IPIP-NEO Personality Test

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Richard Chappell found a personality test I've never seen before. It seems to be much more precise than the Myers Briggs test, with five categories and then sub-categories under them. I'm including my results alongside descriptions of each category, with some evaluation. These descriptions are in the public domain, but Dr. John A. Johnson has asked for acknowledgement for having written them.

All scores are on a scale of 0 to 100. According to the description, a score of 50 means 50% of people will score higher. A score of 95 means 5% of people will score higher.

Extroversion 1

Extroversion is marked by pronounced engagement with the external world. Extroverts enjoy being with people, are full of energy, and often experience positive emotions. They tend to be enthusiastic, action-oriented, individuals who are likely to say "Yes!" or "Let's go!" to opportunities for excitement. In groups they like to talk, assert themselves, and draw attention to themselves.

Introverts lack the exuberance, energy, and activity levels of extroverts. They tend to be quiet, low-key, deliberate, and disengaged from the social world. Their lack of social involvement should not be interpreted as shyness or depression; the introvert simply needs less stimulation than an extrovert and prefers to be alone. The independence and reserve of the introvert is sometimes mistaken as unfriendliness or arrogance. In reality, an introvert who scores high on the agreeableness dimension will not seek others out but will be quite pleasant when approached.

Your score on Extroversion is low, indicating you are introverted, reserved, and quiet. You enjoy solitude and solitary activities. Your socializing tends to be restricted to a few close friends.

Friendliness 0
Gregariousness 10
Assertiveness 20
Activity Level 34
Excitement-Seeking 1
Cheerfulness 23

Friendliness. Friendly people genuinely like other people and openly demonstrate positive feelings toward others. They make friends quickly and it is easy for them to form close, intimate relationships. Low scorers on Friendliness are not necessarily cold and hostile, but they do not reach out to others and are perceived as distant and reserved. Your level of friendliness is low.

Gregariousness. Gregarious people find the company of others pleasantly stimulating and rewarding. They enjoy the excitement of crowds. Low scorers tend to feel overwhelmed by, and therefore actively avoid, large crowds. They do not necessarily dislike being with people sometimes, but their need for privacy and time to themselves is much greater than for individuals who score high on this scale. Your level of gregariousness is low.

Assertiveness. High scorers Assertiveness like to speak out, take charge, and direct the activities of others. They tend to be leaders in groups. Low scorers tend not to talk much and let others control the activities of groups. Your level of assertiveness is low.

Activity Level. Active individuals lead fast-paced, busy lives. They move about quickly, energetically, and vigorously, and they are involved in many activities. People who score low on this scale follow a slower and more leisurely, relaxed pace. Your activity level is average.

Excitement-Seeking. High scorers on this scale are easily bored without high levels of stimulation. They love bright lights and hustle and bustle. They are likely to take risks and seek thrills. Low scorers are overwhelmed by noise and commotion and are adverse to thrill-seeking. Your level of excitement-seeking is low.

Cheerfulness. This scale measures positive mood and feelings, not negative emotions (which are a part of the Neuroticism domain). Persons who score high on this scale typically experience a range of positive feelings, including happiness, enthusiasm, optimism, and joy. Low scorers are not as prone to such energetic, high spirits. Your level of positive emotions is low.

Agreeableness 48

Agreeableness reflects individual differences in concern with cooperation and social harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. They are therefore considerate, friendly, generous, helpful, and willing to compromise their interests with others'. Agreeable people also have an optimistic view of human nature. They believe people are basically honest, decent, and trustworthy.

Disagreeable individuals place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others' well-being, and therefore are unlikely to extend themselves for other people. Sometimes their skepticism about others' motives causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly, and uncooperative.

Agreeableness is obviously advantageous for attaining and maintaining popularity. Agreeable people are better liked than disagreeable people. On the other hand, agreeableness is not useful in situations that require tough or absolute objective decisions. Disagreeable people can make excellent scientists, critics, or soldiers.

