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Health, Science, The Mind

Take the Personality Test!

How would you describe yourself? Would other people agree? Today’s blog is about finding out what type of personality you have…

A Clash of Personalities!

I walked into the office to a rather heated debate last week! Two teachers were talking about their different students’ and had somehow managed to get themselves into an argument about personalities

The debate had started to get complicated...

“I think people can change their personality if they want to.”

“That’s a nice idea but it’s not possible. You’re born with a certain personality; even babies have different personalities.”

“So, you think that people can never change? That’s pretty narrow-minded!”

“Personality is a part of who you are, you can’t change that!”

“Anyone could change their personality – it’s all about decisions that you make!”

“You’re wrong! I’m a certain type of person and no matter what decisions I make, I will still be that person…”

Peace was eventually restored in the office!

Things were escalating but no one was winning. Both of them were convinced they were right! I waded in (with my authoritative doctor tone) in an attempt to diffuse the situation; and it seemed to work!

I explained something that I remember being taught in psychiatry lessons:

Most psychologists say that attitudes and beliefs can change but personality doesn’t change very much after adolescence. Somehow our genetics and early life experiences fuse into our personality and temperament that is set for the rest of our lives. We can make decisions about what we do but our core personality traits remain stuck.

What’s your personality?

Lots of people must be interested in finding out about themselves; if you search Amazon there are over 20,000 books on personality for sale! Clearly not everyone agrees that our personality is ‘set in stone’ as many of the books offer ways that we can improve or change our personality.

What colour are you?

I remember some friends telling me to about a personality theory that they had read about. The theory suggested that everyone is grouped into one of four “personality types” (or colours). Have a read about it here for yourself and see if whether it works for you. Apparently I’m a blue person

No one likes the feeling of being ‘pigeon-holed’ or ‘put into a box’. For this reason, I hate a lot of personality theories (especially the colour theory)! We all react differently in different situations! But there is no denying it: people do have different ‘personalities’: Some people tend to be creative and outgoing, others are more reserved and thoughtful.

After years of research, psychologists have now come up with what they think is the best way to measure personality: the ‘Big Five’ Personality Test. Test yourself online and see what you find out about yourself!

These are the average results for most people. How do you compare?

 If you’re over 18, you can take part in BBC’s Big Personality Test – it is excellent and I highly recommend it!

Did it work for you?

For me, the results from the ‘Big Five’ personality test are a good reflection of the kind of person I think I am. So I confess, there must be something in personality testing. But are we being truthful about ourselves? The BBC has done a huge online survey of the people’s personalities. See how you compare with the rest of the country (or even take part in the survey) by clicking here.

Here’s something to try to see if you really know yourself: get someone else to do your personality test for you! See if the results are similar. Do they see you differently to how you see yourself? My only advice would be to choose who you ask wisely…

"What do you mean? I'm not an aggressive person!"

Find out more:

Test the personality of a blog!: http://www.typealyzer.com/

Find out more about the ‘Big Five’ Personality Test Here: http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/bigfive.htm

The BBC’s ‘Big Personality Test’ is a great site with its own ‘Big Five’ Personality Test: https://www.bbc.co.uk/labuk/experiments/personality/

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About Stuart Farrimond

I love writing about science and health subjects. Strange, because I also teach the same things. I trained as a medical doctor before turning my hand to other things. Shortlisted for The Guardian/Observer for Science Writer of the Year 2011 and editor for Guru Magazine I also like to grow large pumpkins...

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Take the Personality Test!

  1. Just a thought I had after reading this:

    If personality is set by the end of adolescence how does unstable/borderline personality disorder work?

    Posted by Robyn | October 11, 2010, 11:43 am
    • Great question! Been doing some head scratching…

      Personality disorders are basically extreme forms of a personality that cause harm to the person or others around them. The behaviour must be ‘pervasive’, be there from early adulthood and occur in a variety of situations and contexts.
      So if you don’t have it by the time you’re 20 – then you don’t have a personality disorder.
      Some of the different types are:
      ■ Narcissistic -dream of unlimited success, power and intellectual brilliance, crave attention from other people and exploit others (maybe some moive stars have this??)
      ■ Dependent – completely rely on others to make their own decisions and do what other people want them to do
      ■ Borderline (or emotionally unstable) – very impulsive with highly unstable moods and tend to feel very depressed

      I know that quite a few psychiatrists argue whether they are ‘mental illnesses’ or not. If it is a problem with a persons personality (which can’t be changed) how can you treat it?

      Here is a good link on personality disorders: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/problems/personalitydisorders/pd.aspx

      Posted by Stuart Farrimond | October 11, 2010, 12:08 pm
  2. Borderline personality disorder and bipolar are often mistaken as being the same thing. They are also often misdiagnosed, one for the other. This is because the symptoms for both illnesses are startlingly similar.Borderline personality disorder is actually less common and less known than bipolar. Borderline personality disorder accounts for only about twenty percent of hospitalizations for mental illness each year, while bipolar accounts for about fifty percent of hospitalizations. Borderline personality disorder is most common in young women, whereas bipolar is equally common in both men and women, as well as all age groups..

    Posted by Lindsey Triplett | February 4, 2013, 6:24 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Feeling Stressed? Find out if Your Health is at risk… | Doctor Stu's Science Blog - October 14, 2010

  2. Pingback: Take the Music Personality Test! Find out what Your taste in Music says about You! | Doctor Stu's Science Blog - November 23, 2010

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