diagnose your blog.
December 22, 2008 11:48 AM   Subscribe

What type is that blog? Apply the classic psychological assessment Myers-Briggs Test and its sixteen personality types to your blog.

Metafilter is ISTP. AskMe is ISTJ and so is MetaTalk. Music is ESFP.
posted by lunit (55 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Neat idea and my blog was pretty spot on. Of course, guessing that someone on the internet is left-brained is probably a good strategy anyway, as you'd be right 80% of the time.

You might like this artist!

ISTP Blue?
posted by DU at 11:53 AM on December 22, 2008

Then again, Slashdot.org got:

The charming and trend savvy type. They are especially attuned to the big picture and anticipate trends. They often have sophisticated language skills and come across as witty and social. At the end of the day, however, they are pragmatic decision makers and have a good analytical abilitity.

Except for "trend", I don't think a single word of this is right.
posted by DU at 11:56 AM on December 22, 2008 [3 favorites]

Goatse.fr is "ENFJ - The Givers".
posted by benzenedream at 11:57 AM on December 22, 2008 [12 favorites]

My personality type is usually INTJ. This thing thinks that my blog is ESTP. If I put in different posts rather than the front page, it thinks it's one of three: ESTP, ISTP, or INTP.

I believe Typealizer has problems.
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:58 AM on December 22, 2008

Can I apply the Forer effect to blogs too?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:58 AM on December 22, 2008 [3 favorites]

This is a case where I think an analysis of the method would be more interesting than the results. My guess is that this is most likely keyword based, so it would be neat to see all of the words that tend to correspond to the different personality types, or see which personality type would be most likely to use a given word.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:59 AM on December 22, 2008

Q: What does BETA mean?
A: It means that, despite all the gibberish up above, this is ultimately powered by a random number generator and a deep faith in the Forer effect.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:03 PM on December 22, 2008 [4 favorites]

Wait a minute. Are those calling "Forer" calling it on this app in particular or on Myers-Briggs in general? If the former, I don't see why it would be all that difficult to use keywords such as those for emotions, activities, etc fit one of 16 categories. If the latter, sure, maybe. Looks like there's some disagreement over how valid this classic test is.
posted by DU at 12:07 PM on December 22, 2008

posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:12 PM on December 22, 2008

Can I apply the Forer effect to blogs too?

Oh! There's a term for being a hater!

I don't actually take this seriously.

My blog is ESTP.

posted by lunit at 12:12 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Myers-Briggs: 20 tons of meh.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:13 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have some friends who rave about Myers-Briggs (to the point of joining a forum JUST for his personality type) and some who regard it as quasi-mystical mumbo-jumbo. Me, I think it has at least some validity. At the very least, it gets you to think about why you think the way you do, which usually has some value.

The Typealizer, on the other hand, identified my blog as an ESTP. Considering that when I take Myers-Briggs tests, I end up about as strongly NF as it's possible to be, I think we can safely say there are some... problems with the algorithm as it stands.
posted by Scattercat at 12:15 PM on December 22, 2008

Myers-Briggs is a bunch of bullshit which has become an HR meme through clever marketing (and the appeal of the Forer effect, as mentioned earlier).
posted by benzenedream at 12:16 PM on December 22, 2008 [5 favorites]

ESFJ. Not seeing it.
posted by maxwelton at 12:22 PM on December 22, 2008

I'm generally in the camp that is willing to believe that the Myers-Briggs can point to certain, vague trends, but I don't see it offering any more deep insights into someone's personality than I would generally pick out after spending a few hours with a person social setting.

Typealyzer on Typealyzer: Yes, I just put its own address back into it. Here's what it has to say:

ESTJ - The Guardians

The organizing and efficient type. They are especially attuned to setting goals and managing available resources to get the job done. Once they´ve made up their mind on something, it can be quite difficult to convince otherwise. They listen to hard facts and can have a hard time accepting new or innovative ways of doing things.

