MEASURING PERSONALITY

Several methods can be used to assess personality. These include projective tests, behavioural measures and self-report questionnaires.

Measuring Personality in Organisational behaviour

The measures of personality in organisational behaiviour are explained below: -

The Projective Tests

In these tests, individuals are shown a picture, abstract image, or photo and are asked to describe what they see or to tell a story about what they see. The rationale behind projective tests is that each individual responds to the stimulus in a way that reflects his or her unique personality. The Rorschach inkblot test, Thematic Apperception test (TAT), sentence completion method are projective tests commonly used to assess personality. Research evidence concerning the validity of projective techniques as a whole is very disappointing. Projective tests continue to suffer from a lack of objectivity in scoring and an absence of adequate norms. Never the less, in clinical practice, projective tests continue to be popular and valued diagnostic tool.

Behavioural Measures

There are behavioural measures of personality as well. Using an observational technique known as behavioural assessment, psychologist can count and record the frequency of particular behaviours. For example, we might assess a person's sociability; by counting the number of times he or she approaches strangers at a party. The behaviour is scored in some manner to produce an index of personality.

Although much can be learned from observation, it has the following shortcomings -

  1. It is time-consuming and expensive.
  2. What is observed may be misinterpreted.
  3. Two observers can view the same event and interpret it differently.
  4. The presence of the observer can alter the behaviour being observed.

Self-Report Questionnaire

The most common method of assessing personality is the self-report questionnaire. Individuals respond to a series of questions, usually in an agree/ disagree or true/false format. The widely recognized self-report questionnaire are -

  • Minnesota Multi phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI):
  1. Minnesota Multi phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): The MMPI is comprehensive and assesses a variety of traits, as well as various neurotic or psychotic disorders. Used extensively in psychological counselling to identify disorders, the MMPI is a long questionnaire. It is useful in the screening, diagnosis clinical description of abnormal behaviour, but does not reveal differences among normal personalities very well.
  2. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Another popular self-report questionnaire is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It is essentially a 100 - question personality test that asks people how they usually feel or act in particular situations. Katharine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to put Jung's type theory into practical use. The MBTI is used extensively in organizations as a basis for understanding individual differences. The MBTI has been used in career counselling, team building, conflict management and understanding management styles.

Based on the answers individuals give to the test, they are classified as -

  • Extroverted or Introverted (E or I)
  • Sensing or Intuitive (S or N)
  • Thinking or Feeling (T or F) and
  • Perceiving or Judging (P or J)

There are four basic preferences in type theory and two possible choices for each of the four preferences. The combination of these preferences makes up an individual's psychological type.


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