An individual’s personality is a combination of qualities and characteristics that, together, form someone’s character. In psychology, these are called traits. If we asked you to enumerate your personality traits, you’d probably end up with quite a long list. But, according to some experts, every person has a ‘primary trait’ — a central characteristic that defines your overall attitude and behavior. Several tests, such as the following image, exist to pinpoint a person’s primary trait.
This image is what is formally known as a projective test — a psychological exam which presents images, words, or situations to a person and analyzes the responses to determine certain elements of personality that are unconsciously expressed. This one is fairly simple: a group of animal depictions stacked together. The theory goes, the first animal that you see is an expression of your primary personality trait. Do you want to know what each one means?
Someone who sees the image of a wolf first is usually a fierce and fearless person. They are ready for everything that life may throw at them and they are experts at handling tough circumstances. Though they like the company of others, they tend to be quite lonely deep inside.
Others might see a bright-green insect…
Now, if you saw a praying mantis first, this means you have a patient and perceptive personality. You have a powerful inner voice which guides you and gives you a sense of purpose. You tend to make decisions based on gut feeling, but your instincts are spot on so you hardly ever make a bad choice.
Or perhaps you saw an elegant equine…
Those who first see a stallion tend to have an ambitious personality. They are honest, driven, and free-thinking. They are strongly motivated to succeed against all odds. They are hardworking and humble, with immovable principles and the willingness to fight for them. They are self-confident but not cocky, and they always strive for their voice to be heard.
Maybe what they saw was a winged insect…
If what you first spotted was a butterfly, this means you were born for change. You are flexible and highly adaptable, quickly acclimating to new environments. To fulfill your needs and achieve your goals, you don’t hesitate to make whatever changes are necessary. You can be a little shy and reserved, but with enough time and patience, you eventually come out of your cocoon.
Did you see a red crustacean instead?
People who first see the image of a crab are exceptionally loyal. Like this crustacean, they appear tough on the outside but are actually quite kind and considerate on the inside. They place the needs of their loved ones ahead of their own and consider disloyalty and untrustworthiness to be the worst sins a person can commit.
Now, they could have seen man’s best friend…
If what you see at first is a dog, this pegs you as a brave, protective, and selfless person. People with these primary traits are actually quite rare to encounter. You love with all your heart, and experience joy like few others. You are cherished and beloved by everyone who gets to know you.
What if you saw a flying predator?
Those who see an eagle first tend to have a focused and driven personality. They are stubborn and never waiver when they’ve made a decision. They tend to have tunnel-vision, and once they’ve set their sights on a goal they go to great lengths to achieve it. They are also a little selfish and find it hard to share with others.
There’s a chance they could have seen a different kind of bird…
If the first thing you saw was a rooster, this means you are a persevering person. You are smart, quick-witted, and persistent in the pursuit of your goals. Though some people may underestimate you, you have fierceness in spades. You are a pacifist, but that doesn’t mean you let people take advantage of you. You are always willing to fight for the things that matter to you.
It’s possible you saw a white symbol of peace…
People who see a dove first usually are wise souls. They are patient, nurturing and calm, and have an inner peace that few others possess. They always see the positive in everything and can find silver linings to any situation. They aren’t just hopeful but they transmit that hope too, shining a bright light for others who could only see darkness.
If you don’t think this test accurately describes your personality, there are other widely practiced tests that could shed more light. Like this similarly projective one.
The Rorschach test is well known in popular culture, but few people actually understand how it works. It was initially created by Hermann Rorschach to diagnose patients with schizophrenia. A series of ten cards are shown to the subject, each containing a different inkblot. The subject is then asked what they see. These perceptions are then analyzed to examine the subject’s personality traits and emotional functioning. There are also other personality tests based on less abstract methods, like the following one.
Built by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a questionnaire designed to ascertain how different people perceive the world and make decisions. Test-takers are assigned a combination of four letters which represent their four ‘type’ preferences — types being their dominant ways of perceiving and deciding. The MBTI is typically used in the business sector to assess employees aptitudes. Other models, like the next one, assert there are five big personality traits.
Minds of Psychology
Research on personality traits began in 1884 with Sir Francis Galton. In the following decades, other psychologists continued studying this topic and produced the theory that there are five broad dimensions that can describe observable and relatively permanent personality traits. By the 1980s, the five-factor model became widely accepted. Known as the “Big Five,” these factors are: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. However, other experts believe there are actually nine main personality traits.
The Arizona Enneagram Association
The Enneagram of Personality is a model that describes nine interconnected personality types within the human psyche. Derived from the teachings of George Gurdjieff, Claudio Naranjo, and Oscar Ichazo, it is represented by the points of a geometric figure known as an enneagram. These nine personality types are: Perfectionist, Giver, Performer, Romantic, Observer, Questioner, Adventurer, Protector, and Mediator. This model is used in both business and spiritual contexts to gain insights on interpersonal dynamics and as an aid in self-development.