You probably think you know exactly what sort of person you are: sensitive or detached, calm or hot-headed, a leader or a follower.
But are you really so sure? Many experts say we’re bad at assessing this information ourselves — and that how others see us may be totally different.
That’s why personality tests can be useful — helping you to understand everything from why you don’t get on with certain colleagues to why things that appear perfectly reasonable to you seem odd to your friends.
Researchers claim a new computer-based personality test helped them to sort people into four distinct types
Earlier this month, researchers claimed that a computer-based personality test helped them to sort people into four distinct types of personality.
Their work is similar to the world-recognised, gold-standard personality test known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which also assesses test-takers on four areas to give an astonishing insight into their motivation, drive and emotions.
The test was first developed in the Forties and it has been constantly improved ever since, in the belief that understanding their personality type means people can make better choices.
Indeed, it is considered so effective, it’s been used by the RAF and 79 per cent of FTSE 100 firms to discover how to get the best from their employees.
The multiple-choice questions tell you which of 16 types of person you are, identified by four metrics that tell you if you are an introvert or extrovert; are imaginative or logical; prefer to make decisions based on emotion or fairness; and like to live life off-the-cuff or meticulously planned.
The test is similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which also assesses test-takers on four areas (file photo)
Unless you’ve worked for a large company, it’s unlikely you’d know your own type.
But now, thanks to an exclusive quiz devised for the Mail by an expert in Myers-Briggs testing, you can find out. Prepare to unlock the most amazing secrets of your personality…
PUT YOURSELF TO THE TEST
Each of the following four numbered sections allows you to find out about a different aspect of your personality.
For each question, choose one option — A, B, C or D. Based on the letter you choose most commonly, write your overall answer in the space provided.
By the end of the questions, you will have chosen one of 16 personality types (see box).
1. ARE YOU AN EXTROVERT OR AN INTROVERT?
This test measures whether you are a ‘people person’ (an ‘Extrovert’) or prefer to be by yourself (an ‘Introvert’).
How do you prefer to ‘recharge your batteries’ at the end of the day?
a) Doing something energising that involves other people.
b) Going on Facebook, playing music, phoning friends — often lots of things at the same time.
c) Indulging in some activities that are peaceful and quiet.
d) Just chilling out by myself or perhaps with one other person.
How do you feel about working in an open-plan office?
a) I really enjoy having lots of people around to talk to.
b) I enjoy the buzz and the atmosphere, but it’s distracting if I need to concentrate.
c) They are usually a bit too noisy for me.
d) I really don’t like working in an open-plan office.
When you are socialising with others, do you tend to
a) Do most of the talking.
b) Talk more than I listen.
c) Listen more than I talk.
d) Do very little of the talking.
If someone asks you a difficult question, how do you answer it?
a) Give an answer straight away — and then keep talking.
b) Start talking and discussing my ideas — I won’t know what the answer is until I’ve talked it through.
c) Think the question through properly and not answer till I’m ready.
d) I’d prefer to think through the question before I answer, but I know that sometimes people want a quick reply, so I often panic and start talking.
If you attend a big party or other social event, do you usually…
a) Really look forward to it and then have lots of fun once I am there.
b) Try to meet as many new people as I can.
c) Spot the people I already know and stick with them.
d) Worry about how to keep the conversation going.
If you chose more As and Bs, you prefer Extroversion (E).
If you chose more Cs and Ds, you prefer Introversion (I).
People who prefer ‘Extroversion’ get their energy from interacting with other and focus their attention on the outside world.
They tend to act first, then reflect later. They typically prefer to talk through problems, learn best by discussing or doing and have a breadth of different interests.
People who prefer ‘Introversion’ get their energy from contemplation and focus their attention on their inner world.
They tend to reflect first, then act later. They typically prefer to think through problems, learn best by reflection and have deep interests in a small number of areas.
2. ARE YOU DRIVEN BY FACTS OR IMAGINATION?
This tests whether you rely on practical solutions and hard facts (called ‘Sensing’ by the test-makers) or are creative and imaginative (called ‘Intuition’ by the test-makers).
What’s your first reaction when you hear a new idea?
a) Will it improve on what already exists? No point in re-inventing the wheel!
b) How will it work in practice?
c) Is it something really new, exciting and innovative? That would be cool!
d) Does it make sense conceptually?
