Imagine you’re quietly seated by yourself at a party and you see that people are gravitating toward someone else in the space who is laughing and seems to be in a more social mood. Then, you might be perplexed, Why aren’t they approaching me? What qualifies that individual as “the life of the party”? Well, it might just be that the person who is laughing is friendlier. Even if you can’t tell how likeable someone is just by looking at them, there is a diagnostic you can use: You can use the “Likable Person Test” (which you can access here) to find out how you fare on seven likability traits in a fun, non-diagnostic way (friendliness, humor, happiness, kindness, positivity, tolerance, and honesty).
The test, developed by Individual Differences Research labs, is based on psychological researcher Stephen Reysen, PhD’s research on the likability scale, which discovered, among other things, that laughing is correlated with one’s ability to be liked more. Dr. Reysen has some opinions on the test’s usefulness despite the fact that he is not involved with it.
First off, he advises treating this test as pure amusement rather than viewing it as a formal evaluation of your character. Second, he advises you not to second-guess yourself when taking it. “Whenever I conduct research with the general population, I always tell them to just trust their instincts. Simply follow your initial response to anything, he advises.
It takes about 20 minutes to complete, consists of 35 items with which people can agree or disagree to varied degrees, and contains phrases like,
- “I often feel appreciative for everything others do for me.”
- “My encouraging comments frequently inspire people to seize new opportunities.”
- “I employ cunning strategies and ruses to get my way.”
- “I value competitiveness more than teamwork.”
People who take the Likable Person Test receive a percentage as a measure of their overall likeability and an explanation of the seven likability factors along with their results. Dr. Reysen advises people not to be very concerned that they are unlikable if they score highly in some of the seven categories but not others.
These academics generally thought of likeability as a one-dimensional entity. To put it another way, you add together or average the results from each dimension to create a single outcome score, according to Dr. Reysen. Because of this, Dr. Reysen continues, “the seven elements of the Likable Person Test are likely very tightly related to one another.” As the total combined score is more important, “I wouldn’t worry if you are low on a single dimension.”
So how can you effectively assess your level of likeability in light of these findings? “Comparing your result to someone else’s [score] is probably the best method to understand what your outcome on the test signifies. Try to get the nicest person you know to take it so you can compare the outcomes, advises Dr. Reysen. Continue reading to find out more about each of the likability factors in light of this.
What the Likable Person Test’s seven elements mean
A person who performs well on the Likable Person Test is described as having “openness, warmth, and excitement; they frequently make others feel welcome and at ease.”
Of course, Dr. Reysen continues, “people don’t like being around cruel people. We much prefer to interact with people who are easy to talk to, friendly, and people you want to be with.
Have you ever laughed so hard that your brain starts to pain and your abs hurt? You might be in some minor bodily discomfort, but if you could choose again, you’d probably choose to laugh. We absolutely enjoy witty people, adds Dr. Reysen. They “make us joyful” by making us laugh. Additionally, emotions may spread, so someone who employs humor may be likeable because they can keep things lighthearted.
This portion of the Likable Person Test digs a little bit further than just a constant smiler. According to the test results, “They are satisfied with who they are—comfortable in their own skin and where they are in life.” They don’t feel the need to prove themselves since they are content with who they are. They may “have an easier time being honest, taking an authentic interest in people, and projecting an air of ease and straightforwardness around oneself,” according to the test results, which are further specified.
It’s not hard to see why you could like someone if you think of someone who has before shown kindness to you. According to the findings, “Kind individuals are helpful, generous, and considerate; they tend to pull others to them.” (For the record, being kind may lengthen your life in addition to making you more endearing.)
Positive thinking is one of the traits of a likeable person, according to the results of the Likable Person Test, since “optimistic people make other people feel empowered and pleased.” Dr. Reysen continues, however, that the mechanism at work in this case is actually agreeableness since agreeable people frequently interact harmoniously, which makes you like and desire to be near them.
According to the test results, “those who score well in this feature are frequently curious and interested in others while demonstrating tolerance and understanding, which in turn makes them interesting to others.”
There is a level of relationship-building trust that results from that honesty, as evidenced by the fact that individuals seek advise from honest people more frequently than from dishonest ones. According to the Likable Person Test results, those with high honesty scores “strive to avoid lying, betrayals, and misleading others.”