September 25, 2023

What Are Character Assessments in Psychology?

Character is a difficult idea to outline in concrete phrases, and that is mirrored each within the variety of character theories that exist and the dearth of consensus amongst character psychologists.

Nonetheless, for this text, we are able to consider character because the totality of 1’s behavioral patterns and subjective experiences (Kernberg, 2016).

All people have a constellation of traits and experiences that make them distinctive but concurrently recommend that there are some generalizable or distinct qualities inherent in all people.

In psychology, we’re concerned with understanding how traits and qualities that individuals possess cluster collectively and the extent to which these differ throughout and inside people.

Now, it’s all very nicely and good understanding that character exists as an idea and that your workers and purchasers differ of their groupings of traits and subjective experiences, however how are you going to apply this data to your skilled work with them?

That is the place measuring and assessing character comes into play. Like most psychological ideas, researchers need to present that theoretical data will be helpful for working life and delivered to bear in the true world.

For instance, understanding a shopper’s or worker’s character will be key to setting them up for achievement at work and pursuing and attaining work-related objectives. However we first have to establish or assess character earlier than we may help others to reap these advantages.

Character assessments are used for a number of causes.

First, they will present professionals with a possibility to establish their strengths and reaffirm their sense of self. It’s no coincidence that analysis on strengths is so well-liked or that strengths have such a distinguished place within the working world. Individuals wish to know who they’re, they usually need to capitalize on the qualities and traits they possess.

Second, character assessments can present professionals with a social benefit by serving to them to know how they’re perceived by others reminiscent of colleagues, managers, and stakeholders — the trying glass self (Cooley, 1902).

Within the sections beneath, we are going to discover totally different character assessments and well-liked evidence-based scales.

4 Strategies and Sorts of Character Assessments

Personality typesThere are a number of methods character is routinely assessed. Beneath we define 4 key strategies used, what they entail, and what their limitations are.

1. Self-report assessments

Self-reports are one of the broadly used codecs for psychometric testing. They’re as they sound: reviews or questionnaires {that a} shopper or worker completes themselves (and sometimes scores themselves).

Self-report measures can are available many codecs. The most typical are Likert scales the place people are requested to charge numerically (from 1 to 7 for instance) the extent to which they really feel that every query describes their ideas, emotions, or behaviors.

Most of these assessments are well-liked as a result of they’re simple to distribute and full, they’re usually price efficient, they usually can present useful insights into conduct.

Nonetheless, in addition they have downsides to be cautious of, together with a rise in unconscious biases such because the social desirability bias (i.e., the need to reply “appropriately”). They may also be susceptible to people not paying consideration, not answering in truth, or not absolutely understanding the questions requested.

Such points can result in an inaccurate evaluation of character. Self-reports will be accomplished in each private {and professional} settings and will be significantly useful in a training apply, for instance.

Nonetheless, in case you are knowledgeable working with purchasers in any capability, it’s suggested to first check out any self-report measure earlier than suggesting them to purchasers. On this method, you’ll be able to gauge for your self the usefulness and validity of the measure.

2. Behavioral statement

One other helpful methodology of character evaluation is behavioral statement. This methodology entails somebody observing and documenting an individual’s conduct.

Whereas this methodology is extra useful resource heavy by way of time and requires an observer (ideally one who’s skilled and certified in observing and coding the conduct), it may be helpful as a complementary methodology employed alongside self-reports as a result of it could actually present an exterior corroboration of conduct.

Alternatively, behavioral statement can fail to corroborate self-report scores, elevating the query of how reliably a person has answered their self-report.

3. Interviews

Interviews are used broadly from scientific settings to workplaces to find out a person’s character. Even a job interview is a check of behavioral patterns and experiences (i.e., character).

Throughout such interviews, the first purpose is to collect as a lot data as potential by utilizing probing questions. Responses ought to be recorded, and there ought to be a standardized scoring system to find out the end result of the interview (for instance, whether or not the candidate is appropriate for the function).

Whereas interviews can elicit wealthy information a few shopper or worker, they’re additionally topic to the unconscious biases of the interviewers and will be open to interpretation if there is no such thing as a methodology for scoring or evaluating the interviewee.

4. Projective assessments

Most of these assessments are uncommon in that they current people with an summary or obscure object, job, or exercise and require them to explain what they see. The concept right here is that the unfiltered interpretation can present perception into the particular person’s psychology and mind-set.

A well known instance of a projective check is the Rorschach inkblot check. Nonetheless, there are limitations to projective assessments as a consequence of their interpretative nature and the dearth of a constant or quantifiable method of coding or scoring people’ responses.

7 Proof-Primarily based Inventories, Scales, and Exams

Character assessments can be utilized within the office throughout recruitment to gauge whether or not somebody could be a very good match for a job or group and to assist decide job efficiency, profession development, and improvement.

Beneath, we spotlight just a few generally used inventories and assessments for such profession assessments.

1. The Hogan character stock (HPI)

The Hogan character stock (Hogan & Hogan, 2002) is a self-report character evaluation created by Robert Hogan and Joyce Hogan within the late Seventies.

It was initially primarily based on the California Character Stock (Gough, 1975) and in addition attracts upon the five-factor mannequin of character. The five-factor mannequin of character suggests there are 5 key dimensions of character: openness to expertise, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (Digman, 1990).

The Hogan evaluation includes 206 gadgets throughout seven totally different scales that measure and predict social conduct and social outcomes quite than traits or qualities, as do different well-liked character measures.

