Sunday, March 1, 2009

Personality Type

Someone I know recently mentioned that she took the Myer-Briggs personality test and wondered what other people's results would be like. Well, I hadn't thought about that test in several years.

The basic premise behind the Myer-Briggs test is that everyone can basically be grouped into 16 categories. Your answers on the test are supposed to show whether you are an introvert or extravert (I or E), an intuitive person or a sensing one (N or S), follow your feelings or think stuff out (F or T), and are a judger or a perceiver(J or P). The combinations of letters make 16 different basic types.

In my first year at college I took a class on career planning and they had us take several of those sorts of tests. On the Myer-Briggs test, myself, and three other people out of the entire class were categorized as introverts(I was an INTJ with a close call between N and S) everyone else was considered an extravert. With the extroverts gathered together and the introverts gathered together, it was pretty obvious who was who. The extravert table was full of screaming and yelling and jumping around, and talking about everything yet nothing. Us introverts were talking about nothing as well, but in our case, we were actually not talking. The introvert table was silent as we all stared at each other and waited for someone to start a conversation. We did eventually start talking, but it ended up being about how scary the extravert table was and how glad we weren't in that chaos.

Interested to see what the results would be, if I took the test now, I took a couple of the free versions online. Here are the results of one of the tests:

Introverted 78%
Intuitive 65%
Thinking 88%
Judging 78%

a very expressed introvert
a moderately expressed intuitive personality
a very expressed thinking personality
a very expressed judging personality

and the other test results:

Introverted (I) 68% Extraverted (E) 32%
Intuitive (N) 55% Sensing (S) 45%
Thinking (T) 70% Feeling (F) 30%
Judging (J) 91% Perceiving (P) 9%

Again, I tested as an INTJ with N and S being close to even. Interested in what they think my personality is like based on the results I clicked on type description. It said INTJs are logical, rational, liked lonely walks, was arrogant-seeming, and perfectionists, as well as listing numerous other adjectives. It said a good job for someone with my personality would be a scientist-I'm a geology major who loves to go hiking and looking for information in the rocks. I wouldn't have believed that would be the case when I first took the test and thought I could never have a science-related job since I wasn't good at science. One part listed other people known to be INTJs, such as Chevy Chase, Hilary Clinton, Marie Currie, and Stephen Hawking. Some fictional ones are Stewie (Family Guy), Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Hannibal Lector (Silence of the Lambs), Mr. Burns (The Simpsons),and Dr. House (House). All this information was all rather interesting. It seems like knowing who you are and your faults and your weaknesses would be an asset in life.

On a roll now, I looked up more sites about the Myer-Briggs style tests and found entire forums dedicated to different personalities. I checked out one section devoted to INTJs and really realized how I must appear to other people. (Sorry, everyone!) It was interesting seeing people report that they do things that I thought I only did. The slight obsessive-compulsive tendencies, such as eating food in a certain order in certain ways only, the inability to stop what I'm doing while I'm in the middle of something, not being able to start conversations, and the lack of social skills, all seemed very familiar and seeing other people enabled me to see myself much clearer than I could before.

What's your personality like? I don't mean the one you show everyone, but your inner self. Have you taken any Myer-Briggs style tests? As if so, what were your results? Do it help you know yourself better?

If you want to take one of the tests here are a couple of free ones:

Human Metrics Version
Kisa Version

The free, online tests aren't considered as accurate as the original Myer-Briggs test, so if you're really interested in learning more you may want to pay the large fee to take that test. It's a really good idea if you're not sure about anything.

6 comments:

  1. The last time I took the Myers-Briggs was several years ago and I tested out as an INTP. Most people who have met me don't believe that I am an introvert but in reality I am I just can fake being social really well. I am going to try out your links though and see what they say.

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  2. I took the first one and tested out as an ISTJ this time. Very interesting and pretty darn accurate. Especially when it says I am a perfectionist and a job in civil service would be a good fit (I'm a government employee).

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  3. I wonder how many of us there are that fake being social. It's very hard to get along in the world without doing so. It's interesting that your results changed. Do you think they changed because of your job or your life or that you just matured?

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  4. I took the test a long time ago and came out an INFJ. I bought the book and really learned about that type. I cried for hours when I finally figured out why I wasn't like other people. Only 2% of the population think like I do. It has made a world of difference in how I relate to the world and how people relate to me. It's OK to be different if you understand why.

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  5. The S and N were really almost exactly the same. I probably switch back and forth easily between the two categories. As for the J, I think as I get older, I am more critical of how others act although I have a high tolerance, I just know we all can be better.

    One descriptor I have found really accurate for Introvert vs Extrovert is that Extroverts get their energy from being around people and Introverts use all their energy being around people. I get so tired when I have to be "on" all day.

    I like learning about different personality types in order to be more effective communicating and working with others. Thanks for such a good post.

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  6. I love how knowing ourselves better has changed how we view the world. I feel like a bit of an outcast often because I hate shopping, reality shows, and am not very social. Now, it seems like the test makes me feel better about it. That's just who I am.

    That description is so accurate. It's exhausting being around other people. No one could understand why being a cashier was so hard and tiring for me.

    Thanks for commenting you two!

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