Throughout my time on social media and the internet in general, I’ve noticed that people tend to have a pretty consistent obsession with Personality quizzes.
The Myers-Briggs Test, Zodiac signs, the Enneagram Test, even random Buzzfeed quizzes that will tell you what kind of plant you are- these are ways people attempt to find out more about themselves and their personality. According to BBC News, there are over 2,500 different types of personality quizzes in the US alone, and around 2.5 million Americans take the MBTI assessment each year. So, the question is: Why are we so intrigued with learning about our own personalities?
I think the answer can be complicated, but essentially, it can be boiled down to two things: humans wanting to find a place to belong or fit predictably into, and slight narcissism.
We take these various quizzes because it makes us feel more predictable and in-the-know. Humans are extremely complex and unpredictable in general, so perhaps assigning some sort of label or category helps us feel more secure with ourselves and others. We are able to assign a four-letter category or sign type to ourselves as a way of figuring out how we act and why. After all, we are also very curious beings- always looking for explanations and answers.
I think another explanation would be that humans are slightly narcissistic. Not in a bad way- just in a way that drives us to find out more information about ourselves. We seek out these zodiac sign themed instagram posts and self-proclaimed psychics that tell us about our own lives endlessly, because some of us are obsessed with learning about how others might perceive us. This connects to the journey many people take in an effort to find their own identities. Even if it’s just for fun, we also find joy through relating to those who are similar to us, and these personality quizzes enable us to find our own communities in a more convenient and fun way.
Of course, taking a quiz or test is a much easier way of finding out who you are as a person rather than trying to figure it out yourself. You get a straight-forward answer that allows you to feel a sense of decisiveness and security. Despite the fact that the results can seem stereotypical or over-simplified, we still find odd comfort through them. Humans are always changing and evolving to feel truly authentic to themselves. Taking these personality quizzes is a great way to get to know yourself, as long as you don’t let it restrict or define who you are.