Personalityassessment refers to a process that is used to identify whatindividuals are like and how they feel, think, and act. This processplays a major role in practice and psychological science because itilluminates the nature of individuals being assessed as well aspatterns of their disposition that makes them conduct themselves incertain ways (Winer & Greene, 2011). In essences, the process ofpersonality assessment reveals the origin of distinctive patterns ofbehavior, individual differences in styles of response, and diversedevelopment paths that are responsible for different ways ofresponding. The frame of mind and the behavioral tendencies learnedfrom the personality assessment process are then used to makesignificant conclusions in a broad range of health care, educational,clinical, organizational, and forensic applications. The process ofconducting the personality assessment differs depending on thepurpose for which the assessment is performed.
Thereare four common procedures of conducting a personality assessment.First, the interview is one of the basic approaches that used bypsychologists to collect information about an individual’spersonality. The interview may be structured or unstructured, but thepsychologist seeks to encourage the interviewee to be honest, self–reflective, and forthright in both cases (Knoff, 2003). Thedecision to use either the structured or unstructured interviewdepends on the purpose that the interviewee wants to achieve. Thestructured approach is mainly applied in high-stakes assessments(such as criminal cases) because it reduces bias while theunstructured approach is applied in clinical setting in order topromote therapeutic relationship. The examiner then forms an opinionabout the personality features of the interviewed person.
Secondly,the self-report test is a forced choice approach in which the personbeing assessed is required to respond by selecting between a limitednumbers of answers. This can be accomplished by giving theinterviewee a chance to select between false or true response and ascale of 1-5 in which individuals rate themselves (Winer &Greene, 2011). These assessment inventories are empirical, whichimplies that they are differentiated to facilitate the assessment ofdifferent groups of patients. The assessment inventories may alsohave sophisticated scales’ validity that reveals under or overreporting of conscious attempts or symptoms. The interpretation ofthe data collected through the self-report test involves the analysisof profiles scores on the scale and the association between scores ondifferent scales.
Third,the performance-based assessment is a free response psychologicalexamination in which the respondent is required to perform some task,such as telling a story about a given picture (Winer & Greene,2011). Inferences are then drawn from the way the respondent engagesin the task. The tests perceived to be free-responses becauserespondents are not given any constraint when performing the assignedtasks.
Inconclusion, personality assessment is a useful test that shows howindividuals being assessed think, act, or feel. This personalityassessment can be done using different approaches, including theinterview, self-report test, and performance-based test. Althoughthese approaches are used to achieve different purposes, it isadvisable to use a combination of approaches because each of thetests has limitations that can lead to subjective conclusions. Inaddition, the interpretation of the data collected from thepersonality assessment should be done by specially trained people toensure that inferences obtained are accurate. These inferences have awider application and they can be used in different fields, such asclinical, forensic, and educational among others.
Knoff,M. (2003). Theassessment of child and adolescent personality.New York: Guilford Press.
Weiner,B. & Green, L. (2011). Handbookof personality assessment.Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.