CHAPTER 7

Personality Inventories

A personality inventory is a test (usually a written, self-reported questionnaire) that attempts to reliably assess or measure various dimensional traits in people. They are intended to apply throughout the entire human population. These tests are structured, meaning they make use of direct questions about a person’s opinions of himself. A good inventory always has unambiguous instructions about how to complete the test.

One very obvious weakness, and potential flaw, of all such self-reported personality tests is that the person completing the test, if she so chooses, can purposefully answer the questions incorrectly in an attempt to manipulate the results. The test administrator has no way of knowing for sure ...

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