Personality Assessment and Theories

When psychologists look to uncover an accurate portrait of the personality of their patients, they assess through the methods of personal interviews, projective tests, objective tests, and observations, depending upon which theory the psychologist’s support. One of the methods that psychodynamic psychologists use is personal interviews, which is efficient in relation to the view of personality from this Freudian based perspective; psychodynamic psychologists maintain that personality develops through thoughts, feelings, motives, conflicts, and repressed childhood predicaments that we are unaware of. From this view of personality development, an unstructured personal interview would allow a patient’s first visit to establish a more intimate connection that is needed to build trust and a sense of comfort; since a patient has some aspects of their personality that he or she keeps hidden from their self, it makes it even harder for him or her to openly communicate these personal issues with a stranger. The need for the psychologist to appear more personal appropriately diminishes as the patient becomes more comfortable disclosing sensitive information that provides comparable clues to understanding the patient. After various visits, the psychologist may have enough insight into a patient’s personality and life that he or she may develop enough systematic research to conduct a structured interview; instead of an open and casual conversation the patient experienced during the first few visits, the psychologists creates and maintains a conversational outline to discuss questions fixed in disposition and significance in attempt to convey discussions about sensitive issues that were indisposed dialogues in the unstructured interviews.

Psychodynamic psychologists also use projective assessments that provide ambiguous incitements or open ended phrases that can be uniquely interpreted by the patient; there are no superlative ways to explain the material or finish the phrases. The plasticity of these types of tests makes them a better choice over self-report assessments for these psychologists; they believe most people are unaware of their behavior and are therefore unable to accurately determine the answers on self-report questionnaires.

The humanistic psychologist’s theory of personality claims that people strive for personal growth and higher levels of functioning, which is also assessed with personal interviews and objective tests. The unstructured and structured personal interviews provide the same insight into comparable clues in understanding the patient, but objective tests give humanistic psychologists an extra measure to understand how a patient perceives his or herself; these tests provide statements with two or more choices to choose the best answer that most accurately describes the patient. Knowing how the patient views his or herself based on the Big Five personality traits allows the psychologists to determine the areas of the patient’s personality that need developing and by comparing the self-report to the collected interview information it is possible to determine the reasons why. With an apperceived cause and discovered effects on the patient’s personality, the humanistic psychologists would be able to accurately present and modify adverse behaviors that are hindering personal growth and higher levels of functioning.

The trait psychologist’s theory of personality maintains that individuals have characteristic ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that are rather consistent over the lifespan and across most situations. Trait psychologists use objective tests to deduce general traits from the rating scales of each question designed to assess different aspects of a patient’s personality. Unlike humanistic psychologists, trait psychologists look to depict the basic traits of personality without providing any causes.

The cognitive-social learning theory of personality asserts that people learn socially acceptable behavior through reinforcement, punishment, and modeling what is in the immediate environment from childhood through old age; therefore influencing the development of the ways in which we think about experiences and how we view our behaviors during those experiences. Psychologists of cognitive-social learning theory use all of the previously discussed methods to determine causes and effects of behavior along with the direct observation method in assessing people’s personality. This theory focuses on conscious behavior and experience, making direct observation the preferred method of social learning theorists; this method allows the psychologist to naturally observe the interaction of behavior and experience, if the correct environmental setting permits.

After completing the personality assessment and describing each method used by different theories of personality, I came to the conclusion that the Jung-Word personality assessment is an objective test; it is a test that relies solely on the self-report of traits which can be inaccurately answered, but by providing different trait descriptions that have the same general meaning the psychologist is able to compare the difference in responses to provide a more reliable and accurate assessment.

Results:

Introverted (I) 65.38%

Extroverted (E) 34.62%
Intuitive (N) 52.94%

Sensing (S) 47.06%
Feeling (F) 60%

Thinking (T) 40%
Judging (J) 62.07%

Perceiving (P) 37.93%

INFJ – “Clark Graham”. Strong drive and enjoyment to help others. Complex personality. 1.5% of total population.

At first glance, I did not feel that the percentages were accurate, making me think that the test was inaccurate. Once I read further, my perception changed from its ability to accurately identify qualities of my personality, such as the strong drive and enjoyment to help others. This stimulated my curiosity about the other qualities INFJ personality types possess, leading me to eventually become amazed at its accuracy

One day I began experiencing a strong nagging feeling that something bad might happen to me during my trip to Beaumont to pick my wife up from work. I am always concerned about my wife’s fragile mental stability if I were to die suddenly because every member of her immediate family has verbalized thoughts of suicide during intense emotional conflicts, and at the age of 13 Angie nearly succeeded at an attempted suicide. The feeling was so strong on this day that I felt compelled to write a note explaining not to feel regretful or guilty for anything; I wrote the note and left it in plain sight, but I endured a safe trip that brought me to dismiss the feeling as paranoia; approximately an hour later I received a phone call from my aunt, who had just left my house 15 minutes ago, telling me that my cousin, who I share the closest and deepest connection with out of his brothers, flipped his truck upside down but he was okay. I came to the assumption that the strong feeling that something may happen to me was misdirected.

 

After researching INFJ personality types about a week after the incident, I found many qualities that made me believe the test was accurate; my amazement came when I read that this personality type is the most likely to experience a kind of foresight or ESP due to the deep emotional connections INFJs share with only a select few people.

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