What Is The Neuroticism Test?
By: William Drake
Updated December 09, 2019
Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Humans have created many different ways to test their psychology or for mental illness. One such way is called the neuroticism test. In this post, we shall discuss what neuroticism is and what the test entails.
What Is Neuroticism?
Neuroticism is one of the "Big Five" areas of personality. The others are openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, and agreeableness. (In order to remember these, think OCEAN.) When people take a personality test, they're often tested to assess these particular traits. Therefore, neuroticism can be considered a fundamental part of personality, and its definition will change a bit from test to test.
Neuroticism appears in many personality theories, and psychology experts disagree about exactly what it is. Some think about a neurotic as someone who is aroused too easily and who takes a while to calm down after being aroused. Others associate neuroticism with being emotionally unstable, while still others think it's related to poor self-control or poor stress management.
In general, someone who is neurotic may be more prone to fear, anger, anxiety, guilt, depression, and other negative emotions. Someone who is neurotic is also said to be shyer and more self-conscious. When they have urges, they may have more trouble controlling them and may use desperate means to satisfy their desires. Furthermore, if a neurotic person faces stress, they may not respond well to it while someone who is less neurotic may feel stress, but they're likely to handle it better.
Like all personality traits, neuroticism exists on a spectrum. Most people are not fully neurotic, nor do they have no neuroticism at all. At the middle of the spectrum, someone can be stable and still have neurotic emotions on occasion.
Neuroticism And Mental Disorders
It's important to test neuroticism because high levels of it may correlate with having or developing a mental disorder. In general, it's hard to know which comes first and if one leads to the other. Most tests that assess neuroticism include questions that look at an individual's mood and anxiety levels, which may also indicate other issues.
It's known that a neurotic person is more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression. They can also be schizophrenic, psychotic, and may have a higher chance of substance abuse. However, someone who isn't neurotic may also be prone to those conditions because there are many factors at play. Evidence does show, however, that people who are highly neurotic may have a higher chance of dying early for a variety of reasons. Here are some mood disorders that someone with high neuroticism may face:
- Eating disorders: Someone who is neurotic may feel highly emotional about their body and weight, so they can suffer from an eating disorder as a result. They're unlikely to eat well when they're not emotionally stable.
- Anxiety disorders: Someone who is neurotic may be prone to general anxiety disorder, where they have uneasy thoughts and sensations most of their time.
- Dissociative Identity Disorder: They may have dissociative identity disorder, which means they may have multiple personalities that fight for dominance.
- Schizophrenia: They may be more prone to schizophrenia, which affects how clearly someone thinks or feels. Someone with this condition may feel like they're lost in reality.
Someone who receives high scores on a neuroticism test should be careful, so they don't develop any mood disorders or personality disorders. As it turns out, high levels of neuroticism can bring about personality disorders as well. Not every neurotic person will develop mental disorders, but when someone is emotionally unstable, it makes sense that they're more likely to develop a personality disorder. In short, neurotic behavior should be taken seriously. It's not always indicative of a broader issue, but it can be an indicator that help is needed.
There are plenty of Big Five personality tests online to give you an overview of your personality. Here's one free test you can try, and here's a second free option. Longer tests will be more detailed, but they'll also take more time. A shorter test is good for a quick glance, but results won't be as thorough.
The Big Five
Even though we're focusing on neuroticism, we can't discuss it thoroughly without discussing the other four personality traits. In theory, the Big Five are five personality traits that define an individual. These exist on a spectrum, so everyone will have different amounts of each. That's part of what makes the world so interesting.
The concept of the Big Five was based on several researchers who studied personality. The initial model was created around the late 1950s, but it wasn't fully developed until about forty years later. If you're curious to learn more about your personality traits, you might consider taking a personality test.
When you know more about yourself, you can use this information in all sorts of interesting ways. Some people even use these traits to determine what kind of job would suit them best. For now, you'll find more information about the Big Five below.
We all know someone who is open to new experiences of any kind. We also know people who are okay with living in a bit of a bubble and may be afraid of new experiences. Everyone is a little bit different. Plus, there are a lot of subtleties to being more or less open. For example, an open person tends to have a bigger imagination and more interests, while someone who is closed may be less interested in learning outside their box.
People who have high levels of conscientiousness tend to be organized and reliable. We all know someone who schedules everything and always has a plan. Meanwhile, others tend to be a bit more spontaneous or sporadic. These people don't plan, and they aren't reliable, so you may have a hard time keeping them organized. Once again, there's a spectrum.
Most of us know about the battle between extroverts and introverts. When you're at school or work, some people like it loud, and others like it quiet. You can guess who is who. An extrovert is someone who gets pleasure through being social because being around other people energizes them. They tend to be optimistic, positive, and the life of the party. Meanwhile, introverts are more satisfied spending time alone and keeping to themselves because they have rich inner lives. They may like some social interaction in small groups, but after being around other people, they tend to feel worn out. Few people are fully introverted or extraverted, but most lean in one direction or the other.
People who are agreeable will be compassionate, always a friend, and always be willing to cooperate. For example, someone who works in customer service has to have a high level of agreeableness. At the other end of the spectrum, someone who is less agreeable tends to be more distant and less kind. No one is an angel or a devil, but we all have varying levels of agreeableness, which can change depending on our mood.
If you'd like to discuss your results with a professional, consider contacting a counselor at BetterHelp. They can help explain the Big Five in more detail, and they can help you understand your results. Read the reviews below to learn more about working with BetterHelp counselors, from a personality-based perspective.
"In my worst times, Robin helped me to focus on what's important in my life and she worked with me to create a strategy to get there. She understood my personality from the get go, and knew how to utilize that in our counseling sessions. I couldn't have asked for a better counselor."
"Jaime is great. He takes the time to listen to my concerns, acknowledges that they are problems, and helps me develop strategies to overcome those problems in a logical manner that fits my personality."
If you're interested in learning more about your personality, a counselor at BetterHelp can be a great resource. They can help you pick out a test and interpret the results, so you can become the best version of yourself. Take the first step today.