Assessment of personality refers to the measurement of personal characteristics of an individual. It involves information gathering through interviews etc. and administering of psychological test to understand the typical characteristics. Assessment is a result of gathering information. It contributes to the furthering of research in the area and also helps in making appropriate decisions regarding which type of test to be applied and in what manner.
Assessment is based on the assumption that each individual differs from another regarding the personality traits. Even if they possess the same traits their behaviour will vary in terms of their experiences to different situations and thus a personality assessment will make this very clear as to what actually contributes to this difference and what are typical of a particular person’s personality.
A distinctive feature of personality assessment is the scientific approach to personality measurement. That is how the human characteristics are described quantitatively and qualitatively. The assessment also throws light on how many traits are present and which of these is dominant and which one acts negatively creating problems to the adjustment of the individual.
The sophisticated assessment and measurement of the personality of an individual depends on the use of a variety of concepts to provide trait definitions and entails the application of various methods of observation and evaluation.
A personality assessment serves two purpose- theoretical and practical.
Theoretically, personality assessment provides knowledge about different dimensions and aspects of personality development and provides information about its nature. It provides impetus to research on personality and helps develop new theories about personality. Practical purposes of personality assessment are to know the strength and weaknesses of a person. It tells which traits in a person are lacking and what are its implications for his adjustment with the environment? It provides help in developing an intervention program for persons who need help to overcome some of their personality based difficulties. For example, if a person is extremely shy and refuses to move with others even though in all other aspects the person behaves well, it would be worth the while to know what is it in the person that makes the person so shy that the individual avoids all relationships. For this, a personality assessment will be helpful to understand the fact as to where the problem lies and though which kind of counselling one can help the person overcome the problem. Methods of personality assessment can be categorised under three headings: