I have no idea how many versions of personality and temperament tests there are in circulation these days, but apparently the one most recently declared to be current and reliable is the “NEO 5-factor inventory profile”. After having completed it as a class assignment we interpreted the results and I found my scores to be as follows:
Neuroticism (or rather, “emotionality”): Average
Openness to Experience: Very High
Agreeableness: Very High
Conscientiousness (organization/drivenness): Very Low
At first I was surprised at some of these, but the longer I looked at them and began to understand the meanings of the actual character traits in question, the more I felt like this was perhaps the most precise analysis I’ve ever found. One of the most important things we discussed about the results was that you have got to keep in mind that you are not defined by one specific characteristic, but each of them interacts with the others to create your individual personality. For instance, I could look at these and see myself as someone extremely open to new experiences. If that was all I looked at though, I would expect myself to be extremely rash and spontaneous and constantly trying anything just for the sake of saying I did. However, I only scored average on extroversion which is the highest I’ve ever scored in that area. I already know I am introverted and need to consistently have time by myself in order to mentally recharge. I also scored high in agreeableness and am, therefore, very careful of other people’s feelings and opinions. Having combined these, it makes a lot more sense to me that my introversion and need for harmony doesn’t cancel out my love for new experiences or vice versa.