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Analysis of the Five Factor Personality Test (IPIP-NEO)
Different individual personalities are what make people so fascinating and
interesting to interact with. Every human being possesses a personality
unique to them whose traits manifest themselves daily through the person's
thoughts, choices, and involvements with others. Nearly every decision that
a person makes, from the friends they choose, to job they employ, to their
particular tastes, can be linked back to their specific personality.
Personalities say a lot about who you are as a person.
For me, participating in the online personality test was an opportunity to
take a closer look at myself and possibly even offer some clues as what
makes me who I am. I spent a good deal of time really thinking about the
results that I received at the conclusion of the test in relation to the way
that I live my life in order to ensure a proper analysis. I suppose I could
say that this attention to detail is just part of my personality.
I will admit that I was somewhat surprised at the accuracy of the scoring
in the five different areas tested, whether I liked the outcome or not. In
looking at the first category, extraversion, I was not completely shocked to
find that I had scored a low rating. Although I am a nice, friendly person
if you talk to me, I generally tend to keep my ideas and opinions quiet
simply because I am too shy to speak up. I do not often voice a
disagreement that I might have to an opinion because I do not want to draw
attention to myself. The idea of "all eyes on me" in any situation,
especially an uncomfortable one, makes me extremely uneasy. This particular
preference of mine might lead one to think that I would be most happy
sitting alone in a corner somewhere avoiding contact with others as much as
possible. Oddly enough, that is far from the truth. I very much enjoy
being part of a fun, interesting, or exciting event. However, I only want
to be in the background as a part of the main event, not to actually be the
In a deeper exploration of the second area, agreeableness, I was again
unsurprised at my scoring, which was high. I, admittedly, am a people
pleaser. I love to make other people happy because it makes me happy to
know that I had a positive affect on someone else. I am highly sympathetic
to people's needs and problems and am often the person friends turn to when
they need a shoulder to cry on. I feel that most people have good
intentions at heart and that trying my best to live in harmony with the rest
of the human population is the right and moral thing to do. I choose my
battles very carefully because I do not see the point in instigating a
trivial argument that will upset both parties involved and could have easily
been avoided by keeping quiet. I do not think so highly of myself that I
feel that need to inform everyone of all of my opinions. This does not mean
that I will always tell everyone that I agree with everything that they say,
I simply let them do or say what they please and as long as their behavior
is not destructive, there's no harm done. I want to get along with as many
people as I can in the best possible way. In short, I try not to "rock the
The only category that I was a little dismayed to see scored an average
rating was the third category, conscientiousness. I consider myself to be a
very conscientious person, but until taking this test had not fully
considered all aspects of this particular trait. For example, although I
have a very high sense of responsibility and like to act independently, I am
lacking in the self-discipline department. I always get important tasks
completed to the very best of my abilities, but I often find it difficult to
really get going on something. I set high goals and I do make strides at
achieving them, unfortunately I do have a tendency to be too careful and
therefore I do not forge ahead as strongly at meeting my goals as I
originally set out to do.
The fourth area of the personality test, neuroticism, showed a high score
for me which although I am not surprised at, I am unhappy about. This is
the area of my personality that I would most like to change. It is my
opinion that this is also the area that intertwines most throughout all five
of the personality categories. That is, through my desire to make other
people happy, be a good, moral person, be independent, successful, and
caring, it often causes me high levels of personal stress and anxiety. I am
a very emotional person and tend to easily suffer from depressions and
anxiety as the overpowering emotion in situations as opposed to anger. I am
very self-conscious throughout all activities that I embark upon as to not
make a wrong decision or be perceived in an unflattering manner. This flaw,
as I view it, in my personality leads me to me very sensitive in my
interpretations of events. Unfortunately, this makes me much more
vulnerable to be hurt easily. On the positive side, I continue to work at
overcoming this weakness as I feel that personality is not necessarily set
in stone and that it can be somewhat adjusted and improved.
In the fifth and final category, openness to experience, I scored a low
rating. Although I am an imaginative individual with an appreciation for
the exciting things life has to offer, I am not careless. I am receptive to
new ideas and experiences as long as I have at least some idea as to what is
involved. The lower score reflects my interest in gaining new perspectives,
as well as my slightly stronger cautiousness which leads me to have a
moderate fear of the unknown. It is not unheard of for me to participate in
some risk-taking behavior such as sky-diving, however, I like to carefully
weigh and consider all consequences in order to make an informed decision on
whether or not to participate in a particular event. I do not just simply
jump head-first with my eyes closed into something. I take calculated risks
of which I can be at least somewhat sure of the outcome. My adventurous
side is alive and well, but is often somewhat tamed by my desire to avoid
Through this analysis, I have been able to dissect my personality into
smaller parts that allowed me to more easily look at what components add up
to contribute to the person that I am. Some of the areas were more
difficult to digest than others, but no one is perfect. We all have peaks
and valleys to our personalities. It is through those peaks and valleys
that each individual is given dimension. I now have a better insight to
myself and I hope to keep nurturing this new understanding in order to
continue to evolve into the person that I am and the person that I am going
Analysis for Chapter 2
Sigmund Freud was anything but conventional. During his day and age his ideas were often viewed as radical, primarily his emphasis on sex, aggression, and the unconscious. Although today Freud is given a lot of credit for his contribution to the field of psychology, his methods however are not the most commonly employed among contemporary psychologists. I, however, happen to agree with many of Freud’s theories and principles. His work on defense mechanisms is probably the aspect of his work that I identify with the most. The Freudian defense mechanisms can easily be applied to anyone at various times in their life.
