Progress Update #1

Hi all,


In the first week and a half of my research, I’ve been reading several studies conducted to assess the reliability and validity of a few different personality tests. My first  step, of course, was to decide which personality tests to examine. I chose four to compare and contrast: the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator, and the Revised NEO Personality Inventory.

The MMPI is a test which assesses personality and psychopathology; it is primarily used as a diagnostic tool for clinical psychologists because it assesses 10 different categories of abnormal behavior such as hypochondriasis, paranoia, depression, etc.

The EPQ is a personality test which scores test-takers on three different dimensions: extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism. The dimensions of extraversion and neuroticism were carried over from the previous version of this test, the Eysenck Personality Inventory, and are meant to categorize people into four main quadrants based on whether they are extroverts or introverts, and whether they are predominantly stable or unstable.

The Meyers Briggs Type Indicator is a test that has gained widespread popular support, and functions by placing test-takers into one of 16 categories based on four binary personality traits: extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and peceiving/judging. I included the MBTI in the series of tests I was studying because of its popularity  despite the fact that it is regarded as invalid and unreliable within the field of psychology.

Finally, the revised NEO Personality Inventory is a personality test that is based off of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality. The FFM is regarded as the most psychometrically sound test by most psychologists; it revolves around five facets of personality which are assessed on a spectrum rather than a binary and which include a number of more specific personality traits under their umbrella. The five factors assessed by the NEO-PI-R are: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.


As I move into the second half of my research, I will be examining in more detail specific cases where these tests have been proven psychometrically sound or unsound, and as the final product of my research I will create a website to allow the average layperson access to this information in hopes of aligning popular beliefs with psychologically backed theories.


–Virginia Wyatt


  1. esrenshaw says:

    Hi Virginia! Your project sounds awesome!

    I find personality tests really cool, and it’s so fun take them and compare everything to one’s life. I don’t religiously know my Meyers Briggs type, but so many of my friends and acquaintances do, and it interesting hearing the popular takes on results and the test itself. However, people sometimes seem to treat it as fact or as set in stone, so I’m interested to hear about how the test is problematic or inaccurate.

    I confess I have not heard of the other personality tests– they definitely sound like you can’t take them online in 15 minutes. I am exited to learn more.

    I can’t wait to see the finished product! Your website will be so helpful for those who love these tests and like to use them to learn about themselves. Great work so far!

  2. Virginia, this sounds fascinating! I’m really excited to see what your results are. One thing to think about – I think the “enneagram” personality test is pretty popular right now. If you wanted to analyze another test (not that you don’t already have enough to do), I think it would be interesting to look at.