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Famous ESTPs include P. T. Barnum and DR. PETER OKOYE, SON OF THE LATE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA M. B. OKOYE
September 29, 2007 5:43 AM   Subscribe

Myers-Briggs personality types made relevant As you probably already know, the Myers-Briggs Personality Sorter is intended to be a general, universal personality ID that divides people into one of sixteen distinct personality types, along axes if introverted (I) or extroverted (E), Sensing (S) or Intuitive (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

Related: the Real Astrology.
posted by psmealey (161 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have to say, their description of INTPs isn't really all that different from serious ones.
posted by Arturus at 6:00 AM on September 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


The INFP one was okay till it got to the end.

Famous idealists include that girl in your sixth-grade homeroom who got the teacher fired for saying that girls aren't good at math; that guy in the cubicle next to yours who got the manager fired for saying that women don't make good employees; and Anais Nin.

I don't think ratting people out to get them fired is very typical INFP behavior. Making a witty comeback would be a more likely behavior, IMO. But I guess it's hard to know about these things exactly unless you are of the type they're talking about.
posted by Jess the Mess at 6:12 AM on September 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


I am an XNXX. Sort THAT, motherfuckers.

Seriously, I made the Sorting Hat throw up. It was... unpleasant.
posted by Eideteker at 6:15 AM on September 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


You should totally report them to their ISP, Jess.
posted by bonehead at 6:16 AM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't think ratting people out to get them fired is very typical INFP behavior.

I don't think it's the ratting out per se, it's the idealism and the need to be heard. The two INFPs I know are inveterate letter writers, so I can see how this connection might be made.
posted by psmealey at 6:18 AM on September 29, 2007


I could too fix a hole in a boat.
posted by Liosliath at 6:21 AM on September 29, 2007


I could fix the hole too, but I'd rather build the coconut reactor.
posted by MtDewd at 6:29 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


My ideal job is apparently Jedi Master. I knew it!
posted by bayliss at 6:34 AM on September 29, 2007


You think ISTJs are the Thought Police? Such dissent can not be allowed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:40 AM on September 29, 2007


I am INFP just like PRINCESS DIANA....WAIT She's Dead!
I haven't felt this bad since I failed the eHarmony test.
posted by Rancid Badger at 6:47 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Call me if you need help with that boat, guys. It'll have to wait until I get done with this new tazer Brandon wants. Usual rates will apply.
posted by bonehead at 6:47 AM on September 29, 2007


Whenever I take the M-B, I'm always very strongly introverted and intuitive, moderately perceiving (enough that I've never scored as judging), but my T/F score is right in the middle. At some times in my life I score on the feeling side, others on the thinking. Probably a bit more on the thinking side, though.

Apparently, I'm fascinated by the fascination of lattice quantum chromodynamics. Which, really, is quite true.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:48 AM on September 29, 2007


I'm an ENFJ, and it's true, I really do have a cult of my own!
posted by Hildegarde at 6:52 AM on September 29, 2007


I recognize two personality types: those who believe this sort of bullshit and people with some sense.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:05 AM on September 29, 2007


I recognize two personality types: those who believe this sort of bullshit and people with some sense.

Behold! My one-line snark is more powerful than the career work of Carl Jung, Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 7:09 AM on September 29, 2007 [9 favorites]


I had a tournament recently that had a player with the last name of Meyers, and a player with the last name of Briggs, and I set it up so that they would play each other and I could announce 'Meyers vs. Briggs'.

Nobody got it. Consarned Whippersnappers.
posted by ulotrichous at 7:10 AM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


Apparently I'm one of 3% of the population who is eNFp, a champion idealist.

Now all I have to do is sort out what the Hell I'm championing for, and I'll be totally set.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:11 AM on September 29, 2007


“I recognize two personality types: those who believe this sort of bullshit and people with some sense.”

That reminds me of the time, 20 years ago, when I was dubbing some tapes for my aunt of some lectures on a (even less reliable) personality sorting system. As I listened, I was thinking, "this is stupid, people are more complex than this, you can't fit all people into just four boxes" and the speaker got to my personality type and said that this personality type was probably thinking right now, as he/she listened, that this is stupid, people are more complex than this, you can't fit all people into just four boxes.

Of course, what she perhaps didn't realize is that her accurate prediction didn't invalidate my judgment.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:12 AM on September 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


"Famous INTPs include Pierre de Fermat and almost everyone who knows what Pierre de Fermat wrote in the margins of his book."

Wow, that hit home.
posted by eriko at 7:15 AM on September 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


Ohhh okay, so the first link says I'm a Scientologist! Yay! Pillow fights and orgies! That sounds like a lot more fun than I've been having lately.

So in light of this news, I now know exactly what I'm championing for. So before I leave for my first e-meter reading in order to begin my neverending journey to becoming a clear Level 8 Thetan, I would like to request that ignore my last comment or my lawyers will be descending upon your homes.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:19 AM on September 29, 2007


Jesus Christ. I'm a Scientologist. This is already shaping up to be the most depressing day ever.
posted by the dief at 7:25 AM on September 29, 2007


Hello, I'm from INTJ, and I'm here to tell you that you are all fired. Please clean out your desks. Larry from Security will help you carry your things to your car. Thank you, and goodbye.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:28 AM on September 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


I recognize two personality types: those who believe this sort of bullshit and people with some sense.

Behold! My one-line snark is more powerful than the career work of Carl Jung, Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers.


Unfortunately, it is true snark, even with those big names. It is utter bullshit.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:29 AM on September 29, 2007


I'm an ENTJ; apparently you should bow. Make it low.
posted by oxford blue at 7:31 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can I still be a Jedi if I don't have excellent hand-eye coordination?
posted by cmyk at 7:35 AM on September 29, 2007


Lots of fellow INFPs in here...
posted by naoko at 7:39 AM on September 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


Behold! My one-line snark is more powerful than the career work of Carl Jung, Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers.

When any of those tools make this into a falsifiable theory and do some respectable experiments to try and prove it, or base it on statistically valid data rather than anecdotes and their own ideas, maybe I'll start taking it seriously. Just because some people put their "career work" into something doesn't make it right.

Other people who have "career work": L. Ron Hubbard, Gene Ray "Dr. of Cubism", and you know who else.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:41 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, for something different there's also the Star Trek version.
posted by hodyoaten at 7:42 AM on September 29, 2007


The proper way to think of M-B is as a general outline with lots of grey areas. Few people are totally introverted or totally extroverted, they just have an inclination in one direction or another and in certain situations, can actually switch tendencies.

This has been your hourly reminder. ISTJ is watching you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:53 AM on September 29, 2007


So which of these types map to Chaotic Good?
posted by localroger at 8:04 AM on September 29, 2007


Who knew that James T. Kirk was a Scientologist too?
posted by miss lynnster at 8:08 AM on September 29, 2007


RECREATION: INTJs are often baffled by the strange and incomprehensible recreational rituals of other people, such as going to parties watching television, and having sex.

