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Dr. Glenn Wilson, Hans J. Eysenck & Hans Eysenck

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Know Your Own Personality

Know Your Own Personality

Know Your Own Personality

"Offers something a little out of the ordinary and may well amuse and stimulate you."
The Micro User


How well do you know yourself? How do others see you? Are you sensible, balanced, outgoing, likeable, lovable, or are you cool, reserved, calculating and philosophic?

Find out with this revealing and fascinating home computer program based on the famous Pelican book Know Your Own Personality by Professor Hans Eysenck and Doctor Glenn Wilson. The book's three most important tests and all seven aspects of personality in each test are included in the program. The first test, Personality 1, deals with Extraversion and Introversion. Personality 2 covers Emotional Stablity and Adjustment and Personality 3 tests for Toughmindedness and Tendermindedness.

A total of 21 individual traits are presented in bar chart form (with illuminating additional comments) and provide a composte and complete picture of your personality. Results may be saved or printed out on a suitable printer.

Using The Program

  1. Once the program has loaded, the title and credits screen will be displayed. Type in your name when prompted and then the date (in the form DD/MM/YY including /s), making sure to press RETURN after each input.
  2. The next screen shows the program's Main Menu. Select your option by pressing RETURN.

Option 1

Choose this option for an explanation of the three personality tests and the characteristics they cover. Press SPACE as requested.

Options 2, 3 and 4

If you are loading from cassette, please note that the three tests are recorded on side 2 of the cassette in the same order as given on the Main Menu. Therefore, the most efficient way of using the program is to do each test in turn. If loading from disk, simply press SPACE to cycle through the cassette-related messages.

  1. Having seleted your option, follow the screen instructions to load the data.

    There are a total of 210 questions in each personality test and these are loaded in three parts. When the first 70 questions have been loaded, cassette users who do not have motor control must stop the tape as soon as the screen instructions appear, and then press SPACE.

  2. The first question will appear on screen:
     Are you happiest when you get involved in some project that calls
     for rapid action?
     1 = Yes 2 = No 3 = Can't Decide   ______1
     (Question 1, Extraversion/Introversion)

    All the questions are in the same format with the question number in the bottom right of the screen. Your answers are completely confidential and do not appear on the screen. Choose your answer and type 1, 2 or 3. Between each group of 70 questions, cassette users are prompted to start the tape and press SPACE in order to load the next section. N.B. Remember, if you do not have motor control, you must stop the tape as soon as each section has loaded or you will miss loading the next section.

    If you are loading from disk, each section of 70 questions is loaded automatically.

  3. When all 210 questions have been answered, the scores are calculated and you are asked if you wish to see your results with comments. Type Y to this question and each characteristic is displayed individually with relevant comments. Press SPACE as requested. When all your results have been displayed, you can review them again if you wish. Type Y and you will be asked again if you want comments. This time type N and your results are shown in the form of a bar chart.

    The mid-point of each bar shows the average score for each characteristic and the red bar shows how much you differ from the average.

  4. Once your results have been displayed, you can opt to save them onto a blank cassette or a new formatted disk (if you are a disk user) to review at your leisure. If you wish to do this, type Y and type in the name of the file you wish to save when prompted. Please note that the filename can be a maximum of 10 characters if you are using a cassette, 7 characters if you are using a disk, and no spaces. Make sure you write down the name of your file for future reference.

    Now simply follow screen instructions to start the saving process.

    If you are saving onto tape, remember to press the PLAY and RECORD keys together on your cassette recorder when starting the tape.

  5. After saving, and if you have a suitable printer attacked, you are given the option to print out the profile of your results. Type Y if you wish to do so, and follow the screen instructions. After printing, or by typing N, the Main Menu returns.

Option 5

Use this option to review a previously saved set of results. Type in the name of the file you wish to load spelt exactly the same as when you saved it and press RETURN. Now follow screen instructions to load the data. You can display the results as before, either in full or as a bar chart, and you can print them out if you wish.

