Personality Testing Reviews for Karmagenes

From £151.27 Converted from $199.00

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
4 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
5 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
4 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
5 out of 5 stars

Summary

To conclude, I’ve had a lot of fun taking the Karmagenes personality test and sharing the results with my friends and family. As quite a long report, it could easily have become confusing or overwhelming, but I think Karmagenes have got the perfect balance of information and visual aids.

It would have been good to see how the results were presented before ordering the test, and problems with the written English, particularly towards the end of the report, made things a little less clear than they could have been. That said, I’d strongly recommend the Karmagenes personality test to anyone who wants to reflect on how they've come to behave the way they do. I wouldn’t say the results will lead to life-changing decisions, but it will give you a lot of food for thought!

Full Review

Karmagenes were offering a DNA-based personality test that would link my genetic makeup to fourteen behavioural characteristics, as well as a short psychological test which assesses the ‘Big 5’ dimensions of personalities. This is the only test we’ve come across that seeks to directly address the ‘Nature vs. Nurture’ argument, integrating both aspects into the results, so we were keen to take a look!

Product Expectations

The Karmagenes website explained that their genetic personality test would reveal the extent to which I am: A bon vivant (a person that enjoys the good things in life!), emotional, innovative, spontaneous, strategic, a risk taker, sex driven, decisive, social, confident, stress tolerant, calm and an optimist.

Compared to the other tests out there, this is by far the most impressive (and interesting) list of behavioural traits to be reported on as part of a genetic analysis. Another provider, Gene Planet, offers a ‘Personal genetic analysis’ which includes an assessment of how effectively you learn from your mistakes. 23andMe’s test reports on several behavioural traits such as smoking behaviour, and International Biosciences’ ‘Weight and Wellness’ test includes an assessment of your tendency to overeat. But the Karmagenes personality test covers a dozen more behavioural traits than any of these providers’ tests.

The site listed three main applications of the test results; they would help me to learn more about myself in order to increase confidence and reduce stress, help me meet a romantic partner with complimentary or non-complimentary characteristics (depending on what I prefer!), and help me optimise decision-making when it comes to my career. There’s no doubt that receiving this sort of information would be very powerful, so I was excited to see what form the advice would take.

It was made very clear that none of the information I’d receive would relate to any aspect of my health.

Ordering Experience

The ordering experience with Karmagenes was slightly unusual, as the costs were not displayed on the site, and you had to search through the FAQs section to find the order page. Once reaching this page however, the process was quick, easy and handled through PayPal which added a level of reassurance.

I received the kit one working day later, which contained simple instructions for providing a sample. Two packs of cheek swabs had been sent and the instructions said that this was in case one of the packs had been damaged – I thought this was strange as I couldn’t see how this might happen. In order to return my sample, a clever fold-up box had been enclosed which was easy to put together.

It was a shame that return postage to Switzerland hadn’t been included – I had to go to the Royal Mail website to check how much postage was required.

One week after dispatching my sample to Karmagenes, I received confirmation on email that it had been received.

The Results

Four weeks later, I received an email to say that Karmagenes were finalising the analysis. I was then directed to take an online psychological, or ‘Karmagenes 5+’, assessment. This was made up of 31 straightforward statements (e.g. I sympathise with others’ feelings) and it took me about 10 minutes to complete. I was directed to respond to the statements via multiple choice: ‘Very accurate’, ‘accurate’, ‘neither inaccurate nor accurate’, ‘inaccurate’ or ‘very inaccurate’. Most of the statements were clear and simple, with a few exceptions, such as ‘I feel little concern for others’ - that felt a bit ambiguous.

One week later, the results were sent to me as a 41-page PDF file. The size of the file was a little intimidating, but upon reading the first few pages I was reassured by the easy-to-read text, accompanied by eye-catching graphics that linked well to what I had seen on the Karmagenes website. After the bright cover page was a legal page, outlining privacy policies. Again, this could have been intimidating, but the graphics and personalised tone of it reassured me that my genetic data was safe and private. This was followed by an intro page which gave me a brief summary of the test, and a contents page. Another legal page reiterated the fact that the results were merely a guide, as the mixture of factors affecting personality is complex, and that the test was non-health related. This had been made clear to me on the website, and so this didn’t come as a surprise or a disappointment.

Results section: The science behind Karmagenes

The next section, which was comprised of eight pages, provided a background to the science and psychology behind the test – see the ‘5 Factors Personality Timeline’ below.

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The 5 Factors Personality Timeline.

The 5 Factors Personality Timeline.

