot test – the person is asked to interpret ten cards with different abstract shapes that are either in color or black and white.
- The test was originally made in 1921 and was inspired by the author’s work in a psychiatric hospital as well as a game called Klecksography, which is, according to John Paul Caponigro, “the art of making images with inkblots. Spots of ink are dropped onto a piece of paper, which is then folded while still wet to create mirrored patterns. Symmetry most powerfully stimulates apophenia, the human tendency to see meaningful patterns in random data.”
- Although there are a number of debates considering the interpretation of the test as well as its diagnostic value, it is still used often, mainly for diagnosing schizophrenia.
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
- The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) test was developed in 1935 by two psychologists and consists of 31 black and white cards depicting different characters and situations, the patient is tasked with coming up with a dramatic story for each one.
- The main purpose of the test is for the person to get in contact with their inner emotions by viewing them from an outside perspective.
- Although there is controversy surrounding the test itself because it does not include a scoring system or strict rules (psychologists often choose to give 5-15 cards instead of all 31) it is widely used as a way to find recurring themes in the patient’s interpretation of the cards.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
- The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test has two versions (one made in 1940 and one in 1989) which have the same purpose – to diagnose mental health disorders thanks to true or false questions.
- There are ten clinical scales and six validity scales and the results are only interpreted by a trained psychologist.
- It is the test most often used in order to determine mental illnesses however it is and should never be considered the only reason behind a diagnosis.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
- The Myers-Briggs type indicator test was developed over the course of two decades starting in the 1940s by a mother and daughter with the idea to help people understand their personalities, strengths, and weaknesses better.
- After answering the questions (93 in the US and 88 in Europe) the person taking the test is given one of 16 personalities, with a brief explanation for what each one holds, what its strengths are, etc.
- Today it is one of the most used tests, seeing as it provides a big insight into your mind and its information is useful to people from all walks of life.
Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities
- The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities are a series of tests designed by Woodcock and Johnson in 1977 in order to assess academic and cognitive abilities in children and adults.
- Their aim is to understand how each person learns and if special attention is required both as advanced learning programs or in need of help in the basic process.
- This assortment of tests is widely used today in order for teachers to better understand the capabilities of their students and make the learning process easier on an individual level.
- The MSCEIT was developed in 2000 by three psychologists to measure emotional intelligence.
- It comprises 141 questions and uses mostly everyday situations in order to understand the person’s ability to read facial expressions, express emotions, manage and use them, etc.
- Today this test is used in all sorts of social constructs such as work and school as well as individually in order to better understand how one views and understands their own emotions as well as how much they are in control of them.
Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI)
A self-reporting questionnaire that measures five different facets of pathological narcissism, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) is a psychological instrument designed to measure the trait of malignant or pathological narcissism in people. There are three types of narcissism including leadership/authority, exhibitionism/celebrity, and eroticism. A person that ranks high in this inventory is said to have narcissistic personality disorder, which can be described as a significant lack of empathy combined with a number of other toxic qualities, such as self-centeredness, an inflated sense of importance, and the seeking of admiration from others.
Psychology Tests Can Help You Assess and Change Your Life, Genuinely.
We LOVE a good psychology test! Who doesn’t? After all, none of us can deny that personality and psychology tests are incredibly complicated and difficult to make – and those that have been critically acclaimed fully deserve their place. For most of us, psychology tests are not only interesting but terribly useful in our own personal development.
Figuring out how to assess such a complex mechanism as our brain and to use that information in order to help both individuals and groups is no small feat exactly because we are all built differently and have different coping mechanisms.
Although all tests have their critics and although some are still undergoing changes, the method of testing itself is incredibly helpful to psychologists and thus is surely going to be used for a long time.
While there are many different testing tools available, we’ve found that these 7 stand out from the rest in terms of accuracy and usefulness. They provide real insight into personalities and full psychological assessments which can help you understand yourself and others better in both professional and personal settings.
Have you taken any psychology tests? What are your favorites, and have you tried any of the ones featured here?