Personality Tests as the Modern Guide?

Have you noticed the plethora of personality tests that abound?

There's the traditional ones (e.g., Myers Briggs), the strength-based ones put forth by Marcus Buckingham, and the ones by various authors (e.g., Gretchen Rubin's Four Tendencies in Better than Before or Sally Hogshead's test and system in How the World Sees You). I just discovered another interesting one today, The Genius Test...and then of course there are the fun ones on Facebook (e.g., Which Disney Princess/Universe/City etc. are you?). You'd think all we care about is categorizing ourselves.

Whenever I mention a personality test result to my husband, he automatically scoffs since he doesn't believe in them. I, on the other hand, enjoy taking them: they either help confirm or highlight an aspect of my character. 

Do I do anything differently because of its results? Will I change my career/life/hobby etc. because I am x rather than y? No. But perhaps it will give me further insight. 

I'm not sure what people used prior to the original personality test, but I'm sure the satisfaction of knowing oneself is not something unique to modern times. As children and teenagers we experiment with so much to figure out who we are...and then we grow up. We often make decisions, as grown ups, based on external expectations and demands rather then by following our internal guide, instinct, or passion. 

Perhaps personality tests are a way for us to reaffirm what we know deep down, and an excuse to reclaim ourselves.

Do you enjoy personality tests? Why or why not?


Karina is VP of Operations and HR at 24/7 Teach.

A version of this was originally posted on Business Common Sense blog.

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