Your level of Agreeableness is average, indicating some concern with others' Needs, but, generally, unwillingness to sacrifice yourself for others. [ed. note: This seems to be a stock answer for people with scores in the mid-range. It commits a logical fallacy in assuming the level concern is higher and the willingness to sacrifice is lower, but a lower concern and higher willing to sacrifice would yield the same result, as I suspect happened in my case. Look below at my morality score and my altruism score for evidence of this. A mid-range result for both would also yield a medium result.]

Trust 37
Morality 91
Altruism 8
Cooperation 91
Modesty 37
Sympathy 23

Trust. A person with high trust assumes that most people are fair, honest, and have good intentions. Persons low in trust see others as selfish, devious, and potentially dangerous. Your level of trust is average.

Morality. High scorers on this scale see no need for pretense or manipulation when dealing with others and are therefore candid, frank, and sincere. Low scorers believe that a certain amount of deception in social relationships is necessary. People find it relatively easy to relate to the straightforward high-scorers on this scale. They generally find it more difficult to relate to the unstraightforward low-scorers on this scale. It should be made clear that low scorers are not unprincipled or immoral; they are simply more guarded and less willing to openly reveal the whole truth. Your level of morality is high. [ed. note: Low scorers on this scale are unprincipled and immoral. They're willing to compromise on real moral principles. I really disapprove of personality tests that are unwilling to make moral judgments. There are negatives with both sides on most of these traits, but sometimes those negatives really do involve a moral wrong. Being balanced doesn't require ignoring moral statements. It requires making them no matter who it is who is doing wrong.]

Altruism. Altruistic people find helping other people genuinely rewarding. Consequently, they are generally willing to assist those who are in need. Altruistic people find that doing things for others is a form of self-fulfillment rather than self-sacrifice. Low scorers on this scale do not particularly like helping those in need. Requests for help feel like an imposition rather than an opportunity for self-fulfillment. Your level of altruism is low. [ed. note: This result strikes me as a little odd, since I often find myself helping people out simply because it needs to be done. I suspect they're testing for what people's motivations are. If so, it would be a little clearer if they simply said that some people help others but not for some inner reward. They simply do so because it's the right thing to do even despite the fact that it doesn't give them an emotional high to feel good about themselves by helping others. Either might be seen as altruistic, and their description doesn't make the distinction fully clear, even if it gives enough information to try to make this distinction.]

Cooperation. Individuals who score high on this scale dislike confrontations. They are perfectly willing to compromise or to deny their own needs in order to get along with others. Those who score low on this scale are more likely to intimidate others to get their way. Your level of compliance is high.

Modesty. High scorers on this scale do not like to claim that they are better than other people. In some cases this attitude may derive from low self-confidence or self-esteem. Nonetheless, some people with high self-esteem find immodesty unseemly. Those who are willing to describe themselves as superior tend to be seen as disagreeably arrogant by other people. Your level of modesty is average.

Sympathy. People who score high on this scale are tenderhearted and compassionate. They feel the pain of others vicariously and are easily moved to pity. Low scorers are not affected strongly by human suffering. They pride themselves on making objective judgments based on reason. They are more concerned with truth and impartial justice than with mercy. Your level of tender-mindedness is low.

Conscientiousness 58

Conscientiousness concerns the way in which we control, regulate, and direct our impulses. Impulses are not inherently bad; occasionally time constraints require a snap decision, and acting on our first impulse can be an effective response. [ed. note: If people build character over time, then their first thought will be to do the right thing on without having to think about that, but people will disagree on whether that counts as acting on impulse. I hope that wouldn't have affected the results.] Also, in times of play rather than work, acting spontaneously and impulsively can be fun. Impulsive individuals can be seen by others as colorful, fun-to-be-with, and zany.

Nonetheless, acting on impulse can lead to trouble in a number of ways. Some impulses are antisocial. Uncontrolled antisocial acts not only harm other members of society, but also can result in retribution toward the perpetrator of such impulsive acts. Another problem with impulsive acts is that they often produce immediate rewards but undesirable, long-term consequences. Examples include excessive socializing that leads to being fired from one's job, hurling an insult that causes the breakup of an important relationship, or using pleasure-inducing drugs that eventually destroy one's health.

