Describe and evaluate contemporary use of personality measurement and testing, focusing on issues of reliability and validity, using empirical evidence to support your arguments.
Personality tests are widely used these days in both professional and informal settings. One may take a personality test online, for example; in order to determine how much like a film character they are, or they may take one in an employment process or clinical setting. This essay, however, will only be looking at formal tests. The tests have many uses, including recognizing psychological disorders or calculating future behaviour (Plotnik, 2002). It is important to note that personality tests are like any other instrument used to increase understanding of a topic and, like all instruments and methods, their use can cause both affirmative and undesirable results (Anastasi & Urbina, 1997). We will look at both projective and self-inventory tests and compare their methods in terms of their validity and reliability.
There are many different personality tests available today but we are only concerned with the Rorschach Ink Blot test (henceforth referred to as the Rorschach), the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2 (MMPI-2). Before the discussion of validity and reliability of the tests it is essential to comprehend just what personality is and to obtain an elementary outline of the three tests being discussed.
Personality is interpreted as a mixture of a person's consistent behaviour, emotion and thought that illustrate the technique an individual exemplifies when responding to another individual or situation (Letzring, Wells & Funder, 2006). The specific reaction an individual presents is unique and affects their daily life in how they organise events, control emotions and make decisions. Eysenck (2004) outlines personality in a more thorough manner as he discusses it in terms of its stability, regularity throughout...