Freud’s defense mechanisms were as follows: repression, undoing, isolation, reaction formation, displacement, fixation, regression, projection, introjection, and sublimation. It is easiest for me to relate to displacement and repression. When I was in ninth grade my mom and step-dad were on the last few months of their marriage and the environment in our house was a hostile one. He and I never really got along in the first place and during their divorce we were really at each others throats, as well as everyone else in the house. Up until a few months ago I never really thought that their divorce ever had an effect on me. When it was going on back in ninth grade, I remember not caring. I didn’t care that we were moving out or anything. But now that I’m older and I look back on the ninth grade and on my behavior it becomes obvious that it really did bother me, I just didn’t know how to deal with it.
When I was in ninth grade I was sent to the dean’s office at least twice a week. I was kicked off the bus, suspended many times, served detention, and was on a first name basis with the deans and their secretaries. I was a bad kid, to say the least. I was constantly trying to start fights with teachers and other kids, even with the bus driver. I was always angry and subsequently I was like a loose canon, no one really knew when I was going to go off. This was my form of displacement. Everyone but my step-dad felt the wrath of my anger. And he was the one I was angry with. During this time I feel like I also repressed a lot of my feelings. I was nervous to move into a new house and to live alone with my single mother and little brother. I wasn’t really sure how things were going to end up but that was something I never thought about. I repressed all those worrying thoughts and continued to have fun and hang out with my friends while also getting in trouble everyday at school! Now many years later I am able to see the cause of all my anxiety and how hard I tried to repress it.
Another defense mechanism that I have used is projection. In fact I think that this is a very common mechanism. This could be used almost daily but in a milder form than when used to avoid really serious anxiety. I remember when I used to fight with my ex-boyfriend and we would get into the point-out-the-other-person’s-flaws type argument. It seems like the first few things in him that I would attack are actually characteristics of myself. I think that it is very hard to point out your own mistakes. Although somehow you are aware of them, you are also ashamed in them but instead of fixing them it is easier to place the blame on someone else. I would always tell my ex that he was so repetitious and close-minded and that he couldn’t open his eyes to another point of view and these are all things that I am still guilty of doing. Even in everyday life, I’ve noticed that my friends and I will knit-pick at each other and other people and all their little flaws. We make fun of girls that dress scandalous and of people that ask too many questions in class, and granted we have all been that person before.
Another example is my best friend. Right now she’s in and out of fights with her boyfriend and he treats her like crap and repeatedly she’s gone back to him. She also sells-out on her friends to be with him. All of our mutual friends talk about her behavior and we’re all disgusted by it. We’ve told her over and over again and personally it makes me nauseous to even bring it up again. But at the same time I’m bashing her I can’t help but think, “hey, I’ve done this before.” All of these girls that sit around and call my best-friend dumb and blind have all been that dumb girl, some of them are the dumb girl right now. So it seems that we can all see her huge mistake right now because deep down inside we have made those mistakes, and maybe they still haunt our memories.
I know other people who have experienced some of these defense mechanisms themselves. My good friend from back home used to have a professor that she hated. He embarrassed her constantly for being late or graded her papers really hard and wrote derogatory comments on them. She used to call me everyday and complain about what an asshole he was. Then the last few weeks of class, she developed a crush on him. He hadn’t changed the way he behaved toward her and yet she started to have romantic feelings for him, the “asshole.” This was her reaction formation. It was probably very hard for her to deal with the fact that everyday she had to see this man that she hated and her grade was in hands and he hated her, so she manifested her mutual feelings of hatred into romantic feelings. It made her happier in class and she passed so apparently these mechanisms can work!
The times where I’ve used the Freudian defense mechanisms, I feel like they have helped me. In times where I had to much anxiety to deal with, displacement, repression, and projection have all been there for me. In the past, they have taken a little bit of the weight off my shoulders.
Sample Personality Analysis for Chapter 2.
