The two personality inventories that my cousin and I took part in measure the five factors that most psychologists use in studying the personality of the individual. However, each test was administered by a different group and found on a different website.
Both tests provide a set of questions that measure what are considered to be the five basic dimensions of one’s personality: extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Collectively, these dimensions are called the Big-5 dimensions.
The first test is found on the website http://test.personality-project.org/. According to the website, the personality survey had two main objectives. The first is, “to find out more about these five dimensions of personality.” The second objective is, “To take part in and further the use of the internet as a collaborative and data collection tool.” Furthermore, the questions in the test were taken from International Personality Item Pool. The descriptions of each of the basic dimension were derived from the work of John Johnson. The participant was asked to rate the phrases that describe people’s behavior depending on how accurate they describe him. In addition to measuring the big-5 dimensions, the test also included items about one’s musical preferences and cognitive ability. There were a total of 60 questions about the big-5 dimensions and an additional 26 about musical preference and cognitive ability.
Upon comparing my results of the test to that of my cousin, I found out that of the five dimensions measured, we differed significantly in only one dimension, extraversion. My cousin is considered to be more of an extravert than I am. In fact, he scored very high in the said dimension. On the other hand, out of 100, I only rated 34. He is considered to be highly sociable, energetic, and outgoing. My score, on the other hand, is seen as average. According to the description given, I am neither a loner nor a social butterfly. In other words, there are times I prefer to be around other people enjoying their company but there are also times that I prefer to be alone. For the dimension of agreeableness, we both were rated high, meaning, we both possess a strong interest in other people’s needs.
As both our reports said, “You are pleasant, sympathetic, and cooperative.” For conscientiousness, both my cousin and I scored high. This high score indicates that we set our goals and aim to achieve these goals. Likewise, we are both considered to be hard-working and reliable. With regards to the dimension of emotional stability, both of us scored high which indicates that we are calm and not easily rattled or stressed. Furthermore, it says that we remain unaffected by intense situations. For the last dimension, openness, both my cousin and I scored average. According to our reports, this meant that we are not purely conventional nor are completely radical. In other words, we enjoy certain traditional things but are somewhat open to venturing out to unfamiliar things as well.
The second personality inventory we took measure the same personality dimensions as the first. The test is available to anyone through the website: http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/. There are a total of 48 items in the test. The participant is asked to rate their agreement with a given statement about themselves from a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 meaning complete disagreement and 5 meaning complete agreement. These items will see how the participant perceives himself to be like.
My results in this test did not differ much from the first test. The main difference was that in this test, I scored low in openness to experience. In this test, I found out that I am conventional. In the earlier test I was neither conventional nor the opposite. For the other dimensions, my scores were very similar to the first. Basically, the test told me that I am well-organized and reliable. Also, it said that I am neither reserved nor particularly social. Furthermore, my results indicated that I was considerate of the feelings of other people and that I remain calm even in tense situations.
On the other hand, the results of my cousin in this test remained consistent with his earlier test. As such, in this test, our differences lie in the dimensions of extraversion and openness. This test revealed that he was highly sociable and that was neither conventional nor complex. As for the dimensions of conscientiousness, agreeableness and emotional stability or neuroticism, our scores did not differ significantly indicating that we shared such personality traits.
I learned several things from taking the two tests. First, it was able to tell me certain things about my personality. I discovered that I should not consider my self as completely unsociable for I do have the capability to mingle and enjoy my time with other people. I have long seen myself as being a loner but the tests have shown me that I indeed have it in me to enjoy the company of other people. Secondly, taking the test made me realize that indeed people who are alike tend to stay together. I am very close to my cousin. With our results being very similar, I realized that it was because we were very much alike in certain areas. Finally, the tests gave me a glimpse as to who I am. Although I know that the results do not sum up who I really am, I am glad to gain even just a faint idea as to who I really am.
John, O (2003). The big-5 personality test. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 29 October 2007 from: http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/.
Revelle, W. (n.d). Internet Personality Inventory Survey. Northwestern University. Retrieved 29 October 2007 from: http://test.personality-project.org/.