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Measurement Of Personality - Non Projective Test And Projective Test


Posted Date: 23-Jul-2011  Last Updated:   Category: Education    
Author: Member Level: Gold    Points: 60


This article explains the different types of tests that is conducted to measure the personality of an individual. Measurement of personality serves both theoritical and practical purposes. The different methods are non - projective and projective.



Measurement of personality


Measurement of personality serves both theoretical and practical purposes, many problems concerning the nature and development of personality could be solved satisfactorily if we have precise methods of measuring traits when an individual who has difficulties of personality adjustment come for help to a psychological clinic it is necessary to assess his personality. An appraisal (balancing) of his personality deficiencies indicates the handicaps he has to overcome. A knowledge of strong points in his personality helps us to know the sources of his strength which can be used to overcome his troubles. The measurement of personality is also useful in the selection of leaders and stable persons for responsible jobs.
The different methods of measuring personality can be broadly divided into two categories namely non - projective and projective.

Non - projective


Interview method : The original method used for the assessment of personality and the one which is still found to be useful is the interview method. In interview there is a direct face to face contact between the interviewer and the interviewee. The interviewer is the psychologist or the psychiatrist and the interviewee may be the patient or a subject. In this method the psychologists listens to the subjects own story and he seldom interferes while the subject is talking. He is sympathetic in listening breaks the subjects restraints and he begins to talk in more intimate manners. This draws out the subjects true personality. Sometimes the subject is questioned about his attitude and interests. The interview has got two forms namely guided and un guided. In the guided form the psychologist has the pre arranged questions where as in the unguided form the questions are not pre - arranged.

A highly skilled interview can gain a great deal of useful information about his subject from the interview. The subjects manner of speaking his hesitation averted glanus (escape) provide important clues to his personality. But the interview method has serious limitations people bearing greatly in their skill as interviewers. The results of the interview though clear to the interviewer can not be expressed in precise terms.

Behaviour test


One of the behavioural test is called Brook test which is designed to test group participation in problem solving and to reveal natural leader. Here a group of 4 to 5 candidates are taken to a brook. They will be provided with a few materials like tins, ropes and bamboos. Then they are asked to imagine themselves to ba in a situation where they are faced with enemy force and their leader to the other side of the river. Here how the group starts its work, how the leader emerges will be observed by a team of experts including a psychologist, a doctor and an army officer based on the performance the fit person will be selected for the job.

Rating scale


A rating scale is a device for recording the extent or degree to which a person is perceived to possess a defined attribute. It is a little more difficult and technical in its construction. The rating may be self - rating or rating of a particular trait in others. Sometimes rating may also be done by a team of judges, rating scale has usually 3 points, 5 points, or 7 points.
For example : A scale on generosity the question may be do you spent more money on others then on yourself ?
  • Always

  • Sometimes

  • Never

  • This is a 3 point scale here the subject has to read the question and indicate the degree of the trait present in him by making x on anyone of the 3 points. A five point scale may have the following alternatives
  • Always

  • Often

  • Sometimes

  • Rarely

  • Never

  • Depending upon alternatives they are called 3, 5 points. As the points go on increasing precession in the assessment of the trait increases. In the rating scale there are 2 individuals,
  • Rater and

  • Ratee.

  • A rater is the one who rates a particular trait in another individual. Ratee is
    a person whose trait is being rated.
    The advantages of rating scale are
  • It helps to overcome the drawback of questionnaire.

  • Assessment is more accurate than the inventory.

  • The drawback is that is suffers from halo effect that is the raters bias effects accuracy of rating. The rating tends to over estimate or under estimate the subject based upon his likes and dislikes. Similarly familiarity and strangers of the subject also effect the ratings. Therefore using of a rating scale requires a good training experience and objective attitude on the part of a ratee. Inspite of the short comings the rating scales are wildly used in business firms, industries, educational institutions and clinics to record the impression of the authority about the applicant.


  • Questionnaire or personality inventory


    In inventory or a questionnaire consists of a set of questions prepared on the problem under study. Each question is followed by alternative answers of which the subject has to indicate only on answers by underling or putting a right mark on the answers which applies to him. This method is much easier to administer and to collect data from a large number of subjects at a time. There are a number of inventories prepared and standardized by psychologists to measure different areas of personality. Some of them are the following

    The first personality questionnaire was the one devised by R.S Wood worth in 1818 it is known as the personal data sheet and is used to determine emotional instability or neurotic tendency among soldiers it has 116 questionnaire. Each followed by 2 answers yes or no. It consists questions relating to physical symptoms, fears worries, feeling and attitudes known to indicate mental and nervous disorders. Some of the questions are
  • Do you usually feel well and strong ? Yes or No.

  • Do you have night mares ? Yes or No

  • Do you make friends easily ? Yes or No

  • Bell's adjustment inventory was prepared by Bell in 1934. It has 2 forms one for adults and the other for students. The students form consists of 140 questions. Each question is followed by three alternative yes/no ? This has 4 areas of adjustment, they are home help society and emotion, there is no right or wrong answer and in each area there are 35 questions key consists of only mel adjustment answers. So the number of answers which agree with the key indicates the extent of mal adjustment in a given area lesser the agreement score greater the adjustment.

