I am in my third semester at community college and am currently taking an Intro to Psychology course. We just finished the chapter on personality, and I was quite excited to be studying this particular subject. I absolutely love studying personality, and will take just about any personality test you throw at me. In this chapter, I discovered a few new personality tests, one of which I was able to take for free online. Of course, I took it.
It’s called the NEO-PI-R test. A very boring name, a very long test.
Now, the this test relates to “the five big factors” or, you can remember the acronym of OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. I took the test. I answered the questions as honestly as I possibly could, and I quickly saw where the test was going. I just knew that I would score “low” in just about everything. I was “low on the traits” in 4 out of 5 of the factors. Can you guess what area I scored high?
That’s right, folks: neuroticism!! Let me share with you some of the goodies from the results.
“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.” Shocking!!
“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.” Amazing, really.
Those were two of the six domains of Extraversion. Let’s move onto Agreeableness.
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 low.” Yes! I’m not imorral! Or am I?
“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.” This must be why I don’t really miss my TV. And why I’ve never donated blood again after that time I donated after Hurricane Katrina (because I fainted b/c I didn’t didn’t eat breakfast or you know, drink any water/liquids before donating).
Shall we continue? Let’s move on to Conscientiousness. (Congrats if you’re even still reading!)
“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 low.” Have you SEEN my desk?
“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.” I feel like it wouldn’t take much for me to be at least average in this area, but dangit if I’m not the laziest person I know!
Okay, let’s move on to Openness.
“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.” You may ask my husband about this particular trait.
“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 average.” Average! You mean I at least have a *little* bit of artistic interest? I say this explains why my apartment can be cute (when it’s not messy).
Now…to the area that i’m “high on the traits”: Neuroticism!
“Immoderation. Immoderate individuals feel strong cravings and urges that they 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 high.” This explains my late night cookies and vodka habit.
Please read carefully the following and final contribution:
“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 high.” I would just like to say that I feel angry more often than I express it. Or should I say, I feel angry more often than I express it to the face of the human being I am angry with. So I’m angry, but I’m an angry wuss. Is it possible to be as frustrated and upset as I am without actually losing my temper in public? Apparently so, but for your sake, I hope you are not there when Liz finally loses it.
So…basically I have a horrible personality. Now…I realize this doesn’t tell the whole story. In general I can get along with most people in most situations. I can work well with people. I can deal well with customers. But overall, if I had to admit it, I don’t really care about most people. I just want to hang out by myself most of the time. I want to get my groceries without the small talk. I want the cashier at T.J. Maxx to press the buttons already so my debit card will process and I can go.
Just being honest here. I go against my own wishes and desires all the time. Sometimes I’m talkative with the cashier even when I don’t feel like talking. Sometimes I just chill the heck out in traffic. But now that I know I have a bad personality…what next? I know there are some areas I could make changes in fairly easily, and some areas that will be more…challenging.
Anyway…I am not sure what my goal was in sharing this, other than my realization that I’m “low on the traits.” Oh, except that I’m a neurotic.