There, fixed it for you.

Yeah, the INTJ description was pretty typical. I remember taking the test and reading the description when I was about fourteen and being really really freaked out, then checking my house for listening devices. Not really, though, because I had already done so, and upon finding none, placed my own.

Plus, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that INTJs tend to know Fermat's Last Theorem as well.
posted by supercres at 8:09 AM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


It is utter bullshit.

You suck at having uninformed opinions. Candidly, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's bullshit, but people do tend to use it a little too broadly. It is in fairly wide acceptance by career counselors and psychologists, but I don't think it's ever used as anything more than a guide or a tool to look at an issue from a different perspective.

I don't think anyone ever, anywhere has taken the test, got an INTJ result and was told, "you must now be engineer, comrade." More like someone with that result might consider, if only for the moment, that he might consider a career other than that of a failed poet.
posted by psmealey at 8:14 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lots of fellow INFPs in here...

I was just thinking that. Seriously, I wonder how choosing to interact with people in a forum like MeFi predicts your personality type.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:18 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


COMPATIBILITY: Silly person, INTJs don't have relationships!

Ok, I lol'd.
posted by everichon at 8:33 AM on September 29, 2007


I am so fucking hardcore INTJ that I don't even talk to myself.
posted by briank at 8:41 AM on September 29, 2007 [6 favorites]


I like personality tests, because I am like Zaphod: Whenever I take one, it tells me I'm a pretty cool guy.

Fruitcake anyone?
posted by the number 17 at 8:42 AM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


INTJ:
The Outside Contractor: While it requires the driving will to conquer of an ENTJ to imagine the Death Star and the evil genius of an ENTP to invent its devastating weapons systems, the skill and technical prowess of the INTJ is what makes the whole thing work.
See, these are always the ones that suffer needlessly:
Randal: Well, the thing is, the first Death Star was manned by the Imperial army-storm troopers, dignitaries- the only people onboard were Imperials.
Dante: Basically.
Randal: So when they blew it up, no prob. Evil is punished.
Dante: And the second time around...?
Randal: The second time around, it wasn't even finished yet. They were still under construction.
Dante: So?
Randal: A construction job of that magnitude would require a helluva lot more manpower than the Imperial army had to offer. I'll bet there were independent contractors working on that thing: plumbers, aluminum siders, roofers.
Dante: Not just Imperials, is what you're getting at.
Randal: Exactly. In order to get it built quickly and quietly they'd hire anybody who could do the job. Do you think the average storm trooper knows how to install a toilet main? All they know is killing and white uniforms.
Dante: All right, so even if independent contractors are working on the Death Star, why are you uneasy with its destruction?
Randal: All those innocent contractors hired to do a job were killed- casualties of a war they had nothing to do with. (notices Dante's confusion) All right, look-you're a roofer, and some juicy government contract comes your way; you got the wife and kids and the two-story in suburbia-this is a government contract, which means all sorts of benefits. All of a sudden these left-wing militants blast you with lasers and wipe out everyone within a three-mile radius. You didn't ask for that. You have no personal politics. You're just trying to scrape out a living.
posted by deanc at 8:45 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


ENTJ here.
Somehow I never thought of myself as an evil overlord but there you go.

You know who else was .... ah forget it.
posted by sour cream at 8:48 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I would much rather be the Evil Overlord than the "tool of the evil empire", dammit! Remind me not to wear red shirts...

The Myers-Briggs is not going to get at your exact personality, of course, but it can be a general pointer. On one of my first days of class for my International MBA, the entire group took an extensive Myers-Briggs test - the one that takes like three hours to take. The following day, we were divided into groups by our MB types. It was pretty amazing that the INTJ group consisted of every member in my 9-person Chinese track and one guy from the Japanese track. All the Spanish/German/French track people were spread throughout the other types, but our little group stayed intact. Seeing new patterns before they become obvious, taking risks for high payoff, and aggressively seeking new strategies to succeed is what the MB test person said we all had in common.
posted by gemmy at 8:51 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can always pick out the NFs because they are most likely to call this sort of thing bullshit and are also most likely to completely drive me nuts if I have to work with them for more than 10 minutes. That goes double for you NFPs.
posted by Partial Law at 8:56 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Fellow ISTJs, we must crush this independent approach to Meyers-Briggs! Such out-of-the-box thinking is intolerable in an orderly society!
posted by tommasz at 8:59 AM on September 29, 2007


Yet another INFP here.

And I too agree that Friends was a stupid show.
posted by konolia at 8:59 AM on September 29, 2007


Strange, I took this test in College and was an ENTP and now I am an INTJ. Strangely I work for a consulting company and was at one of those outsourcing meetings this week.

Shit, I probably would make the death star work. Mind you the force could just pay me more and I would work for them.
posted by Deep Dish at 8:59 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


The problem with Meyers Briggs is it doesn't have any understanding of how strong your tendencies are in those general directions. Most people like near the middle of all 4 axes (I-E, N-S, etc.) so the INFP score just tells you you're off center in those directions, not by how much. You may be 51% introverted, or 80% introverted. So as a rule, the test isn't very helpful in any practical sense.
posted by knave at 9:02 AM on September 29, 2007


I like the descriptions on this site, especially the favored and disfavored careers.

Apparently I'm both introvert and extrovert. Or neither. I've taken several of these tests and I get the NTP part every time, but I and E always seem to be almost perfectly balanced. I still don't understand how how you can be both at the same time.
posted by snownoid at 9:02 AM on September 29, 2007


Most people lie near the middle...

Also, this is why you'll get I one day, E the next. Answer one question differently depending on mood, and the entire outcome is changed.
posted by knave at 9:04 AM on September 29, 2007


I like the descriptions on this site, especially the favored and disfavored careers.

You know, it's one thing to recognize my own job in the long list of "favored careers." It's especially creepy when I realize that I have had several of those jobs in the same list.
posted by deanc at 9:11 AM on September 29, 2007


It says that I am an ENTJ, which is absolutely correct. I am an evil overlord. (Though you only think I'm evil because I'm your overlord.) Any and all challenges to my authority will be investigated by my ISTJ's. They will give you the choice of becoming an ESTJ or an ISFJ. You can choose freely, but my ENTP will make you stick to it.

That is all.
posted by oddman at 9:15 AM on September 29, 2007


INFP.
posted by rougy at 9:19 AM on September 29, 2007


I was always told these represent preferred behaviors, rather than absolute behavioral descriptions. In other words, Introverts can still be outgoing in some situations, although they may not prefer to do so. People who are 50/50 probably don't have a truly preferred behavior in any situation.
posted by tommasz at 9:20 AM on September 29, 2007


As an ENTJ, it's about time you all got with the plan. Get to god damn work, and stop mucking about on the internet.