I guess there's no point in trying to argue with them about how accurate their mehod is...
posted by Avelwood at 12:26 PM on December 22, 2008

What is a "blog"?
posted by Postroad at 12:30 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you think you are the same on your blog as you are in real life....well....are you?

I'm not. (or wasn't, perhaps I'm a bag example right now)


And for those hating on Myers-Briggs....I take it you've never used it to resolve or avoid an argument? It's very useful for that kind of stuff, which is why teaching it is a multi-million dollar industry.
posted by wah at 12:31 PM on December 22, 2008

wah- I have used Myers-Briggs to resolve or avoid arguments, back when I believed in it. And after looking into things more closely I can say that 1) it's neither a reliable nor a valid instrument and 2) resolving and avoiding arguments can be done to equal effect without relying on ideas with as little basis as its system of typology.

Myers-Briggs is kind of like Freud- everyone else seems to like it so much more than actual psychology researchers do.
posted by Jpfed at 12:49 PM on December 22, 2008 [5 favorites]

Put me in the quasi-mystical mumbo-jumbo camp, I suppose, but for me the only personality types that count are "people who need personality tests to tell them about themselves" and "people who don't."
posted by marginaliana at 12:50 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


The way I think of it is that personalities are a spectrum. Like the spectrum of visible light, existing around 400 to 700 nanometers. Within that spectrum are definable colors:


That's all Myers-Briggs does, is try and get at those personality colors. No one says that light of wavelength 401 and 407 nm is the *exact same light* of the *exact same color* but it does look fairly similar.

When you understand the kind of light you are dealing with, it is easier to come up with the correct counterargument in a given situation. You know what to add to it to make the light white again.

It's just trying to boil down eight years of studying Jungian psychology into a four-hour seminar that half the people will sleep through (and good teachers can identify which students are most likely to nod off...).
posted by wah at 12:56 PM on December 22, 2008

posted by fixedgear at 1:01 PM on December 22, 2008

I have several blogs, this gives different results for each blog. Widely variant, and has also given the same blog different results. Not terribly accurate, I think.
posted by jzb at 1:02 PM on December 22, 2008


The Typealyzer, she is broke.
posted by deborah at 1:20 PM on December 22, 2008

Most blogs, by the nature of blogging, are going to be ESTP: The Doer


The Doer

As an BLOG, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things rationally and logically.

BLOGs are outgoing, straight-shooting types. Enthusiastic and excitable, BLOGs are "doers" who live in the world of action. Blunt, straight-forward risk-takers, they are willing to plunge right into things and get their hands dirty. They live in the here-and-now, and place little importance on introspection or theory. The look at the facts of a situation, quickly decide what should be done, execute the action, and move on to the next thing.
BLOGs have a strong flair for drama and style. They're fast-moving, fast-talking people who have an appreciation for the finer things in life. They may be gamblers or spendthrifts. They're usually very good at story telling and improvising. They typically makes things up as they go along, rather than following a plan. They love to have fun, and are fun people to be around. They can sometimes be hurtful to others without being aware of it, as they generally do not know and may not care about the effect their words have on others. It's not that they don't care about people, it's that their decision-making process does not involve taking people's feelings into account. They make decisions based on facts and logic.
posted by wah at 1:26 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

BTW, I'm guessing they use the links to determine the nature of Extroverted vs Introverted. MeFi would be an I, because of all the links that point inward (at least one on every post).
posted by wah at 1:29 PM on December 22, 2008

Does not having a blog mean I have no personality?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:56 PM on December 22, 2008

It goes the other way around, if you have no personality, you hate personality tests. The anti-Forer efffect, if you will.
posted by wah at 2:05 PM on December 22, 2008

Also, via their FAQ another site that uses the same engine is GenderAnalyzer. It seems to think that most of MetaFilter is quite a boyzone, especially MetaTalk.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:06 PM on December 22, 2008

You know who else was an INTP?
posted by klangklangston at 2:09 PM on December 22, 2008

Jezebel.com via the Typealizer: "ISTP: The Mechanics... They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters."
posted by terranova at 2:11 PM on December 22, 2008

Take the MBTI® Instrument


"Assume the position. Bite the pillow. Now... take the instrument.

