Frequently Asked Questions About Projective Tests And Measuring Personality

I took the Myers-Briggs personality test last month. I know, I know – I was a little late to jump into that wagon, and “it was so 2019,” as my niece would say it. I heard about the MBTI a couple of years ago, too, but I did not think of taking the test because I felt like I did not need a written assessment to tell me who I was.

However, the world got struck by the COVID-19 pandemic. I was among the lucky people who did not have unemployment issues in 2020. In truth, I even earned a promotion for doing double shifts four times a week, thereby doubling my salary. All my family members were also safe, and I’m proud to say that none of us contracted the coronavirus.


What led me to assess my personality type was that I caught my boyfriend cheating on me on camera. We shared an apartment in LA, but I got stuck in New Jersey during the pandemic. We thought it best if I stayed in New Jersey until we both got vaccinated. I felt tempted to risk getting coronavirus when my boyfriend kept telling me how much he missed me, but we settled with video chats and calls at least thrice a day.

Then, one morning that I called my boyfriend, he was still in bed. It was surprising since it was already 11 o’clock at the time, and he used to get up at 6 o’clock. He said he was tired from work yesterday and that he’d call me back after lunch, but he lifted his phone over his head, and I saw a very naked woman sleeping next to him.

My boyfriend noticed my shocked expression, and he sat up and tried to explain, but I had seen enough. My last words to him were, “I’ll wait for you to pay me back for the rent money I already wire-transferred for the rest of the year.” I ended the call and wailed in my pillow all day long.

That breakup made me reevaluate myself. I thought I knew my boyfriend, but I didn’t. I thought I was not the type of woman who would get cheated on, but I experienced it. Worse, I could not go back to LA at once to kick his butt. All of a sudden, I no longer knew who I was.

Using Projective Tests To Measure My Personality

When I came across the MBTI website one day, I realized that it was a projective test in the form of a self-help report. I tried to answer every question as best as possible and was surprised to learn that I was an ISFJ – a Protector. Although I was more interested in finding out what it said about my relationships, I could not help but read the other things indicated in the results. Mainly, it said that I did my work well alone (check!), I believed in ideas based on facts (check!), and I care for my loved ones more than anyone in the world (double-check!).

Once I reached the relationships part, it mentioned that ISFJs appreciated a thoughtful partner. They could give everything to that person, but if they messed up at least once, they would lose their trust and not want to do anything with them. I felt like that was so spot-on, given that I gave my ex a lot of consideration, especially since he could not get his full salary since the pandemic. Despite that, he did not think twice before cheating on me.


How are projective tests used to measure personality? 

Some projective tests start by showing an ambiguous picture to an individual and asking them what they see. In other cases, the person hears a word, which they need to draw. The testers will then measure their personality based on how they have interpreted those images or words.

What is an example of a projective personality assessment? 

A typical example of a projective personality assessment is the Thematic Apperception Test. What it entails is that the tester prepares at least eight pictures depicting different scenarios for a person. Then, that person needs to describe what they see, what is probably happening when the photo’s been taken, etc. 

This storytelling format is supposed to reveal many things about someone, including their previous experiences, current dilemmas, happiness, fear, or frustration, among other things.

What personality tests do psychologists use? 

Psychologists typically use two kinds of personality tests:

  • Projective Tests: Such examinations tend to tap into people’s imagination to assess someone’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences. There are various forms of projective tests, but the basic idea is that the tester will ask them to interpret, draw, or describe a picture and analyze their work.
  • Self-Help Reports: These tests come in the form of questionnaires that people must answer truthfully. For instance, with five being most likely and one being least likely, do you think you’ll give your spouse another chance if s/he cheats on you? There is no correct or wrong answer here.

What are the four types of personality? 

  • Analytical: Analytical individuals love to assess everything objectively. They do not believe something unless they see or experience it. They also love to gain new information, create lists, etc.
  • Amiable: Amiable people are the most agreeable people you will ever meet. They like to avoid conflicts, so they often try to appease everyone. They want things to be easy for themselves too.
  • Driver: This is the personality of strong and brave people. Instead of shying away from problems or challenges, they choose to face them head-on.
  • Expressive: Individuals with this personality know how to please the crowd. It feels natural for them to befriend and socialize with others. Unfortunately, they are not always great with responsibilities.