Option 6

This option ends the program. If you want to play again and you choose this option, you will have to reload the program.

Other Uses

Now you are familiar with the program, you may like to try the suggestions below.

  1. Having completed one of the personality tests - honestly of course - get a friend, husband/wife, to do the same. Save your results and print out the profiles, if a printer is available.

    Then, each person should do the same tests again, but this time they should answer the questions as if they were the other person. Again, save your tests and print them out.

    Now, compare your own test with the one completed for you by your 'partner-in-crime', and see how well he or she really knows you. They can then do the same. You may be pleasantly surprised, or you may be in for some shocks! Of course, this is only intended to be done for fun - we accept no responsibility for the results!

  2. The second suggestion is to use the program as a general guide to check your compatibility with someone you know particulary well, e.g. husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, close friend, flat-mate, parent or child and other relatives.

    It is generally accepted that people who share the same personality characteristics get on better together than those who do not. They have more common interests to chare, their attitudes and emotions fall into line and are less likely to cause conflict etc.

    By comparing personality profiles from the program you may be interested to discover how basically alike you are over all three tests, even if you gave different answers to some of the questions. If you find that there are obvious areas of conflict, it may be useful to bear them in mind when discussing your relationship. It may also help you to understand more fully why you do not get on in certain situations, to acknowledge differences and to accept them.

    If you are comparing your profiles with a partner, you may find that your results bear out the theory that 'like marries like'. It has been found to be true that people with similar attributes of height, intelligence, attitude, interests and attractiveness tend to form close relationships. These relationships are also generally found to be more successful in the long term than those that are founded on the principle of 'opposites attract'.

    Of course, these are only general principles and this particular use of the program, to check compatibility, is intended for fun. However, even if you do find that your personality appears to be very different to that of your partner and your relationship is still successful, you are living proof that nothing can ever be taken for granted! You can also use whatever you discover constructively and work towards greater understanding and tolerance.

Introductory Note

By Professor Hans Eysenck and Doctor Glenn Wilson
The ancient Greek philosophers had a word for it: "know yourself". This is good advice. Because of our limited knowledge, it is difficult to make rational choices in education (What should I study?), in choosing a job (What occupation or profession should I go into?), in love (What sort of woman/man would I be happy with in marriage?), or indeed, whenever we have to make some important decision about our future. Professional psychologists see over and over again people who make the wrong choices, although it is quite obvious to the outsider that the choice is indeed very wrong; only too often this wrong choice is caused by erroneous self-perceptions, that is, a failure of the person concerned to 'know himself'. It is the point of these tests to help you, in a more objective light.

Before we can describe or measure personality, we must have some sort of model to represent it. The ancient Greeks used a type theory; indeed, the four types of the sanguine, the phlegmatic, the choleric and the melancholic man have passed into popular speech. The observations on which these were based were very astute; even now we can recognise particular types falling into these groups. But they were wrong in postulating that everyone would constitute an example of one type or the other; most people in fact combine aspects of two or more types, and thus fall between the four classificatory baskets. The theory of the four types had a long history, lasting for some two thousand years; it was not finally abandoned until the beginning of this century.

Modern psychologists prefer trait theories to type theories. Traits are descriptions of habitual behaviour patterns, like sociability, or persistence, or impulsiveness. Such terms are very widely used in common speech. There are in fact some 4,500 trait names in use in English and although some of these are really synonyms, or sufficiently alike in meaning to refer to much the same sort of behaviour, a pretty large number of traits are left for psychologists to use. Again, many of the remaining ones are quite specialised, or relatively unimportant; still the task of sorting out the remainder is quite a daunting one.