Impulsive behavior, even when not seriously destructive, diminishes a person's effectiveness in significant ways. Acting impulsively disallows contemplating alternative courses of action, some of which would have been wiser than the impulsive choice. Impulsivity also sidetracks people during projects that require organized sequences of steps or stages. Accomplishments of an impulsive person are therefore small, scattered, and inconsistent.

A hallmark of intelligence, what potentially separates human beings from earlier life forms, is the ability to think about future consequences before acting on an impulse. Intelligent activity involves contemplation of long-range goals, organizing and planning routes to these goals, and persisting toward one's goals in the face of short-lived impulses to the contrary. The idea that intelligence involves impulse control is nicely captured by the term prudence, an alternative label for the Conscientiousness domain. Prudent means both wise and cautious. Persons who score high on the Conscientiousness scale are, in fact, perceived by others as intelligent. [ed. note: This is a pretty jaundiced notion of what intelligence amounts to, but it is one element of the various intelligences.]

The benefits of high conscientiousness are obvious. Conscientious individuals avoid trouble and achieve high levels of success through purposeful planning and persistence. They are also positively regarded by others as intelligent and reliable. On the negative side, they can be compulsive perfectionists and workaholics. Furthermore, extremely conscientious individuals might be regarded as stuffy and boring. Unconscientious people may be criticized for their unreliability, lack of ambition, and failure to stay within the lines, but they will experience many short-lived pleasures and they will never be called stuffy.

Your score on Conscientiousness is average. This means you are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled. [ed. note: This score is a little misleading, because some of my sub-scores are really low and some really high. The average here doesn't reflect being in the middle but being really split.]

Self-Efficacy 17
Orderliness 54
Dutifulness 92
Achievement-Striving 48
Self-Discipline 11
Cautiousness 99

Self-Efficacy. Self-Efficacy describes confidence in one's ability to accomplish things. High scorers believe they have the intelligence (common sense), drive, and self-control necessary for achieving success. Low scorers do not feel effective, and may have a sense that they are not in control of their lives. Your level of self-efficacy is low. [ed. note: This score doesn't reflect how I ordinarily am. I haven't been seeing myself as very efficacious dissertation-wise in the last few years and am just now getting somewhere. I've also found an extremely hard time fitting into a ministry situation in which the people in charge haven't been very supportive of my attempts to contribute, the exact reverse of the situation with the person who preceded them. Five years ago I suspect I would have had a much higher score on this, and ten years ago it might have been near the very top.]

Orderliness. Persons with high scores on orderliness are well-organized. They like to live according to routines and schedules. They keep lists and make plans. Low scorers tend to be disorganized and scattered. Your level of orderliness is average. [ed. note: This is partly from becoming adjusted to living with people who absolutely hate routines and schedules, first Wink and now Sam, who both would probably have scored really low here, though Wink tells me he's gotten more like his wife Tree, who is more like me on this. So I very much prefer schedules, habits, and routines, but I've become accustomed to living without them in many ways. Notice that even with the lowering effect, it's only average and not low.]

Dutifulness. This scale reflects the strength of a person's sense of duty and obligation. Those who score high on this scale have a strong sense of moral obligation. Low scorers find contracts, rules, and regulations overly confining. They are likely to be seen as unreliable or even irresponsible. Your level of dutifulness is high. [ed. note: Low scorers on this are unreliable and irresponsible!]

Achievement-Striving. Individuals who score high on this scale strive hard to achieve excellence. Their drive to be recognized as successful keeps them on track toward their lofty goals. They often have a strong sense of direction in life, but extremely high scores may be too single-minded and obsessed with their work. Low scorers are content to get by with a minimal amount of work, and might be seen by others as lazy. Your level of achievement striving is average. [ed. note: I think part of the reason this is so low is that I've become divided in my responsibilities and can't really devote anywhere enough time to each as is morally required for it. I've wrongly resigned myself to the fact that I can't meet all my responsibilities. Despite what philosophers claim, ought does not imply can. I have obligations, not all of which I can meet perfectly. That doesn't mean they're not obligations. It just means I either adopt a false view, as this test suggests I've started to do, or I end up being extremely frustrated, which my life shows is also true. So I lose on both, but maybe my losing on both means I haven't lost as badly on either.]

