Personality tests with deep-sounding questions provide shallow answers about the ‘true’ you

Personality tests

DO IT SOMETIME What’s up? People arbitrarily divide parts of themselves into “True” (a revealing self hidden somewhere deep within) and superficial components. So, it’s natural that assessments claiming to unveil the deep element will be appealing. We seem all too willing to believe in tests that claim to definitively make those distinctions.
What’s new? Have you ever responded to a question like “What does your favourite animal say about you?” wondering what your love of hedgehogs reveals about your psyche? Or have you filled out a personality assessment to gain new understanding into whether you’re an introverted or extroverted “Type”?Psychologists point out to something striking about assessments that claim to uncover people’s “True type.” Many of the questions are poorly constructed – their wording can be ambiguous and they often contain forced choices between options that are not opposites.

When people try to answer these “harder” questions, do they think to themselves “This question is poorly written”? Or instead do they focus on its difficulty and think “This question’s deep”? Our results suggest that a desire for deep insight can lead to deep confusion. People have a hard time leaving behind the bad ideas baked into popular yet unscientific personality assessments.

On the other hand, assessments created by trained personality psychologists use questions that are more straightforward to interpret.

So what? Personality assessments can cause confusion. Some people might be stuck in a self-reinforcing yet unproductive line of thought from these tests of “True” self.
SOURCE:  The Conversation


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