“Visual DNA” Personality Test

“Visual DNA” Personality Test

"Visual DNA" I came across this personality test at Visual DNA on a friend’s Facebook page, and it’s unusual in that it asks you to pick images that appeal to you. I like trying different personality tests such as the venerable Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (aka MBTI) to see what patterns might pop up. I don’t consider the results to be definitive or limiting in any way, but it’s instructive to see what decisions other people with similar results will make.

I’ve been taking some variant of the MBTI every year since I was a sophomore in college, where I used it to try to determine if there was a difference between “hackers” and “professional programmers” for my humanities sufficiency at WPI. The answer may seem obvious today, but this was 1988 when such questions were still rather new. The first time I took the MBTI, I came up as an INFP, which at the time was a horrifyingly touch-feely result. After a stint of swinging into INTJ “mastermind” territory, I became more comfortable with my INFP tendencies and accepted them more readily, only busting out the rational shield-and-sword of the INTJ when threatened by nearby acts of incompetence.

The MBTI test consists of nearly 100 questions that ask you to choose between two possible answers, choosing the one that is most “you at home”. For fun you can take it again as “you at work”; you may get a different result! There’s a pretty good example of the long-form MBTI test on OkCupid of all places if you want to take it. It’s pretty much all text. By comparison, Visual DNA’s Who Am I test looks like this:

Visual DNA Sample Question You go through the test picking the images that appeal to you most, based on the question. At the end of it, you get a nice PDF that summarizes all the traits that you might have. Here’s a link to my results. It evaluates me on 5 facets and 10 personality elements. For example, my personality preference for ACTION had been judged as follows:

ACTION: Methodical – Methodical people know how to concentrate on any task they’re set and keep focus on it to completion – so focused in fact that it’s impossible to distract them. Your slow and steady approach may frustrate some people, but their concerns will always be allayed when you deliver your work on time and on spec.

It hadn’t occurred to me that the way I worked could be described as methodical. I had thought it was “comprehensive” or “analytical”, but these were not really right. I do prefer a methodical approach, even when I’m making something up. Insight +1!

Anyway, it’s a pretty nifty test. Check it out at visualdna.com.


  1. Cat Marshall 11 years ago

    Hi David, I’ve long been a fan of your stuff… I simply love it – so clear and creative – not to mention organisational heaven!

    I was just reading your blog and came across the Visual DNA test which I just completed – it’s brilliant! I’ve seen a lot of tests like this, but this is free, simple and insightful. I’m going to share it as much as I can as I think it’s genius!

    Hope you have a great day and keep up the good work, Cat in Birmingham, UK

  2. robbiekayn 11 years ago

    “Your slow and steady approach may frustrate some people”–like my husband? :) If he had to name one thing about me that frustrates him, that would probably be what he’d say! I suspect my results will be similar to yours. The reason I enjoy your products and writing so much is because I get the feeling our minds work in similar ways. I, too, have had different MBTI results depending on when I took it–INFJ as an undergraduate and ISTJ later on (both times my N/S and F/T scores were right on the cusp, so I can see how I might swing back and forth depending on when I take the test).

  3. Brian Bowes 11 years ago

    Thanks for the tip Dave. I took the test in less than 10 minutes and found it to be pretty right on. I’ll have to dig in a little more to the results to find out if this is insightful, but all in all pretty cool!

  4. Steve 11 years ago

    Dave, you should check out the Gallup Strengths Finder test: http://strengths.gallup.com

    When I was working with contractors, I asked them to take the test so I could better understand how to work with them. Very helpful.

  5. manavi thakkar 11 years ago

    The visual DNA test was concise to the point and brilliant. It gave me such an acccurate pict of my imprint today. It would have cost me many $$$$ and lots of painful talking to get this stuff elsewhere. I love the non intrusive pict talk which reflects my self today with great pointers given gently for me to GROW more positively. Thank u so much

  6. Steyn 9 years ago

    The visual DNA test isn’t great. I am sorry to have a different opinion, but:

    • their only purpose is to sell your data to companies
    • many behaviours can be situational, so it doesn’t make sense to give single choice option for most of the questions…from a psychological point of view it’s totally flawed and data are misleading (it’s not even useful as a market research honestly).