Your Personality and the Choices you make in Life

Updated: Jan 25

Your personality and how you make choices in life are not only important to you, but has become important to many organizations as well. The medical community have been researching that our personalities can be an important predictor of our health behaviors and how they can lead to some diseases. For the mental health community, research in personality behavior is so promising that a relatively new subfield in psychology known as Personality Neuroscience has been established.

For marketers, knowing your behavior can help companies persuade you that their product is best for you. Market research trends show that, "In fact, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides evidence for how psychological targeting—such as targeting by consumer personality—is a proven approach to persuasion. Their research tests the difference between targeting viewers with ads based on whether they are extroverted or introverted: results show that when targeting viewers based on this, conversion rates double."

In the political arena, we may be familiar with the Cambridge Analytica controversy, but serious research has been conducted on how personalities might vote. The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics has stated, "Research in the past decade has identified links between personality traits and many aspects of comparative political behavior. Moving forward, it is important that we think about how best to integrate these insights with our broader accounts of the factors that influence political behavior. We argue that careful attention must be paid both to how personality is conceptualized and to how we theorize and test its role in politics."

As for employment, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) had this to say about personalities of workers, "People can have all the skills and knowledge in the world, but if they aren't motivated to do the job or aren't the right personality fit for the work, they won't last," said Gayle Norton, director of talent strategy for assessment provider DeGarmo in Bloomington, Ill. She points to customer service roles as one example, where candidates might be technology-savvy, but if they don't possess the right personality profile for dealing with customers—exhibiting empathy, patience and resilience—they likely won't succeed or endure in the role."

According to a survey by the American Management Association, “Almost 90 percent of firms that test job applicants say they will not hire job seekers when pre-employment testing finds them to be deficient in basic skills” (Greenberg, 1996, p. 24). Does this practice seem unfair? Not really if you own a business. Research done by CareerBuilder shows that businesses lose an average of $14,900 on bad hires. It's actually beneficial for applicants to take aptitude and personality assessment tests for pre-employment. Consider what this research goes on to say, "Employers aren't the only ones making regretful decisions. Two in three workers (66 percent) say they have accepted a job and later realized it was a bad fit, and while half of these workers (50 percent) have quit within six months, more than a third (37 percent) have stuck it out. Workers who said they had taken a job only to realize it's a bad fit said they noticed their mistake based on toxic work culture (46 percent), boss' management style (40 percent), job didn't match what was described in the job listing and interviews (37 percent), and a lack of clear expectations around the role (33 percent)."

If you've had the chance to read what has been hyperlinked in this article, you'll notice the personality assessment used was the Big 5 Five-Factor Model personality assessment. As you can see, this assessment has been used in the various fields to determine your behavior in different walks of life. Are you aware of how your personality has influenced your choices in life? Whether you are looking to see what career best fits you, want to start a new business, or how you work in a team, you should look into taking certain aptitude and personality assessments. The information gathered from the results of the assessment can help you plan to make informed choices as to what to pursue for work. Many businesses and entrepreneurs put together a S.W.O.T analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) to strategically see where they are amongst their competition and what else needs to be done to succeed.

Similarly, taking a legitimate aptitude and personality assessment can help you to examine your strengths and the areas you need to work on. Have you been asked in interviews, "what would you say is your greatest weakness?" This is done to see how reflective and self-aware you are in what you need to improve on. Knowing what your weaknesses are and the way you have been addressing it to improve, shows good problem-solving skills. The Highlands Ability Battery is an excellent aptitude test to help you discover your natural abilities and how you can improve areas that need more strengthening.

The forecasted Digital Revolution, the pandemic, and the Great Resignation are changing the face of the workplace, the type of work available, and the choices we will be making for the future of work. If organizations are investing in research to understand how personalities make decisions about health, shopping, voting, and evaluate an applicant's skills and personalities, we may want to examine how our personalities make decisions and why. Research is continually showing that indeed our personalities play a role in our decision making. Whether graduating out of high school, contemplating college, changing careers, or finding yourself starting new all over again after the pandemic, creating a personal S.W.O.T analysis and taking an aptitude and personality assessment is a good start in planning your course.

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