    M.M.P.I (Minnesota Millipinasie Personality Inventory )

    M.M.P.I is the most popular of all the personality inventories, it consists of 550 statement the subject has to classify the statements into three categories. True, false or cannot say, questions may be for example it makes me nervous to have to wait.
    Each item is related to are of the clinical scales like
  • Hypochondriasis (H.S)

  • Depression (D)

  • Hysteria (Ay)

  • Psychopathic deviate (P.d)

  • Masculinity or feminity (M.F)

  • Parenoio (Pa)

  • Psychasthesnia (Pt)

  • Senizopherizio (Sc)

  • Hypomania (Ma)

  • The unique features of M.M.P.I is that it is desired to yield an indication of its validity for a particular individual a scale is also designed lies course a person who denies a particular behaviour it assumed to by lying.

    Eyseniks personality inventory (E.P.I)

    E.P.I has 51 questions each question has two answers. The subject has to read each question and indicate his answer by marking one of the answer. There is no right or wrong answer but the subject must answer as quickly as possible now question should be left un answered for example does your mood often go up and down yes / no out of 51 questions 24 refer to extra version and intraversion, another 24 to neurotic dimension and the remaining belong to the scale for example one's in a while do you loose your temper get angry ? Yes / no. If the answer is no it amounts to a lie.

    Mysore personality inventory (M.P.I)

    M.P.I is constructed and standardized on Mysore college students by professor B. krishnan of Mysore university consist of 235 statements. Each question has two answers true or false the subject has to read each question carefully and indicate his answer by encircling any one of the two. It takes about 50 minutes to complete it. The questions referred to several different areas of personality. The defect of inventories are
  • Only there paps only concious ans surface level of mental functions they do not try to asses the inner case of the personality.

  • As the subject knows the purpose he may hide the natural responses.

  • The subject is forced to accept one of the alternatives as there is no provision for any other answer.

  • Inventories are two analytical preparation and standardization of questionnaires are very difficult in spite of these short comings inventory is one of the important means to assess the personality.


  • Projective tests


    Projection is said to be present when we attribute our own motives,defects and desires to others. Projective tests are so named because they induce the individual to project that is put himself into the test situation, to reveal his own motives, attributes, attitudes and aspirations.
    There are many projective tests such as T.A.T, C.A.T, S.C.T, V.P.T and Ink blot test. All of them have two common features.
  • They present the person with a relatively non - structured situation or stimulus.

  • All projective tests catch the subject off guard that is they are designed to make the subject reveal himself without being aware of the fact that he is doing so.


  • Ink blot test or rorschach test


    It was first designed by H. Rorchach a Swiss psychiatrist in 1921. It consists of 10 inch blot patterns each blot is mounted on a board of 8" x 10". 5 blots are made up of varying shades of grey and black. 2 blots have some red patches 3 blots are different colours.
    The cards are presented to the subject one at a time and the examiner asks " what could this be or what do you see". The subject is allowed to turn the blot and look at it from different positions. The examiner writes down the responses given by the subject. After the ten cards are completed the examiner goes through them a second time to make a record of where the subject saw each response that he mentioned. The responses are interpreted with respect to the following main features
  • Determining quality, whether the response is based upon the whole blot or on a small detail.

  • Content ' this refers to what is seen in the blot human figures, animals objects landscapes etc.

  • Quality or form,' whether the response was determined by a form or by the colour

  • Movement ' whether the subject has mentioned any movement.

  • The interpretation of Rorchach test is a complicated task. Most of the conclusions drawn from the subject's responses are based on psychiatrist experience rather than on experimental proof. Although much work has been done with this test, its validity is not firmly established. It cannot be used as an independent test.

    TAT or Thermatc apperception test


    When we perceive a situation in terms of past experience instead of responding nearly to what is physical before us, we are appercewing since our past experiences are different. We get different meanings from the same picture. TAT assumes that the meaning we read into a pictured situation reveals something of our past experience and the motives derived from it.

    TAT was designed by Murry in 1938 this test consists of 30 pictures and a blank card not all parts are given to one individual, but it depends on age sex and other factors usually 10 cards are given in on series and other 10 cards in another series.

    The subject is asked to make up story to make up story about each picture the experimenter will ask " what is happening, what led up to it ? What will be the outcome what are the feelings and thoughts of character ?" It has been found that person taking the test usually identify himself with one of the character in the picture and that story will become an autobiography. The stories are analysed on the following lines
  • Nature of hero

  • Theme

  • Out come

  • Hero's relations with other characters

  • Hero'e aspiration etc

  • The structure the conduct and the ending of the story gives us something about personality in the individual. Unlike the Rorshach the TAT has no quantitative score with value of the method is that it induces the subject to verbalise his thoughts and feelings behind disguise of making up a story, an experience clinical psychologist can gain a great deal of information about subjects personality by analyzing the stories that are given by him.

    CAT or children appreciation test


    It was devised by Bellak in 1949 for use with young children aged between 3 and 10 years. It has 10 pictures all these are of animals, the child must in structure 1 - 0, tell a story about each picture instruction may be " what the animals are doing now ? What went in the story before and what will happen latter ?" It will be much encouragement prompting are necessary. Dr. Uma choudhary has modified CAT to suit the Indian conditions as closely as possible.

    SCT (sentence completion test)


    This test was originally developed by Ebbing Haus later on Payne and Tendler in 1930's developed it into a test of personality the subject is asked to complete a few incomplete sentences as quickly as possible when he is asked to complete it without any time to deliberate, the unconscious process will directly response naturally the completed sentence will provide an inside into his desire hopes conflicts, fears and so on for example
  • I tell lies when _ _ _ _ _

  • I fee happy when _ _ _ _ _


  • V.P.T - Verbal projective test


    It is a combination of TAT and SCT, it is developed by T.E Shanmugham of Madras university here verbal pictures will be presented tot he subject requesting him to write a story on it. There are about 20 items in this test. This test can give us several points about the nature of personality.


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