Essay on the Personality Tests
Buros distinguishes projective and non projective methods, and Anantasi projective methods, from questionnaires dealing with interests, attitudes and personality, the last mentioned concept here referring particularly to such dimensions of personality as extroversion-introversion and neutroticism. There are also “objective personality tests”.
Measures of Personality Include:
Questionnaires, observation, rating scales, interview, sociometric techniques, cumulative records, case study, psycho-analysis (free association technique, dream analysis technique and psychodrama), and projective techniques (research methods, thematic tests and word association tests). We will discuss only a few in brief here.
Personality is sometimes measured by inventories. In these inventories listed questions have to be answered by subjects. They are expressions of his feelings. The first self- report, questionnaire type of inventory was the Personal Data Sheet devised by R.S. Woodworth in 1919. The aim of questionnaire is to detect personality and behavioral symptoms that are regarded as indicative of maladjustment.
The questions on the data sheet take the form or place of an individual interview. Some famous inventories are : The Bell adjustment inventory, Bern- reuter personality inventory, Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory, Shipley personal inventory, Minnesota counselling inventory, Allport – Vernon – Lindzey study of values and the California tests of personality, to name a few.
Methods of observation have been discussed before hence are not being discussed again under this head.
Rating scales are multi-stage scales on which degrees of characteristics are arranged subjectively by a rater. Such scales usually have five, six or seven stages which can be formulated verbally or shown by numbers; they are used, for example, in Q sorting and polarity profiles. They have the standard of ordinal scales and form the starting point for direct scaling techniques by means of which they can be converted into scales with higher values.
There are five broad categories of rating scales: Numerical, graphic, standard, cumulative points and forced choice. In almost all of these scales, assignment of a category, i.e., evaluation is done by inspection. This is either along an unbroken continuum or in ordered categories along a continuum. The operation in each type is, however, quite distinct.
The interview has been discussed before hence is not being discussed here again.
Sociometry is a blanket term for techniques, particularly the sociometric test used to make a quantitative analysis of the emotional structure of a group. The emotional structure is measured on the basis of mutual choices of the group members, what they feel and think about one another. Two components are of crucial importance for the results of a sociometric test: (1) the prescribed form of choice, and (2) the criteria of choice. The resulting emotional structure is a function of the criterion employed. At the present the term Sociometry is used not only for the analysis of emotional structure but for the assessment of other aspects of the relationships between group members.
A Sociogram is an illustration or diagram representing the findings of sociometric tests; the desired relationships of a positive or negative nature or interaction frequency of the members of a group. In a Sociogram, individuals are represented as circles or squares connected by lines or arrows of varying lengths.
The length of the line or arrow is analogous to the social (emotional) distance between two individuals. The arrows show the direction of choice. In this way some of the distinguishing factors of the sociometric structure of a group (outsiders, central figures, clique formation, group comparisons, etc.) are illustrated.
A cumulative record is a record of information about an individual over a long period and therefore, it may, be a collection of many objective and independent studies.
The case study method has been discussed before hence is not being taken up for discussion again here.
The psycho – analysis technique was developed by Sir Sigmund Freud (discussed under personality). Free association and dream analysis techniques are its backbone.
Free association is a non-purposefully linked course, trend or flow of thoughts, ideas and memories that arise in dreams, day-dreaming, and free fantasy, in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. The subject or the observer (therapist) is said to be able to discern in free associations the motives and wishes which control these associations without his agency or violation. In association tests the subject is required to respond with association to stimuli, usually words.
In projective tests more or less equivocal, undefined, stimulus situations, usually in the form of pictures, inkblots, or incomplete sentences are presented before the subject for response. The idea behind projection is that values, attitudes, needs, and wishes, as well as impulses and motives are projected upon objects and behaviors outside the individual hence it would be possible to study these by somehow getting them to project these internal states onto external objects. The basic principle is that the more unstructured and ambiguous a stimulus, the more a subject can and will project his emotions, needs, motives, attitudes, and values.
Association techniques require the subject to respond, at the presentation of a stimulation, with the first thing that comes to mind. The most famous and important device of this kind is the Rorschach ink blot test. The Rorschach, however, is more useful for clinical work than for research. Word association methods are more promising. Emotionally tinged words are included with neutral words, and subjects are asked to respond with the first word that comes to mind.
In the construction techniques the focus is on the product of the subject. The subject is required to produce, to construct, something at direction, usually a story or a picture. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) developed by H.A. Murray and C.D. Morgan is a well known one. In these techniques generally some sort of standard stimulus is used.
Completion projective measures supply the subject with a stimulus that is incomplete, the subject being required to complete it as he wishes. Or the stimulus may be loosely structured. The famous sentence-completion method is the best known of such techniques.
The choice or ordering techniques require simple responses: the subject chooses from among several alternatives, as in a multiple-choice item test, the items or choice that appears most relevant, correct, and attractive and so on.
Expressive projective techniques are similar to construction techniques: the subject is required to form some sort of product out of raw material. But the emphasis is on the manner in which he does this – the end product is not important. The subject expresses his needs, desires, emotions, and motives through working with, manipulating, and interacting with materials, including other people, in a manner or style that uniquely express his personality. The principal expressive methods are play, drawing, painting, finger painting, and role playing.