I liked the fact that timelines were used for both the scientific and psychological backgrounds, but thought that the personality timeline (shown above) worked better than the ‘Behavioural Genetics Timeline’ that had been included, as there were fewer large chunks of text beneath each point. The graphics really aided my understanding, especially in linking the science to the Karmagenes test itself. This again all linked well to what I’d seen on the website prior to buying the test, without repeating the information. This section was complemented well by one at the end of the report which included a concise list of references under clear subheadings, which were easy to access for more information.

Next were my results. This was the most substantial section of the report, consisting of 13 pages of assessment for each of the 14 characteristics (shown below).

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The 14 characteristics that Karmagenes report on.

The 14 characteristics that Karmagenes report on.

This was followed by a personalised interpretation of each characteristic, and advice about my career, relationships and wellness – a further eight pages. This was quite a lot of information to go through, but was interesting, and was made more so by features such as the lists of famous people that were likely to share similar scores with me for each trait.

The results for both the DNA and psychological (environment) tests were displayed together, allowing for easy comparison through a simple circular diagram that was explained at the beginning of the results section (explanation shown below).

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An explanation of the circular trait diagrams.

An explanation of the circular trait diagrams.

The diagrammatic results, shown for each characteristic, had annotated labels for each circle: ‘Very low’, ‘low’, ‘moderate’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’. This made them easy to interpret and link to the relevant trait description.

I was slightly surprised to find that, in many cases, my DNA results were very different to my personality test results. In one sense, it was interesting, as it seemed I had inadvertently been working to improve traits I naturally wouldn’t exhibit, but on the downside it was difficult to know which description I should read, as often I had a genetic score of ‘very low’, and a psychological score of ‘very high’, which were obviously opposite descriptions. Although I understand that the test is trying to show the balance between ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’, it might have helped to have a combined score for both DNA and environmental results to make best use of this section.

Despite these few limitations, the ability to compare the DNA and environmental results was really interesting for particular characteristics. I’m a confident person but I feel this didn’t come naturally – I believe I’ve learned confident behaviours from my father, which was reflected in my ‘low’ DNA score but ‘high’ environmental score. I’m a social person, but again, this didn’t come easily, and I remember making a concerted effort to develop my social skills in my youth, where this was effortless for others. Again, I saw this reflected with a ‘very low’ DNA score for sociability, but a ‘high’ environmental score.

It was really interesting to see how these and other characteristics were associated with my personal set of genes, but I would have liked to have been given more information on how these conclusions were made. There was a general reference section at the end, allowing me to carry out further research on the overall area of study into how genetics affect personality, and I liked that this included a range of resources, from online videos to academic research papers. However, it would have been good to know exactly which genes were examined by Karmagenes to determine my genetic tendency to exhibit each trait. This would not only have allowed me to personally assess the scientific reliability of the DNA test, but would have made comparisons to personality tests provided by other companies much easier. In addition, as someone who likes to make mental links, it would have been interesting to see if any of the genes linked to my personality were also highlighted in other types of DNA test. I wouldn’t expect to see all of the detail of Karmagenes’ analysis, as I understand that quite a few factors are involved in the assessment of each trait, but listing the genes that are most influential would really complement the existing results and information.

An example of my ‘social’ result is shown below:

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My social result.

My social result.

Results section: What is next?

Personally, I felt that this section was most valuable. It really helped to remedy some of the confusion by further explaining the relationship between DNA and environmental factors, putting them into the context of my career, relationships and general wellbeing – my general wellbeing summary is shown below.

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My general wellbeing summary.

My general wellbeing summary.

This section was very personalised and written in detail, with practical advice on how to enhance my personality and how to cope in stressful situations. I only had a few criticisms of this section, one being that that the English in sections appeared to have been directly translated from another language, meaning it didn’t read as smoothly as it could. Another aspect that could be improved is the fact that this section isn’t quite as visually stimulating as the rest of the report, especially the beginning sections. Similar graphics to the ones at the beginning of the report would have really livened up this part of the report and made the long sections of text seem a bit more manageable. However, these were minor issues in what was otherwise a really interesting and insightful report on my personality.

Summary

To conclude, I’ve had a lot of fun taking the Karmagenes personality test and sharing the results with my friends and family. As quite a long report, it could easily have become confusing or overwhelming, but I think Karmagenes have got the perfect balance of information and visual aids.

It would have been good to see how the results were presented before ordering the test, and problems with the written English, particularly towards the end of the report, made things a little less clear than they could have been. That said, I’d strongly recommend the Karmagenes personality test to anyone who wants to reflect on how they've come to behave the way they do. I wouldn’t say the results will lead to life-changing decisions, but it will give you a lot of food for thought!

Please note that we were invited to take this test free of charge.

See a description of this DNA test from Karmagenes >