31 May 2012

Character development through personality tests

One great way to add depth to your characters is to use a personality test to find out what personality type they are. This can help you flesh out what reactions they might have in a certain situations or how one character might interact with another.

There are many different types of tests of varying complexity.  The great thing is, you don't need to care if it's a psychologically accepted test. After all, your characters aren't going to complain ^_^.

There are a couple of well know tests that you might find useful, or have even done for yourself.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Myers-Briggs test is based on four sets of opposing preferences.

Extraversion (E) - (I) Introversion
Sensing (S) - (N) Intuition
Thinking (T) - (F) Feeling
Judging (J) - (P) Perception

Every person has a preference from each line which then combine to become one of sixteen types.  These sixteen types can then be correlated to the temperaments developed by David Keirsey, though these are actually determined by two different tests.

Keirsey Temperament Sorter

The Kiersey Temperaments correlates to the MBTI types as shown below (taken from Wikipedia).

Temperament Role Role Variant
Abstract
or
Concrete?
Cooperative
or
Utilitarian?
Directive
or
Informative?
Expressive
or
Attentive ?
Introspective
(N)
Idealist (NF)
Diplomatic
Mentor (NFJ)
Developing
Teacher (ENFJ): Educating
Counselor (INFJ): Guiding
Advocate (NFP)
Mediating
Champion (ENFP): Motivating
Healer (INFP): Conciliating
Rational (NT)
Strategic
Coordinator (NTJ)
Arranging
Fieldmarshal (ENTJ): Mobilizing
Mastermind (INTJ): Entailing
Engineer (NTP)
Constructing
Inventor (ENTP): Devising
Architect (INTP): Designing
Observant
(S)
Guardian (SJ)
Logistical
Administrator (STJ)
Regulating
Supervisor (ESTJ): Enforcing
Inspector (ISTJ): Certifying
Conservator (SFJ)
Supporting
Provider (ESFJ): Supplying
Protector (ISFJ): Securing
Artisan (SP)
Tactical
Operator (STP)
Expediting
Promoter (ESTP): Persuading
Crafter (ISTP): Instrumenting
Entertainer (SFP)
Improvising
Performer (ESFP): Demonstrating
Composer (ISFP): Synthesizing

For example, in previous tests I've shown up as an INTJ - introspective (N),  rational (NT), arranging (NTJ) and Introspective (INTJ) or the Mastermind type (insert obligatory evil laugh here).

However my main character from Crackdown, Bethany Jodes, is an ISFJ - the protector; someone who is supportive, but logical, and likes structure.

Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator 

The Enneagram has nine personality types, the 1. Reformer, 2. Helper,  3. Achiever, 4. Individualist, 5. Investigator, 6. Loyalist, 7. Enthusiast, 8. Challenger, and 9. Peacemaker.  My main character's love interest (who's name is not yet settled) is a definite Achiever - self-assured, attractive, and charming.

He might also have traits from his "wings", the two numbers either side, and acts like the ones connected across the circle when he's stressed or satisfied.

Question

So, what personality traits do your characters exhibit, and how does that help you understand how they interact with each other?  Let me know in the comments ^_^.

Thanks for visiting.

Isa

References

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) at Wikipedia
Keirsey Temperament Sorter at Wikipedia
Free test at Kiersey.com
Enneagram of Personality at Wikipedia
Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator at Enneagram Institute

1 comment:

Personality Questionnaire said...

Yes With personality test we can develop our character. With giving answers to some questions we must think about the our character before giving answer.