This research was conducted by Inez Michiels (CITY OF 8) in collaboration with the University of Antwerp. 173 inhabitants of Belgium were surveyed. To measure the personality, a self-assembled visual colour test (ID-colour) was used. Additionally, 20 verbal questions from the abbreviated Big Five test, focusing on five personality traits, in particular Openness to experience,  Conscientiousness, Extraversion,  Agreeableness and Neuroticism were presented.


The ID-colour test is based on three personality dimensions: extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism from the personality theory of English psychologist Hans Jurgen Eysenck (1998). This non-verbal test contains steps in which two colour fields are laid side by side. At the first step, the respondent must choose between blue and yellow. The second step is a choice between black and white. The third step is a choice between red and green. Then a colour palette is presented in the next three steps. At step 4 there is a choice between a cold (blue, green, purple) or a warm (orange, red, yellow) palette. At step 5 there is a choice between a dark and a light palette of both warm and cold colours and the sixth step there is a totally grey, monochrome palette and a colourful palette with bright colours to choose from. Finally, the respondents have to choose at the last seventh step between silver or gold.

This analysis examines whether the hypothesis that the bipolar choices of the colour test correspond to the three personality traits described by Eysenck are confirmed. Furthermore, how the five personality traits of the Big Five test relate to the colour test. Can the questions from the Big Five be categorised according to the dimensions of the semantic space? Or are the colour tests and the Big Five two separate factors that define the viewer? Finally, the two triplet pairs from the colour test are compared, and their characterisations are summarized.

The colour test could provide an alternative to the classic questionnaire or interview. Problems like fingering, simulation and problems of subjectivity are important obstacles to acquiring insight into one’s personality and could be avoided by this indirect method. In addition, colours can test the personality in a far more subtle way. If this test proves to be a valid measuring instrument, that would be the first in history and practically of great value.

The purpose of the research is to get an initial insight into these relationships. If the hypothesis is confirmed, further research will be necessary. The closing of the research is expected autumn of 2017.