New research has examined 1.5 million questionnaires to identify four basic personality types – but which one are you?
The huge new study, by Northwestern University, has looked at numerous questionnaire answers and broken down participants from around the world into average, reserved, self-centred or role model personality types.
Splitting humans into personality groupings using simple questions and scenarios has been a source of fascination for people for thousands of years. But no research has ever used such huge numbers before – and it’s all thanks to the internet for making such large data collections available.
“Personality types only existed in self-help literature and did not have a place in scientific journals,” said Luis Amaral, the Erastus Otis Haven Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern Engineering. “Now, we think this will change because of this study.”
The study drew together results from four separate questionnaires, including the BBC Big Personality Test data set – so if you took part, you may have helped shape this enormous world-wide investigation.

The new four personality types

Which one sounds like you?
• Average – high in neuroticism and extraversion, but low in openness. The typical person is in this category. More likely to be female than male.
• Reserved – emotionally stable but not open or neurotic. Not particularly extraverted, but somewhat agreeable and conscientious.
• Role models – low in neuroticism and high in all other traits. The likelihood of being in this category increases dramatically with age. Good people to be in charge of things. More likely to be female.
• Self-centred – high in extraversion, below average in openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. A dramatic decrease as people age.
Now read: Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies personality quiz