Listening to today’s English language podcast and taking the suggested personality test will help you learn about the personality types you will encounter in your daily life. Learn about your own personality type, and its strengths and weaknesses, along with some useful common English vocabulary.
In this English lesson, I’m going to recommend a good online personality test that I have found interesting. It’s free, it’s simple to fill out, and it works without having to hand over an email address.
It only takes a few minutes to answer some yes/no questions and I’ve found it to be quite accurate.
No predictive system is perfect, but this one seems to offer some interesting insights into your personality.
I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.
⭐ Mahatma Gandhi
Personality tests are a great way to find out more about yourself. You will discover things about yourself that you should find interesting or surprising. It can make you think about your personality or the personality of people you know, from a new angle, or in a different way.
“Personality” is a word relating to the character or attributes of a person. For example, if you meet someone who’s friendly, energetic and generous, these are some of their personality traits.
Personality Accuracy Accurate Questionnaire Intuition Criteria Neutral Unique Criterion
Today I’m going to talk about a ‘personality test’ - something that’s fun to do online. I’ll give you the links at the end of the podcast because you might like to try this personality test too. It’s free and anyone can do it. But while I’m talking about this personality test, you’re going to be learning some useful vocabulary for when you come to describe someone’s character, someone’s personality.
Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.
What sorts of words might you use to describe your friend - or yourself? So this is a podcast for interest, but which will help your brain learn some new, really useful English vocabulary while you’re listening. So if you don’t understand what ‘personality test’ means - listen on! You’ll find out.
So a fun thing that I’ve enjoyed doing and which I’ve shared with friends and family recently is an online personality test. Your ‘personality’, that’s PERSONALITY means ‘the type of person that you are’, how someone might describe you. And I’ve done this personality test years ago, but I’d forgotten the results. So when a friend messaged me last week with the link, I did the test again and I also sent it to friends and family to do.
I’ll give you the details at the end of the podcast, if you would like to try to for yourself. You could perhaps do it in English - or actually the test is available in many other languages too. It’s free! It’s available for anyone to try and it links to a subscription if you want more information, but most of it’s available for free.
This personality test has been around for years, and it’s quite surprising in its accuracy, when you read your results. The word ‘accuracy’, ACCURACY means ‘how close to the truth it is’. So ‘accuracy’ is a noun and the adjective to go with it is ‘accurate’, ACCURATE. You might talk about a clock or a watch being ‘very accurate’.
Or you might say a description of someone was ‘accurate’. So this personality test seems to have some ‘accuracy’. You read the personality type which it describes for you and you can see yourself in the description! I say that it’s ‘quite surprising’, because I think that personality is complicated, it’s complex! I would think much more complicated than anything you could arrive at using a questionnaire.
A ‘questionnaire’, QUESTIONNAIRE - it means a series of questions, which is aimed at eliciting, extracting information from you, for a particular purpose. A questionnaire may mean a series of questions on paper - or more often a series of questions which you answer online.
So I sent this link to a number of people and it was really interesting hearing their results. I got family members to do the test too. When I read the descriptions for the people I know, they did seem to fit remarkably well.
Before I go on to talk about how this personality test works, just a reminder that if you would like do do even English language listening with Adept English, you can go to our website at adeptenglish.com and use our podcast download service. For a small fee, you can buy 50 podcasts at a time.
That’s at least 500 minutes of quality language English listening. Podcasts just like this one, on a variety of topics, so that you can practise your English, while learning interesting things at the same time! Back to today’s topic.
So how does this personality test work? It’s called the 16 Personalities Test by the way. Well, the questionnaire takes around 10 minutes to complete and there are lots of statements. So for example, the first one says ‘You regularly make new friends’. You then have to answer by selecting one of a range of seven - from ‘Yes, I very much agree’ all the way through to ‘No, completely disagree’ - and everything else in between as an option, including a neutral answer.
‘Neutral’, NEUTRAL means ‘neither yes nor no’ - halfway in between ‘yes’ or ‘no’. And as you go through the questions, the statements are cleverly mixed, but you get a sense of them returning to the same themes. What the questions are trying to discover is how you measure against five key personality criteria.
The word ‘criteria’, CRITERIA is a plural word, meaning ‘things that you’re judged against, measures that you’re judged against’. And the singular of this word is ‘criterion’, CRITERION. This word has a different plural ending because…..you’ve guessed it - it’s Greek. And these five key criteria? Well, for each criterion, your questionnaire answers are added up and you’re judged as being one of two ways, so for each criterion, you receive one of two letters. And you receive a five letter code at the end, which links to the 16 personality types.
So for example, the first criterion is whether you’re ‘introverted’ or ‘extraverted’. So if you’re ‘introverted’, this letter code will start with an I and if you’re ‘extraverted’, it’ll start with an E. ‘Introverted’ means that your focus is more on yourself, your own thoughts and your own feelings and you tend to be ‘inward looking’. Whereas if you’re ‘extraverted’, this means that your focus is more on other people, on the outside world. So each letter in the five letter code that you receive relates to one of these five key criteria.
