If you know anything at all about personality testing, Claire Gordon’s Do You Know the Real You? More Than 66 Ways to Understand Your Personality probably won’t add anything new to your knowledge base. With a wide spectrum of seemingly randomly chosen “tests”, the book chooses quantity over quality and, with one page devoted to each personality trait, there is not nearly enough information for anyone to figure out aspects of their personality.
The book opens with an introduction to personality that may be a little helpful to those who are new to the field of personality testing. However, the author then goes into strange areas like cults and multiple personality disorders that seem out of place when talking about simple personality traits and testing.
After the uneven introduction, the books goes into the 66 “tests” to find out aspects of your personality like “Are You Warm or Cool?,” “Do You Trust Others?,” “Are You Fun-Loving?,” “What’s Your Dosha?,” “Are You a Coordinator?” and “What’s Your Totem Animal?.” While there is some interesting information, the strange mishmash of regular personality traits (like whether your are an internal or external person) and odd traits like “What’s Your Egyptian Goddess?” don’t seem to go together very well. The author’s agenda is further damaged by the “tests” to determine which personality traits are your own. Since each “trait” only gets two pages, there obviously isn’t enough room for long and involved quizzes or tests. However, I think Gordon could have done better than tests that ask you to “choose which image you are most drawn to” or ones that simply tell you to pick the personality trait you think most suits you. Unless you already know a lot about your own personality, these tests won’t tell you much. And if you do already know a lot about your personality, you wouldn’t have any need for this book in the first place.
On the plus side, the book is quite colorful and well-illustrated and might work as a basic introduction to personality testing that can be used as a springboard for those who know little about personality and want a basic guide to point them in the right direction. However, if you have even basic knowledge of personality testing, Do You Know the Real You? will be redundant and offer little useful information.