These seven scales embody:

  • Adjustment
  • Ambition
  • Sociability
  • Interpersonal sensitivity
  • Prudence
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Studying strategy

The HPI’s main use is inside organizations to assist with recruitment and the event of leaders. It’s a strong scale with over 40 years of proof to help it, and the size itself takes roughly 15–20 minutes to finish (Hogan Assessments, n.d.).

2. DISC check

The DISC check of character developed by Merenda and Clarke (1965) is a extremely popular character self-assessment used primarily inside the company world. It’s primarily based on the emotional and behavioral DISC concept (Marston, 1928), which measures people on 4 dimensions of conduct:

  • Dominance
  • Inducement
  • Submission
  • Compliance

The self-report includes 24 questions and takes roughly 10 minutes to finish. Whereas the check is easier and faster to finish than different well-liked assessments (e.g., the Myers-Briggs Sort Indicator), it has been topic to criticism relating to its psychometric properties.

3. Gallup – CliftonStrengths™ Evaluation

In contrast to the DISC check, the CliftonStrengths™ evaluation, employed by Gallup and primarily based on the work of Marcus Buckingham and Don Clifton (2001), is a questionnaire designed particularly to assist people establish strengths within the office and learn to use them.

The evaluation is a self-report Likert scale comprising 177 questions and takes roughly half-hour to finish. As soon as scored, the evaluation offers people with 34 power themes organized into 4 key domains:

  • Strategic pondering
  • Executing
  • Influencing
  • Relationship constructing

The size has a strong theoretical and empirical grounding, making it a preferred office evaluation world wide.


The NEO-PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 2008) is a extremely well-liked self-report character evaluation primarily based on Allport and Odbert’s (1936) trait concept of character.

With good reliability, this scale has amassed a big proof base, making it an interesting stock for a lot of. The NEO-PI-R assesses a person’s strengths, skills, and weaknesses and is commonly utilized by employers to establish appropriate candidates for job openings.

It makes use of the large 5 components of character (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) and in addition consists of a further six subcategories inside the huge 5, offering an in depth breakdown of every character dimension.

The size itself includes 240 questions that describe totally different behaviors and takes roughly 30–40 minutes to finish. Curiously, this stock will be administered as a self-report or, alternatively, as an observational report, making it a popular evaluation amongst professionals.

5. Eysenck Character Questionnaire (EPQ)

The EPQ is a character evaluation developed by character psychologists Hans Eysenck and Sybil Eysenck (1975).

The size outcomes from successive revisions and enhancements of earlier scales: the Maudsley Character Stock (Eysenck 1959) and Eysenck Character Stock (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1964).

The purpose of the EPQ is to measure the three dimensions of character as espoused by Eysenck’s psychoticism–extraversion–neuroticism concept of character The size itself makes use of a Likert format and was revised and shortened in 1992 to incorporate 48 gadgets (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1992).

It is a usually helpful scale; nonetheless, some researchers have discovered that there are reliability points with the psychoticism subscale, probably as a result of this was a later addition to the size.

6. Minnesota Multiphasic Character Stock (MMPI)

The MMPI (Hathaway & McKinley, 1943) is without doubt one of the most generally used character inventories on this planet and makes use of a real/false format of questioning.

It was initially designed to evaluate psychological well being issues in scientific settings in the course of the Forties and makes use of 10 scientific subscales to evaluate totally different psychological situations.

The stock was revised within the Nineteen Eighties, ensuing within the MMPI-2, which comprised 567 questions, and once more in 2020, ensuing within the MMPI-3, which includes a streamlined 338 questions.

Whereas the revised MMPI-3 takes a prolonged 35–50 minutes to finish, it stays well-liked to this present day, significantly in scientific settings, and allows the correct seize of facets of psychopathy and psychological well being disturbance. The check has good reliability however have to be administered by knowledgeable.

7. 16 Character Issue Questionnaire (16PF)

The 16PF (Cattell et al., 1970) is one other score scale stock used primarily in scientific settings to establish psychiatric issues by measuring “regular” character traits.

Cattell recognized 16 main character traits, with 5 secondary or world traits beneath that map onto the large 5 components of character.

These embody such traits as heat, reasoning, and emotional stability, to call just a few. The latest model of the questionnaire (the fifth version) includes 185 multiple-choice questions that ask about routine behaviors on a 10-point scale and takes roughly 35–50 minutes to finish.

The size is simple to manage and nicely validated however have to be administered by knowledgeable.

Personality inventoriesAlong with the gathering of science-based interventions, we even have to say a controversial however well-known character evaluation device: Myers-Briggs.

We share two informative movies on this matter after which transfer on to a brief assortment of questions that can be utilized for profession improvement.

1. Myers-Briggs Sort Indicator (MBTI)

Many people have heard of the Myers-Briggs Sort Indicator (Myers & McCaulley, 1985), and for good cause. It is without doubt one of the hottest and broadly used character assessments on the market.

A mom and daughter group developed the MBTI within the Forties in the course of the Second World Battle. The MBTI includes 93 questions that purpose to measure a person on 4 totally different dimensions of character:

  • Introversion/extraversion
  • Sensing/instinct
  • Pondering/feeling
  • Judging/perceiving

The check offers people with a kind of character out of a potential 16 combos. While this check is a favourite in workplaces, there are critical criticisms leveled at how the size was developed and the dearth of rigorous proof to help its use.

For extra data on the MBTI, you would possibly benefit from the beneath movies: