LIST FOUR (4) THEORISTS who made original contributions to defining personality theory — not secondary sources, such as the people who wrote about the original theorist. Careful with publishing/ writing dates. For example, don’t make the mistake of using a date after the theorist has died. For example, Sigmund Freud did not publish in the 1990s – he had long since passed. Carefully place theorists in the appropriate historical era. Tip:  Full APA format for title/author/date/publisher for actual publication of the theorist. Do not use date of internet sources for their original contribution. In addition, cite sources that show recent thinking on the theory such as a book or peer reviewed article. YOUR VOICE: State what you discovered about this theory/ theorist. For each of the four theorists, what specific aspect of human experience/personality did they focus on regarding personality theory?


LIST THREE (3) personality tests  Use bold to name the personality test.

Tip: When stating the limits and benefits, fully cite sources – where did you get your information? Use credible academic and peer reviewed sources. Be resourceful, veer away from invented online fun personality tests

For each test you locate

  • Name of test (date of origin if available), source, web site link.
  • State the test’s specific purpose– why is it used, what does it measure?
  • State a specific limitation. You will find this on web sites that explain the personality test.
  • State abenefit for using the test.
  • Attach TWO (2) sources, such as one peer reviewed article directly related to research or clinical application of personality tests and one video or credible web site. No links to articles. Use a link to a video and web sites.


Think about this: Theories and personality tests have a limited scope, specific to the questions the psychologist wants to understand regarding a client. Hence, as a psychologist you would select specific personality tests for each unique client situation. Theory is the lens to view a particular aspect of a clinical situation or research project (psychodynamic, humanistic, existential, cognitive, postmodern and their sub theories). Theory can also inform the psychologist what type of personality test to use, that is, how to conceptualize a client’s behavior-emotions-ways of relating through a particular theory lens. In reality psychologists integrate several theories, although individual psychologists, depending on his/her/their training will often gravitate to a favored theory.

When you consider each client below, what theory and what psychological test makes the most sense to help you understand the client’s experience? While several tests may be interesting or useful, what test is going to give you the best information you need?  Often there is no perfect test to give, but there are better tests for the client situation. Aim for what you think might be the best test to help the client from the list you created.

Personality Theory

TIP: Create a list of personality tests that are used by psychologists and psychiatrists. You can locate these in the literature, on web sites, and in text books. Look up the purpose of the test and then decide which tests would be best for each client below. Do not use the same test/ theory with more than three clients. For some of these “clients” the psychologist could use several different theories and tests to understand the client, however other tests/ theories would be inappropriate. One of the clients below should not be tested – state why you would not test that one client.

TASK:  What personality theory and test might a psychologist use for each of the clients below and state why? The test and the “why” must be a relevant match to the client. Reflect on what you have been reading since week one – theory is a lens to view the client a lens to grasp a particular understanding of the client.

  • A ten-year-old child with a learning disability
  • A twenty-year-old who is depressed or has PTSD with multiple symptoms
  • A couple with hope to resolve conflicts in their relationship
  • A professional athlete or artist searching for higher achievement/ success
  • A small group of elders between 75 and 95 years old who seek meaning from their lives
  • A psychiatric patient in a prison system
  • Two deployed military personnel; one who will retire in a few weeks, and one with a discipline-discharge
  • A five-year-old child whose parents are concerned – state why the parents are concerned (you make this up) and what test the psychologist should use and why the selected test
  • An executive who seeks to understand his/her limitations for higher level executive work
  • A client who is in crisis


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *