Journal 2: Chapter 11 on Measuring Personality

Chapter 11's purpose was to explain how early psychologists deconstructed and analyzed individual's personalities. This came about after soldiers came back from war and higher ups wanted to ensure they were mentally capable of working. In order to measure someone's personalities there were a variety of methods invented to do so. Many of these are self-report surveys which may be unreliable in honesty when reporting. Woodworth had a personality data sheet. Then Herman Rorschach came up with an inkblot test in which one was supposedly projecting what they felt when describing what they saw in the ink. Evaluators would interpret their answers. After this Murray and Morgan used a similar principle but instead of inkblots used pictures and had individuals tell them the story of the picture, like what happened before the scene, during and after. 

Thematic Apperception Test TAT 1 - improvisation by guitarist ...

Reality is only a rorschach inkblot | Healing Penn
The problem with these tests is that they are very subjective. While there were structured tests that became more replicable afterwords they too had their limitations. Understanding the researchers point of view is vital for interpretation. These tests are generalized and not going to include the entire population. When tryin g to become more inclusive it is not possible to fit everyone in a neat box as being labeled as one thing or another. Researchers do their best to broaden their tests while still making them applicable to majority of people accessing them.
The limitations of the personality tests implies that everyone's personality falls between these 4-16 traits in Eysenck and Cattell's test. This is more inclusive in widening the range of people to observe. However it does not account for cultural, demographic differences. It limits capacity for accuracy. In some cultures people are more quiet or reserved, does that make the stoic or passive in our culture? It is when evaluating the results that experts have to keep in mind that a quiet person does not necessarily mean introverted, especially when in a testing situation, personalities often alter depending on one's environment and company.
Trait Theorists | Introduction to Psychology


  1. Hi Madison. This is a great post. I really enjoyed this chapter myself. I found it very interesting to learn all about personality. I never knew how complex it was until reading about it. Great job!


Post a Comment