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Kate.... could you explain the difference between personality

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Kate.... could you explain the difference between personality measures and measures of interests and attitudes?

Good morning and thank you for the question.


Personality may measure things such as dependence, compulsiveness, need for attention, self absorption and egocentrism. However, interest and attitude based tests measure how these aspects of our character are applied into situations such as when you enter a room what are the first desires that you have. One, to talk to others or two, to get something to eat and watch others interact. As you can see these are related but one measures who you are and the other measures how you desire to act in the day to day life.


Some parts of personality tests and those that measure interests and attitudes are separate and distinct. Other aspects are similar.


Generally speaking, personality tests attempt to explore parts of our character. These are areas of our interaction in the world that are relatively steady-state and fairly consistent. They tend to be adaptive in most people but maladaptive in others. The vast majority of personalty tests explore adaptive character traits versus non adaptive traits. A good example of this is the Rorschach ink blot test. This test is a projective test (projective tests use ambiguous stimuli to illicit a response). The test compares known adaptive personalty characteristics with those that are non adaptive and attempts to distinguish between the two. The MMPI, an objective test of personality (an objective test uses a fixed number of responses), works in a similar fashion, comparing normal and known abnormal traits such as psychopathic deviance to create a scale on which personalty can be measured.


Some tests like the EEPS (the Edwards Personality Preference Schedule) are used to measure interests and preferences in our lives. Arguably, the test does measure some aspects of personality as preference and choice is a part of who we tend to be. However, interests tests like the Edwards attempt to measure the social psychology parts of our motivations, attitudes and beliefs. Some theorists view this as a combination of personality and interests where personality and attitudes are measured on an intensity scale.


I hope this helped,




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