As of this writing, our world is home to 7.7 billion humans, and possibly more if you account for those not on file. With 7.7 billion humans, there are also 7.7 different personalities out in the wild. It’s a helpful way to put things this way to make us realize how different and unique each one of us is – and that this difference is perfectly okay.
What is Personality and Why do Personality Types Exist?
Yes, each one of us is different, but if you put your microscope aside and look at things at a higher level as many psychologists have done, you end up with group classifications of people by personality type. Personality types aim to classify every person as one of several possible personality types.
People need a sense of connection and inclusiveness, a sense of similarity with others, and these personality type groups give us an explanation of why we naturally act in certain ways and give us a primer on how to deal with people with different personality types. Because of the practical benefits of personality typing, personality types are used in schools and workplaces to better assess and understand people.
There are no agreed, formal definitions of personality, but there are some popular ones. Personality, as defined by Corrs & Matthews (2009), is the characteristic set of behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors.
In essence, personality is your natural wiring and how you naturally act and react to your environment. There are thousands of different components and mechanisms that make up your “personality”. Your biological processes also highly influence personality. Two key points about personality that must be stressed are:
- Personality is constant – When people tell you to “develop” your personality, they’re not making any technical sense. You can develop yourself as a person, but your personality is the natural wiring of your brain and how you react to your environment. So it hardly changes throughout your life. Whatever minimal change will be very limited and slow and is slightly affected by physical, environmental, cultural factors.
- Personality dictates your life – Your personality travels with you everywhere you go. It affects the way you think, act, and feel in various situations. It dictates the thought processes you form when adjusting to new people or places and when dealing with life’s obstacles. Scientifically speaking, personality is mental and psychological in nature, but it is also very physiological and biological in terms of its effects on your life.
The Five Most Reliable Personality Test Models
There are literally hundreds of different personality tests and models out there. However, only a few credible models have actually been scientifically proven to resemble actual human behavior and thus are reliable to use. The best personality tests effectively help you to better understand yourself and better interact with other personalities.
In this post, we’ll go through five personality test models that will help you understand yourself better and give you (finally!) a clear picture of your personality. We have tried our best to explain all the science in layman’s terms, so don’t worry about jargon. In each of the five models, make sure to take the tests through our charts and find out your dominant personality type in each of the models!
Please do not confuse personality typing as “labeling” people. No one has the right to give anyone a label. In fact, you will never be 100% resemblant to a single personality type, but rather a combination of two or more. What these tests will give you is your dominant personality type.
Note: You may need a pen and paper to record your answers as you go through some of the chart-based personality tests. Alternatively, you can also print the tests and answer them.
Let’s get straight into it.
Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The MBTI Personality assessment is the world’s most popular personality test. When you think of personality tests or personality types, this one is probably what comes to your mind or what you’ve heard before. The MBTI was put together by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers and is based on the psychological theory proposed by Psychologist Carl Jung.
In this test, there are basically four dimensions of personality. In each dimension, you can either be closer to one spectrum or the other. If you did the math, you would have figured that this results in 16 possible personality types (i.e. 2x2x2x2).
So, the MBTI assessment basically attempts to group all humans into 16 main personality groups. And you are expected to belong to one of these – theoretically at least. Now, remember that in reality, you will never have 100% resemblance to a single type, but you will definitely be inclined or dominated towards a single type.
Use the chart below to find out your MBTI personality type. Read each description carefully and choose either the top or bottom spectrum in each dimension.
It is very important to note that the 4 dimensions are not polar opposites, but rather a gradual continuum. For example, let’s look at the 1st dimension of extraversion/introversion. If you are introverted, you could be 80% Introverted – 20% Extroverted, or 55% Introverted – 45% Extroverted, and so on. If you take a sample of two introverts, one of them will be more introverted. You get the point. No one is 100% introverted or 100% extroverted, but rather a blend of the two – just closer to one side. This applies to all four dimensions.
So, what did you get?