I didn't get this corner office by wasting time overanalyzing my navel, so stop with the posting and get back to work.
posted by Argyle at 9:23 AM on September 29, 2007


Instead, they prefer to spend their leisure time installing twin missile launchers in their cars to deter tailgaters

That's utterly misguided. A gun turret on the roof is the only way to go. Operate it with a little joystick near the dashboard, and you're ready for the commute.
posted by dilettante at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2007


I've taken this test a few times over the years, and usually i'm an intp, but i've also gotten infp. I think i'm basically an intp 'that cares'.
posted by empath at 9:26 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow snownold, that link had it nailed for me with the disfavored careers: "data analyst, scientist, researcher, financial advisor, business analyst, govt employee, office manager, mathematician, investment banker, office worker, computer tech, it professional, network engineer, strategist."

They are ALL things that other people will happily excel at while I will totally and completely suck at them by nature. I mean, the idea of me being a mathemetician is similar to the idea of George Bush being a brain surgeon. (Or a good President.) It's just not gonna happen.

Meanwhile, the favored jobs list covered pretty much everything I have ever trained to do for a living and every career I've ever toyed with pursuing.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:27 AM on September 29, 2007


ENFJ here, typified by this guy. That's my picture, actually.
posted by wsg at 9:34 AM on September 29, 2007


ooooooh! i've been waiting for this for a long time now: what are mefites' MB types?

i assumed that INxx would be the vast majority...

INFP here*, long ago identified as such - and explicitly self-identifying - and proud as all fuck about it.

*ESTJ when sleep or caffeine deprived
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:39 AM on September 29, 2007


I can always pick out the NFs because they are most likely to call this sort of thing bullshit and are also most likely to completely drive me nuts if I have to work with them for more than 10 minutes. That goes double for you NFPs.

shows how little you understand us.

but tell me you're not one of those awful robotic STJ anal-retentive fucktards, please!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:43 AM on September 29, 2007


I'm INFP also.

I took this test in high school; I don't remember anything about it other than it said I should be a counselor, or in the clergy.

12 years later, I take it again and I get the same results. It's like getting to watch myself miss my calling from all possible angles.
posted by hermitosis at 9:44 AM on September 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


INTJ, but N=50%, T=50%.

> That's utterly misguided. A gun turret on the roof is the only way to go.

Honestly, I think that's overreaching. It's my job to vaporize people driving badly right in front of me, but I don't feel any responsibility for vaporizing bad drivers three lanes over.
posted by jfuller at 9:49 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I think that's overreaching.

But how else do you efficiently deal with bad drivers in front, tailgaters, and the guy driving right beside you who probably couldn't color in the lines on his coloring book if he tried now that he's 40? Your other choice is to install multiple systems, and while that does provide some redundancy in case of system failure, it will clutter everything up....um. Not that I've thought about it all that much.
posted by dilettante at 9:54 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ten years ago I was an INFP, now I'm an INTJ. I've gone from Calvin to Hannibal Lecter.

Sweet.
posted by EarBucket at 9:57 AM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


SCIENTOLOGIST!!!! Damn, I wanted to be an Evil Overlord! Now I'm stuck with Tom Cruise (shudder). On the plus side, I now hold the keys to true knowledge, so I got that going for me.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:57 AM on September 29, 2007


Turns out I'm a DICK. WTF?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:01 AM on September 29, 2007


I still don't understand how how you can be both at the same time.

Don't think of them as square slots that are either/or. There more like rooms in big house. Some rooms you prefer more than others and spend time in them as opposed to them. You happen to have a couple of favorite rooms.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:03 AM on September 29, 2007


I've done MB a few times, and reliably come up ENT with J or P near the axis. On a scale of 0-10 I score 9 on E and 8 on N and T, so there's not a lot of room for variance there.

It makes for a difficult existence. Half the time I'm trying to bend nations to my will, but getting distracted by an interesting historical monument.
posted by athenian at 10:06 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you're willing to start from MB as basically meaningless, then of course it can't be bad. It has essentially no characteristics of useful psychometrics. It is not reliable: people will recategorize wildly based upon current mood, environment, etc. It is not internally valid: the data do not fall into "types" but rather a multidimensional normal. It is not externally valid: people reply based on how they like to think of themselves rather than how they actually are.

I think the negative reaction is from how people who buy into it use it to judge people. Oh, you're I\w\w\w, let me apply this ridiculous stereotype to you!
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:08 AM on September 29, 2007


but tell me you're not one of those awful robotic STJ anal-retentive fucktards, please!

But of course. By the way, has anyone seen the droids I'm looking for?
posted by Partial Law at 10:09 AM on September 29, 2007


I don't think it's ever used as anything more than a guide or a tool to look at an issue from a different perspective.

I don't think anyone ever, anywhere has taken the test, got an INTJ result and was told, "you must now be engineer, comrade."


The thing that I like about the typical use of the M-B in uni settings is pairing it with correlational data from people already in fields which in which they report a high degree of enjoyment. So, for example, as a split INFJ/INTJ, the top occupation for people with my personality type is... clergy. Hmm.

THIS IS BULLSHIT.
posted by dreamsign at 10:25 AM on September 29, 2007


also: ho-ho! home again!
posted by dreamsign at 10:26 AM on September 29, 2007


I liked catholic school girls, does that count a clergy?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:27 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am so fucking hardcore INTJ that I don't even talk to myself.


What's "talking"?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:30 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think the negative reaction is from how people who buy into it use it to judge people. Oh, you're I\w\w\w, let me apply this ridiculous stereotype to you!

Absolutely, which is why when I was forced to take the MB test years ago under some questionable circumstances, I gamed the test. And of course, as I expected, years later people are still trying to apply the ridiculous stereotype which does not have defensible validity.

In my experience, the MB categorization stuff is largely about putting people in pre-fab boxes, allowing people to feel justified for their behavior, life choices, attitudes, etc. It's like, "See? Of course I do such and such. I'm an EXYZ/IXYZ. It's who I am, it's what I do." It also allows people to justify their prejudices, "See? Of course I don't like them. They're a EXYZ/IXYZ. You know how they are."
posted by fuse theorem at 10:30 AM on September 29, 2007


I was given one of those fancy tests when I was in 8th grade that was supposed to tell me what I should be for a living. Everyone else got 4 or 5 career choices. I got two. Commercial artist or welder. I wasn't a good enough dancer to be a welder, though.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:31 AM on September 29, 2007


To be serious, it's more about how you use the information. If I just say "fucking NFPs, I can't work with them," then that's bad and useless. If I have to work with them anyway (because they're people and this is society and that's how the world works), understanding how they think and why they act in ways I find so infuriating can be very helpful. It lets me rethink my own approach, and if they can do the same when dealing with me, then more gets done and everyone is happier.
posted by Partial Law at 10:36 AM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


More damn experts telling me I should be a computer programmer. I hate programming.