What psychologists have done, in principle, has been to group trait names according to the similarity of the names themselves or of the behaviour they refer to, and then to construct questionnaires to measure the central core of meaning underlying the groupings. A questionnaire is simply a list of questions relating to personal behaviour, preferences, reactions, attitudes and opinions; after each question is printed a 'Yes' and 'No' (sometimes a '?' is also included for the 'don't knows' or 'can't decides') and the person answering the questions responds to the answer which is the right one for him. There is of course no generally right or wrong answer, as there would be for an intelligence test problem. If the question is 'Do you have many headaches?' clearly, different people may give different answers without any implication that one answer is 'right' and the other 'wrong' (although of course it may be more pleasant for a person to be able to say 'No' rather than 'Yes').

Questionnaires come in all sorts and sizes, and it is important to differentiate between the jounalistic playthings which are sometimes printed in popular newspapers and weeklies, and scientifically constructed and validated inventories having serious pretensions to measuring aspects of personality. Anyone can string together a series of questions and call the resulting collection a questionnair; what is it that differentiates the scientific inventory from the popular questionnare? The simplest answer would be that the journalistic questionnaire is not based on a well-established theory, is made up of subjectively chosen questions without any effort to demonstrate their appropriateness or validity, and is not standardised on an appropriate population. It can be amusing, but should clearly not be taken seriously. In a properly constructed questionnaire, a great deal of work goes into the construction of the underlying theory, the selection and testing of the different questions, and the standardisation on representative samples of the population; must effort may also be expended on trying to demonstrate that the questionnaire actually measures what it is intended to measure.

Having constructed a number of questionnaires, dealing with a number of traits, we must find out if these are independent of each other. We might argue, using sense, or experience, or empathy as our guide, that sociable people might be more impulsive than unsociable people, or that impulsive people might be more likely to take risks. Clearly there is a possibility that different traits might not be entirely independent, and the discovery of correlations between traits is another task that psychologists have set themselves and have pursued with much application over the years. The outcome has been very clear-cut, there are many quite marked correlations between different traits, and these need to be incorporated into the theory. In order to do this, psychologists have used a hierarchical model.

 |   |   |   |   |
 Activity Sociability Impulsiveness Expressiveness Lack of 

            FIGURE 1

This model is shown in Figure 1, in diagrammatic form. We have linked up five traits all of which correlate, in the sense that people who are sociable are also impulsive, active, practical and expressive. This combination of traits fives rise to a more general, more inclusive trait, that of extraversion; in other words, extraversion is defined in terms of all the traits which can be empirically demonstrated to correlate together. It is possible to call extraversion a type, but this more modern use of the word does not carry any implication that everybody is either an extravert or an introvert. Rather, the term is used in the sense that there is a continuum from one extreme to the other, with the majority of people nearer the centre than the extremes.

Extraversion-introversion is one modern type concept; are there others? There is considerable agreement among the many workers in this field that two other type concepts have been discovered and are well supported by the evidence.

The second type concept we shall be concerned with is called emotionality, or anxiety, or lack of adjustment, or instability, or neuroticism (or indeed any of a number of other terms). It too is based on the fact that various traits are empirically found to correlate together; Figure 2 shows that the type is made up of the traits of low self-esteem, lack of happiness, anxiety, obsessiveness and lack of autonomy. Correlations between these traits are of course not perfect, but there is an undoubted tendency for people who give high scores on one of these traits to give high scores on the others.

 |   |   |   |   |
 Low   Unhappiness Anxiety Obsessiveness Lack of
 self-esteem          autonomy

            FIGURE 2

If we take these two types together, we obtain a model which actually shows some relationship to the old Greek model of the four temperaments. This is shown in Figure 3, where the two dimensions or axes, extraversion - introversion and emotional stability-instability, define four quadrants. These are made up of unstable extraverts, unstable introverts, stable introverts and stable extraverts. Around the rim we have written some of the traits characteristic of each quadrant. Inside the quadrants we have written the names of the Greek types which belong there. Thus the melancholic is the unstable introvert; the choleric is the unstable extravert; the phlegmatic is the stable introvert; and the sanguine is the stable extravert. The two schemes of models differ mainly in that for the Greeks everybody had to fit into one or the other of the four quadrants; on the modern scheme all combinations of scores on the two continua are possible.

