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The personality test that was chosen for this work is “The big five personality test” and it is supposed to asses what numerous psychologists assume to be the five most fundamental aspects of personality. The answers can be chosen from a scale from1 to 5, 1 being strong disagreement with the statement, and 5 being strong agreement. There are 40 questions that ask information about one’s own perception of himself, asking whether the person finds that he or she is talkative, reserved, or depressed, and so on. The test does not seem to be based on any particular psychological theoretical approach. I am very skeptical about the findings of the test. There are five most important aspects of human personality being assessed – openness to new experiences and intellect, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The results that an individual receives after taking the test simply state the answers that person gave to the questions, so even before completing the test it is possible to guess and know the results. For example, there were a few questions about being nervous and worrying. It is obvious that almost everyone experience these absolutely normal feelings. The result in the end simply paraphrases the answer, stating that I have a tendency to become anxious or nervous. The test is not entirely reliable for a few reasons: right from the start the results become clear, people cannot be fully objective about themselves and the information they give might not be true, depending on the mood of an individual information he gives can vary, and also because the test does not give out any particularly new information. In order to make this test more reliable it is possible to implement a psychological approach and ask vague questions that truly assess one’s personality.
The findings of the researches, mentioned in the “Judged at first sight” section of Feldman’s book, are not shocking at all. It is clear that human’s obtain strong mechanisms that let us notice details almost unconsciously and make a decision about someone else’s qualities instantly. This ability is very important and beneficial, as sometimes it can really be spot on and provide a lot of information about another individual. Of course, not every quality can be judged right away, but the strongest ones are almost always prominent and can be noticed. My opinion is that it is important to have that certain first impression in mind while being open to another person no matter what that instant image was. There is a chance that the person will turn out to be something completely different. Taking the time to know a person and being nice can prove the first image wrong and expose qualities much better, both in the physical appearance and in personality characteristics. That first impression works well when two people are attracted and desire to spend more time getting to know each other. At the same time, it is a very interesting fact that over time an individual actually becomes less objective about another human being. It is hard to judge our best friends or family members dispassionately and although that first impression might still be in one’s mind, it becomes filled with emotions and fillings toward the person that change and color that perception. Therefore, it is important to be open minded and not afraid to change an opinion.
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