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11 Types of Personality Tests & Assessments

Sign outside a business saying "Come in for a free personality test"
Photo by Randy Laybourne 

What do we mean when we talk about personality tests? What specifically does personality mean? To learn more about ourselves and what makes us who we are, we need to answer those questions.

Personality is the melding of characteristics that form a person’s unique temperament.

A personality test is a tool designed to evaluate a person’s distinctive personality. Personality testing and assessments refer to the systematic approach designed to draw out and gauge the basic way a person responds to all aspects of life, including: 

  • General Preferences
  • Approach to interacting with their environment and other people
  • Overall outlook on life (mindset)
  • Response to stress

Personality is an essential component of the beautiful uniqueness that makes up each one of us. We use it to describe ourselves and others and without a foundational understanding of it, we will not be equipped to embark on our journey of identifying conformity in our lives and uprooting it as we find it.

Self-awareness is essential to success. If you don’t understand what drives your actions and behaviors, it’s difficult to cultivate positive growth. As you discover what inspires you, you’ll identify what may hold you back from success, as well as the traits, habits and behaviors that propel you forward.

Tony Robbins, Facebook, accessed 2/09/2023

Everyone’s reasons for investigating themselves are personal & unique to them. My voyage of self-discovery began with an unsettling realization that I didn’t know myself as well as I thought I did, which led to a pervasive feeling of dissatisfaction and disquiet in my soul. I didn’t have the information I needed to help me make sense of what I was experiencing which left me drifting in a sea of frustration.

My first step towards a solution came by googling, “What’s wrong with me?” because that’s all I knew to ask. Along with assorted mental health articles, I also came across A LOT of personality tests. I have always been fascinated by them, so I began taking some. The first ones didn’t tell me anything new, but simply confirmed characteristics I was already aware of (like being introverted), and I began to get discouraged. After a little while, though, I came across types of tests which not only identified certain traits, but joined them with whole personality profiles and how to make the most of my strengths and weaknesses. 

The first such test was the Enneagram, but before I get into that, I will discuss some of the most well-known and commonly used tests. Please remember when it comes to personality tests, there are no right or wrong answers, just your answers. It can also be beneficial to take the same test from different sources at differing times to get the most accurate read on yourself over time.

The Personality Tests we will cover in this series are:

Part 1

  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Strengths Tests (Big Five Assessment)
  • Four Temperaments
  • Eysenck Personality Inventory

Part 2

  • Enneagram
  • Typefinder (16 personality types)/16 Personality Factor Questionnaire
  • Big Five Assessment
  • DiSC personality test
  • Career Profiler Test

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is based upon the theory by Carl Jung that people experience the world using four psychological functions: sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking. These functions affect many aspects of your life including: work style, how you restore your energy, strengths, weakness, etc. Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs, her mother, later formatted these four functions and to make them usable in people’s lives. They sought to demonstrate that the seemingly random variety of traits which people experience can, in fact, be organized into a predictable pattern. Briggs and Briggs-Myer are an interesting pair of women and are worth learning more about.

“Psychological functioning is your ability to accomplish your goals within yourself and the external environment. It includes an individual’s behavior, emotion, social skills, and overall mental health.”  link.springer.com

While all official MBTI test are have a fee, there are numerous free resources available as well:

Official Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Site Gives information about the test’s history and a simplified version of the assessment without cost, as well several options and formats of taking the official test.

Workstyle Has a comprehensive list of personality tests, descriptions, and a history of personality study as well as diagrams.

Truity.com has their version of the MBTI which is called the Typefinder Test

Strengths Tests (Big Five Assessment)

Strengths tests are not so much personality tests, but evaluations that can help you identify your most dominant skills and abilities by measuring your natural abilities based on how you usually feel, behave, and think. There are numerous variations of strengths tests. Four common varieties are listed below:

HIGH5 Test

HIGH5 is the free test that helps individuals discover what they are naturally good at and is focused on studying and emphasizing a person’s strengths, rather than merely encouraging them to improve their weakness.

Unlike other assessments, HIGH5 identifies your unique strengths sequence, rather than assigning you to a specific group or type. Because of its focus on action and personal improvement, it is used by professionals in 95% in the Fortune 500.

High5test.com has a free 100-question test that will help identify your top 5 strongest areas.

CliftonStrengths offers a thorough hour-long assessment containing177-questions which evaluate 34 different strengths. This extensive service is offered for a cost.

VIA Character Strengths Survey

The VIA Character Strengths Survey is a free survey that helps you learn your strengths in only 15 minutes.

Unlike the other strengths tests, VIA offers a version for adults (18 and above) and one for youth (8 to 17 years old). 

Unlike the free High5 test which only gives you a brief description of your top five strengths, the VIA survey allows you to download your strengths profile and ordered ranking of all 24 strengths.

You can also purchase the top five reports or the full 24 strengths report that contains an in-depth analysis of your strengths, and also contains tips, exercises, and more.


For additional information on strengths test, check out MakeUseOf.com.

Four Temperaments Model

The Four Temperaments Model is one of the personality type systems that has been used the longest. It is a psychological model based on theories by Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine, 460 BC) that a person’s personality is based on bodily fluids or humors. Later, another ancient Greek physician, surgeon, and philosopher, Galen (c. 129 AD), focused on balancing those humors called: 

  • sanguine (being optimistic and social),
  • phlegmatic (being relaxed and peaceful)
  • melancholic (being analytical and quiet)
  • choleric (being short-tempered and irritable)

This model was used to treat illnesses in ancient times and is still used today by practitioners of traditional medicine around the world.

Galen’s theory was that people have varying proportions of each of these fluids with the predominant one defining a person’s overall temperament. 

The fluids associated with each humor are:

  • Sanguine: blood
  • Phlegmatic: phlegm
  • Choleric: yellow bile
  • Melancholic: black bile

TempermentTest.org has a free, easy to take version of the test.

Wikipedia‘s entry on the Four Temperments includes a diagram and chart as well as detailed descriptions of each of the four humors.

Eysenck Personality Inventory

Hans Eysenck is considered by many to be “the father of psychology” because of his desire to have an empirical basis for his theories. As a result, he ran a series of experiments to test his theory. While his ideas were initially based on the Four Temperaments of Jung (choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic and sanguine), he contended that each person has a set of traits which remain consistent over time and that it is their unique nervous system that plays a determining role in their ultimate personality.

Eysenck claimed that there are three primary elements of personality that are determined by genetics and exhibit themselves physiologically. He believed you could quantify those elements by observing the reaction of the autonomic nervous system. Eysenck defined the three basic dimensions of personality and their composition and characteristics as :

  • Extroversion vs. Introversion
  • Neuroticism vs. Emotional Stability
  • Psychoticism vs. Self-Control (added in 1966)

Eysenck’s use of the term ‘psychoticism’ differs from the definition most clinical psychologists would use. Eysenck is demoting anti-social behaviors, not mental illness.

For Eysenck, basic personality traits are determined by biological factors.

If you are interested in delving deeper into Eysenck’s theory and methodology, Wikipedia has an exhaustive body of information on the topic

SimilarMinds has a brief, simple assessment available at no cost.

I hope this has given you a place to start uncovering a little bit of who you are. In Part 2, we will continue learning more illuminating possibilities for our journey of self-discovery, including why the enneagram has been a monumental impact on the way I understand myself.

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  1. For anyone struggling with the question of defining themselves, this comprehensive study gives not only a vast, complete inventory of guides to explore their personality traits but also leads the reader to the discovery that they are a unique, complex and capable being.

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