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A pen-and-paper evaluation, now with results!

J. Harry Caufield

Today's psychological evaluation is the NEO-PI-3. This is a paper-based test (that is, a set of questions and a Scantron-type sheet of bubbles to fill in) which must be interpreted by someone who knows what they're doing. The questions themselves are similar in format to other personality assessments in that there are 240 statements which may be answered with strong disagreement, disagreement, neutral, agreement, or strong agreement.

I will place some results here once they're available.

These results get into more psychometric material than some of the other assessments I've posted about. If you are, say, a decade in the future and reading this, please don't use the results as any kind of criterion for insurance eligibility, promotion, security clearance, marketing, poetry and/or dirty joke, drone targeting, etc. etc. Just don't do it. I'm just as paranoid about living in a Gattaca-esque social hellscape as the next reasonably educated guy.

Someone from the Dept. of Psychology at VCU came into class and went over the scoring for this test with us. I was glad to hear that she had a very low opinion of the MBTI (it's really not scientific at all and relies on the whole extrovert/introvert dichotomy too much, but some of the other assessments I've taken have been guilt of that as well). The results of the NEO-PI take the form of five category-based scores, or Domains, with six subscores, or Facets, in each domain. The primary domains are referred to as NEOAC and correspond to the following categories:

I'm not going to describe every domain in any detail - check out that wikipedia link at the top for such things. I'll just provide my domain scores:
N: 108 (High)
E: 92 (Low)
O: 158 (Very High)
A: 139 (High)
C: 109 (Low)

So what does this tell me? That high Neuroticism  - which sounds worse than it is - mostly appears to be driven by a high degree of self-consciousness. That couples with the low Extraversion score. Yes, it's true: I'm not terribly outgoing. That being said, I really do like small groups of people. It's having to deal with large groups of people who I really should know better that tends to be stressful. The high Openness and Agreeableness scores correlate with how I like to stay open to new ideas and how I try to be a good person to everybody. Nothing terribly exciting there, really.
The low Conscientiousness score is actually the result of high variability across the facets. I'm actually quite organized and confident in my abilities but I'm not really motivated by achievements for their own sake. Some of this is a result of having low self-discipline (this shows up in the results, too) but the rest is a conscious effort to avoid carrot-and-stick situations. What is the point in pursuing achievements if you don't get anything out of the process?

My overall verdict is that this test may be too limited and general for its intended purposes as a psychometric. I'm not just saying that because it seems to think I'm hopelessly self-conscious. With 40 questions per domain and 8 questions per facet, it appears all too easy for a single score to fluctuate on the basis of a single question's response. It may just come down to the limits of categorization, especially when those categories are dependent upon self-reported characteristics.