Self-Discipline. Self-discipline -- what many people call will-power -- refers to the ability to persist at difficult or unpleasant tasks until they are completed. People who possess high self-discipline are able to overcome reluctance to begin tasks and stay on track despite distractions. Those with low self-discipline procrastinate and show poor follow-through, often failing to complete tasks-even tasks they want very much to complete. Your level of self-discipline is low. [ed. note: I think this is another one affected by my dissertation. If I'd taken the test during the time I was taking classes or at some other time before I had kids, I suspect the score would have been really high.]

Cautiousness. Cautiousness describes the disposition to think through possibilities before acting. High scorers on the Cautiousness scale take their time when making decisions. Low scorers often say or do first thing that comes to mind without deliberating alternatives and the probable consequences of those alternatives. Your level of cautiousness is high.

Neuroticism 58

Freud originally used the term neurosis to describe a condition marked by mental distress, emotional suffering, and an inability to cope effectively with the normal demands of life. He suggested that everyone shows some signs of neurosis, but that we differ in our degree of suffering and our specific symptoms of distress. Today neuroticism refers to the tendency to experience negative feelings. Those who score high on Neuroticism may experience primarily one specific negative feeling such as anxiety, anger, or depression, but are likely to experience several of these emotions. People high in neuroticism are emotionally reactive. They respond emotionally to events that would not affect most people, and their reactions tend to be more intense than normal. They are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening, and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. Their negative emotional reactions tend to persist for unusually long periods of time, which means they are often in a bad mood. These problems in emotional regulation can diminish a neurotic's ability to think clearly, make decisions, and cope effectively with stress.

At the other end of the scale, individuals who score low in neuroticism are less easily upset and are less emotionally reactive. They tend to be calm, emotionally stable, and free from persistent negative feelings. Freedom from negative feelings does not mean that low scorers experience a lot of positive feelings; frequency of positive emotions is a component of the Extroversion domain. [ed. note: Notice the bias of the description. There's a negative account of people who experience the strong emotions. Then the people who lack them simply lack them. Nothing is said about the fact that someone scoring 0 on anxiety, for instance, has an anxiety level far below normal. If it's below normal, it's just as abnormal as if it's above normal.]

Your score on Neuroticism is average, indicating that your level of emotional reactivity is typical of the general population. [ed. note: Probably not. Again, this mistakes an average score for being average on all the sub-scores. Two are fairly high, and three are moderately low.] Stressful and frustrating situations are somewhat upsetting to you, but you are generally able to get over these feelings and cope with these situations.

Anxiety 38
Anger 57
Depression 26
Self-Consciousness 91
Immoderation 35
Vulnerability 89

Anxiety. The "fight-or-flight" system of the brain of anxious individuals is too easily and too often engaged. Therefore, people who are high in anxiety often feel like something dangerous is about to happen. They may be afraid of specific situations or be just generally fearful. They feel tense, jittery, and nervous. Persons low in Anxiety are generally calm and fearless. Your level of anxiety is average.

Anger. Persons who score high in Anger feel enraged when things do not go their way. They are sensitive about being treated fairly and feel resentful and bitter when they feel they are being cheated. This scale measures the tendency to feel angry; whether or not the person expresses annoyance and hostility depends on the individual's level on Agreeableness. Low scorers do not get angry often or easily. Your level of anger is average.

Depression. This scale measures the tendency to feel sad, dejected, and discouraged. High scorers lack energy and have difficult initiating activities. Low scorers tend to be free from these depressive feelings. Your level of depression is low. [ed. note: I think I scored as high as I did because I'm not an initiator and because of the two discouraging situations I've been facing lately. Naturally, I'm probably in the single digits.]

