Friday, November 27, 2009

On The Personality Trail

Low, high, low, medium, medium.

What am I talking about? No, not gas oven levels for cooking but personality. Specifically, my personality (no sniggering, please, or snide comments about a personality by-pass, thank you.)

Yes, you might be interested to learn that I’ve been a digital lab rat and completed the BBC’s Big Personality Test

This looks at our “Big Five” traits of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Scientists refer to these as “your unique personality fingerprint.”

It was all quite painless really - an online survey with loads and loads of questions to answer as honestly and openly as possible. If you want to duck some of them you can – I went the whole hog although the education questions do not reflect the Scottish system I passed through.

Others could be considered a bit too intrusive, too, but people can decide whether or not to respond to those.

The test, the testers suggest, is designed to answer the question: do our personalities shape our lives, or do our lives shape our personalities?

My results revealed the following:

Openness - low, 3 out of 5. (Thought I would score higher.)

Conscientiousness - high, 4.2 out of 5. (I am certainly that.)

Extroversion - low, 2.8 out of 5. (Yep, sounds about right.)

Agreeableness - medium, 3.4 out of 5. (Again, thought I’d rate higher.)

Neuroticism – medium, 3 out of 5. (Should I be worried?)

I also scored 6.2 out of 7 on life satisfaction; 4.4 out of 5 on relationships; 5 out of 5 on job satisfaction; 82.5 out of 100 on health: just why the “out of” figures change is beyond me.

I’ll not delve any further into details but if you fancy taking the test, you might find it as intriguing as I did. Some feedback was spot-on and I agreed with, some I doubted such as the “openness” trait result, which irritated/surprised me somewhat.

But I guess we all have views on ourselves, how we are with others, how we want others to see us, how we work, rest and play. Don’t we?

It’s been far from a life-changing moment for me - I don’t think that’s the purpose – but nevertheless a worthwhile exercise, a bit of fun one could say.

It would be interesting to hear what others think once they’ve completed the test.

* The results of the Big Personality Test will be presented in a special series of BBC One’s Child of Our Time, which will go out in Spring/Summer 2010.

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