Are personality tests useful?

Beyond the craze of personality (and personality tests).

Personality tests describe your behavioral traits (in general) and rarely will they tell you something you didn’t already know. Beyond personality, behind personality, and before personality, are the motivating mechanisms that create your personality. The theory of MindTime—scientifically researched, peer-reviewed, and published—promises to change how we think about ourselves from the personality craze of the last 25 years into a new and deeper level of understanding and usefulness to everyday people. Full disclosure. I am a member of the team who has been working on this for the past 23 years.

Are personality tests useful? Yes, they can be, especially if you are in some doubt about how you come across to others (many people do wonder how they are perceived by their boss, colleagues, or friends). However, today many people want to know how to harness their potential, improve and amplify their skills and abilities, and become more effective as people, not just have their personality traits pointed out to them.

You cannot understand how your mind functions with a personality test that measures a narrow summary of your behavioral traits: extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, etc – such as the Big 5 or 5 Factor model, MBTI, DISC, etc., (see the illustration of the top personality traits mapped scientifically within the MindTime framework).

What is more useful is to have an understanding of what makes you the way you are, why you tick the way you do, and how to develop your innate abilities, talents, and skills. To become a more effective thinker you need to understand yourself at a higher level of thinking. As Einstein said, “To solve our problems, we need to think at a new level.” You need to see yourself from a whole new point of view. The metacognitive level, not the behavioral one of personality traits.

Think about this. There are phenomena that affect us all and shape how we behave. One such phenomenon is gravity. It forces us into certain postures and to move in certain ways.

Another is time. The MindTime Foundation (formerly the MindTime Project) has been studying time and how it forms human cognition for 23 years. The science we have done is strong, although much remains to be explored.

To understand why you behave the way you behave you need to look at the way you perceive the world, think, and shape your behavior. It’s all about meta-cognition and precisely how it reveals your thinking style as understood within a true framework and theory of mind.

Read on…

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