MyersBriggsTypes, for reference.
Sensation (S), Judging (J) -- "Guardians"
Intuition (N), Thinking (T) - "The Rationals"
iNtuition (N), Judging (J)
My personality type also fits highly with schizotypal, sociopathic 'cult leader' patterns -- oops. But then I took the test twice and got an INTJ result too, wooo hooo best of both worlds -- SusannahWilliams?
Wow. Deja vu. Several years ago I was the music minister at a new church with an unusually rigid and power-hungry pastor. I was the only person in the congregation who managed to have any say there besides him. After a year, the pastor quit and the denomination dropped us. Next thing I know, the congregation says, "Let's start over and Elizabeth can be our pastor." Considering I wasn't ordained and I tested as schizotypal, I figured any congregation I led might turn into a cult. So I turned them down, and we dispersed. I'm also INTJ. As SusannahWilliams? says, "Wooo hooo best of both worlds." -- ElizabethWiethoff (oops)
Critical thinkers need to be critical of personality testing. The validity and reliability are quite suspect. That is, it is not clear what if anything they are measuring, and there is often variability in test scores for any individual. The dimensions measured are not bimodal in distribution. Shyness for example exists as a bell curve, not in two groups of shy or not shy people. If the test is done for amusement, such as a horoscope, that is fine. The scientific basis is comparable. Many published studies are often under the auspices of the companies who profit from the tests. Few well done studies are available. Unfortunately serious decisions are made on the basis of these unscientific tests.
Read “The Cult of Personality”. Great summary.
A skilled critical thinker is reasonably critical of all sources of information, and knows that the validity and reliability of most sources of information are suspect: personality tests, interview questions, resume, background checks, grades, criminal record, first impressions, white papers, 'scientific data' from an organization that may have interests other than truth, etc. - all have their share of holes and flaws. Making a serious decision based on any one of them is an error. Your targeting of personality tests in particular seems to be unwarranted. The sort of person who blindly rejects personality tests on the basis that it isn't scientific enough is almost a sure sign of a person who is will instead be basing decisions largely upon information that is even less empirical than personality tests (often first impressions and 'gut feeling'). As far as variability: that's usual for many tests, be it running speed, jumping height, math skills, shooting accuracy, or personality. The real problem with personality tests is that they rely on both honesty and an introspective knowledge of oneself that most people lack. If you want real personality tests, put people into competitions, controlled social circumstances (e.g. speed-dating), under duress... and record their actions.
RonJeffries is an Introvert ???
-- David Hooker (XNTJ - half INTJ and half ENTJ)
Only 1% INFP. There has to be someone around here.
-- MartineDevos (INFP)
-- ThomasEyde (INFP)
My wife spent five minutes reading the type descriptions, and pegged me in one guess.
-- DaveSmith (ISTJ - borderline N/S)
There's probably some sociologist out there that can explain the differences between the distribution of types among Internet users and the general population. Until then, it could consume hours of discussion.
Ken (ENFP) Meltsner
According to the test, I'm an INXP (where I would have guessed that the X was a strong T). Moreover, I'm pretty darn close to a second X (XNXP).
WilliamGrosso (INXP, borderline E/I)
I have landed in ENTP and INTP, but the Thinking preference lands at a mere 1%. So, I guess this makes me a Champion Healer Inventor Architect ? Huh? I want that on my business card. My only truly strong preference is iNtuition; and I now wonder: has anyone come close to XXXX, "Wish-Wash"?
I tested out as an INTJ. My initial reaction was to treat it like astrology, but when I read the detailed descriptions it was kind of scary how accurate they were in the light of past experiences. -- KeithDerrick
I agree - the detailed descriptions are what clinch it for me. Guessing people's personality types is a favorite "parlor game" for my wife and me.
I came out to ENTJ again, but my scores were less extreme on the online test than on the paper version. I felt like my answers to the "do you dance naked at parties" questions were much more social than they were ten years ago.
My wife, CindeeAndres (type unknown), poo-poos the whole idea of such tests being useful. She was a psych major in college, but her intuitive grasp of people and how they should be handled makes any four bits of information look like a crude tool.
It would be interesting to know if she's taken the test. Most people I know (and it's reflected in comments here) pooh-pooh the idea of the personality test before taking it; I don't know of many who do so afterward. Now I don't yet know if it's useful, but it is fascinating and somewhat creepily accurate. The very fact that there *are* personality types, that there are broadly identifiable characterizations of people, that we differ in distinctive ways, describable in some detail, changed my mind. To recognize oneself in a list of this sort, to realize that that description describes both what I am and what I aspire to, and that other people feel that way about those other descriptions (however weird they seem to me) is a neat experience.
Again, useful I don't know.
I also used to (and still do) pooh-pooh personality tests. They are amusing to do but usually useless. I was very surprised to see the results of the online test though. Both myself (ENTP) and my wife (INFJ) fitted the personality descriptions extremely well.
I agree with JimPerry - it may not be useful, but it was a fun experience.
I have found it to be very useful. My wife is an ESFJ, I'm an XNTJ. We're almost opposite, and have different (and sometimes conflicting) ways of approaching things. Some of the insights gleaned from the personality descriptions have helped us understand each other, and communicate better.
These 4-letter labels are like little patterns, don't you think?
Perhaps having members of development organizations take the test (the "real" one) would help "lubricate" teams experiencing interpersonal friction. Hmmmmmmmm...
Careful with that, though -- a pointy-haired boss once fired a friend of mine on the pretense that he tested "wrong". It was an excuse for a political move. I think workplace tests should always be done in groups, and emphasize learning about the test-takers rather than assessing them. I can think of lots of abilities I have that are typically associated with other types, and plenty of weaknesses that are usually the strength of my type.
That's how I came to take the test: my company had someone in to administer the "real" test to everyone here. Again, almost eerie: most of the developers were INTX (mostly INTP, a few of us INTJ's), while the customer service/marketing folks were all Extraverts (don't remember the details beyond that).
Again, I agree that knowledge of the existence and nature of these types is useful. I'm less sure of the utility of knowing a particular person's label, and extremely wary of those who might try to involve it in decision-making ("I'm sorry, you're an ENF, and we're looking for more of an INT for this position").
I turned out to be an ENTX -- whatever that means.
I felt aggravated by most of the questions because I often felt I could answer differently depending on whether a context was given. Unfortunately, MyersBriggs gave me none to work with.
So I felt I was going to land in one of their boxes no matter what I did - trapped forever, in a personality type with no hope of adapting.
My hope is that I learn to adapt to situations a la I Ching, instead of being boxed forever in ENTX.
KadeLarsen (INFP). I agree with MichaelBeedle. Except I happen to like my classification (see my homepage). I guess I'm a strong proponent of individuality, but when I like what the boxing system says about myself and everyone else I don't mind being boxed. See, I can sympathize with everyone! If you feel cheated by the test, I'm with you. If you like your results, I'm with you, too. If you feel the test accurately describes the world and the personalities in it, I'm with you. If you feel such tests are designed to tell people exactly what they want to hear (on average), like horoscopes, I'm with you. See, if you cover all the possible cases, everyone can find something that strikes a chord and just "feels right."
Hey, anybody with type XXXX? Just wondering.
Mirror, or fun-house mirror? - take your pick (or not).
BTW, I'm not sure being the ultimate chameleon would be such a good thing.
I took the personality sorter test the other night. It told me that I'm a Rational INTP and then it threw some big gaping mug-shots of AynRand and BillGates at me. I haven't been able to sleep since. -- MichaelFeathers
Kind of weird... I've taken this test several times and always scored INTJ - with maybe a touch of E thrown in. I just took it today and it called me an INTP. I wonder; have I really changed? Or, is there some bias in the test that didn't use to be there? Or am I just having a different kind of day... -- RussellGold
Sounds right. Your comment is very perceptive. If, on the other hand, you made a value judgement about the test the J would have been a better fit. :-)
Your score can vary depending on the amount of stress you're under. Ever notice how people act differently when under stress?
The reverse situation - I was definitely INTP for years. Several life changes and a stabler job, and I've swung over to INTJ. I disbelieved, but my wife just nodded. Reading the descriptions confirmed it. A very useful bit of info, helps me quantify the way I've changed, helps me steer. -- RyanPlatte
Stress definitely can cause a person to act out of character. Stress provides a great opportunity to observe and measure one's self ("Why does it bother me that I have been increasingly acting out of character?" etc.) Sometimes stress is just too um, stressful and we are so busy coping we don't use the opportunity. Have you ever intentionally put yourself through stress? (Not an advocation or invitation, merely presenting a question to ask of yourself!)
A recent informal MB test I took indicates INFP which confirms my own suspicion, that I have been moving away from INTP in the last 10 years. "It's all about balance".
Having been married I can safely say I'm quite familiar with the notion of stress ;-)
I have taken the official MBTI twice, and Kiersey more recently. First time, T/F tied. Second and subsequent more F. The theory gives tie points to the less common or socially acceptable dichotomy (eg: i, n, f, or p), and the more I self-study, and study others, the more sure I am an F with strong T enculturation to get by in this culture.
I am very happy being the infp oddity within the masculine world, and my social interactions rarely include men, with few exceptions, except for husbands or partners of my female friends. (Once the husbands know I have no interest in their wives, we get along fine. <grin>)
We may be but a per cent of the population, but you wouldn't know it scouring mbti-related sites!
Took the on-line Kiersey test not expecting much, and was fairly well skewered by the descriptions :). Very interesting ... mostly because it told me things I had pretty much come to understand already, but was somewhat suspicious of the self-relative judgement involved. Way more than I expected from a silly on-line test.
Found one site that grouped the questions. The I-N-T part is pretty clear-cut, but for me the questions that distinguish between J and P are pretty much a toss up.
Guess I have to re-write my resume :). I've tended to point out individual achievements I thought were particularly clever. On reflection I find that in nearly every project from college on I've played the role of "Architect" (the guy who most seems to understand how the whole system fits together).
ChrisBrooking? (INTx). My score from http://members.tripod.com/~GreatInca/PersonalityCorner/mbtitest.htm was I: 90% N: 100% T: 75% P: 53%, putting me clearly in the INTx category. I too found that some questions were a toss up on the P, J questions.
I have a feeling that there may be some missing dimension here. There seemed to be quite a bit of ambiguity in this category about what you consider to be important and what your natural spontaneous behaviour is. For example, I have a tendency not to plan and act spontaneously - indicating a P. Because I realize that this is not always appropriate, I think that it is important to be methodical and disciplined at work - which leads to a J.
Does this mean that the tests should add an extra dimension, or is the x result valid in someone who compensates for a known trait?
JeremyBowers (INTx): For those commenting on the surprising accuracy of the descriptions, remember that it's trivial to write a description that 90% of the people will consider dead-on. More interesting is the question of "do the other descriptions not fit me?" In this case, I would say the Meyers-Briggs passes this test, which is more then most tests can say.
What interests me is that last "split" I get. If you consider "J" to be "practically-minded" in the software engineering sense ("Why do I need theory? I need this damn thing to work!"), and "P" to be "theoretically-minded" in the software engineering sense ("What good is code if it's not provably correct? If we can't prove it, we need to try harder."), then that "split" very accurately describes me. In school, I was always an almost precise split between the theory side and the practical side, able to take both the heavy theory and the heavy practice courses and excel. I've always been able to move between theory and practice more freely then most I've seen around me, and generally see the application of theory and the theoretical implications of applications. What's interesting is that the test nailed this aspect of me many years before I got far enough into computer science to know this about myself!
Maybe the x in column 4 for means that I have trouble making decisions, but then again, I'm not sure ;^)
( Extract of conversation:
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion." "I disagree".)
Yes, it's much too late for coherent content. Oh well.
I've noticed that the 4 temperaments correspond to the traditional 4 'elements':
Select the column based on
Artisan (SP) Guardian (SJ) Rational (NT) Idealist (NF) Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) 0 0 4 0 Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) 0 2 1 1 Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) 0 0 2 4 Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) 0 1 2 3So we were expecting the pattern...
SP SJ NT NF Fire X - - - Earth - X - - Air - - X - Water - - - XWhat we got was... An indication that one or the other of these systems is a bunch of bunk. Or that they do not correlate in the way that was expected. -- JeffGrigg
I was about to make an entry when I discovered that it did not fit the theory. This made me decide against making the entry. Then I realized that such behavior will bias the vote so I wrote this instead.
I'm a Leo and a Rational INTJ mostly but it varies close to INTX. Been lurking on this site for 2 weeks after searching for some programming problem and then found out that this was the first wiki. Sorry if I broke any wiki norms. --AndrewRicketts
Oh, sorry, we don't do Astrology. We are all MoreSkepticalThanThou here. The Force be with you, Andrew! --PhlIp
Exercise: Look up the description of your opposite type and see if that applies to you.
In my case the opposite is very different from me. Maybe this could be another WikiVote?.
In the following table, the following definitions apply:
Result Right, Opposite Wrong Result Right, Opposite Indifferent Result Right, Opposite Right Result Indifferent, Opposite Wrong Result Indifferent, Opposite Indifferent  Result Indifferent, Opposite Right Result Wrong, Opposite Wrong Result Wrong, Opposite Indifferent Result Wrong, Opposite Right
ETNP (Rational Inventor) borderline on the E/I axis.
A long time ago, I was first required to do the MBTI as part of a selection and review processes. Initially I though little of it being a natural sceptic, until I read the results. Like almost everybody else it turned out to be uncannily accurate. So I studied the technique and discovered the parallel Keirsey test and came to understand something about both. Yes they can be traced back to the early (unscientific) work of Jung however both (and particularly MBTI) have been developed by using the scientific method; study, feedback, refinement to improved their accuracy. I concede it is proto-science like much of psychology and that it is a measuring tool, predictive rather than prescriptive. It in not magic or alternate or pseudo-science.
The questions are like a ruler, a discrete representation of an analogue scale. The analogue scale is also multi-fold, one for each axis; the infinite range of differences in people and the collective relative semantic strength of the words used in the questions is a key part of the process.
To some the generalised personality types look crude, because they are. I would speculate more found the percentage base results more acceptable. To the people that use/apply these tests, the results personality types are a kind of shorthand, pattern like and convey a multitude of subtle details not obviously apparent from the name. -- MartinSpamer.
Marcus Cathey INTJ 6 years ago, INFJ 3 years ago, INTJ presently, but only slightly T over F. My career counselor said that means I'm balanced in that area. :)
The XXXX I took the myer briggs test during my first year of uni, and I was the XXXX type which..well was kind of confusing because there was no description about my type... I asked my human resources prof what that meant and he was astonished and he said he had never seen that before in all of his years of teaching. :/ but he said its probably a good thing because that means im flexible and change myself according to the situation. I guess so? I think its kind of cool, - i'm undefined
The LipsonShiu corporate personality test seems to be making its mark.