Sigmund Freud's theory, Psychoanalysis, is regarded as the most comprehensive and controversial of all personality theories. It has generated substantial interest and has made Freud one of the greatest contributors to the study of human personality. Therefore, utilizing Freud's theory for my own personality analysis will surely yield interesting results. In order to organize this project to some extent, my personality analysis will follow the general outline in the book's chapter on Psychoanalysis.
Freud divided the mind into three levels of mental life: the unconscious, the preconscious, and the conscious. The unconscious is made up of things beyond awareness such as drives, instincts, feelings, and repressed experiences. Unconscious material could slip into awareness but disguised through dreams, slips of the tongue, or defensive measures. The preconscious contains things beyond awareness but that can be brought to consciousness. Consciousness, or the conscious, are those mental components in awareness and available to us at any time.
The levels of mental life cannot actually be applied to my personality analysis. Freud is simply stating that my mind is divided into these parts, and my unconscious is rich in material. Also, censors are at work to keep anxiety-producing thoughts and memories out of consciousness. However, to relate to my analysis, I do experience a great deal of anxiety. This could mean my unconscious often succeeds in bringing material into consciousness. In any case, Freud's provinces of the mind make for a better starting point.
Freud's provinces of the mind is a three-part structural model that incorporates the levels of mental life. The first, most primitive psychological region is the id. The id is the core of personality and is completely unconscious. It operates through the primary process in that it is illogical, amoral, and has no direct contact with reality. The id's sole function is to seek pleasure. It serves the pleasure principle. For these reasons, the id needs a secondary process to establish contact with the external world, reality.
The ego is the region in contact with reality. It grows out of the id and mediates between the id, the superego, and the external world. It operates under the reality principle, attempting to control the id's pleasure principle. The ego operates on all three levels of mental life. It is the decisionmaking region of human personality, though it has no energy of its own.
The superego is the region representing the moral and ideal elements of personality. It grows out of the ego, but it is unrealistic in its demands like the id. The superego is divided into two subsystems. The conscience tells us what we should not do. The ego-ideal tells us what we should do. The superego strives for perfection and is in constant observation of the ego's actions. The superego exerts some control over the ego. When the ego acts contrary to its standards, the superego can punish it through guilt for example.
The relationship among the id, ego, and superego in three hypothetical persons is presented in figure 2.3 in the book. My personality would fall into the second category: a guilt-ridden or inferior-feeling person dominated by the superego. I believe my personality is dominated by the superego. I often experience feelings of inferiority and always try to guide myself by the proper behavior or course of action. Nonetheless, I do not find myself overcome with guilt or strong feelings of inferiority, at least not too often. Furthermore, I am in touch with the outside world and its realistic demands, yet my ego is in constant battle trying to appease the superego and the id.
Perhaps it is more accurate to state that my ego and superego alternate in controlling my personality. According to Freud, this type of personality is characterized by fluctuations in mood and alternating cycles of self-confidence and self-deprecation. My personality bares just as much of a resemblance to this category as the other if not more. Through my own analysis and that of those closest to me, my personality appears to fluctuate tremendously. I am filled with self-confidence one moment, and suddenly, I am at a low with feelings of insecurity and inferiority. My mood is undoubtedly affected by this shift in that it also shifts in that direction. My mood swings are particularly evident.
It is difficult to assert any conclusive findings from my analysis of the provinces of the mind, and I know it is not required of me. However, a brief description of each region might suffice to end this part of my analysis. My id is functioning illogically and unrealistically in its pursuit for pleasure, and it is successful sometimes. My ego and superego, on the other hand, exert far more control over my personality. Whenever possible, I constantly strive to achieve perfection and become my ideal self. Nevertheless, I am aware of the realistic limitations to my goals and because of that awareness, I struggle to satisfy both regions.
Under the dynamics of personality section in the book, Freud reveals the life (sex) instinct and the death instinct. The sexual instinct brings pleasure by removing sexual excitation. For Freud, all pleasure is linked to the sexual instinct, and it can take many forms such as narcissism, love, sadism, and masochism. Though we all experience narcissism as children, adolescent narcissism, secondary narcissism, is not universal. I believe I am a bit narcissistic in that my degree of self-love is a bit elevated at times. I am preoccupied with myself primarily and in my own interests. I am not a sadist in that I seek pleasure by inflicting pain on others, though Freud contends it is a common need in life. I do tend to be a masochist in that I inflict pain on myself but not in the sexual matter in which Freud describes it. I sometimes battle with obstacles that I myself put in place such as thoughts and fears, perhaps stemming from the superego. In that sense, I am a masochist.