I feel my inner Hannibal Lector coming out....
posted by IndigoJones at 10:37 AM on September 29, 2007


Aother Scientoloist, though I hate Scientology. And Tom Cruise. The rest of the description was disturbingly accurate, though (the "Real" description. The first link just kept going on about thetans.)
posted by Navelgazer at 10:43 AM on September 29, 2007


I'm either an ENFP or an INFP, depending on my mood when I take the test. This is all too accurate. "Occasional bursts of extroversion followed by a shocking moment of clarity and a horrified shrinking back from the grotesque, scarred face of humanity en masse" pretty much summarizes my approach to life thus far.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:43 AM on September 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


INTJ. No surprises there, although I think on a 'good' day I could easily be INTP.
posted by Green With You at 10:45 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Apparently I'm a Mad Scientist. These tests always tell me I'd be a good engineer, but so far the most complex thing I've managed to engineer is toast.

But it was EVIL toast. BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
posted by lekvar at 10:54 AM on September 29, 2007


I've always hated Myers-Brigs. My personality doesn't fit nicely into those boxes, and I think giving kids those tests, like in miss lynnster's experience, and then announcing to them what kind of person they are is just awful. I also think self-evaluated personality tests are just absurd anyway. I always recall the scene in the Sopranos where Janice and her therapist are outlining the gentle and sensitive way that Janice will ask Richie to move out, cut with the reality of her screaming and attacking him. I'm sure Janice would call herself a quiet peaceful who likes family time.

That said, this is funny. Love the real astrology.
posted by tula at 10:56 AM on September 29, 2007


I'm a Mastermind Rational! Which sounds like the worst DC Comics villain ever.
posted by Rangeboy at 10:57 AM on September 29, 2007


Actually, reading the 'official' description it seems that INTP is most likely my 'default' type as I'm way to introverted for that 'outside contractor' thing.
posted by Green With You at 11:05 AM on September 29, 2007


I'm a mind-reading idealist with poor social skills.

Yah, that fits.
posted by nax at 11:16 AM on September 29, 2007


INTJ with T=1, J=1. I don't even know what the hell that means.
posted by !Jim at 11:17 AM on September 29, 2007


I'm an ESFP. My husband is an INTJ. It's been interesting to say the least.
posted by LoriFLA at 11:23 AM on September 29, 2007


I am a unique snowflake.
posted by Nelson at 11:27 AM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


...I was all 'I've heard this before' until it got to the part about making my own friends.

It's like being caught with your hand inside the transistor jar.
posted by cobaltnine at 11:36 AM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


I always knew I identified with Captain Picard...now I have scientific proof!
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:40 AM on September 29, 2007


Actually, I found Myers-Briggs helpful in that it made me feel there was a precedent for my general personality; that I wasn't a total freak, which is what it can seem like sometimes if you're 1% of the total population and others in your same boat are pretty hard to get to know.

If there is a downside to Myers-Briggs it may be along the lines of what fuse thereom says: they use their prescribed personality type as an excuse for bad behavior. As an INFP, I have a natural predeliction for shyness and getting my feelings hurt: two things which, if I worked on getting over them, would greatly improve my quality of life.

I wonder if people's types get closer and closer to cusp as they improve themselves? Like, is the perfect person someone who's at 50% in each area?

Also, the Enneagram is another illuminating personality test which, instead of assuring you you're normal, focuses on everything that's wrong with you and tells why exactly everyone thinks you're an asshole.
posted by Jess the Mess at 12:04 PM on September 29, 2007


A more direct link.
posted by Jess the Mess at 12:05 PM on September 29, 2007


WOW I'm totally gonna post all these in my livejournal guys!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:36 PM on September 29, 2007


FWIW try this different Myers-Briggs assessment for (in my case) a wildly different result.
posted by flug at 12:41 PM on September 29, 2007


This title... I like it.
posted by spiderskull at 12:45 PM on September 29, 2007


One of the key parts of the MBTI (and I took the adminstrator training) is that, in the end, you choose whether or not the test is correct or not in discerning your type.

I think people don't get that disclaimer before receiving assessment results (and one reason why it used to be you couldn't take the assessment and receive results unless they were being administrated by a certified party). This is also why most MBTI assessments online are not 'official' or scientifically valid unless vetted by the CPP organization. (And a reason John Kiersey created the Kiersey temperment sorter which uses similar axes but hasn't been through rigor or evaluation for consistency)

Teaching the different preferences is very useful as a framework for talking about perspective and approaches to learning, working and living. Sure, the type can be used to 'excuse' your bad behavior - or it can provide insight into why you are the way you are and maybe you should stop focusing on what you aren't but on focusing on your strenghths (which dovetails into the whole Now Discover Your Strengths thingy and Gallup assessment).

Part of the model is also that as you mature you integrate the various polar opposites into your life. The MBTI assessment is valid in terms of internal consistency: testing the same people over several years yields consistent results.

I've always wanted to map the MBTI to the zodiac or to the DISC assessment or the StrengthsFinder (or even the Greek gods a la Gods in Everyman/Godesses in EveryWoman). All of these tools try and create a whole picture of the human experience - slicing along different axes.

Oh and hardcore INFJ here.
posted by ao4047 at 12:50 PM on September 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


Part of the model is also that as you mature you integrate the various polar opposites into your life. The MBTI assessment is valid in terms of internal consistency: testing the same people over several years yields consistent results.
That is interesting— I've taken the MBTI a few times (once in an official psychologist-run setting, a few times from random Internet websites) and I have been consistently drifting from my original INTP towards XNTX. Eideteker still has me beat, though.
posted by hattifattener at 1:16 PM on September 29, 2007


I always score INTJ—but I'm on the edge of being an INFJ. I'm the outside contractor who's been here just long enough to see the big picture, to know there's something going on here that I'm not sure I want to ---

*thump* *crack*

Unngh...[[slumps against the wall, blood pouring from temple]]
posted by limeonaire at 1:23 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


*groans, whispers* Just so you know.....I also read the book.....about Fermat's Last Theorem....

Also....I'm not the last one....I did have a few *ungh* ... friends... They told me ... about what's going on around here ...

[[slumps over]]
posted by limeonaire at 1:27 PM on September 29, 2007


INFP....damn. I so wanted to be an evil overlord.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:29 PM on September 29, 2007


Still a solid INTJ (outside contractor). I remember when I first learned I was an INTJ, I was horrified. Jane Austen? DONALD RUMSFELD?? Ewwwwww....

But realizing that I was an INTJ, and that most of my friends were probably not, turned out to be helpful in defining my identity. Myers-Briggs is totally my jam. Great post.
posted by Laugh_track at 1:37 PM on September 29, 2007


Limeonaire didn't fit in his slot and was disrupting the machine. We have corrected this.

Thank you for your cooperation. ISTJ loves you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:38 PM on September 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


Like miss lynnster, my mind went to my first career aptitude test. As I recall, it gave me two options: clergyman or hairdresser. Color me confused: Was I destined to get my mitts on women's scalps, or on their little boys' peepees?

P.S. Relax, "blondes" of America — you and your sons are safe.
posted by rob511 at 2:01 PM on September 29, 2007


Heh. INTP
posted by c13 at 2:09 PM on September 29, 2007


The thing that gets me about these tests is the questions are so dependent on interpretation:

You often think about humankind and its destiny

Well, if you mean what effect will the development AI have on history - yes. If you mean who will win when the xtians and the muslims go to war - nope. So long as they wipe each other out, I'm good for the next 10,000 years.

