There are four main personality types, according to science

Jake Hall
Tuesday 18 September 2018 13:30
news
Photo: iStock / Nomadsoul1(iStock / Nomadsoul1)

The internet has made it easier than ever for us to try and identify our personality types.

Some of us do so by completing quizzes that ask us to build imaginary poke bowls, whereas others use sarcastic astrology memes and bingo cards to identify their core traits (guilty!), but most of us arguably don't take them too seriously.

But now science has come along to tell us that there might be such a thing as distinct personality types - four of them, to be precise - after all.

An extensive research project, led by Luis Amaral of Northwest Engineering and comprised of data sourced from more than 1.5 million questionnaire respondents, has identified the clusters of personality types as: average, reserved, self-centred and role model.

Although psychologists have long been sceptical of personality tests and their efficacy, the sheer quantity of results recorded in this particular study indicate that researchers could be on to something with these new categories. Here's a quick breakdown:

Average

Obviously the most common personality type, 'average' people generally score high in neuroticism (in other words, more likely to be moody and susceptible to fear, anger and anxiety) and tend to identify more as extravert than introvert. They also score low on 'openness'.

Reserved

This personality type describes someone who is generally emotionally stable, but neither open nor neurotic. They're level-headed and not particularly outgoing, but they're also agreeable and conscientious, hard workers.

Self-centred

Arguably not as bad as it initially sounds: these people are generally outgoing extroverts who aren't particularly open, agreeable or conscientious. Essentially, they can be difficult to get along with but are usually the life and soul of any party.

Role models

You might be asking: what makes a good role model? Well, according to this study, these people are strong leaders who score high on all counts apart from neuroticism. Emotionally stable, they tend to be fairly open, conscientious hard workers.

You might be relieved to hear that these types aren't necessarily fixed: our personality types can evolve and mutate over time because humans are obviously a complex bunch.

But ultimately it appears that our personalities might not be as difficult to define as we initially thought.

More: There are four types of drinker – which are you?

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