Self-Consciousness. Self-conscious individuals are sensitive about what others think of them. Their concern about rejection and ridicule cause them to feel shy and uncomfortable around others. They are easily embarrassed and often feel ashamed. Their fears that others will criticize or make fun of them are exaggerated and unrealistic, but their awkwardness and discomfort may make these fears a self-fulfilling prophecy. [If they're a self-fulfilling prophecy, then they aren't exaggerated and unrealistic.] Low scorers, in contrast, do not suffer from the mistaken impression that everyone is watching and judging them. They do not feel nervous in social situations. Your level of self-consciousness is high. [ed. note: I've never felt as if everyone is watching and judging me. In certain contexts I know that certain people are watching and judging me. My main reason for having a high score here is that I really don't like not being included, and I'm often not included due to being an introvert and being expected not to care. I also get really bothered when people who don't understand me criticize me along lines that show that they don't understand me.]

Immoderation. Immoderate individuals feel strong cravings and urges that they have have difficulty resisting. They tend to be oriented toward short-term pleasures and rewards rather than long-term consequences. Low scorers do not experience strong, irresistible cravings and consequently do not find themselves tempted to overindulge. Your level of immoderation is average. [A score as high as 35 must have something to do with my attitudes toward my wife and toward chocolate ice cream, Brownies, and cheese cake, because there isn't much else along these lines that I crave.]

Vulnerability. High scorers on Vulnerability experience panic, confusion, and helplessness when under pressure or stress. Low scorers feel more poised, confident, and clear-thinking when stressed. Your level of vulnerability is high. [Ed. note: This should be balanced by the fact that the things what many consider stressful and what I consider stressful won't necessarily line up.]

Openness to Experience 1

Openness to Experience describes a dimension of cognitive style that distinguishes imaginative, creative people from down-to-earth, conventional people. Open people are intellectually curious, appreciative of art, and sensitive to beauty. They tend to be, compared to closed people, more aware of their feelings. They tend to think and act in individualistic and nonconforming ways. Intellectuals typically score high on Openness to Experience; consequently, this factor has also been called Culture or Intellect. Nonetheless, Intellect is probably best regarded as one aspect of openness to experience. Scores on Openness to Experience are only modestly related to years of education and scores on standard intelligent tests. [Ed. note: Anyone who knows me well would not describe me as lacking in intellectual curiosity, and I don't think anyone could deny that I'm an intellectual. I'm not at all insensitive to beauty, though I don't share everyone's sensibilities about which things are beautiful. I'm not exactly a conformist either. On art, see the artistic trait below. This seems to be the same sort of bias I find in Myers-Briggs tests, where an N trait supposedly signals interest in abstract matters, and S means no interest in anything intellectual but a delight in things like sports, cars, gardening, and home improvement, all of which I consider utterly boring.]

Another characteristic of the open cognitive style is a facility for thinking in symbols and abstractions far removed from concrete experience. Depending on the individual's specific intellectual abilities, this symbolic cognition may take the form of mathematical, logical, or geometric thinking, artistic and metaphorical use of language, music composition or performance, or one of the many visual or performing arts. People with low scores on openness to experience tend to have narrow, common interests. They prefer the plain, straightforward, and obvious over the complex, ambiguous, and subtle. They may regard the arts and sciences with suspicion, regarding these endeavors as abstruse or of no practical use. Closed people prefer familiarity over novelty; they are conservative and resistant to change. [ed. note: This analysis faces some of the same problems.]

Openness is often presented as healthier or more mature by psychologists, who are often themselves open to experience. However, open and closed styles of thinking are useful in different environments. The intellectual style of the open person may serve a professor well, but research has shown that closed thinking is related to superior job performance in police work, sales, and a number of service occupations. [ed. note: It also provides a different sort of good work as a professor, including as a philosophy professor. This description is just ignorant of the sort of work done in abstract disciplines. People of both styles of thinking are needed.]

