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 thoughts on “Personality Inventory

  1. 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.

  2. 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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