Using the textbook, the University Library, the Internet, and/or other resources, answer the following questions. Your responses to each question will vary but overall should be 700- to 1,050-words in length. 1. How would you define personality? Personality is a set of unique and ever changing qualities and traits that define an individual. Each individual’s biological makeup, experiences, and environment create qualities and traits that define his or her unique personality. Personalities are consistent throughout one’s life though they may appear different depending on the situation. 2. What are some key personality features that define you?
I would say my positive key personality features are being honest/impartial, reliable/dependable, patient/helpful, and compassionate/affable. My negative key personality features are being sarcastic and impulsive at times. 3. What key concepts or “constructs” are used to explain your personality? I tend to be very open to new ideas and experiences. I am original, and creative. Though I am disorganized I am very reliable and dependable. I am agoraphobic, (one of the reason for my disability), and basically am always at home, in what I call my safe environment. I tend to avoid going to unknown, crowded places (even doctors’ offices).
I love to talk, and those close to me would say I am fun-loving once I feel safe. I am good natured, sympathetic, forgiving to a fault, and courteous in most situations. I am generally a very anxious person. 4. Are your personality features consistent or do they change according to the situation? For the most part my general personality features are consistent. I do have situational changes. I am more organized at work or with school. At times I am much more talkative when I am nervous or anxious. I also am much more assertive and aggressive when I am out and about on my own.
I know this is due to the stress of being out and alone. . Have you ever taken a personality test before? If so, what was your reaction to the analysis? If not, what would you expect a proper test to measure? I have taken several personality tests this week and a few in the past. I would have to say my reaction to the analysis was amazement. I found each of them to be interesting in the questions they ask, and how they were able to achieve such an accurate assessment of my personality through the questions. 6. What would make a personality test reliable and valid? For a personality test, or any test, to be valid it must first be reliable.
Reliable personality tests insure internal consistency and test-retest consistency (Friedman, 2012). Internal consistency means that if the test were split into two parts when the test is taken both parts will receive roughly the same score (Friedman, 2012). In other words what one scores on the first half of the test, he or she should also score much the same on the second half of the test. The other measure of reliability, test-retest, means the scores of an individual’s test should remain consistent when the test is re-taken over a short period of time, taking error measurements into consideration (Friedman, 2012).
According to Friedman (2012), If an individual takes a test today and then re-takes the same test in a couple of months the scores should remain consistent even with “irrelevant, chance fluctuations” (Reliability, p. 25). Reliable personality tests do not insure their validity. Validity of a personality test, or any test, is based on whether or not the test measures what it is intended to measure. Heffner (2003) states, “Simply put, a valid assessment is one that measures what it is intended to measure” (Validity, para. ). Friedman (2012) says that personality tests must have construct validity, which means it “…truly measures a theoretical construct” (Construct Validity, para. 2). Construct validity uses criterion, convergent, and discriminant validity to ensure that the test is 1) measuring what it says, 2) that the results are similar to other tests that measure the same type of thing; the test is concurrent and predictive, and 3) that valid opposite tests (those that measure opposite things) produce opposite results (Heffner, 2003).
Other issues concerning the reliability and validity of personality tests involve the type of personality test, the test-taker and/or interviewer/observer, and the standards used to sore the results. Self-report type test results do not show whether the test-taker was honest with his or her responses. Other types of personality tests that use interviewers or observers do not take into account things like bias, ratings, and judgments used on the part of the interviewer or observer.
Standards for scoring personality tests are for the most part non-existent. Grindstaff (2013) states, “Psychological tests have highest reliability and validity when administered and interpreted by a qualified mental health professional” (para. 1). To be reliable and valid, personality tests should also consider the many differences between individuals such as age, gender, and culture.
Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality: Classic theories and modern research (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson: Allyn & Bacon. Grindstaff, T. (2013). The reliability & validity of psychological tests. eHow.com and Demand Media, Inc.. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/facts_7282618_reliability-validity-psychological-tests.html Heffner, C. L. (2003). How accurate are personality tests?. AllPsych and Heffner Media Group, Inc.. Retrieved from http://allpsych.com/personalitysynopsis/assessment_results.html