Designed by Poppy Thorpe.
Even if my horoscope says something else, can I am not an Aquarius at all. No matter how hard I try to identify with my cosmically assigned zodiac sign, I just don't find that its typical characteristics suit me. Be it in the monthly horoscope, in meme form or on special websites about zodiac signs - Aquarius (January 20th to February 18th) is always considered to be original, independent and emotionally distant Type of person. But I even cry when I see a photo of cute puppies and I wouldn't call myself cold. On the contrary, I tend to tell strangers about my entire life story myself. My sensitivity and openness are what define me and that's why I just can't take my zodiac sign seriously.
Even though I've already copied horoscopes, I'm still jealous of those who are perfectly happy with their zodiac sign. They always have something ready with which they can explain themselves and their identity to others. Since I suffer from anxiety, I think it would help me a lot if I could just pack my worries and fears in a box labeled “classic Aquarius”.
So I decided to get one non-cosmic Look for label. And that's how I came across personality tests. For centuries people have classified themselves into psychological types. The systematic testing of personality is a phenomenon of the 20th century and has developed into one of the most popular forms of self-discovery today. Free online personality tests are the backbone of internet culture. There are now countless tests that apply to all possible areas of your life - regardless of whether it is a friendship quiz, the talking hat from Pottermore or even scientifically-based tests. Putting yourself in a box is easier than ever. After all, these tests correspond to our innermost desire to feel special and normal at the same time.
Four days later I repeated the test and lo and behold: I was recategorized as an INFP-T.
Probably the most popular personality test is the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI). This test breaks down personalities into individual types. According to the MBTI, all people can be divided into four either-or categories. You are either extroverted (E) or introverted (I), realistic (S) or intuitive (N), logic-focused (T) or principle-focused (F), planning (J) or searching (P). In some versions of the test there is a fifth category, in which a distinction is made between assertive (A) and stormy (T) characters. The letters stand for the respective English terms of the properties. The aim of the test is to find out which combination of these four factors describes your personality. While the official MBTI costs more than 40 euros, there are many free online versions that relate to the basic principle of the model. I decided to test 16Personalities. It is by far the most popular of the MBTI sites on the Internet.
When I took the test the first time I was told I was an INFJ-T. This means that I am a motivated person who “wants to have a lasting positive effect in the world” but is easily upset. So far so good. Four days later I repeated the test and lo and behold: I was recategorized as an INFP-T. So now I am one of the “true idealists who are always on the lookout for the good and try to make the world better”. Interestingly, according to both attempts, I'm more of an introvert. But the second time, my intuition is three percent weaker and I'm also two percent less emotional now. In return, I seem to act a little more analytically than before.
Getting two different results on the same test is not as atypical as you might think: Various studies show that with the MBTI, up to 50 percent of people get a different result when they take the test again.
Both personality types felt “right” to me, which confirms the accuracy of the test for me. But that can also be due to the so-called Barnum effect. This phenomenon is named after an experiment in which it was found that people relate vague personality descriptions directly to themselves without realizing that they might apply to others as well. Maybe that's why horoscopes and personality tests often fit you like a fist. But what does that mean for me and what are the two results?
Most of the time, different results just mean the test isn't well designed
Jennifer Fayard, a writer and assistant professor of psychology at Ouachita Baptist University, has good news for me: the results don't mean my personality has fundamentally changed, as it takes more than a few days. “Normally, your self shouldn't change so drastically from one day to the next. Most of the time, different results just mean the test isn't well designed, ”she explains to me.
She also says that the result basically only depends on the way in which the questions are evaluated. For example, if you were a little unsure of one question and answered differently the second time, that's enough for the program to assign you a different personality type. And so you get the impression that you have changed, although that is not true. As a rule, small mood swings shouldn't affect you as much, says the expert.
That is why 16Personalities offers a detailed analysis of your type at the same time as the result and shows you in graduated form the percentage of the individual letters that apply to you. After all, it makes a big difference whether you're 50 percent or 90 percent introverted.
But if you stand between two different letters, like me, it will be ignored during the evaluation. And that falsifies the result, which means you cannot precisely define yourself and others.
However, this is not intended to downgrade the personal importance of these tests. Nonetheless, they're a good way to find yourself. There is always a bit of truth in them and maybe you will be able to understand yourself and others better through them.