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  • Writer's pictureNatalia Braun, MSc

Knowledge is power. Particularly in making a good choice of personality assessments

If you ask somebody who is far from psychological science about personality assessments, they would most probably talk about some "type" assessments. Popular and fast-selling personality assessments that claim to measure personality "types" or preferences often have deep sounding questions and emphasize a "true" self, never-ending search of which preoccupies many people. Also many fellow psychologists fall back on such pseudo-assessments driven by greed and exploiting the pitfalls of your intuition and the Barnum effect, a kind of cognitive biases when you tend to believe descriptions of your personality that actually apply almost to everybody. For example, horoscopes are also based on this effect ("you are a cheerful person but you can be sad at times", who is not?) It's alarming that such unscientific, invalid and unreliable tests are widely used in organizations for such pivotal decisions as hiring and promotion. Besides, these "assessments" are a huge money-making machine.

Don't waste your time and money: neither "types" nor the "true" self exist. They are just sweet lies that can at most entertain your ego. If you want to learn more about your personality, the personality of your job candidates or aspiring leaders of your organization, try one of the valid and reliable and thus widely accepted assessments like those based on the Five-Factor Model or the Big Five. They measure what they claim providing a systematic assessment of emotional, interpersonal, experiential, attitudinal, and motivational styles.

One of those Big Five personality assessments is NEO-PI-R and its latest edition NEO-PI-3. It is regarded as the gold standard in personality assessment and was developed by the founding fathers of the Five-Factor Model Robert McCrae and Paul Costa. You can read more about NEO personality inventory here.

Another serious and well-respected personality assessments, which are widely recognized in organizations across the word, are Hogan assessments. Hogan became the first to demonstrate personality’s impact on organizational success, pioneering the use of personality assessment to improve workplace performance. The most important assessments measure potential (HPI), challenges (HDS) and key drivers (MVPI). You can read more about Hogan personality assessments here.

As qualified psychometric test user in assessing ability and personality by The British Psychological Society, I am trained and certified in administering Hogan and NEO personality inventories. If you want to take them, please feel free to contact me.

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