What is the most common Myers-Brigg personality type? 

ISFJ turns out to be the most common Myers-Brigg personality type. People found with this personality type are known to be warm and responsible. While they always want to protect everyone and everything they love, they handle changes well.


What is the rarest personality type? 

INFJ is the rarest personality type among the Myers-Brigg personality types. Someone with this personality is known as an advocate. It entails that this person is full of wisdom and creativity. Before they do anything, they dig deep and make sure that it supports their inner values.

What are the eight types of personalities? 

  • Extraverted Thinking: It refers to people who agree with like-minded individuals. However, if someone does not have similar principles, they immediately believe that they are wrong without understanding their logic.
  • Introverted Thinking: Introverted thinkers tend to have bright ideas, but they have analysis paralysis. It means that they get stuck in their head often, unable to express themselves clearly.
  • Extraverted Sensation: When someone has this personality, you may see them showing their affection to their loved ones all the time. They host parties and meet friends and family as often as possible.
  • Introverted Sensation: Such people prefer to keep their thoughts and emotions to themselves. Though they are not liars, it is still tough to determine what’s on their minds. 
  • Extraverted Intuition: This type of personality entails that someone is always open to changes, no matter how much they love their current situation.
  • Introverted Intuition: Introverts are prone to coming up with ideas on how they can change various aspects of their lives. However, they do not usually act on them.
  • Extraverted Feeling: Extraverts put others’ interests before theirs. Even if they do not like what’s happening, they will agree to it if other people are into it.
  • Introverted Feeling: It has been revealed that introverted individuals do not like sharing their deepest feelings with others. Anyone can try coaxing them to open up, but they may end up hiding more.

How do you classify personality? 

Experts classify personality based on five traits: amiability, introversion, extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. One or two of these traits will be more dominant than the others, and that’s how they deduce a person’s personality.

What are the five main personality traits? 

  • Agreeableness: Agreeable individuals love to cooperate and collaborate with other people. It does not always matter if they cannot get what they want – what matters to them is that everyone’s happy.
  • Conscientiousness: Conscientious people are often level-headed. They know what they should do in life and how; they love planning and sticking to their own principles. They do not leave any essential task unfinished either.
  • Extroversion: Sociable and talkative individuals are often called extroverts. It entails that they are not afraid or shy to express their thoughts or emotions.
  • Introversion: Introverts are the opposites of extroverts because they tend to clam up all the time and avoid making vital decisions in life. Instead, they prefer to isolate themselves from others.
  • Openness: As the term suggests, people with this personality trait are incredibly open to anything. They welcome change all their lives; they do not like getting stuck in one situation forever. Their imagination is always working as well.

What is personality according to psychology? 

According to psychology, personality is the collective term used to describe a combination of traits that people or animals exhibit. For instance, if someone is introverted, observant, feeling, and judging (ISFJ), they have the defender personality. If another person is extraverted, sensing, thinking, and perceptive (ESTP), they have the entrepreneur personality.

How did psychoanalysis influence psychology? 

Psychoanalysis reveals a fine and definite line that separates a person’s conscious and unconscious mind. They may experience catharsis at some point, and some of the unconscious thoughts will come to the surface. That’s when the person may realize some things about themselves that they have never known existed in the past. From there, psychologists can try to link their behavior before and after such an experience.

What is the theory of personality?

The founder of psychoanalysis is most likely the first person to create a theory regarding personality. According to him, people do everything to gain pleasure. It does not merely imply sex; it also pertains to how we tend to splurge on food, clothes, trips, and material objects. 

Sigmund Freud specifically introduced the tripartite theory of personality in 1923. This theory states that three aspects of personality – id, ego, and superego – develop over time.

Moral Lesson: It hurts to split with the love of your life, but when you know yourself, you know that you deserve someone better than a cheater. 

Try the MBTI test now – it worked for me!