How do you put together flat-pack furniture?
a) Read through the instructions carefully first and then follow them step-by-step.
b) Check before I start that all the parts are there and I have everything I need.
c) Only look at the instructions if something doesn’t work.
d) I do follow the instructions, but only because I know that otherwise, things might go wrong.
Where would you prefer to go on holiday?
a) Somewhere I’ve been before, that I know and like.
b) Somewhere that people I know have been to and liked.
c) Somewhere different or unusual.
d) Wherever feels right when I book the holiday.
What sort of person do you most enjoy being around?
a) Someone who has a lot of common sense.
b) Someone who wants to pack in lots of real-life experience and activity.
c) Someone who is quick and witty.
d) Someone with lots of ideas.
How do you usually read this newspaper?
a) From the beginning to the end.
b) I only read certain sections of the newspaper, but I read those thoroughly.
c) I flip in and out, reading the bits that catch my interest.
d) Back, front — there’s no order to how I read it.
If you chose more As and Bs, you prefer Sensing (S).
If you chose more Cs and Ds, you prefer Intuition (N).
People who prefer ‘Sensing’ rely on solid information they gather from their direct experience.
They focus on what is real and observable, look at facts and details and enjoy what is happening in the moment. They value practical application over theory.
People who prefer ‘Intuition’ rely on imaginative insights, patterns and meanings, rather than what experience tells them.
They focus on the ‘big picture’ and possibilities, look at ideas and search for meaning, and enjoy anticipating the future. They value concepts even if they have no immediate practical worth.
3. HOW DO YOU MAKE DECISIONS — THROUGH LOGIC OR EMOTION?
This tests whether you can make impersonal choices with ease (called ‘Thinking’ by the test-makers) or are swayed by your feelings (called ‘Feeling’ by the test-makers).
When I make a major purchase, such as a car, what I prefer to do is to…
a) Research all the facts and figures and make a detailed list of pros and cons.
b) Buy the best, newest or most unique product I can.
c) Talk to a salesperson who I can trust — ideally someone I already know.
d) Buy something that fits with my values or that will make my family or friends happy.
One of your best friends starts a relationship with someone you really dislike — and then asks you what you think of their new partner. What would you do?
a) Be truthful and direct about what I think: after all, they asked.
b) Be tactful: why give myself and them unnecessary pain?
c) Trying not to hurt their feelings, be tactful, but still somewhat honest with them.
d) Avoid hurting their feelings, even if this means not telling the truth.
When you do a job or carry out a task, what do you most like to be appreciated or recognised for?
a) My expertise, competence or intelligence.
b) Doing a good job, beyond what was expected.
c) Putting in effort — for what I put of myself into the project.
d) Helping others and making a difference to people.
You come back to a friend’s house with them after lunch — and it’s been burgled. What are you most likely to say first?
a) ‘That’s annoying. You’d better ring the police.’
b) ‘Right, let me help. Shall I ring the police? Has anything been taken? What’s insured?’
c) ‘Oh no, this must be awful. How are you feeling?’
d) ‘Are you OK? Shall I make us both a cup of tea?’
When you need to make a difficult decision, what is most important to you?
a) Taking account of the big picture and all the possible outcomes and then making an objective, logical decision.
b) Taking account of all the facts, so that I can make the most logical decision.
c) Taking account of my own beliefs and values, so that I do the right thing.
d) Taking account of the impact that my decision will have on other people.
If you chose more As and Bs, you prefer Thinking (T).
If you chose more Cs and Ds, you prefer Feeling (F).
People who prefer ‘Thinking’ like to make decisions based on logic and impersonal criteria.
They focus on cause and effect reasoning and tend to look for flaws in the logic of others’ arguments, so that they can reach the correct solution.
When they are dealing with people, they try to apply consistent principles.
People who prefer ‘Feeling’ like to make decisions based on their personal values. They focus on maintaining harmony with others and tend to look for common ground in order to reach a solution that works for everybody.
They try to treat each person as unique.
4. ARE YOU A PLANNER OR A DOER?
This tests whether you prefer to follow a structured plan (called ‘Judging’ by the test-makers) or are someone spontaneous (called ‘Perceiving’ by the test-makers).
