Psychological Self-Help

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Given our innate interest in comparing ourselves to others and the
potential to sell products and services through free testing, several
number of brief tests; some of these tests are also available on other
Web sites. Another large site is Concerned Counseling
a variety of personality tests and many ratings for estimating the
severity of problems. This site seems to especially collect “Purity
Tests” (asking: how many of these sexual things have you done?)—my
problem, besides a concern with confidentiality, was that I wasn’t sure
what a high or low score meant, if anything 
There are two sites which have invested considerable time in
attempting to develop a more comprehensive personality test, not just
a collection of vaguely related quizzes: Keirsey Character and . Both give you a brief report and
then try to sell you more. The Keirsey tests (38- and 70-item) have
similarities to the Myers-Briggs Types, but measure different
descriptive dimensions and use terms, like extroversion, differently.
So, as with the Myers-Briggs, to understand this test you are
essentially required to learn a personality theory (and “why not?” since
personality is a complex concept). The Keirsey measures four basic
character types: Artistic (sensation seeking), Guardian (security
seeking), Idealist (identity seeking), and Rational (knowledge
seeking). Each of these four basic types is further divided into 4
specific “Personality Types,” depending on other characteristics. For
example, the basic Guardian type includes the Provider, the Protector,
the Supervisor, and the Inspector. The Organizational Diagnostics
Profiler, using 50 questions, merely measures a few common
characteristics: extroversion, agreeableness, thoroughness, openness
to experience, and emotionality. Besides giving you a score on each
dimension, however, there is considerable discussion of the
interpersonal implications of your scores, especially in the work
environment and in love relationships. Both of these Web sites require
some work and thought, but they should increase your self-awareness. 
Although psychiatrists are not trained in psychological testing and
rarely use sophisticated tests, there is a Web site providing Psychiatry
( . The tests are very short--
10 questions—and your answers are crudely evaluated and
summarized. If the test taker mentions any significant symptoms, s/he
is advised to see a psychiatrist (links are provided) or to read more on
Web sites at NIMH. These “screening” quizzes are oriented towards
diagnoses: anxiety, depression, ADHD, sexual disorders, and
personality disorders. They are crude little tests but the symptoms you
mark as serious deserve your attention. 
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