Science Says There Are Only 4 Main Personality Types

Researchers have developed a new approach to categorizing personality types.

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The New Personality Tests Backed by Psychology (3:33)

The concept of personality type remains controversial in psychology because of the difficulty in finding scientific proof, but researchers have published more accurate algorithms and four new clusters. Northwestern University researchers collected data from four questionnaires with more than 1.5 million respondents from around the world. Co-author William Revelle, professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, reports “The data came back, and they kept coming up with the same four clusters of higher density and at higher densities than you’d expect by chance.” The four distinct personality types are average, reserved, self-centered, and role model. The findings challenge the widely accepted five personality types: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Click here to read more and to classify your new personality type. 

Besides benefiting your self-awareness, the newly determined personality types will serve as a helpful tool for mental health service providers assessing patients with extreme traits and for hiring managers looking to ensure a potential candidate is a good fit. Luís A. Nunes Amaral, a chemical and biological engineering professor at Northwestern Engineering, states, “Personality types only existed in self-help literature and did not have a place in scientific journals. Now, we think this will change because of this study.” Personality types often do shift, especially as people mature, which indicates trends of people altering some of their characteristics over time. Researchers plan on conducting future studies on the subject of developing personality types.

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