Personality and Personality Tests

The term “personality” is derived from the Greek word persona, or mask, and is believed to be associated with the dramatic masks worn by actors in ancient Greek comedies and tragedies. Ironically, personality tests have their roots in people’s curiosity and will to uncover the true personality that a person might be masking.

Since ancient times, the quest for unraveling the mysteries of human behavior drove many scientists and philosophers into the pursuit of reliable ways to systematically describe and categorize different types of people and at the same time into search for reliable models which can analyze and even predict, to an extent, how we are likely to behave under specific circumstances.

Hippocrates (c. 460 – c. 370 BC), “the father of western medicine”, was the first to talk about personality categories. He argued that a person’s four distinct body fluids – “humors” (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, blood) and their dispersion in the body, influence people’s temperament and health. The word temperament itself comes from Latin ‘temperare’, which means ‘to mix’!

With regards to contemporary personality theories, Carl Jung (1875 – 1961) is considered as one of the most influential thinkers. Jung published his book “Psychological Types (Psychologische Typen)” where he categorized people into primary types of psychological function. He defined introversion and extraversion from a psychological point of view, as the two main categories of how we orient ourselves to the world. These “attitudes”, combined with four main “functions” of consciousness (Sensation/Intuition and Thinking/Feeling), they form the way we behave.

In 1923, based on Jung’s revolutionary theory, Isabel Briggs Myers (1897 – 1980) and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, started working on a personality inventory. Almost thirty years and many researchers after, Myers survey resulted in the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). Jung’s ideas were further developed and a fourth pair (Judging/Perceiving) was added in order to better help people become more self-aware. Until this day, MBTI is the most popular type indicator tool, taken by over 3.5 million people annually, in over 30 languages and is also the theoretical basis which is used during the development of BMI™ Personality Test.

Many psychological tests have emerged through the years showing our inner need to understand human nature and construct a coherent picture of the similarities and differences in human behavior.


What is a Personality Test

Personality tests constitute a significant tool, which helps us collect insights about the psychological makeup of individuals and thus develop a better and deeper understanding of basic patterns of human behavior.

A personality test is a psychometric questionnaire or other standardized instrument, designed to measure psychological preferences of how people perceive the world and make decisions. Through these instruments, we aim to produce norms in order to provide a comparative basis for interpreting the answers of each respondent who took the same test.

A personality test’s results can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as career development and exploration, self-growth, problem solving, academic counseling, relationship goals, management training etc.


Why take a personality test

In other words, taking a personality test could be your first step towards essential self-knowledge. It does not only reveal hidden strengths or help you identify your unique skills, but also gives you the information needed in order to unlock your full personality potential.

Of course, experiences, environmental and social factors over the years, biases, respondent’s psychological state at the time that he/she takes a test, can always change someone’s results through the years.

Still, personality tests help us in our search for identity. People everywhere strive to create a coherent identity that makes sense to them and look for cues from their environment, the world and themselves. The clearer our picture is, the more easily we navigate the world and guide our own behaviors and ourselves.

On the other hand, they help us perceive our blind spots and work harder to attain our goals or to acquire skills that are important to the way we want to introduce us to the world. Even the fact that some test results may align with our beliefs about ourselves and make them stronger is a feedback that we enjoy getting. In any case, personality tests ask questions to people not to put them in a ‘bad’ or ‘good’ category but to assist them towards substantial self-awareness.

In conclusion, personality tests feed our curiosity and will to deeply know ourselves. This kind of knowledge brings you confidence even when we are talking about weaknesses, as no one is perfect! It helps you connect with people similar to you and handle or relate the best way possible with people who seemed ‘too’ different before. Knowing yourself makes you feel, connect and act better, so the question is not why to take a test but why not to?!


Our Approach

In order to determine your personal type, we created a test based on the typological theory by Carl Jung which was further developed and enriched by Briggs-Myers. Additionally, based on our own original research, we have build upon the theoretical framework presented above, redefining some of the traits and aspects it proposes and making an attempt to align it with more recent developments in the field regarding categorization, scoring and analysis.Please keep in mind that although both Jung’s theory and Myers-Briggs type indicator have clearly influenced the methodology and general design of BMI™ Personality Test, it still is a distinct assessment which stands on its own. In the event you have already taken Myers-Briggs test or any other personality assessment, we do not recommend directly comparing your results, since methodology

Please keep in mind that although both Jung’s theory and Myers-Briggs type indicator have clearly influenced the methodology and general design of BMI™ Personality Test, it still is a distinct assessment which stands on its own. In the event you have already taken Myers-Briggs test or any other personality assessment, we do not recommend directly comparing your results, since methodology as well as scoring and analysis tools significantly differ.