Personality Inventory

doug.jpgI spent all day yes­ter­day tak­ing a Myers-Brig­gs Type Indi­ca­tor [MBTI] class. The main rea­son for this was to escape Cubi­cle Land™. Results here­in forth­with.

Last time I took the MBTI I was at a career coun­selor and was in high school. The whole thing was pret­ty lame then, but it impressed my mom and she was pay­ing for it, so fair enough. I basi­cal­ly took a bat­tery of tests and then it told me what type of job would be best suit­ed to me. What Dr. Fade­ly end­ed up telling my moth­er and myself was noth­ing we didn’t already know. The impressed part came about because he could tell these things just by my test results. So basi­cal­ly the vis­it wasn’t nec­es­sary. I found out that I had a wide range of inter­ests and wasn’t par­tic­u­lar­ly suit­ed to any spe­cif­ic work area. Which is and was fine with me because col­lege shouldn’t be about being pre­pared for cor­po­rate work even though it is.

I was a strong INTJ back then when I took the test. Eight years lat­er, I’m mild­ly INTP.

Intro­vert­ed: Con­trary to pop­u­lar belief, intro­verts are not nec­es­sar­i­ly shy peo­ple. Intro- ver­sus Extra- ver­sion is con­cerned with ener­gy. Extraverts draw their ener­gy from inter­ac­tion with oth­ers. Intro­verts draw their ener­gy from with­in, focus­ing on con­cepts and ideas as opposed to peo­ple or events. Intro­verts com­pre­hend through intro­spec­tion and have depth of involve­ment as opposed to breadth of involve­ment with extraverts.

Intu­itive: Intu­itive peo­ple focus on big pic­ture items, abstrac­tions, search for ulte­ri­or and under­ly­ing mean­ings and appear to leap from one thought to anoth­er as opposed to Sensers [sen­sors, cen­sors censers?] who func­tion more empir­i­cal­ly, gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion from what the five sens­es tell them, trust­ing facts and evi­dence, tak­ing things lit­er­al­ly and method­i­cal­ly.

Think­ing: Thinkers weigh log­i­cal con­se­quences, often seem imper­son­al and detached, are con­cerned with objec­tiv­i­ty and jus­tice as opposed to the sub­jec­tiv­i­ty and com­pas­sion that are inher­ent to the Feel­ing type. Thinkers pre­fer frank­ness over tact and might appear cold-heart­ed and uncar­ing about the feel­ings of oth­ers.

Per­ceiv­ing: Per­ceivers are adapt­able, focused on the process instead of the goal, enjoys start­ing things but isn’t con­cerned with clo­sure and doesn’t like sched­ules. Judgers are more struc­tured, like dead­lines and sys­tem­at­ic goal-ori­ent­ed taks.

So on this MBTI gig, I switched from Judger to Per­ceiv­er. Not that any of this means much, at least to me. The results are too dual­is­tic, espe­cial­ly when, like me, a per­son isn’t par­tic­u­lar­ly strong in any area. I was mod­er­ate­ly Intro­vert­ed, mod­er­ate­ly Intu­itive, mod­er­ate­ly Think­ing and low Per­ceiv­ing. Basi­cal­ly I’m pret­ty well bal­anced. I am intro­vert­ed, I draw my ener­gy from with­in, but I enjoy hav­ing fun with peo­ple and I seem extravert­ed in the pop­u­lar sense because when I am with oth­ers I find lit­tle trou­ble talk­ing with them and enjoy­ing myself.

I am intu­itive in the sense that I search for seams on which to run my thoughts, places to pick at the prob­lems. I try to unrav­el some­thing instead of dis­sect­ing it. Which is only true to some extent. I toss out pos­si­bil­i­ties and when I find a like­ly seam, I become method­i­cal and very sens­ing in the process of resolv­ing it. I like clo­sure.

I’m a thinker, that is obvi­ous. But before I engage in the cold log­ic of Spock I deter­mine whether the sit­u­a­tion should have thought or feel­ing as its pri­ma­ry moti­va­tion. Then I act accord­ing­ly. So yes, I think at the imme­di­ate out­set, but I’m smart enough to real­ize that ratio­nal thought often has no place in an irra­tional world; and I don’t think irra­tional­i­ty is bad. Just so you know.

As for judg­ing and per­ceiv­ing, I’m just a bit more com­fort­able going with the flow, because it requires less effort. Judg­ing seems far too stress­ful to me, although when it is nec­es­sary I can make an instant deci­sion or a care­ful­ly planned excur­sion.

My basic beef with the test is that it is dual­is­tic and even though it is put on a con­tin­u­um you’re pref­er­ences are either one or anoth­er. For me my pref­er­ences cor­re­late with the sit­u­a­tion I am in. I act the way that is nec­es­sary. Also, MBTI only deals with per­son­al­i­ty, not oth­er aspects of what makes me me, like behav­ior, my fam­i­ly, my activ­i­ty lev­el, et cetera.

That’s all for now, I’m tired of typ­ing.

3 Replies

  • You may be cor­rect; I think I’ll go be alone for a bit where I can think this through on all sides and find some sort of way to adapt.

  • We had to take those at the begin­ning and end of school at CIA. Mine told me I should be a math­meti­cian or a sci­en­tist, not an artist or design­er. So — like an IQ test or any oth­er sort of assess­ment, they are very lim­it­ed in their uses. I also found myself think­ing most of the ques­tions were ambigu­ous and that I could answer more than one way, as in I wasn’t clear what was the most appro­pri­ate answer for me.

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