If these personality types are of any importance, we would expect that people in the four quadrants would be found with unequal frequency in various groups differentiated on social, or work criteria. This is in fact so. Thus for instance, sportmen, parachutists and commandos in the army are almost entirely found in the sanguine quadrant; they combine emotional stability and extraversion. This connnection can be found even among children; those who learn to swim quickly are precisely those children who are in the sanguine quadrant. Criminals tend to be found in the choleric quadrant, neurotics in the melancholic quadrant. These two groups are apparently almost equally emotionally unstable emotionally, but of the most part the criminals are extraverted, the neurotics introverted. Scientists, mathematicians and successful businessmen are frequently found in the phlegmatic quadrant; clearly the phlegmatic behaviour does not extend to their work! None of these connections are absolute of course; they are tendencies, although fairly clear and powerful ones. Nevertheless, not all criminals are 'choleric' nor all cholerics criminal. It is important to see these things in perspective; personality is only one among many other determinants which result in a person's becoming a neurotic, or a sportsman, or a criminal, or a parachutist, or a successful businessman. Ability (mental and physical), luck, opportunity and very many other factors enter into the choices involved and the decision made. Personality is important, but it is not all-important.


  QUIET  Melancholic | Choleric   ACTIVE
  INTROVERTED ----------------+----------------- EXTRAVERTED
  PASSIVE  Phlegmatic | Sanguine  SOCIABLE

            FIGURE 3

  |   |   |   |   |
 Aggressive- Assertive- Achievement Manipu- Sensation-
 ness   ness   orientation lation  seeking

            FIGURE 4

The third of our types is called toughmindedness as opposed to tendermindedness. The traits entering into toughmindedness are aggressiveness, assertiveness, achievement-orientation, manipulation and sensation-seeking (Figure 4). It will not come as a surprise that men are more toughminded than women! Indeed, there are sex differences on all our typologies and on many individual traits as well; thus women are less extraverted and more unstable emotionally. In comparing their scores with the norms, female and male readers should keep these differences in mind; it would have made scoring much more complex and difficult had we given seperate keys for men and women and the differences are not really large enough to make this necessary. There are also age differences; as people get older, they get less extraverted, less tough-minded, and more stable. Again, these facts should be kept in mind when considering your own scores; it would have been too complex a task to include separate norms for different age groups.

Toughmindedness, like the other type concepts is neither good nor bad in itself. Unlike intelligence, which is almost wholly 'a good thing', personality qualities are much more difficult to evaluate. Obviously there are many good points about the extravert; he is sociable, cheerful, always on the go; he likes people, and likes being with people. He is good company, tells jokes, often has charm and generally puts life into social occasions. All this makes him a social asset. On the other hand, he is often unreliable, changes friends, and sex partners, frequently, is easily bored and finds it difficult to get on with uninteresting or time-consuming jobs. The introvert is the opposite of all this but there is no way in which we could say that the extravert is superior or inferior in general to the introvert; they are just different. Each has his area of superiority and inferiority; what is important is that he or she should realise this and build on his or her strengths, and try to work round his or her weakness.

It might be thought that what was said above was not true of emotional instability; this might be thought to be wholly undesirable. To say this would be a gross exaggeration. Strong emotions are certainly likely to create difficulties for thie possessor; however, they may also be of great help in achieving certain things.

In one study of exceptionally creative visual artists, it was found that, as compared with the average sort of person, or even not so original and creative artists, evey one of the successful group scored high on emotionality (and introversion). It also seemed as if the great art these people produced was wrung out of a strongly emotional personality. Emotions can also serve to motivate a person; in this sense it may be very useful to have strong emotions in order to keep you going. After all, to be lacking in emotion is not ideal either, such people may lack many desirable experiences, and fail to make much of their lives. What is important is to know just where you stand; once you know whether you have strong, unstable emotions, are just an ordinary average sort of person, or lack any emotional urge, you can play your life in the light of this knowledge. 'There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so' - the saying is particulary apt when we look at different personality traits; almost all can be used to advantage or abused to the harm of others and of the person concerned.