Which phrase comes closest to describing your outlook on life?
a) If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
b) If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t get anywhere.
c) If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up somewhere very interesting.
d) Life should be full of surprises.
When and where do you do your regular food shopping?
a) Usually on the same day each week, with a set list of items, and using the same supermarket or online shop.
b) Usually on the same day each week, with a rough list.
c) There is meant to be a regular day, though I sometimes change my mind and do extra trips.
d) When there is no food left and wherever is convenient at the time.
How do you feel when your local supermarket reorganises its layout?
a) It really annoys me, as I like to know where everything is.
b) It’s a little off-putting to begin with, until I change the order in which I shop.
c) It’s OK, as I don’t have a set routine.
d) I probably wouldn’t notice.
When do you pack for your holidays?
a) Well in advance. Why delay?
b) I get everything I can washed, ironed and ready in advance, but don’t pack clothes in the case until just before the holiday, so they don’t get too creased.
c) The day before, if I’m feeling organised.
d) Sometimes I’m still packing as I’m walking out the door.
Which word best describes what you feel like when you have to follow a schedule or plan?
If you chose more As and Bs, you prefer Judging (J).
If you chose more Cs and Ds, you prefer Perceiving (P).
People who prefer ‘Judging’ like to live in an organised and methodical way. They like to get things decided, tick these off their list and move on. They enjoy planning and prefer to work within a structure. Most dislike working under time pressures.
People who prefer ‘Perceiving’ like to live in a spontaneous, flexible way. They like to keep their options open and try not to make a decision until they need to. They enjoy going with the flow, rather than being constrained by a plan. Most find last-minute time pressures energising and motivating.
This quiz has been a taster of what personality questionnaires can tell us about ourselves.
If you would like to find out more about your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type, you can take the full assessment online by visiting: mbtionline.com
Please quote the promotional code ‘DailyMail’ for 20 per cent off the list price before October 20.
Use your answers to find out your personality type
You should now have four answers that make up your personality type. Take the first letter from each — for instance, if you were an Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiver, then you’d be an ESTP — and have a look at the descriptions on the right to find out what kind of person you are…
ISTJ — RESPONSIBLE REALIST
You are thorough, observant and logical, good at analysing and organising things efficiently, and tend to be reserved.
ISFJ — PRACTICAL HELPER
You are responsible, loyal and considerate, good at organising, and are patient and understanding.
INFJ — INSIGHTFUL VISIONARY
You are imaginative, idealistic and compassionate and can be a little intense.
INTJ — CONCEPTUAL PLANNER
You are innovative, logical and good at strategising. You are insightful and reflective, but can be demanding.
ISTP — LOGICAL PRAGMATIST
You are an independent trouble-shooter who adapts well to things and is good at remaining objective.
ISFP — VERSATILE SUPPORTER
You are a modest type who is caring and accommodating. You are observant, practical and spontaneous.
INFP — THOUGHTFUL IDEALIST
You are imaginative and empathetic and like developing ideas. Despite being a bit contained, you are spontaneous and flexible.
INTP — OBJECTIVE ANALYST
You are a sceptic who likes logic and theory, but is insightful and innovative. You can be a bit detached and don’t have a problem challenging things.
ESTP — ENERGETIC PROBLEM-SOLVER
You are outgoing, enthusiastic and practical. You’re realistic and observant and can go with the flow.
ESFP — ENTHUSIASTIC IMPROVISER
You are a sociable, playful type who is resourceful, adaptable and tolerant.
ENFP — IMAGINATIVE MOTIVATOR
You are innovative, expressive, supportive and co-operative — although you can be very persuasive.
ENTP — ENTERPRISING EXPLORER
You are enthusiastic, flexible and imaginative and good at planning and analysing. You’re not afraid to be outspoken or challenging.
ESTJ — EFFICIENT ORGANISER
You are a realist who is assertive and efficient and has no trouble making decisions.
ESFJ — SUPPORTIVE CONTRIBUTOR
You are a warm person who is accepting of others and is outgoing, decisive and practical.
ENFJ — COMPASSIONATE FACILITATOR
You are empathetic, diplomatic and imaginative. You are expressive and work well with others.
ENTJ — DECISIVE STRATEGIST
You are a confident and questioning person who gets straight to the point and comes up with innovative solutions, while remaining objective.