Hi all,


My research this summer was about personality testing, and my primary purpose in conducting this research was to create a website detailing the structure and scoring of four different personality tests as well as assessing their reliability and validity based on the findings of existing research. The four tests I chose to study were the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, the Myers-Briggs Type indicator, and the revised NEO personality inventory. Of the found that the NEO-PI-R was the most widely supported by psychologists, but a direct comparison of the four tests is difficult because they serve different purposes– the MMPI, for example, is used in clinical settings to analyze psychopathology, while the MBTI is used mostly in business settings today to determine the motivational styles of employees. The implications of the wide reach of personality tests are numerous, but one thing in particular that concerned me is the fact that in many companies, the MBTI is a required test for all employees and can sometimes affect whether and employee is hired and/or promoted, but its reliability and validity have been seriously questioned by many psychologists. As a whole, personality tests are useful, but there are many people who trust them implicitly to accurately categorize human personality, and my research has shown me that this is rarely the best course of action.

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Assessing the Reliability and Validity of Personality Tests

Within the past few decades, popular psychology has become a powerful driving force for psychological research; it influences which studies get funding, which theories gain traction, which even psychologists achieve notoriety. Personality psychology in particular has grown in the past several years, and as such there are a number of different personality tests available on the internet. Millions of people make use of these tests, so it is important that they have accurate information about which tests are legitimate and which are not. My research seeks to assess the most commonly used personality tests on several main factors. To do this, I ask the following questions: How do psychologists measure the reliability of a personality test? What does the existing empirical evidence suggest about the reliabilities of well-known personality tests? How do psychologists measure the validity of a personality test? What does the existing empirical evidence suggest about the validities of well-known personality tests? What value and applications do personality tests provide both within and outside the field of psychology? After conducting a literature review, I will create a website in order to spread information to the public about my findings.