Examples of Personality Theories
Personality theories are divided into several schools of thought. Two schools are 'Big Five' theories and theories that are based on Carl Jung's work.
Big Five Theories
Those who support this view believe that personality traits can be broken down into five major categories:
- Extroversion (sociability, assertiveness, and high amounts of emotional expressiveness)
- Agreeableness (prosocial behaviors)
- Conscientiousness (goal directed behaviors and thoughtfulness)
- Neuroticism (emotional instability)
- Openness (imagination and insight)
Researchers have found that these traits are typically grouped in specific ways in many people. However, it is important to remember that everyone is different because of the complex nature of personality.
Use the button below to see how you do on the Big Five Personality Test.
Carl Jung Theories
The second main theory is based on Carl Jung's work, and the most commonly referred to personality test is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). In this approach, one's personality is based on one's affinity with a set of statements. These statements are based on four main questions that deal with five broad personality trait categories.
The first set of preferences centers around the question, "where do you focus your energy?" If the answers to most of these questions are internally focused then one is considered to be an introvert. Conversely, if the answers deal with more external projections, then that person is considered an extrovert.
The second set of preferences addresses the question, "how do you prefer to process information?" Those who prefer facts are sensing and those who prefer ideas and the unknown look to their intuition.
Third, there are questions that address how people prefer to make decisions. Those in the thinking category prefer objective logic and are more analytical than those in the feeling category, who prefer to use values and their personal beliefs.
Finally, the fourth type addresses how people prefer to organize their lives. People who prefer things to be stable and planned out are considered judging while those who enjoy flexibility and fluidity are considered to have a preference for perception.
After completion of the test, respondents are told that they match one of 16 personality types.
Use the buttons below to see how you do on the personality tests.