How We Select TOPI Items

The questions you just read through are drawn from areas of problem solving that people face when trying to understand personality. The areas include, for example, “identifying clues to personality,” and “constructing accurate models of a person,” by knowing, for example, which traits go together. In the TOPI we pose problems from those areas and then ask people to identify the correct answers as best they can.

We identify correct answers to the items based on specific published research studies about personality, its characteristics and its processes.

We also have to write many items to find ones that work well. Personal intelligence is a rich and broad ability. Because knowledge about personality spans different areas, it typically takes many questions like these to create a good estimate of a person’s overall skill at reasoning about personality.

It is also for these reasons (e.g., that not all items work and that personal intelligence involves a wide range of knowledge) that the number correct you receive on this short quiz won’t indicate much about your specific level of personal intelligence. The actual TOPI, which is used in various research studies, contains many more test questions.

We appreciate your interest in the TOPI!

Jack, David, and Abigail

(John D. Mayer, David R. Caruso, and Abigail T. Panter)