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Viewpoint: Most online personality tests are scientific quackery––except maybe this one

While most of the personality tests shared around the internet are, indeed, bogus procrastination devices, there is a science to personality, and it’s something that researchers really can put into a quantified, testable format, said Simine Vazire, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis.

The most popular — used by the vast majority of scientists who study personality — is called the Big Five, a system that organizes personality around five broad clusters of traits: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience.

The idea behind the Big Five is that everyone’s personality has a little of all five trait groups. What the test does, essentially, is tell you where you fall on the spectrum of each of the clusters.

The Big Five, [Vazire] told me, has produced results that can be shown to remain largely consistent across a person’s lifespan and that can be used to predict at least some part of a person’s likely academic achievement, dating choices and even future parenting behavior. It has also been validated cross-culturally to some extent.

Their science resolution, she said, isn’t so much to get people to stop taking personality quizzes, but to get those people who love quizzes to transfer some of that enjoyment to the Big Five.

Read full, original post: Most Personality Quizzes Are Junk Science. I Found One That Isn’t.

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