If you got ISFJ, you have the most common personality type (13.8%). On the other hand, INFJ (1.5%) is the rarest type. The table below shows the 16 personalities by percent of the population as well as the popular “title” given to each.
If you wish to read more about your MBTI personality type in terms of strengths, weaknesses, career implications, relationships, conflict-handling, etc, the folks at 16personalities offer the best comprehensive summaries on each type.
Important: There is no “best” personality type. That is, extroverts are no better than introverts, or vice versa. Thinkers are no better than Feelers, or vice versa, etc. All the 16 personality types are equal and naturally occurring. Different personalities think and act in different ways, are better at different things, and live life differently. Accepting this difference is key.
You can use your MBTI personality type to better understand yourself and play to your strengths and weaknesses. This way, the MBTI assessment will help you improve communication, conflict handling, decision-making, leadership, and several other aspects of work and life. It will generally help you live better.
If you wish to download or print an offline copy of the MBTI assessment, you may download a PDF copy here:
Four Colors Personality Test
Now that you know your MBTI, let’s move on to the next one. The Four Colors personality model was introduced by Don Lowry in 1978. The model commercially goes by the name True Colors personality model. The methodology aims to classify personality into temperaments represented by four colors – orange, green, gold, and blue.
Each person has a primary dominant color and may have a secondary color that compliments the primary one. There may be shades from all four colors in your personality, but the primary color is most important. That said, we are not one-dimensional beings so one color cannot fully describe us.
Some good points in favor of this model are:
- Easy to use and remember compared to MBTI
- Improves collaboration
- Helps you appreciate the value of others
As with all models, this model should not be used to change other people, make excuses for bad behavior, or label/stereotype others.
Use the chart below to find out your color personality. Read the instruction carefully and follow through the test diligently.
Now that you know your primary (highest) and secondary (2nd highest) color, check out the detailed description and interpretation for your color in the chart below.
Tips for each color:
Famous Personalities: Charlie Brown, JKF, Oliver North, Winston Churchill, Garfield, John Wayne, St. Francis of Assisi, Burt Reynolds, Teddy Roosevelt, Lea Lacocca
If you are an orange: Be self aware of your confidence and give people time to process. Pause before committing. Always make sure that you stay away from arrogance.
Interacting with an orange: Come on, lighten up a little! Match their free flow and speed and appreciate the flair that oranges bring. Be direct and be to the point. Energy and dynamism is what you need to match oranges.
Famous Personalities: Socrates, Moses, Carl Jung, Benjamin Franklin, Sherlock Holmes, Douglas MacArthur, Eleanor Roosevelt, Madame Curie, Ayn Rand, John DeLorean, Oscar Madison, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk
If you are a green: Resist your natural tendency to ask too many “whys”. Learn to listen sometimes without having to correct or debate and let others freely express their emotion, even if it’s difficult for you. Let others know if you take the time to think about something.
Interacting with a green: Give them their free time to think and be independent. Always stick to logic. Recognize their intelligence and valuable contributions (which will always be there). And never misinterpret their need for new information.
Famous Personalities: Mother Teresa,
If you are a blue: Learn how to say “No”, it will come in very handy. And sometimes you need to speak up and be direct. You have the tendency to ramble, so know when to come straight to the point.
Interacting with a blue: Hear them out and be personal with them. Listen out for feelings and limit sarcasm and teasing. Always make their presence felt and acknowledge them whenever possible.
Famous Personalities: Henry Ford, Santa Claus, Queen Victoria, George Washington, Lone Ranger, Nancy Reagan, Joe Friday, Johnny Carson, Archie Bunker
If you are a gold: Be self-conscious of how hard you try to drive others sometimes and maybe ease up a little. Also, learn to accept different ways of doing things if the ultimate goal is the same. Be open-minded and consider other people’s opinions and methods. Have the patience when others talk indirectly or inconsistently.
Interacting with a gold: Refrain from disturbing or interrupting them in conversion. Stay specific, on target, consistent, and always practice closure.
On a final note for the four colors personality model, take note that colors may sometimes change depending on circumstances and environment. Introverts/Extroverts can be in any color – there is no correlation whatsoever.
