Holland's Six Personality Types

According to John Holland's theory, most people are one of six personality types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. The characteristics of each of these are described below:

Realistic
  • Likes to work with animals, tools, or machines; generally avoids social activities like teaching, healing, and informing others;
  • Has good skills in working with tools, mechanical or electrical drawings, machines, or plants and animals;
  • Values practical things you can see, touch, and use like plants and animals, tools, equipment, or machines; and
  • Sees self as practical, mechanical, and realistic.
Investigative
  • Likes to study and solve math or science problems; generally avoids leading, selling, or persuading people;
  • Is good at understanding and solving science and math problems;
  • Values science; and
  • Sees self as precise, scientific, and intellectual.
Artistic
  • Likes to do creative activities like art, drama, crafts, dance, music, or creative writing; generally avoids highly ordered or repetitive activities;
  • Has good artistic abilities -- in creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art;
  • Values the creative arts -- like drama, music, art, or the works of creative writers; and
  • Sees self as expressive, original, and independent.
Social
  • Likes to do things to help people -- like, teaching, nursing, or giving first aid, providing information; generally avoids using machines, tools, or animals to achieve a goal;
  • Is good at teaching, counseling, nursing, or giving information;
  • Values helping people and solving social problems; and
  • Sees self as helpful, friendly, and trustworthy.
Enterprising
  • Likes to lead and persuade people, and to sell things and ideas; generally avoids activities that require careful observation and scientific, analytical thinking;
  • Is good at leading people and selling things or ideas;
  • Values success in politics, leadership, or business; and
  • Sees self as energetic, ambitious, and sociable.
Conventional
  • Likes to work with numbers, records, or machines in a set, orderly way; generally avoids ambiguous, unstructured activities
  • Is good at working with written records and numbers in a systematic, orderly way;
  • Values success in business; and
  • Sees self as orderly, and good at following a set plan.