Honors for Diversity: Categorizing our personalities

Honors for Diversity holds a lecture on personality at Oak Hall on October 2, 2018. The talk covered personality tests, traits and differences. (Judah Shingleton/ The Daily Campus)

In a discussion Tuesday Night, Honors for Diversity (H4D) broke down the many ways of categorizing personality into subsets: Theory, personality tests, astrology and however you choose.

They gave examples of theories created by psychologists to rationalize personality\ and explained how each theory worked. Extroversion and introversion are based on where you get your energy. If you’re an extrovert, you find your energy outside of yourself, from other people. Introverts, on the other hand, find energy within themselves through alone time. This concept was elaborated on through a TED talk by Brian Little discussing the different ways extroverts and introverts approach life.

“I think I’m a mixture of extrovert and introvert, but it was really interesting to get to learn more about all of it,” Nialah Huq, a first-semester graphic design major, said.

Another theory was the internal and external locus of control. A person with an internal locus of control feels like they are the center of their environment, while someone with an external locus of control feels like they are a product of their environment. There are also theories like Type A, people who are more detail and organization oriented, versus Type B, people who tend to go with the flow. The presenters also brought up theories like nature versus nurture, trait theory and Freud’s theory of personality.

Personality tests are questionnaires that determine what personality type you fall under, and help you to characterize your identity. These tests include Strengths/Weaknesses, the Holtzman inkblot technique and Myers Briggs, which tends to be the most popular. H4D demonstrated each test.

They explained how astrology has different iterations around the world. Most popular is “Western” astrology, which bases your personality and behavior on celestial events at the time you were born. This category can be more fun than others, and is by far one of the most popular.

Given that the fourth category is personal and self-explanatory, the presenters decided not to explain it.

After describing the first three categories, the presenters then asked if it’s really important to categorize and characterize our personalities. One student said it shouldn’t matter since our personalities are what we make of them. Another said it was bad because it allows people to blame their actions on their personality types rather than taking responsibility for them. Others thought it was good because it helps us to analyze our personalities, or helps us to better connect people we know in real life with the personalities of fictional characters in books or movies.

“I learned a lot more about personalities and personality types and more about the difference between identity and personality,” Cerina Japbour, a first-semester environmental engineering major, said. “It’s interesting stuff,”

Whether you want to categorize your personality or not, it is an important part of your identity and can give you amazing insight on why you are the way you are.


Rebecca Maher is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rebecca.l.maher@uconn.edu.