You feel involved when watching TV soaps

Yes if Buffy is the soap. No if Neighbours is the soap

You believe the best decision is one that can be easily changed

No if it matches the facts. Yes if it's just something you pulled out of your arse because something needed to be done or it's a black box situation where you're discovering via trial and error

You know how to put every minute of your
time to good purpose


Yes if knowing is sufficient. No if doing is required.

It's essential for you to try things with your own hands

No, if we're talking about believing man can travel to the moon. Yes if we're talking about getting the hang of complicated guitar fingering.

So put me down as MBSDB, the first two letters of which stand for Myers-Briggs and the last two letters of which stand for Donkey Balls
posted by Sparx at 2:22 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Took it two years ago: strong I, moderate N, strong T, weak J.
posted by wtdoor at 2:25 PM on September 29, 2007


Miss lynnster and rob511, feel lucky that you at least got two choices. I had to take one of those for a mandatory "Professional Behavior" class in college. I took it with a friend, who filled in more or less at random. I filled in all the "I like science" and "I like teaching" questions. We scored them together. My friend was told he should be a spy. I was told I was born to be a dental hygenist.

I haven't been to the dentist since. I don't want to get drafted.
posted by krakedhalo at 2:29 PM on September 29, 2007


Well, Laugh_track, my personality, according to the Meyers- Briggs, registered as INTJ as well. Not once, but twice, and 6 years apart. Horrified? You bet, but they'll have to wrestle my artistic license from my cold, dead hands.
posted by stagewhisper at 2:31 PM on September 29, 2007


Last time I took the MBTI, almost twenty years ago, I was almost off the chart on my Introvert score, and dead zero on my iNtuition/Sensing score. IxTx be me.

Sparx et al: MBTI (or improved versions thereof) show high validity, high correleation, etc. It's a damn good test, as these sorts of tests go.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:37 PM on September 29, 2007


Well, personality typology has changed my life for the better. I've been into it for years.

All personality is about is why we do what we do. So first, you see what people do. And you see that certain people prefer to do things a certain way, while others prefer the opposite. I don't see the problem with validity. People do stuff. That much is obvious. People do some stuff differently and some stuff similarly. Certain people do stuff

The reason people get I one day, E the next, is because it's a self-reporting instrument, and people mess up that sort of thing. It takes a really, really good test like the MBTI complete found here. I think working with a professional is much better than using testing. And if you don't want to pay anything or if you're just exploring, then using the best-fit type method is best. Compare different type descriptions.

Not to mention Keirseyan Temperaments, the Interaction Styles, the Enneagram (not related to Myers Briggs) and Socionics (my personal favorite Jungian type system, not for the weak of mind).
posted by Danila at 2:42 PM on September 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


Oh, and I'm an INFP. And while I would never, ever, ever try to get someone fired (that would require me holding a job longer than a few months and that's not happening), I have been known to write many letters to the editor and idealistic articles.
posted by Danila at 2:43 PM on September 29, 2007


MBTI is very, very useful as a hypnotic tool (the Enneagram is, also, but it's a little more hit-and-miss)-- get good with either of these systems, and you can start picking out people's personality types *before* they open their mouths... just based on body structure, clothing, gait, etc.

And once you've figured out their types, you can move them into receptive trance states rather quickly.

Most useful book on MBTI, the freakishly awful title notwithstanding, is Keirsey's "Please Understand Me".

INTP.
posted by darth_tedious at 2:46 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whatever I was saying about people doing stuff....I completely lost track mid-thought.
posted by Danila at 2:47 PM on September 29, 2007


ENFP, and decidedly silly, yes. Though in no way a Scientologist.

My boyfriend tested as ISTJ. Apparently he's not supposed to be able to handle chaos well. Well, he's handling my chaos pretty fine...
posted by divabat at 2:52 PM on September 29, 2007


I got ESFP. Which is ridiculous, as I've previously had INFP, and ENFP. I'm a computer programmer, for chrissake...
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:55 PM on September 29, 2007


...oh, and I work in the entertainment industry. As an artist. I have a masochistic streak a mile wide, it seems.
posted by stagewhisper at 3:07 PM on September 29, 2007


INTJ= not found often in employment screenings because they have learned to answer in the opposite way of what they are actually thinking in order to pass the employment screening tests.
posted by 517 at 4:23 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


stagewhisper, if it helps, you're definitely not alone.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:44 PM on September 29, 2007


God I hate binary.

"Do you feel more comfortable in large crowds than small groups?" Well sure, because it's easier not to be noticed. That doesn't mean I want to talk to as many people as I want.

I'm way nicer than an evil contractor, too.
posted by OrangeDrink at 4:52 PM on September 29, 2007


Also, from reading the number of INTJ's here who are involved in art (of which I'm one), I sorta maybe think that's kind of typical? a-anyone? right?
posted by OrangeDrink at 4:54 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


“I've taken this test a few times over the years, and usually i'm an intp, but i've also gotten infp. I think i'm basically an intp 'that cares'.”

Yay! Another INxP! And you call yourself empath. Heh.

I score so strongly in introversion and intuitive that these have never varied for me. Both are almost as far in that direction as they can be scored. Perception is moderately high, enough that my score doesn't vary there, either. It's just the F/T axis that is confused.

The thing is, though, is that this whole equal amounts of thinking and feeling is a key part of both my personality and my ethos. But my sense is that this is unusual. Most people really seem to lean strongly in either a primarily emotive or rational direction. I often feel like the rationals dislike me for my emotiveness and the emotionals dislike me for my rationalism. Here on MeFi, this combination in my personality is expressed by how I combine ultra-rational and analytical comments with anecdotes and touchy-feely stuff. But, to me, that's what life is.

Do other people who have always been right on the cusp of one of these (supposed) oppositions also feel like within themselves they aren't oppositions but, socially, they are and thus they are seen as "odd"?

Also, the introversion/extroversion axis is problematic, I think. It seems to me that there's actually two components to this—social energy and social competency. The best definition I've heard of the introversion/extroversion distinction is that introverts are exhausted by socializing while extroverts are energized by socializing. One reason I like this, besides that I think it's explicitly true, is that it doesn't involve social competency. An introvert can be socially competent (and I can be) or incompetent, depending upon, perhaps, life circumstance. And an extrovert can be socially incompetent, too.

I think this complication is why there's a lot of variability in how people score, over time, on that axis. At least that's my observation. Well, I'm also thinking of how people often say that they are often one or the other regardless of their score.

As to the utility of this class of tests...well, as said above and as demonstrated by peoples' anecdotes here, the results are not random. There is regularity in the scores, over time. Like so many things, this is only useful if it's properly used. Misused, it's crap.

