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How much do people differ – a quick overview of 5 personality models


People differ – that’s a fact. Diversity in a group of people working together is good – it inspires innovation and creativity – different people look at the world from different angles. At the same time we have to remember that there has to be enough common ground among the people – without that we risk too many conflicts and misunderstandings.

In general, diversity is strongly related to personality. But how can we know if two people’s personalities are quite similar or whether they differ a lot? Here come personality test.

I am aware of the fact, that personality tests aren’t perfect. However, they can be very useful for us to understand our inner self better. Also, taking a personality test together can be a fun activity for the whole team – you can use it as a „team growing” game (although this requires certain level of trust among the team members).

Below you can find a list of various personality models I know. I prepared it in the form of „my personal top 5”. The list also contains a list of links to the tests you can take online:


5. Big Five Personality Traits
TheoryOnline test

This model distinguishes five personality traits: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Emotional Stability. It is often said to be the most comprehensive model available. On the other hand lot of people complain that it is „too high level”, which makes it not that useful for everyday use.


4. Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire
Theory / Online test

This model distinguishes between 16 personal traits. This model can be helpful in predicting a potential person’s behavior in many environments and situations. This model also present a complete picture of person’s whole personality. Analyzing this model takes quite a lot of time, so it’s probably more useful for more comprehensive analysis.


3. Enneagram of Personality
Theory / Online test

This model distinguishes 9 different personality types. Although the origins and history of many of the ideas and theories associated with the Enneagram of Personality are a matter of dispute (accused of having its roots in mysticism), such a test can be fun to do with a team (especially when people are not eager to do some „very scientific” tests). Personally I like this model a lot.


2. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Theory / Online test

This model was constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers based on the typological theory proposed by Carl Jung. Jung had speculated that there are four principal psychological functions by which humans experience the world – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking – and that one of these four functions is dominant most of the time. This is probably the most widely used personality assessment tool in the world, although it’s been criticized for being „vague and general” and has been accused of suffering from the Forer Effect (people believing that statements reflect their personality, whereas in reality they apply to almost everyone).
1. 16 personalities
Theory / Online test

This is a pretty new model that combines some parts of the other models. The four-letter naming known from Myers-Briggs model is now shared by a number of diverse theories and approaches – the 16 personalities model uses this naming too. However, it is important to remember that while these acronyms may be identical or very similar, their meanings do not always overlap.

Unlike Myers-Briggs or lot of other theories based on the Jungian model, this models does not incorporate cognitive functions such as Extraverted Thinking or Introverted Sensing, or their prioritization, instead choosing five independent scales and building the distinguished personality types around them.

This is my personal favorite – after completing the test you will receive a comprehend description of the personality in various categories (general, career, relationships, etc). It also does not take that long to take (around 12 minutes).
That’s all! Hope you can find some of these things useful for you. A small disclaimer at the end: I am not a psychologist (this is only my field of interest) – if you see any errors in this article, please point them out ;).

Published inAgilePsychology

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