I took a Personal DNA test – which is about the personality and not DNA – and the result seems familiar enough. I am not quite sure what it is good for, apart from taking my strengths and weaknesses into consideration when I make decisions, and also bring some additional attention to the weak areas. The drawback is that it can reinforce identification with a self-image that leaves a great deal out.
This also reminded me of why I often find it difficult to take these tests.
They ask how I behave generally, but it varies a great deal with the situation.
They ask me to make an either/or choice between two characteristics that for me are both/and.
They ask me if I ever do something socially undesirable that everyone do. Are they testing if I am willing to admit to it, or whether I do it a lot or infrequently? In the first case, the answer is yes. In the second, it may be yes or no. (I answered yes because it happens now and then, and that may be why my answers rated high on openness.)
They ask me if I can tell what people feel even if they don’t tell me. Are they testing if I have relatively accurate hunches, or if I realize that I cannot know unless I ask? In the first case, I would say yes. In the second case, I would say no. (I can’t really know, even if I had the most accurate hunches in the world.) (I answered no because – even if others do say I have a pretty good sense of what is going on for them – I don’t like to make assumptions and I cannot really know. This may be why my answers rated less highly on empathy.)