Whatever personality trait it is that feels annoyed or even outraged at the inaccuracy, messiness, or even complete irrationality of stuff like this has greatly mellowed in me over the years. My rational judgment about stuff is the same, but I am much more accepting of the messiness and irrationality of other people than I used to be. Can people be forced into four or sixteen or, hell, two-hundred different boxes of personality types? Of course not.

But my thinking has been greatly affected about my comprehension of the nature of complexity. My great realization was that there is never a single all-encompassing, reductive truth about anything in the real universe. Complexity means that things exhibit different characteristic behavior at different levels of description. From that simple truth I devised my little personal theorem on this topic which is: for every purpose, there's an appropriate level of description. The MBTI is an appropriate level of description of peoples' personalities only for a limited purpose. It doesn't tell you who people “truly” are (again, my epistemology says this isn't possible).

One of those purposes is just the simple enjoyment of finding some regularity and comprehensibility in one's own personality. We wonder who we are and why we do the things we do and why other people are different and why, often, there seems to be a gulf between us. It's nice to point to something and say, hey, that makes sense.

I have reservations about using this in education or employment in anything other than a casual and non-determinative fashion, though. The potential for egregious misuse is too high.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:56 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


The problem I have with these tests is that people will usually answer them way they "think" they are which is drastically different from the person they are. If people really knew themselves there wouldn't be so many therapists making a living.
posted by any major dude at 5:01 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


any major dude - yeah, I've thought that too, but a dozen years ago, I had one of these test professionally administered to me, where the questions were all coke/pepsi-style preference questions, all value-neutral. I've gone over all the tests linked in this thread, and I always come out highly extraverted (which apparently doesn't mean the same thing as "exrtroverted, but rather has to do with whether you get energy from taking action of from breaks in action) moderately intuitive, highly feeling-centered, and slightly perceptive. I get this every time, just as I did from the psychologist when I was 15.

I think the questions are designed so that there isn't a right or wrong answer, unless you decide that there is, and you deciding that there's a right answer is relevant.

I don't know how applicable this is in any situation except for the purposes of better knowing oneself. Still, it's nice to know that my silliness, my irresponsibility, my great ideas and inability to follow through with them, my social interactions, my disorganization and even my slight anxiety over whether I'm really being myself, or even being too much of myself, in social situations, all has some sort of backing in research. And if it explains my Tom Cruise lovechild, all the better.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:31 PM on September 29, 2007


Do other people who have always been right on the cusp of one of these (supposed) oppositions also feel like within themselves they aren't oppositions but, socially, they are and thus they are seen as "odd"?

Yes. But that definition of "odd" is coming from someone else who is having trouble putting you in this slot or that slot. As such, you can seen the limitations of their thinking on the matter and pretty much ignore it or have a conversation, sometimes fascination, sometimes dull, about why they see the world in such a narrow slit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:49 PM on September 29, 2007


“As such, you can seen the limitations of their thinking on the matter and pretty much ignore it or have a conversation, sometimes fascination, sometimes dull, about why they see the world in such a narrow slit.”

Sure. But the INFP part of me wants people to be big-hearted in their rationalism and the INTP part of me wants people to be rational in their passion. But it's always either/or. The INTP part of me says, well, that's the way it is. The INFP part of me wants everyone to open themselves up to the full range of cognitive experience, rational and passionate, practical and idealistic.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:31 PM on September 29, 2007


MBTI is very, very useful as a hypnotic tool (the Enneagram is, also, but it's a little more hit-and-miss)-- get good with either of these systems, and you can start picking out people's personality types *before* they open their mouths... just based on body structure, clothing, gait, etc.

And once you've figured out their types, you can move them into receptive trance states rather quickly.


hypnosis? receptive trance states? wtf?

roughly on the topic of picking peoples' personality types before they speak, i remember briefly dating a psych hons graduate once, who was MBTI trained & worked as a corporate HR consultant in that exact field. i think we were about ten minutes into the first date when she picked my type correctly. i was already a bit of a fan of MBTI, but that pretty much sealed it.

i like to think that if & when i need or want to put my mind to it, i can pretty much guess somebody's type within a pretty short period of time - not for the purposes of pigeonholing them into the broad category descriptions, but because it can sometimes be very useful for knowing how best to deal with them.

for example, in the corporate world, if you need to explain something to some managerial type, it's very important to know whether they want detailed facts (S) or a story or metaphor for the situation (N). for big & small R relationship issues, J/P is important, because Js get flustered if their mental schedules & checklists for what-i-need-to-do-today are disturbed, whereas a P is far more flexible & go-with-the-flow, and even tends to actively resist too much scheduling & planning.

so, this kind of typology helps, at least, to understand where people are probably coming from, or what kind of communication or action they prefer in most situations.

and Ethereal Bligh: great comment. i was hoping you'd weigh in on this, because i knew you'd come up with a nice, balanced comment. FWIW, i also score about 50/50 on F/T, but i had another corporate MBTI person say that any male who's on that cusp might as well be plonked into the F bucket, because T is characteristically a male zone, and F female, so any male who strays even half-way towards F is already going significantly against the grain (of societal expectations etc) and would probably be far more F if raised in a vacuum, free of such gender expectations. make what you will out of that.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:40 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


UboRoivas, that's very interesting, and not unexpected. Supposedly, long ago, I scored both more masculine than average and more feminine than average on the MMPI. I've never quite gotten my head around that, but it seems right.

It's certainly true that there is a correspondence between M/F and T/F. I think you can really see this clearly in conversational styles on the Internet, where men tend to the abstract and impersonal and women tend to the concrete and personal. Which pretty much reduces to men arguing politics and women socializing. What bugs the shit out of me is that each side has little tolerance for the other. I think men are more intolerant than women, but quite a few women don't have much patience with highly abstracted, analytical discussions. And people with strong affinities one way or the other end up making these stupid value judgments about it.

My own experience/reactions and preferences are that I feel stifled and alienated whenever the environment is too much in one direction or the other. I think that MetaFilter could use a big dose of more friendly chit-chat and personal anecdotes and such, while, in contrast, I can only take MetaChat in smaller doses because I get overwhelmed by that stuff. I have a higher tolerance for the abstraction side—I think I have a small affinity, quite small but distinct, to the T side. Even so, my ideal world is, say, 60% T and 40% F. And those are perhaps raw quantities—I'm not sure that the 40% F isn't about exactly as valuable as the 60% T. To me, that F is sort of an anchor, something which provides necessary context. I also think there's an affinity in my personality between that F component and the strong N (intuitive) component.

I'm impressed that you actually use this typology as an interpersonal tool. I suspect that I ought to do so, but I mostly attempt to navigate the same waters on instinct. Probably not that successfully.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:14 PM on September 29, 2007


I'm impressed that you actually use this typology as an interpersonal tool.

I only rarely use it deliberately & consciously, if we're talking to the point where I'll try to guess where somebody lies on all four axes. However, I think elements of it are often running as unconscious background processes, and used at that "appropriate level of description" that you describe.

