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Personality Assesment Essay

976 words - 4 pages

Personality Assessment and Theories
Michelle Leonard
Axia College
There are four types of assessments use to determine an individual’s personality. These are assessments are: the personal interview, observation, objective tests, and projective test. Along with these four types of assessments there are four theories which correspond with each assessment. These theories are: psychodynamic, humanistic, trait, and cognitive-social theories. Both the assessments and the theories can help to explain an individual’s personality.

The first type of assessment is the personal interview. There are two main ways that the interview can be conducted: unstructured and structured. In an ...view middle of the document...

The longer the person is observed in everyday situation the more accurate the results will be. This type of assessment is preferred by behaviorists because it enables the observer to see behaviors in different situations (Morris & Maisto, 2005). Direct observation works best when the individual is unaware of the observation. When a person knows they are being watched they tend to behave differently. Direct observation is time consuming, but seems to provide a more accurate picture of the individual.

When using direct observation the cognitive-social learning theory, and the humanistic theory can be applied. The observer is able to observe behavior patterns as they relate to personal growth, reinforcement, and punishment. The observer can note how an individual functions on a day to day basis, in a group or alone. This observation can be classified as the humanistic theory.

The third type of personality assessment is objective tests. Objective tests are generally written tests that are given and scored in a standard way (Morris & Maisto, 2005). These types of test are most commonly used to assess personality, but they have some drawbacks. These tests require an individual to know about themselves and objectively answer the questions. Since this test is based on the individual’s answers they can be misleading. If an individual wants to appear a certain way they can answer the questions to reflect that appearance. There are many types of objective tests; the most commonly used test is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personal Inventory (MMPI-2). These test help to provide psychologists and therapists clinical information aiding in the diagnosis of some mental illnesses.

Much like, the personal interview many theories apply when it comes to objective tests. The main theory used when conducting objective tests is the trait theory. This theory deals with the way an individual thinks, feels, and acts. Since objective tests ask questions relating to an individual’s feelings, thoughts, or actions the trait theory is...

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