The second criterion is whether you’re ‘observant’ or ‘intuitive’. So for this you’ll get a letter S or a letter N. If you’re ‘observant’, you base your understanding of the world on what you can observe, what you can see - like a scientist would. Whereas if you’re more ‘intuitive’, you base your understanding of the world on your ‘intuition’ - that’s INTUITION. And if you use your ‘intuition’, it means that you use your experience, your imagination - you say ‘What if?’ - and you have lots of theories about what might be true.
If you’re ‘intuitive’, you don’t just work with observable facts. The third letter in the code that you’re given is T or F, depending upon whether you see ‘thinking’ or ‘feeling’ as more important. Obviously both thinking and feeling are necessary in life, but people tend to give more value to one or the other. So in this way of looking at personality, there’s no wrong or right answer - some people are introverts, some people are extraverts, some people value thinking more highly, some people value feeling more highly - neither is right or wrong, just different.
A photo of two boys with completely different personalities. Learning some new English words combined with a knowledge of personality types can help you improve your English language skills and understand your work colleagues better.
The fourth measure in the five key personality criteria is called ‘prospecting-judging’ - so it either gives you a letter P or a letter J. What this criterion is concerned with is - ‘Do you like to have everything planned out? Do you like to know what you’re doing ahead of time? Do you like to have a back-up plan?’ Or ‘Are you someone who likes to be spontaneous? You like to see how it goes and just be reactive to what is going on around you?’ If you like to figure things out as you go - you’ll get a P here. If you like to plan, you’ll get a J.
And the fifth measure is called ‘turbulent-assertive’ - so your resulting code will have a T or an A at the end. Again those words aren’t that helpful to understanding what it means. But here the questions will try to establish, trying to discover ‘How calm are you in the face of stressful situations?’ If you’re ‘assertive’ on this measure, it means you have self-assurance, you’re confident, you’re even-tempered, that you don’t get knocked off course easily. You’re steady when things get difficult. You set your course and you continue on it. Whereas if you’re judged to be ‘turbulent’ on this scale, it means that you’re very much driven by success, you like to make things perfect. You keep wanting to achieve more and more - and you’re very adaptive, you adapt to the situation as it changes. So again, neither of these is better - they’re just different.
When you get the results of your personality test then, you’re given this five letter code. You can see how you were judged against each of these five key personality criteria. But the test also gives each of these personality types a name. So mine was ENJF-A - which in English is called ‘The Protagonist’ personality type. And when I read the description, I though ‘Yeah - that’s fairly accurate for me’. And as I said, the descriptions for friends and family were also rather accurate. So how does this work?
Well, it’s all loosely based in what is known as Myers Briggs Type Indicator - or MBTI. This system of personality was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a mother and daughter, who worked together to invent a system for analysing personality.
Their system was based on the writings of Carl Jung, the famous Swiss Psychiatrist and one time friend of Sigmund Freud. Jung developed many theories, which I love - especially those around dreams, archetypes and the collective unconscious. Perhaps I’ll save those topics for another podcast! But Jung’s work included theories about personality, which Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers developed further.
So not only are the results of these personality test interesting and fun to do, but they’re also regarded as quite reliable indicators for people’s suitability to certain jobs and job roles. So MBTI is sometimes used in the workplace, to ensure that people are suited to their job role and to make sure that you’ve got a good balance of personality types on your team. You may even have been asked to take this test at work, for this very reason!
Although I see value in these tests, there’s also reason to be cautious, to be careful with it too. People are complicated - and the whole world cannot be summed up in just 16 personality types.
When one of my friends did her test, her result was the same personality type as mine - The Protagonist - and yet, as she said ‘We’ve very different. I don’t get it!’ Well we’ve been friends a long time - but I agreed with her - we are very different. She was asking understandably ‘How come we are supposed to have the same personality type then?’ Well, the answer is that there’s actually a lot more to personality than just these five basic criteria.
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We’re all immensely complicated and we’re the sum total of our genetics and our life experiences - and what we call ‘the frame of mind’, the mood, the way we feel right now, in this moment. So although this type of personality test can tell us some interesting things, which are worth knowing - fortunately we’re a whole lot more complicated than this. I’d say everyone is unique.
That’s UNIQUE. And ‘unique’ means there’s no one else who is exactly the same as you. I think the world is much more interesting because everyone is ‘unique’. Tell us what you think! Do the quiz - I’ve included links in the transcript on our website at adeptenglish.com so that you can find the test and do it too. It’s probably available in your language, if you don’t want to do it in English.
So there you have it! You’ve learned about personality tests, Myers Briggs and lots of vocabulary for describing people’s character, people’s personality.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
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