To return to my previous examples, in the business world, you can literally see an S's eyes glaze over if you're coming across too theoretical & abstract, and when you switch to concrete details like KPIs & percentages & whatnot, they immediately spark up again. Conversely, Ns cut you short when you focus too much on detail, with "OK, yeh, but what's the big picture? What meaning do we get out of this? Are we just shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic, or what?"

And in the social space, a P is the kind of person who will text you five minutes before you were due to meet, saying that something else came up & they're on the other side of town. That behaviour would drive a J up the wall, and they'd be expected to react harshly. The thing is, because a P is quite simply just like that, they can often forget that others are different & expect everybody to be like them. Cancel on a P in that manner, and they'll respond along the lines of "oh, ok, maybe we'll meet up next week, then" - no issue there, because in the P model of the world, everything is flexible.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:35 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer, I'm sure these test do work well for some people but they never work for me. Maybe they would if there was a third option: "sometimes"
posted by any major dude at 7:43 PM on September 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


(one last quick word because i've gotta run: the second MBTI consultant type i mentioned before mentioned that the most impressive person they'd come across in the business world was one who was equally comfortable in all 8 poles, and could switch between (behaving in) them at will, even within the same meeting, so as to engage each individual in exactly the kind of manner that the other person was most comfortable with. some food for thought in that...)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:45 PM on September 29, 2007


You share a basic personality configuration with Jean-Luc Picard

My life is complete.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 8:37 PM on September 29, 2007


INTJ here.

And yeah, when I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to literally build robot friends who could understand me better than the loud, obnoxious, shallow meatbags around me.

Still do, actually.

I'd suggest that all the INTJ's of the world would band together to create an invincible army of attack droids to conquer the world .... but the more I think about it, it'd be a really bad idea.

Mostly the first meeting wouldn't work out because each one of us would split off into our own private space and start working on 10,000 brilliant but redundant projects at the same time. If we ever did manage to conquer the world, we'd all just sort of sit around and think about the terrible future that we had just created.

It'd be a pretty lame scheme, I think.
posted by Avenger at 8:43 PM on September 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


UbuRoivas: You may have just described the entire root of my discontentment with my current group of friends.

In other news...I'm looking at the timestamp on this comment's preview, and it's like 12 minutes late. 11:12 vs. the actual time of 11:24 p.m. Wha?
posted by limeonaire at 9:25 PM on September 29, 2007


(Hm. And then it posted at 11:25. It just struck me as odd, 'cause there's no way I spent 12 minutes on my one-line answer.)
posted by limeonaire at 9:25 PM on September 29, 2007


I am single and would like to combine all of you into one pretty girl.
posted by Deep Dish at 9:28 PM on September 29, 2007


that's what i often think of metafilter.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:23 PM on September 29, 2007


I can be a pretty girl, Deep Dish.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:28 PM on September 29, 2007


I'm impressed that you actually use this typology as an interpersonal tool. I suspect that I ought to do so, but I mostly attempt to navigate the same waters on instinct. Probably not that successfully.

I agree, it's impressive. Well I can't really use MBTT alone as an interpersonal tool. That's very hard for me to do. The closer I am to someone, the more complex they seem.

However, I can use a combination of MBTT, Socionics (intertype relationship theory based on Jung) and Keirseyan Temperament Theory (especially as modified by Linda Berens). If I also take into account Interaction Styles, then I can type just about anyone. But I'm naturally good at seeing the essence of people. Typology just gives me a framework I can articulate.

"The Art of Speedreading People" is the best book I've found if you want to figure out other people's types. David Keirsey's "Please Understand Me II" is probably the second best, although I personally think the descriptions are biased toward Ns.

I'm not trying to ignore your self-experience Ethereal, but are you familiar with other, complementary theories like Keirsey? I personally think it's useless to decide between T/F. It only works with obvious people (Mr. Spock vs. Britney Spears). NT and NF are easier to differentiate. When I compare your posts to the sort of thing found at intp.com, well, I lean away from thinking you're an INTP. Although there are a few milder ones there. You seem more like a male INFP to me.

Although your age is a factor. Best to tell type before the person hits their 30s. Still, a lot of male infps write like you, especially in an atmosphere like metafilter. I'm probably biased because I want you to be an INFP like me. I really like your long posts. Not everyone appreciates a lengthy, meaty post as I'm sure you know. I have to work hard to keep my posts short out of courtesy to others. But this is something of a late-night post, so it's okay I think.

I'm trying not to be too scattered here. This is a big hobby-horse topic of mine, and I find that when I'm really into something, I become less articulate. Sort of like I want to say everything and end up saying none of it well. And I'm much better at writing than speaking.

Okay, back to INFP vs. INTP. Can't use Interaction Styles theory, as both of those types prefer a behind-the-scenes style. The other styles are chart-the-course (an example - ISTJ, INTJ, etc.), in-charge (ENTJ, ESTJ, etc.) and get-things-going (ESFJ, ESFP, etc.).

Hmm. According to "The Art of Speedreading People" TPs and FJs tend to extravert their feelings when they use them. Whereas FPs and TJs do not. I've noted that in social situations, while both of these types tend to be quiet, when INTPs do get involved, they show much more willingness to show emotion or manipulate the emotions of others (like telling jokes, especially wisecracks). That's extraverting feeling. Whereas INTJs really don't let on how they feel, and can come across as cold or out of it. FPs and TJs are more about depth of feeling, TPs and FJs are more about immediate feeling.

This is turning into a veritable manual, so I'll go to bed now.
posted by Danila at 12:28 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nice comment, Danila. Take a look at my comments in the plane/conveyor belt thread. Am I like an NT or an NF in that thread?

I'm pretty sure that when I was younger, I consistently scored as an INFP. I might be wrong. But that's what I remember. Even so, I was very close to the middle.

Now when I take versions of the test, I score INTP but very close to the center. Again, I may be misremembering, though.

It's interesting that you think I'm a male NF and UboRoivas makes the case that I'm a feminine NT.

It's hard to think that in most ways I'm not a stereotypical INTP. I'm extremely intellectual and rational compared to most people. And things like theoretical physicist and mathematician are accurate descriptions of my tendencies. I usually feel like those are the people I should have been.

But that rational structure seems to me to be either something overlaid upon an NF core, or, alternatively, it is a kind of skeleton of my personality where NF is the muscles and blood and sinew and nutrients. I rather like the latter analogy, actually.

Even so, when I read descriptions of INTPs and INFPs, the former seem to resonate more with me. Sure, I have written substantial poetry. I'm an idealist and can be very romantic and I love people (though I don't always want to be socializing with them). But I'm far more like your stereotypical good-natured, absent-minded theoretical physicist than I am your good-natured, absent-minded poet.

Also, I think I may push back a bit in environments that I think are far too biased in one or the other direction. I try to bring F qualities to strong T environments, and vice-versa.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:23 AM on September 30, 2007


I can be a pretty girl, Deep Dish.

