Top 5 Personality Tests Used in Psychology

best personality test psychology

While personality is a difficult concept to define in set terms, all psychologists agree that there is something to be said about a person’s behavioral patterns combined with their subjective experiences.

To properly assess human personality, tests, and assessments are commonly used to measure the characteristic patterns or traits that a person exhibits. These tests are used to clarify clinical diagnostics, guide treatment plans, and enable companies to hire the right candidates.

Below are the top five personality tests that are used in psychology:

1. Self-Reporting Assessments

Self-reporting assessments are one of the most used formative tools for psychometric testing.

They are self-explanatory: questionnaires that individuals complete and score themselves on. The most widely used format is the Likert scale, where people get asked to numerically score the extent to which they feel or relate to each question.

These assessments do have their downfalls, including dishonesty and people providing vague scores.

2. Interviews

You may think that job interviewing exists solely to gain an understanding of that candidate’s work history, but that could not be further from the truth. 

While their employment history plays a role in their potential future with that company, what matters more is determining that person’s personality. A job interview is a test of behavioral and social patterns and helps employers learn more about the candidate’s mental health.

The primary goal during an interview is to gather as much information on that candidate by asking the appropriate questions. Responses are recorded and generally scored using a standardized system. 

3. Myers-Briggs Personality Assessments

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was introduced by Katharine Cook and her daughter Isabel, during the 1940’s.

This test was based on an earlier theory introduced by Carl Jung. That theory postulates that humans experience the world using four psychological functions: intuition, sensation, feeling, and thinking.

This test has grown in popularity over the last few years and is now a widely used personality test across multiple industries including psychology.

4. Projective Tests

Although somewhat unusual, projective tests can provide much-needed insight into a person’s psychology and preferred thought patterns. 

If these tests sound foreign to you, perhaps you have heard of the most well-known version – the Rorschach inkblot test. These tests present patients and individuals with an abstract object and then ask them to describe what they see.

The idea behind the way these tests work is to assess the individual’s unfiltered interpretation of that abstract or vague object, thereby gaining insight into their psychology.


Introduced in the late 1930s, the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory aims to assess adult personalities and psychopathology across ten scales. These scales include hysteria, depression, paranoia, and social introversion.

The MMPI has a significant clinical reference and is commonly used to diagnose and formulate treatment plans for mental and psychological illnesses.

It is also used in employment settings to screen candidates and measure their psychological stability for employees in high-risk professions such as the police or navy.

To End

Do not be afraid to get a personality assessment – you will learn something new about yourself, and the results will help you to become a better person.