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Weekend Recs: Personality Tests

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week.

Have you ever been stumped when someone asked you what your strengths and weaknesses are? Have you ever wondered why things that come easily to some are difficult for you? Well, I definitely have, and although I don’t think they’re the holy grail for “finding yourself,” personality tests are a fun way to potentially learn more about yourself.

Personality tests, and even things like astrology, are things that can help you better understand yourself and the people around you. Although most of them are not scientific or empirical tools, they could still provide some insights into yourself and those around you. So, while you shouldn’t go around basing all of your interactions with people on the boxes these frameworks and tests put them in, using these results in your life might help you identify some our your strengths that you might not have realized. Plus, sometimes categorizing is fun (if you don’t believe me, look at all the Buzzfeed quizzes that people still take).

If you have 4 minutes and 56 seconds…and want a skeptical introduction to personality tests, watch this TED-Ed video.

If you have 8 minutes…and want to learn about how personality tests might actually affect your career, read this article. While your personality test results don’t control what career path you choose, unfortunately, your results can affect how certain companies view you. Some companies, despite minimal evidence that suggests these results significantly impact job performance, use personality tests during the hiring process.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to take this aesthetically-pleasing personality test that’s been garnering some attention recently, take this “innate personality traits” finder created for the Taiwan Design Expo.

If you have 20 minutes…and want to take the one of the most empirically validated personality tests, take the Big 5 assessment, used in psychology to measure a person’s agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism, and openness. It might not be the most fun or flashy, but it does have significantly more evidence to back up its usefulness.

If you have 25 minutes…and want to take one of the most popular personality tests, take the free version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Although the actual test costs money, 16Personalities has a great free alternative.

Bonus: if you want to learn more about the MBTI, read this essentials guide, available at Falvey.

If you have 35 minutes…and want to learn about your unique strengths, take the CliftonStrengths Assessment, free and available for Villanova students, faculty, and staff. Your results will highlight 5 of your top strengths (out of 34 possible strengths). Out of all of the personality tests, I think this one allows for the most customization. So, if you hate being put into a “box,” this one might be for you.

Bonus: if you want to learn more about the CliftonStrengths Assessment and your results, check out Gallup’s CliftonStrengths website.

If you have 2 hours…and like astrology, look through The Secret Language of Birthdays book, available through Interlibrary Loan. Can this book really tell you who you are based on your birthday? No, but it is amusing to look through all your friends’ birthdays and laugh.

Bonus: if you don’t know anything about your astrological placements and want to explore it, use this birth chart calculator. You might be able to respond when someone tells you their Big 3 (sun, moon, and rising).

If you have 8 hours…and want to read about the rise of personality tests, read this book detailing the birth of the MBTI, available at Falvey.

Annie Stockmal is a second-year graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant in Falvey Library.



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Last Modified: October 20, 2023

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