What does seem to come out from much of the research reported, however, is that extremes in personality can cause considerable difficulties. Very high or very low scores on any personality trait or type suggest an imbalance in the person which is not necessarily a problem, but which needs considerable care in handling. This care is more likely to be forthcoming when the person concerned knows about his personality and the lack of balance; it is when this knowledge is missing that damage can be done. And of course the dangers presented by the possession of strong personality traits can also be used to advantage; they are rather like the gifts bestowed on baby princes and princesses in fairy stories by sorcerers and fairy queens. There is a certain ambiguity about these gifts, and great care should be taken about their use.

If we do not like our personality, can we not change it? Admittedly, most people seem to be quite fond of themselves, and think reasonably highly of their personality. This is perhaps just as well; introverts often like and prefer introverts, and extraverts like and prefer extraverts as the ideal sort of person. How terrible if the position were reversed and everyone preferred the opposite type to himself! This would not be so bad if we could really do much about changing our personality in any fundamental sense; alas, this is not so. Personality is determined to a large extent by a person's genes; he is what the accidental arrangement of his parents' genes produces, and while environment can do something to redress the balance, its influence is severely limited. Personality is in the same boat as intelligence; for both, the genetic influence is overwhelmingly strong, and the role of environment in most cases is reduced to effecting slight changes and perhaps a kind of cover-up.

What will you gain from completing these personality tests on the computer? In the first place, you will see graphically on which traits and type-scales you deviate to any marked extent from the average. Differences from the norm in this case do not of course carry pejorative or evaluative meaning; you may be above or below the average numerically but neither indicates that you are in any sense better or worse than the majority - just somewhat different. To be aware of these differences is important; most people project their own personalities on to other people and believe others to be essentially very much like them. This is patently untrue and it is a valuable part of insight to realise that you are different, and in what way you are different, from other people. For some people, the opposite is true; they think that only they are characterised by certain strengths, weaknesses, or excesses, and they are either disappointed or reassured to find that many other people are in fact similar to them.

Recognition of your own position on the Bar charats may alert you to look at other people (including your wife and children, your friends and your enemies) in a different way. It is perhaps not too much to say that contraries on these scales usually simply cannot understand each other; the typical introvert can get very annoyed and frustrated when confronted by the typical extravert - and vice versa. Neither can believe that another person could be so differently constituted, and both prefer to believe that the other behaves as he does 'because he knows it teases'.

This is of course not so, but for a person who fundamentally believes that all other people are essentially very much like himself it may very well seem so. Going through these tests may teach him to look at other people with a more impartial eye, and recognise their particular personalities more readily and objectively. Once you can identify someone as a typical extravert or a typical introvert, you are less liekly to ask him to behave in ways which are contrary to his true personality; your expectations are more realistic, and less likely to be disappointed.

This is a valuable gain, and while personality impressions are never likely to be a hundred percent correct, even a reasonable increase in accuracy may be of importance in interpersonal relations.

The purpose of these tests, then, is to give the user insight into his own personality, and a model into which to fit other people, particuarly his friends and enemies, his family and other people whose behaviour may be important to him. The scores are suggestive, rather than definite; they are approximate, rather than precise and accurate. We have indicated roughly how the two sexes are differentiated and in looking at his or her scores, you may like to remember these broad guidelines. We have suggested a few ways in which these tests may be useful but, above all, we hope they will serve to amuse and stimulate you. 'The proper study of mankind is man', and the more we learn about man, the better we will be able to cope with our fellow men.

Professor Hans Eysenck and Doctor Glenn Wilson


Cover Art Language(s): English
Compatibility: BBC Model B, BBC Model B+, BBC Master 128, Acorn Electron
Release: Professionally released On Cassette
Original Release Date: 1st May 1985
Links: Everygamegoing,

Cover Art

Front Inlay Images

Media Scan Images


Know Your Own Personality (5.25" Disc)