What is TraitLab?

For the last few months, all of my free time has gone into a side project, currently named TraitLab. There have been a few questions swirling around in my head since I started working on it, and I’m hoping that writing them down in a blog post will free up some mental space.

What is TraitLab?

TraitLab is a tool that increases your self-awareness through scientific personality assessments.

But aren’t there plenty of personality tests on the internet?

Yes! There’s a ton of web and mobile apps that already offer some kind of personality testing. Here’s a few of the top hits from searching personality tests:

All of the above sites offer a free test and some brief results, with an option to purchase a more detailed profile.

So what makes TraitLab any different?

Most current offerings are primarily entertainment. They’re cute, fun, and fast, but not really based on any real research.

TraitLab is completely research-based, meaning that all of the assessments and analysis are based on actual peer-reviewed research from scientific journals.

There’s no magical proprietary algorithms behind it. TraitLab simply provides well-established assessments, compares each person’s responses to what is known from current personality research, and reports back what current science can tell us about that person’s personality and its influence on several areas of their life.

Why bother doing this?

TraitLab is a great outlet for me to build something useful and write about a topic I love.

Since leaving my academic bubble for a career in software development, I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about personality. Two things stood out to me:

  1. People are very interested in practical applications of personality assessment, especially in the context of work and teams.
  2. Most of the popular ideas around personality are about 50 years out of date.

I spent a big chunk of my life studying psychological measurement and personality, and I know there’s a still a ton of useful information still buried in academic research journals. I’m betting that there is a lot of untapped value there.