So, I want to evaluate a personality test I took to see how "valid" it is. At first when I took the test I thought it was scary accurate and decided to look over it to make sure it wasn't like a fortune cookie. However, I was told it was like Myers-Briggs. So, I decided to read the Wikipedia entry and through that I remembered something from Psychology Class that goes over how to evaluate tests, such as validity, reliability, etc... I am trying to figure out/remember how to evaluate them so I can check this test (and future tests), for its accuracy (If it turns out to be a really good test, I may have any of my employees (when I have a business) do it and may use it throughout other aspects of my life).

Basically, my question is, how would I go about properly evaluating the test and is there a good checklist I can print out and use, or a better or different way to check it.

Edit: To help narrow down the question, I am looking for finding out if the test can actually measure what it is attempting to measure (that includes Strengths & Weaknesses, Romantic Relationships, Friendships, Parenthood, Career Paths, Workplace Habits which is listed on each of the personalities pages). Like @Ebbinghaus said, it sounds like a psuedo-scientific test, and sure I am hoping that it isn't, but if it is, I will just see if I can find a better/real scientific test that can help with relations and personalities.

By the way, I don't know what it takes to make a meta post, but evaluating tests might make a good meta post so if anyone knowledgeable in this field (I guess you can call it a field) wants to take it up, you should!

  • $\begingroup$ That is a really broad question. Tbh it matters a lot on what exactly you want to measure with your test. For example external validity, is about the generalisability of the results to other situations/individuals - however to fulfil the criterion of validity you will need a lot of other things. Consequently, I flagged this question for closure. $\endgroup$
    – Ebbinghaus
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, then, well what I want to evaluate is 16personalities.com. It seems to measure who I am very well and I just wanted to have scientific backup to show that it is a really good test. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ Only judging by the name, it sounds like one of those pseudo-scientific tests. $\endgroup$
    – Ebbinghaus
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ it's some version of MBTI. $\endgroup$
    – Jlente
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 0:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Ebbinghaus Well that is something already. On face value it appears good to me too. But regarding the OPs question, there are too many different types of validity and thus too many different possible tests. If you, SenorContento, could narrow it down to one type of validity (e.g. construct validity) then I bet there will be some good answers :) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 8:24

1 Answer 1



This wikipedia page seems be a good starting point for answering to your quesion, but as has been noted elsewhere, there's no neat, concise way to respond. Still, although classical models divided the concept into various "validities" (such as content validity, criterion validity, and construct validity), the currently dominant view is that validity is a single unitary construct. So the answer might be somewhat more unitary than other commenters claim.

Guion, R. M. (1980). On trinitarian doctrines of validity. Professional Psychology, 11, 385-398.

Messick, S. (1995). Validity of psychological assessment: Validation of inferences from persons’ responses and performances as scientific inquiry into score meaning. American Psychologist, 50, 741-749.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 for the references. However, you say "currently dominant view", yet you cite papers that are 20 to 25 years old. How current is that? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 9:44

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