Jet dirtynumbangelboy jet dirtynumbangelgirl
Im gonna take you round the world
Jet dirtynumbangelboy Im gonna make you penetrate
Im gonna make you be a dirtynumbangelgirl
Ooooohhhh
Jet dirtynumbangelboy jet dirtynumbangelgirl

posted by UbuRoivas at 1:30 AM on September 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


ENFJ: The Cult Leader

Yeah, that's about right.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:11 AM on September 30, 2007


INTP here. We suck.
posted by tehloki at 8:20 AM on September 30, 2007


Good god, folks, the MBTI isn't an invariable life-time rule of behaviour. At best it is indicative of the tendancies or fall-back behaviours one naturally assumes. Further, the on-line tests are not necessarily true to the real-life tests one would access through a qualified professional.

At University, all these tests were kept under lock and key. One had to visit a special library to access them, could not administer them willy-nilly, and certainly didn't get to haul the answer keys away.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:15 AM on September 30, 2007


I took the test again and was moderately surprised/pleased to see my score was the same as it was when I was 16.

INTJs reprasent!
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 10:52 AM on September 30, 2007


As a HR consultant my organisation works with often says : "All models are wrong, but some models are useful". That's where I am with MBTI.
posted by athenian at 11:09 AM on September 30, 2007


“Good god, folks, the MBTI isn't an invariable life-time rule of behaviour. At best it is indicative of the tendancies or fall-back behaviours one naturally assumes.”

Who said otherwise? Why do you think you need to patronize the people in this thread by reprimanding them so?

If I was discussing some aspects of my personality as something like “invariable lifetime rules of behavior” (which for the most part I was not), I only did so because my actual behaviors in those regards have been pretty invariant over my lifetime, regardless of what the test says or doesn't say.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:14 AM on September 30, 2007


At University, all these tests were kept under lock and key. One had to visit a special library to access them, could not administer them willy-nilly, and certainly didn't get to haul the answer keys away.

Stop him! He's flippantly using library materials! Alert the president.
posted by oxford blue at 6:30 PM on September 30, 2007


There seem to be a lot of people in this thread who believe the test is (a) invalid simply because they think it must be on some gut level; (b) invalid simply because they sometimes behave differently than the test would indicate; (c) invalid because they've taken some unauthorized knock-off test that didn't return the results they got; (d) invalid because of some other silly reason.

The MBTI (or the Kiersey, I should say) is a very well-studied test that has statistically significant validity across a range of metrics. Those who are pooh-poohing it simply don't know what they speak of.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:04 PM on September 30, 2007


Or "of what they speak," if one wanted to be a bit more grammatical about it...
posted by five fresh fish at 9:04 PM on September 30, 2007


Also, because I'm lazy and don't want to go digging through boxes of ancient course notes, can someone more hip to the stats confirm that we've an unusually high proportion of INTJs in this thread? Seems we're crawling with 'em, when I seem to recall they're fairly rare in the general population. It'd be interesting to me to learn that MeFi is skewed...
posted by five fresh fish at 9:07 PM on September 30, 2007


I'm a classic ENTP, switching to ENTJ when I'm in a bad mood. Just be glad I don't have access to biotoxins in my lab.

(And yeah, I noticed the abundance of introverts here, particularly the NTJ types. You introverts confuse me, I never know how to react properly.)
posted by shelleycat at 12:26 AM on October 1, 2007


The MBTI (or the Kiersey, I should say) is a very well-studied test that has statistically significant validity across a range of metrics. Those who are pooh-poohing it simply don't know what they speak of.

In the absense of any actual evidence to back fff up, I'm just going to be lazy and point at wikipedia and say, o rly?
posted by Sparx at 3:02 AM on October 1, 2007


can someone more hip to the stats confirm that we've an unusually high proportion of INTJs in this thread? Seems we're crawling with 'em, when I seem to recall they're fairly rare in the general population. It'd be interesting to me to learn that MeFi is skewed...

that could be true. i remember one MB site where people were asked to check a box to declare which type they belonged to, and around 80% of visitors were INFPs, despite us making up only 1-3% of the population, so it's self-selecting. INFPs are interested in this kind of stuff, it seems.

as for metafilter, it probably appeals more to Ts than to Ss. as for J/P, i dunno. the procrastinatory nature of metafilter suggests that INTP might be the most represented, unless the Js browse at set periods during their day.

but yeh, mefi would definitely be skewed towards INxx, without a doubt.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:25 AM on October 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


(more to Ts than to Fs, i meant)
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:29 AM on October 1, 2007


one other thing: "Famous idealists include that girl in your sixth-grade homeroom who got the teacher fired for saying that girls aren't good at math; that guy in the cubicle next to yours who got the manager fired for saying that women don't make good employees; and Anais Nin"

Jess the Mess: "I don't think ratting people out to get them fired is very typical INFP behavior"


one of the sites out there includes a snippet like this "INFPs hate conflict & will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it". getting somebody fired is an intrinsically conflictual sort of behaviour, and quite out of character, i think. on the other hand, campaiging against discrimination is exactly up our alley.

oh, and anais nin is wonderful.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:34 AM on October 1, 2007


always worth bearing in mind this (wiki):

In 1948, psychologist Bertram R. Forer gave a personality test to his students, and then gave them a personality analysis supposedly based on the test's results. He invited each of them to rate the analysis on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) as it applied to themselves: the average was 4.26. He then revealed that each student had been given the same analysis:

“You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.”

Forer had assembled this text from horoscopes.

posted by UbuRoivas at 6:31 AM on October 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


I tell people that I'm an IHOP.

Screw the stupid 4 letter labels.
posted by drstein at 10:48 AM on October 1, 2007


I'm an INFJ and I know what you're up to. All of you.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:31 PM on October 1, 2007


In the absense of any actual evidence to back fff up, I'm just going to be lazy and point at wikipedia and say, o rly?

The Kiersey, then, which is based on and refines the MBTI. One way or the other, I distinctly remember learning a lot about how well it measured up against other tests and how this tended to indicate it was of good quality.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:36 PM on October 1, 2007


A lot of us here have described a pretty high level of reliability of the test over time and test-taking. Of course, those interested in discussing the test are likely to be self-selected among those who have had better experiences with the test.

It is what it is. I think it's clearly not useless. It has some utility. I try to avoid going beyond that utility and when I talk about this test, pretty much anything like it, I'm careful to talk about the limits, too. It's not black-and-white, we don't live in a black-and-white world, no matter how much people wish that we did.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:17 PM on October 1, 2007


I always KNEW I was destined to be an evil overlord!!!
posted by StacieGlassman at 7:29 AM on October 8, 2007


MBTI is easier to use correctly when you remember that these are really categories of personal tendencies, not categories of personalities.

INTJ is overrepresented on the Internet, and when you build a place like MeFi (minimalist and catering to the curious intellectual) and have a discussion about turning humans into nifty four-letter codes, it's no surprise to see them pop up in numbers.
posted by zennie at 2:02 PM on October 10, 2007


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