National Application Center :: self assessment
Holland's Six Personality Types
According to John Holland's theory, most people are one of six personality types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. The characteristics of each of these are described below:
- Enjoys working with animals, tools, or machines
- Generally avoids social activities such as teaching, healing, and informing others
- Is skillful when working with tools, mechanical or electrical drawings, machines, or plants and animals
- Values practical things you can see, touch, and use, such as plants and animals, tools, equipment, or machines
- Sees self as practical, mechanical, and realistic
- Enjoys studying and solving math or science problems
- Generally avoids leading, selling, or persuading people
- Is good at understanding and solving science and math problems
- Values science
- Sees self as precise, scientific, and intellectual
- Enjoys creative activities such as art, drama, crafts, dance, music, or creative writing
- Generally avoids highly ordered or repetitive activities
- Has good artistic abilities in creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art
- Values creative arts like drama, music, art, or the works of creative writers
- Sees self as expressive, original, and independent
- Enjoys doing things to help people such as teaching, nursing, giving first aid, or providing information
- Generally avoids using machines, tools, or animals to achieve a goal
- Is good at teaching, counseling, nursing, or giving information
- Values helping people and solving social problems
- Sees self as helpful, friendly, and trustworthy
- Enjoys leading and persuading people, and selling products and ideas
- Generally avoids activities that require careful observation and scientific, analytical thinking
- Is good at leading people and selling things or ideas
- Values success in politics, leadership, or business
- Sees self as energetic, ambitious, and sociable
- Enjoys working with numbers, records, or machines in a set, orderly way
- Generally avoids ambiguous, unstructured activities
- Is good at working with written records and numbers in a systematic, orderly way
- Values success in business
- Sees self as orderly, and good at following a set plan
Holland's theory can be summarized in six statements:
- In modern society, most persons are one of six personality types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional.
- People of equal personality have a tendency to flock together. For example, creative people tend to make friends with and work well with other creative people.
- When people of equal personality type work together, they form an environment that supports their type. For example, when creative persons are together on a job, they cultivate a work environment where creative thinking and behavior are rewarded.
- There are six basic types of work environments: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional.
- People who prefer a working environment supportive of their personality type are more likely to be successful and pleased with their jobs. For example, creative persons are more likely to thrive and be fulfilled if they select a job in a creative environment, like choosing to be an art instructor at an art school. A setting of this type would foster creative abilities and expression.
- The way you perform and feel about your work depends, to a large extent, on your workplace setting. If you work with people who have a personality type equal to yours, you will share similar interests, feel comfortable with them, and have skills in the same areas. This combination creates a fruitful and satisfying environment.