If you wish to download or print an offline copy of the Four colors Personality Assessment, you may download a PDF copy here:
The Personality Compass
As the name suggests, the Personality Compass primarily groups humans based on the four directions of the compass: North, South, East, and West. Everyone has characteristics from all four types, but only two will capture your personality most accurately – your dominant and subdominant type.
Unlike the four colors test where your personality type is primarily a single color, this model gives you a combination of two directions (e.g. NorthWest, SouthEast, etc.) For example, our friend Zack over here has a NorthWest personality based on the personality compass
Again, there is no best type, all are equal and have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Take our quick test below to find out whether your personality type based on the Personality Compass model. You may also opt to print the chart offline so it’s easier to answer.
At the basic level, Norths, Souths, East, and Wests are very different in terms of image, attitude, and priorities. The table below outlines these differences.
Now that you know your type based on the personality compass, here are some matching job/profession examples for each type.
NorthEast: Common careers include Military officer, Negotiator, Chairperson, Conductor, and Maitre d’.
NorthWest: Common careers include Chief Executive, Manager, Project Leader, Police Officer, and Coach.
SouthEast: Common careers include Human resources, Nurse, Mediator, Receptionist, and Assistant Coach.
SouthWest: Common careers include Salesperson, Diplomat, Missionary, Waiter, and Talk Show host.
EastNorth: Common careers include Judge, Attorney, Surgeon, Engineer, and Quality Control.
EastSouth: Common careers include Editor, City Planner, Car sales rep, Secretary, and Curator.
WestNorth: Common careers include Project coordinator, Advertiser, Developer, Performer, and Builder.
WestSouth: Common careers include Writer, Story Boarder, Artist, Liason Officer, and Landscaper.
If you wish to download or print an offline copy of the Personality Compass test, you may download a PDF copy here:
Dr. Merrill’s Workplace Personality Test
Fourth on the list is a workplace personality test formulated by Dr. Merrill. This model proposes that employees generally have one dominant style out of the four personality styles: Amiable, Driver, Analytical, and Expressive.
This model is especially useful if you work at an office or public workplace. That is not to say that the previous three are not useful in the workplace. If you are currently not working, this test might not apply to you so you may skip right to the fifth one.
In this test, consider each of the 18 questions below separately and choose the letter representing how you are most likely to naturally act in the workplace, not based on how you would want yourself to act today or in the future. There are no correct or incorrect answers, so just answer the test
There you have it – so what’s your style?
You will have noticed that you are not strictly one style. That’s because no one fits into one box since humans are too complex and unique for that. Do not use this to label people, but rather as a self-learning tool to improve yourself and your interaction with each style.
The goal is to understand and relate to all four styles in order to ensure smooth communication. At the workplace, you can’t choose who to work with, so you need to be able to blend in with all styles. Typically, analytical people find it most difficult to work with expressive people. Similarly, our amiable friends will find it most difficult to work with drivers. The key is to observe others’ personality, adapt to it, and then ultimately connect.
Check out the profile of each workplace personality style below:
Strengths: Thinking, Disciplined, Thorough, Polite, Persistent, Diligent, Methodical, and Cautious.
Weaknesses: Excludes feelings, goes too far, too rigid or demanding of self and others, quiet, boring, withdrawn, indecisive, and closed.
Quick tip: Speak more often and smile more. Make a conscious effort to show appreciation and personal interest. Sometimes,
Strengths: Supportive, Patient, Diplomatic, Devoted, Dependable, Loyal, Hard-working, Cooperative, Trustworthy, and Friendly.
Weaknesses: Difficulty saying no, no time boundaries, not assertive, indecisive, passive, quiet, nice, compliant, and slow decision makers.
Quick tip: Try to speed up with fast people. Talk more and listen less, to compensate for your natural tendency to listen more. Sometimes, try to take control and be assertive. And you only live once, so take some risks!
Strengths: Independent, Decisive, Determined, High Achiever, Practical, Organized, Assertive, Persuasive, and Bold.
