Compare and contrast projective and objective personality testing

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Projective Personality Testing

Projective tests refer to the type of testing methods used to uncover thoughts, emotions, as well as desires that may not be known to the test taker. It refers to unconscious impacts used to drive current behavior. Projective techniques of testing have the ability to uncover issues in the more detailed way. In projective testing human interpretation is highly required rather than statistical. The most common types of projective personality testing include Rorschach Inkblot testing, the thematic apperception testing (TAT), and incomplete sentences blank (David, 2012). The theory behind the implementation of projective personality testing proposed that individuals lack insight in their feelings as well as motives making them be influenced by motives and processes that operate outside their awareness. Given that individuals are not aware of such processes it is not wise to direct ask about them. Psychologists have adopted projective personality testing as one of the ways of identifying nonconscious factors (David, 2012).

Objective Personality Testing  

Objective personality testing refers to a type of evaluation that involves administering a standard set of items that are answered using a limited set of responses. Restricted set of responses are used which may include statements such as true or false, strongly disagree, slightly disagree, slightly agree, and strongly agree (Christopher, 2015). Responses collected are analyzed using the standardized format in a predetermined way. The various assessments that can be achieved include implementation of self-rating, assessing talkativeness, assertiveness, sociability, adventurousness and extraversion. Objective assessment tests must apply objective methods used to score personal responses. A theoretical model that enhances implementation and measuring of objective personality is an argument that individuals have set clear goals and are actively struggling to achieve them. When people are aware of their goals, objectives, and missions it is sensible to ask them directly about their objectives (Christopher, 2015).

Projective personality tests

Prominent examples of projective tests include thematic apperception tests (TAT). It is widely applied in accessing motives such as the need for achievements. It is most influential in enabling collection of responses from individuals (Gregory, 2014).

Another example of projective personal testing is Rorschach it has a high level of revealing ability to predict important outcomes in the set of items. It is the best in making possible critical assessments. It assures the ability to score an extensive set of responses when used appropriately (Gregory, 2014).

Objective Personality Tests

Types of objective testing can be divided into two first one is called descriptive test or self-report measures, where individuals give information about themselves. It is widely applied in modern personality research since individuals understand themselves better that any other person. It is significant in providing a wealth of information. It gives participants enough time to access their thoughts, emotions, and motives. Allowing people to describe themselves is the simplest approach as well as the easiest way that guarantees cost-effective when accessing personality. Such studies can be done to college students by providing simple incentives (Gregory, 2014).

The second type of objective testing is the use of informant rating which may be used to gather personal information or information about another person. Assessment consists application of single words, phrases, and complete sentences (Gregory, 2014). Types of phrases used include “do you like to spend time with others”, “how do you rate your health”


Christopher L. H. (2015). Chapter 2: Section 6: Assessment Theories.

David W. (2012).Personality Assessment.

Gregory, R. J. (2014). Psychological testing: History, principles, and applications (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

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