Doctors, researchers, and employers use personality assessments for a variety of reasons:

  • Clinical psychologists often use assessments as aids for diagnosing psychological disorders.

Example: A psychologist might administer personality tests to a patient with a varied set of symptoms to narrow down possible diagnoses. In such a case, a psychologist would typically use a battery of tests in addition to interviewing the patient.

  • Some mental health providers use tests to decide how best to counsel people about normal problems of daily living.

Example: A counselor might administer a personality test in order to help a person choose a career.

  • Some organizations use assessments to select personnel to hire, although this practice is decreasing in popularity.

Example: A consulting firm might assess job candidates in order to decide which candidates would be likely to perform well under pressure.

  • Researchers frequently use tests in the course of studying personality traits.

Example: A researcher studying the correlation between risk taking and criminality might administer a personality test to a sample of prison inmates.

Three important ways of assessing personality include objective tests, projective tests, and assessment centers.

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