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To those who struggle to get to know someone new, it can seem like those who do it easily have some kind of superpower. With no more than a word of introduction from a mutual acquaintance, they nimbly take charge of the conversation, and have others chatting openly like they’ve been friends for years.
If your attempts to get to know someone usually result in averted glances and uncomfortable silences, it can help to have something between you and that other person to take the pressure off. A personality test could be just the tool you need to liven things up, and get that certain someone engaged in conversation.
MakeUseOf has featured a list of personality testing resources on the Internet before, and these apps provide quick access to this information on the go.
Personality Types ($2.99)
Personality Types is an app that administers the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. The MBTI is administered often by guidance and career counselors, and classifies people into one of sixteen types based on how they score in four categories: introversion vs. extraversion, sense focus vs. intuition focus, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving.
The included test can be scaled to ask only a few questions, or as many as forty, depending on how much time you have to spare, and it makes its assessment with a series of quick “which phrase sounds more like you?” comparisons.
Once you and your partner have both taken the test, you can enter each of your personality types into a comparison tool to see how you might differ or agree in your approaches to things like relationships, communication, or learning. This offers an opportunity to talk about how you might differ from the norms for your type.
Know Your Type ($2.99)
Know Your Type is an Enneagram testing app that’s loaded with features and information. The Enneagram consists of nine personality types, with strong focus on personal development and noticing the blind spots or automatic behaviors that might be keeping you from living a happier life.
The actual test included in this one is a little unusual, consisting of flashcards that describe each personality type and ask questions of the reader. Once you’ve sorted the nine cards into a “Maybe” pile and a “No” pile, you’ll be shown all of your cards in the first pile once again to choose the one that sounds most like you. If you’re going to have a partner take this one, it’s probably best if you read the cards to that person yourself, as opposed to handing your device over and waiting through long silences as they read each card.
Once you each think you’ve nailed your personality type, Know Your Type starts to outshine other Enneagram apps. There’s a tool to show you the benefits and challenges you might see if you started close relationship together, as well as a list of celebrities that exhibit the behaviors of each type. There’s also a great quiz that challenges you to pick the best way to communicate with each type in particular social situations.
Career Test [No Longer Available]
Career Test, while not as feature-rich as the two apps above, offers a great, free way to take a test you might know as either the Strong Interest Inventory, or the Holland Codes. This test is used in career counselling situations to help people with tasks like narrowing down the choice of a college major, or learning more about careers they may not yet have considered.
For each question asked you’re shown three answers, out of which you label the most appealing and least appealing of the three. The questions are short, specific, and great for reading aloud if you’d each like to discuss your answers while one person gets his or her scores.
Once finished, results are shown in a prose description, complete with sample careers that fit your highest interests. You also get an attractive, hexagonal graph for seeing how strongly you slant toward each category at a glance. The results are great for sparking discussion about where each of you are in your jobs, where you want to be, and maybe even career paths not taken.
If the test sparks an interest in learning more about which jobs fit into each of the six categories, thousands of jobs have been classified in the US Department of Labor’s O*Net Online tool. It’s just one of the many great online career info sites out there.
Personality test apps can be a valuable tool for self discovery, but their application doesn’t have to end there. Harvard University research suggests that people get a solid buzz just by talking about themselves. When you take a personality test into a social situation, it’s powerfully capable of helping you spark that very enthusiasm to start a deep, lively conversation.
Did I miss your favorite personality test in the apps I recommended? Share it in the comments, and let us know if there’s a great app that lets you test on the go!
Need even more iOS apps to get people talking? We’ve got you covered.
Image Credits: Young couple Via Shutterstock