Your score on Openness to Experience is low, indicating you like to think in plain and simple terms. Others describe you as down-to-earth, practical, and conservative. [ed. note: Oh, I'm conservative. People will dispute much of the rest of this, at least in some ways of being like this. In some ways it's true, but in others it's totally wrong. The fact that none of the questions addressed these matters worries me about the connections drawn between the subject matter of the questions and the conclusion. There are finer distinctions to be made here than this analysis allows. At least the finer-grained subcategories show some nuance here with what they call Intellect, though the art thing is still really imprecise.]

Imagination 0
Artistic Interests 5
Emotionality 0
Adventurousness 1
Intellect 75
Liberalism 2

Imagination. To imaginative individuals, the real world is often too plain and ordinary. High scorers on this scale use fantasy as a way of creating a richer, more interesting world. Low scorers are on this scale are more oriented to facts than fantasy. Your level of imagination is low. [ed. note: I love fantasy and science fiction, partly because I want to learn about the world created by the authors. I just don't think the stuff up on my own. This analysis ignores that distinction, just as the Myers Briggs test does. The same element arises in intellectual pursuits. Someone can like abstract, imaginative matters without being good at coming up with the innovations in such thinking. I particularly like learning and organizing the information about such subject matters, because the topic is interesting to me.]

Artistic Interests. High scorers on this scale love beauty, both in art and in nature. They become easily involved and absorbed in artistic and natural events. They are not necessarily artistically trained nor talented, although many will be. The defining features of this scale are interest in, and appreciation of natural and artificial beauty. Low scorers lack aesthetic sensitivity and interest in the arts. Your level of artistic interests is low. [This just shows that it's a bad test in this area. It has one question on music, one on dance, one on poetry, one about nature, and many about art in general. One was about whether you like concerts, which could just as easily reflect how you feel about crowds as how much you like music. I have little interest in visual art. That doesn't mean I don't have a sense of what's good art. The Power Puff Girls are unwatchable because of the bad art. Even if there weren't other problems, the art would be reason enough for me to avoid South Park. Veggie Tales is just plain excellent computer animation, and I enjoy that. I appreciate some kinds of poetry and think much so-called poetry of the last 100 years is just plain awful, but I wouldn't ever prefer even great poetry to philosophy. I very much enjoy being out and nature and seeing its beauty. Music is one of my greatest loves. If I had more time, I'd be composing fairly intricate music much like what I listen to as much as I can.]

Emotionality. Persons high on Emotionality have good access to and awareness of their own feelings. Low scorers are less aware of their feelings and tend not to express their emotions openly. Your level of emotionality is low.

Adventurousness. High scorers on adventurousness are eager to try new activities, travel to foreign lands, and experience different things. They find familiarity and routine boring, and will take a new route home just because it is different. Low scorers tend to feel uncomfortable with change and prefer familiar routines. Your level of adventurousness is low.

Intellect. Intellect and artistic interests are the two most important, central aspects of openness to experience. High scorers on Intellect love to play with ideas. They are open-minded to new and unusual ideas, and like to debate intellectual issues. They enjoy riddles, puzzles, and brain teasers. Low scorers on Intellect prefer dealing with either people or things rather than ideas. They regard intellectual exercises as a waste of time. Intellect should not be equated with intelligence. Intellect is an intellectual style, not an intellectual ability, although high scorers on Intellect score slightly higher than low-Intellect individuals on standardized intelligence tests. Your level of intellect is high.

Liberalism. Psychological liberalism refers to a readiness to challenge authority, convention, and traditional values. In its most extreme form, psychological liberalism can even represent outright hostility toward rules, sympathy for law-breakers, and love of ambiguity, chaos, and disorder. Psychological conservatives prefer the security and stability brought by conformity to tradition. Psychological liberalism and conservatism are not identical to political affiliation, but certainly incline individuals toward certain political parties. Your level of liberalism is low.

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Read about this at Parableman's site, and thought I'd try it out. This is from the short version, and I think it is off a bit from how I perceive myself, but it may be right. If so I have... Read More


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