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Action Based Personality Assessments


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Good evening -
This is my first post as I'm a new member of the community, so thank you for giving me the opportunity to join. I'm looking forward to what I might learn and contribute here.

Please pardon my stating of the obvious: one of the staples of social psychology is experimentation and observation. As I'm sure you're all aware, there's a plethora of information about the need to prevent those being assessed from changing their answers/behavior because they know they are being observed. Since the personality assessments with which I am familiar are all question and answer based which by necessity means that participants know they are being assessed, I'm curious to know if anyone has heard of a personality assessment based on observation of actions chosen in a controlled environment? Certainly this is one goal of field experimentation and I wonder why this hasn't carried over into instruments designed to let participants take actions and make decisions in a more real-world environment.

If such an instrument exists, I'd be grateful to know of it. If not, what would be involved in converting an instrument such as the Big-Five Factor Markers from the International Personality Item Pool, developed by Goldberg (1992) or the MBTI or some other well known instrument?

Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance,


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well, to be super honest with you most "personality tests" based on non-verbal cues or behaviours (including projective tests) have mostly been discredited and tend to fall within the realm of quack science. i know there have been some interesting advnaces in neuroscience and cognitive psychology in terms of detecting certain traits (like the brainwave P300 when people are lying or the implicit association test for stereotype endorsement). but as far as saying there's a reliable, cohesive theoretical body of literature that relates non-verbal behaviour to mental processes, well... the jury is still out there.
as a methodologist/psychometrician i could foresee that the attempt of building such a test would be sufficiently insormountable and expensive that maybe it's not worthwhile to undertake it (yet). i feel like we need to understand a lot more about the brain-behaviour relationship before any serious attempts can be undertaken.
maybe you could post your question in the Psychology sub-forum and get the input from more people? i can only provide input as far as my abilities in psychometrics go. perhaps personality/social psychologist types would be able to chime in with more interesting insights.
Edited by spunky
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Thank you again for your input! After reviewing some material online, I can certainly see where the concerns have been, so I will definitely take that under advisement. I'll also take your advice and repost this in the psychology sub forum and see what happens. Thanks again for weighing in on this!



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