The death instinct aims for self-destruction but is transformed into aggression. I have a bit of an aggressive personality. Both types of instincts struggle to ascend, and the result is anxiety. The three types of anxiety are neurotic anxiety, moral anxiety, and realistic anxiety. Because my superego is dominant, I experience moral anxiety to a great degree. This type of anxiety results from the ego's dependence on the superego. For me, instances such as failing to act morally and consistently always lead to anxiety. Realistic anxiety, anxiety produced by the ego's dependence on reality, is also present in my life. The example of driving in heavy, fast-moving traffic in an unfamiliar city is very familiar. Neurotic anxiety seems to be less apparent.
Because of the anxiety that accompanies instinctual demands, the ego establishes defense mechanisms. Freud identifies ten of these, though I am certain that each personality utilizes a few more often than all of them. Repression is the most basic defensive measure. The ego is threatened by id impulses and protects itself by repressing those impulses into the unconscious. Because I have already revealed the strength of my ego and superego in controlling the id, it should come as no surprise that I use repression quite often. Unacceptable and painful impulses, thoughts, feelings are repressed in my unconscious, though I believe they often return through dreams and slips of the tongue. Repression is associated with the other defense mechanisms, but it is the most apparent defense mechanism in my personality.
The next two defense mechanisms are undoing and isolation. Undoing, performing ceremonial behaviors to erase an experience, is not a mechanism I recall using. In normal behavior, undoing takes the form of making the same mistakes and wasting time, neither of which I experience. Isolation is detaching emotion or feeling from an experience so as to diminish anxiety. I am uncertain whether isolation is very significant to my ego, but I must have utilized the process at one time or another.
Reaction formation involves disguising an impulse to appear in the opposite form to come into consciousness. The book provides the example of a girl who hates her mother, yet she expresses showy and exaggerated love for her. Perhaps the best way to approach this would be to state that my character never appears showy and exaggerated in a positive or negative sense. Therefore, reaction formation is not a common process for my personality.
Displacement is quite common to me. I admit I redirect my aggression onto others, particularly to those less threatening to me. I have been accused of this behavior numerous times. As the expression states, I do take my work home with me, though I try not to. Fixation is a bit more difficult to asses. I am unaware of fixating on a more comfortable psychological stage. However, I tend to obsess about neatness and orderliness, which means I may possess an anal fixation. For Freud, these characteristics mean I remained in the anal stage of development.
Regression means reverting to an earlier stage temporarily when in stress and anxiety. A good example of regression is when I feel stressed I sometimes visit my mother and ask her for a hug. I often employ this process under stressful conditions. Projection, seeing in others unacceptable features that reside in one's own unconscious, is something I feel I may do. I am critical of other people's faults and inadequacies. To Freud, this means I am projecting my own shortcomings onto others. I believe this is true. I often accuse others of being impatient when I, myself, am an impatient person. However, I also incorporate positive qualities of other people, a defense called introjection. Introjection reduces inferiority feelings and increases feelings of self-worth. I can recall adopting mannerisms and values from my parents and other role models.
Sublimation is repressing the sexual drive and replacing it with a social aim. Redirecting the sexual drive into social and cultural accomplishments is an important process. I strive to accomplish many personal goals. At the same time, I do express myself creatively and without regard for personal gain, too. Because my superego, particularly my ego-ideal, is hard at work, I am in constant awareness of social values and try to achieve socially beneficial goals.
Freud's theory on personality formation focuses on childhood. As a result, he described stages of development divided into the infantile period, the latency period, and the genital period. Though I cannot perform any analysis from these sections, I can analyze my personality from certain aspects within the stages. For instance, in the anal phase in the infantile period, an anal character is discussed. According to theory, an anal character is overly resistant to toilet training and prolongs the process beyond the required amount for pleasure. After childhood, this person continues to receive satisfaction by keeping and possessing objects and arranging them excessively neat and orderly. I am such a person. Furthermore, this is later transformed into the anal triad of orderliness, stinginess, and obstinacy in the adult anal character. I posses all these characteristics so I must be an adult anal character, which means the anal phase had a profound impact on my personality.
Though not an actual stage in his developmental theory, Freud alluded to a period of psychological maturity. A psychologically mature individual would experience the earlier stages of childhood and adolescence in an ideal way. Such people would contain a correct balance among the provinces of the mind, and consciousness would be more significant than repressed drives. My personality shows that I have not achieved this stage. However, I may still according to Freud.
The chapter on Psychoanalysis goes on to discuss applications of the theory and related research. My own personality analysis concludes with this last section, however. To Freud, my personality is ruled primarily by the superego province producing feelings of inferiority and guilt. Because of my superego, I am a masochist to a certain extent as well as narcissistic. At the same time, my strong ego makes for shifts in self-confidence and mood along with the use of several defense mechanisms. Though I do not concur with Freud's theory in its entirety, I feel I have gained a great deal of knowledge about my personality and its origin from a Freudian perspective, that is.