What You Need to Know


The specialized, personalized report you will receive after completing the understandmyself.com process will help you understand your personality in great detail, and aid you substantially in your understanding of others. It will help you determine what jobs suit you and why, what sort of people you are likely to find compatible (and incompatible), where your strengths and weaknesses lie and, perhaps most importantly, just how profound the differences between individuals actually are. It isn’t only that we differ in our opinions. We differ in how we perceive the world, how we filter our facts, and how we arrange our goals and actions. Appreciation for the genuine differences between people can help you orient yourself in the world, and appreciate the truly diverse viewpoints necessary to make the complex systems of society function, as well as increasing your comprehension of the singular and unique combination of basic traits and subsidiary aspects that characterize you, personally.



Over the last fifty years, specialists in the measurement of personality (a field known as psychometrics) have been applying advanced statistical techniques such as factor analysis to study the language people use to understand themselves and each other. According to the “lexical hypothesis” – the primary guiding idea behind such work – each and every human language contains a relatively complete description of the important similarities and differences between individuals. Language has encapsulated such description because human beings are exceptionally social, and need to understand each other to cooperate effectively and avoid conflict.

Most of the work done to understand personality has been conducted on the adjectives that people use to describe each other (words such as happy, sad, nice, hard-working, and creative). Psychometric specialists have given extensive lists of such adjectives—sometimes as single words, sometimes as phrases, and sometimes as sentences—to many thousands of people, and used statistical techniques referred to earlier to determine how the words group together. People who are likely to describe themselves as sad, for example, are also more likely to describe themselves as fearful, anxious, uncertain and volatile, and less likely to describe themselves as cool, collected, calm and stable. The same applies in other domains: people who are nice are compassionate, empathic, caring and soft, while their polar opposites are hard, competitive, blunt and tough. Five such dimensions of variation (the “Big Five”) have been identified, cross-culturally. The two just described correspond to neuroticism and agreeableness, respectively. The three remaining dimensions include extraversion, which is a measure of sociability; conscientiousness, a measure of dutifulness and reliability; and openness to experience, a measure of creativity and interest in ideas. The understandmyself.com process, based on a personality scale known as the Big Five Aspects scale (developed by Dr. Colin DeYoung, Dr. Lena Quality, and Dr. Jordan B Peterson in Dr. Peterson's lab) extends the Big Five description, breaking down each of the five traits into two higher-resolution aspects.

Note: This version provides an individual assessment. Dr. Peterson mentioned online that a couples version of this assessment would be available, which would provide a comparison between two individuals. We are working on that, but it is not currently available.



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