Weaknesses: Has trouble working with others, single-minded, domineering, stubborn, impatient, insensitive, short-tempered, direct, controlling, and cold.
Quick tip: Slow down with “slow” people. You may not be comfortable but you have to take time to listen to the others’ ideas and consider them. Sometimes, try to sit in the passenger’s seat. Not everything in life is a long drive where you need to drive all the way. Hold back some dominance and control and show more patience.
Strengths: Articulate, Enthusiastic, Imaginative, Supportive, Socially Adept, Relationship-focused, People-person, Spontaneous, and Inspiring.
Weaknesses: Too talkative,
Quick tip: You are the chatterbox, so talking won’t be a problem. But you need to learn how to listen more and slow down. Writing things down and setting goals can be helpful too. Check details and stay calm since you have the tendency to get excited and nervous. Your biggest challenge is concentration – you’ll have to learn this!
The secret to creating high-performing teams in the workplace is to have a good mix of members from all four personality styles!
If you wish to download or print an offline copy of the Workplace Personality Test, you may download a PDF copy here:
Types A,B,C,D Personality Assessment
We’re finally down to the fifth and last personality test/model. Do not mistake it for the best one though, what it is though is the most simple out of the 5 personality models and it arguably has the least science fed into it. That said, it is the ideal example of K.I.S.S (Keep it Simple, Stupid) when it comes to personality types.
This personality model basically classifies people as either a Type A, B, C, or D personality type. Yes, that simple. Just like in the previous four tests, you will have a single dominant type and some elements of the other three. There is no hierarchy here and no best single type.
This one below isn’t really a test where you have to answer questions. To find out which type you are, carefully go through each column and the 10 words in each column. The column which you feel you belong in (i.e most words strongly resemble you) is your personality type.
So, are you a type A, B, C, or D?
While the general consensus among people is to desire a Type A personality, that’s not to say it’s the best or anything like that. All types have their roles, strengths, and weaknesses in human relationships and team dynamics. So the next time someone brags to you that he/she is a Type A, you have all the right to take it with a grain of salt. And maybe, refer them here to this chart and let them confirm it.
If you wish to download or print an offline copy of the Types A,B,C,D Personality Test, you may download a PDF copy here:
Doesn’t it feel good to be finally understood?
We hope you took all the five personality tests to better understand yourself. By now, you know your personality based on five different models! You can look at this as a combined assessment of your personality – a more wholesome one if you will. Perhaps, your “ultimate” personality type? If you allow us to call it that.
For instance, let’s look at this combination of personality types of a single person based on the five tests.
INTJ – Green – NorthWest – Analytical – Type A
A combination like this explains a lot about a person. For example, the fact that this person is a “Green” and a “Type A” gives a better picture of the personality. “Green” is usually associated with Type C, but being a Type A would tell us that there is also a very ambitious dimension to this person. Also, the NorthWest there tells us that there is some element of risk-taking and daringness to this person, in addition to the analytical side.
That said, it is a fact that humans are very complex and at the end of the day, it is impossible to fully label and group people into personality types. Everyone is different and you can never truly stamp any type on anyone. Take 5
That’s not the point of all this typing. Personality typing is an attempt to better understand ourselves and others so we can live better. It is not a label to ourselves. So if you are an ESFJ based on the MBTI for example, never associate everything about an ESFJ to yourself. Worse, never start forcing yourself to act like a typical ESFJ would. That’s the perfectly wrong way to use your personality type.
We hope you understand yourself a bit better after this activity. If you reached this far into the guide, Kudos to you! We’ll end this guide here and leave you with this very thought-provoking quote.
Comparing yourself to others is the biggest insult to yourself.
- The Personality Compass: A New Way to Understand People by Diane Turner and Thelma Greco, 1998
- Personal Styles and Effective Performance: Make your Style Work for You by Dr. David Merrill and Roger Reid (Radnor, PA.: Chilton, 1981
- The Cambridge handbook of personality psychology (1. publ. ed.). by Corr, Philip J., and Matthews, Gerald (2009).