Becky Says...

September 12, 2000

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A friend sent a link to an online personality assessment recently. Although I rarely take them, I did take this one, more because it was my friend asking than because I really wanted to do it.

I'm not going to supply the name of the particular one I took. I will tell you it only captured part of what I think my personality is.

I tend to avoid these assessments, because they are constructed with too many absolutes to suit me. I need one that has as answer choices "maybe" and "it depends."

As I told my friend, if those choices were available, I suspect my answers would put me in the category, "complicated bitch."

Over the years, I've run across a lot of personality assessments. The first one I knew of was the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. It's much more comprehensive than the ones you'll usually find online! MMPI is used in many cases as a diagnostic tool for mental illness. And it's a series of true-false statements.

When I was in college we studied that assessment (it's not correct to call them "tests," by the way, though I find myself doing it half the time...). As it happened, one of the people most involved in development of MMPI was the Psychology Department head at Carolina.

We used to discuss some of the questions. One which used to elicit a lot of response was this: "I am a special messenger from God." We could see that this could potentially be a difficult question for a religious person to answer, since in many denominations that is considered to be the case: that people are messengers and God's Word the Message.

Fortunately, for anyone taking the MMPI, no one question carries all the weight!

Text © copyright 2000 Becky