- Stephen Reysen, PhD, Stephen Reysen, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology & Special Education at Texas A&M University, Commerce.
The test, created by Individual Differences Research labs, is informed by psychologist Stephen Reysen, PhD’s eponymous likability scale research, which found, among other conclusions, that laughter correlates to a person being perceived as more likable. And while Dr. Reysen has no involvement with the test, he does have some thoughts about its merits.
First, he recommends taking this test solely for entertainment rather than seeing it as any kind of official assessment of your character. Second, he suggests you don't overthink your responses when you're taking it. “Anytime I'm doing research with the general public, I always just say, 'Go with your gut.' The first reaction that you have to anything, just go with that,” he says.
The test is composed of 35 statements with which folks can agree or disagree to varying levels, takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and includes statements like:
- “I often feel grateful for everything others do for me.”
- “My positive words often give others the courage to pursue new opportunities.”
- “I use tricky plans and schemes to get my way.”
- “I prefer competition over cooperation.”
In the results for the Likable Person Test, folks receive a percentage to indicate how likable they generally are as well as an explanation of the seven likability components. If you're high in some of the seven categories and not others, Dr. Reysen says not to be too concerned that you're unlikable.
"In general, these researchers viewed likability as a unidimensional construct. In other words, you combine or average the scores of the dimensions together to get a single outcome score," says Dr. Reysen. For that reason, the seven components of the Likable Person Test "are likely very closely related to one another," adds Dr. Reysen. "I wouldn’t worry if you are low on a particular dimension, as it is the overall combined score that matters more."
So, what's the best way to determine how likable you are based on these results? "Probably the best way to gauge what your result on the measure means would be to compare it someone else's [score]. See if you can get the most likable person you know to take it and compare results," says Dr. Reysen. With that in mind, kep reading to learn more about each of the likability components.
What each of the 7 factors of the Likable Person Test mean
According to the Likable Person Test results, someone who scores high on friendliness possesses “openness, warmth, and enthusiasm; they often make others feel welcome and comfortable." To be sure, says Dr. Reysen, humans don’t like being around someone who’s mean—he says we much prefer to interact with someone who’s “easy to talk to, approachable, and someone you want to be around,” Dr. Reysen adds.
Has someone ever made you laugh so much that your abs are sore and your head starts to hurt? Even though you might be in mild physical pain, you’d probably elect to have those chuckles all over again if you could. “We definitely like people who are funny,” says Dr. Reysen. “They make us happy [through laughter].” Additionally, moods are contagious, and someone who uses humor may be someone likable because they can maintain things on the lighter side.
This facet of the Likable Person Test goes a little deeper than someone who’s always smiling. “They are happy with who they are—comfortable in their own skin and where they are in life,” say the test results. Because they are happy with who they are, there isn’t a need to prove themselves. In turn, the test results specify that they may “have an easier time being honest, taking a genuine interest in others, and manifesting an air of ease and straightforwardness around themselves.”
If you think of someone who’s been kind to you before, it’s not too difficult to see why you might like them. “Kind people are helpful, generous, and considerate; they tend to draw others to them,” according to the results. (For the record, in addition to making you more likable, being kind may also increase your lifespan.)
The Likable Person Test results list positivity as one of the characteristics of a likable person because “Optimistic people make others feel empowered and happy.” That said, Dr. Reysen adds that the mechanism at play here is actually agreeableness, because agreeable people tend to have harmonious interactions—which makes you like and want to be around them.
“People who score high in this trait are often curious about and interested in others while showing tolerance and understanding, which in turn makes them interesting to others,” say the test results.
On average, people seek more advice from honest people than dishonest ones—which underscores that there’s a level of relationship-building trust that stems from that honesty. That could be because people who score high in honesty, according to the Likable Person Test results, “strive to avoid lies, betrayals, and misleading others.”
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