(I didn't take the test, because I don't want to spend the $75 or have a long chat with their representative, but my diary comes out as ESFP. Which it would, as it's an online diary.)
posted by Grangousier at 2:21 PM on December 22, 2008

There are a billion free adaptations of the test online.
posted by lunit at 2:23 PM on December 22, 2008

You know who else was an INTP?

posted by wah at 2:28 PM on December 22, 2008

Some 19 year old girl was trying the other night to explain to me the value of personality tests and telling me she was an INTP. I told her I was a BAMF and walked away before she could put the acronym together.

Wah, I don't think it makes me a "hater" to state that this is an unscientific and unfounded test full of biases and flowering with ill-advised uses. I'm sure some people have gained genuine insight from it and made use of it in crafting reasonable solutions to conflicts, but the same could be said of Astrology or Fortune Cookies, or (god-forbid!) Religion. None of which I have any problem with people using to figure themselves out, but all of which should not brandish rationality as their basis.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:29 PM on December 22, 2008

I'm aware of the Forer effect, but if a test told me I was anything but INTP, I would say the test fucked up. It's not impossible for a person's personality to be described; don't think that it is impossible or stupid to think so just because there is a tendency towards confirmation bias.
posted by tehloki at 2:39 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

The Typealizer, on the other hand, identified my blog as an ESTP. Considering that when I take Myers-Briggs tests, I end up about as strongly NF as it's possible to be, I think we can safely say there are some... problems with the algorithm as it stands.

This was my experience. I plugged in a group blog where I post occasionally -- one where I'd consider all the authors to be solidly NT types -- and we got an SF reading from Typealyzer. Is it that the Typealyzer methodology sucks (likely), or that we use the blog as an outlet for discussion on topics that don't often get to play in the forefront of our lives (but also true)? Shrug. I don't really have the give-a-shit to ponder it further than that.

Notice that I didn't offer Option #3 ("MBTI is a big load of hooey") because I happen to find value in it, much along the lines that wah mentioned up thread. I don't have to be able to identify the hex codes of all X0,000 colors distinguishable by the naked human eye to acknowledge that you can class them into about 10 different color families.

I didn't know MBTI was something that People Felt So Strongly About. It's one thing to suggest "MBTI = Forer effect"... and another to say "bunch of bullshit," "anyone who believes in it is sheeple who needs other people to tell them what they think," and so on. What is so offensive about a taxonomy for psychological archetypes?

Additionally, it doesn't have to be ground-breaking hard science to work as an HR tool or however people use it; why should that somehow diminish its value, to those who find value in it? As Potomac Avenue pointed out: if in order to self-examine I choose to read tea leaves or the Bible or take quizzes on Stardoll, and I derive some sort of insight from that, and as long as I'm not holding it up as High Objective Truth, who cares?

By the way, the link provided above by benzenedream, in case you did a quick click-n-scan, is not actually any sort of published paper or document with a provenance worth mentioning. It's essentially a set of glorified blog comments.... and also one that takes issue, not with the concept that personality types can be identified at all, but whether the bimodality (either/or) built into the MBTI is valid as an instrument. So, you know.
posted by pineapple at 2:40 PM on December 22, 2008

MBTI isn't all that useful for purposes of self-analysis, let alone self-improvement. The questions it employs are so clunky and obvious that they are essentially invitations to self-definition.

That said, the categories it creates are so simple that you can apply them to people with a fair degree of accuracy without ever having to formally test those people. And much more to the point, these categories are *very* potent, when applied informally and conversationally, for the purposes of persuasion.

Next Up: Mercenary Armies, and Their Little Celebrated Salutary Effects.

[Back to this particular app: There might actually be one mildly useful application for it. Point it at a sales site-- if the result isn't an SP type, there's a not insignificant chance that you have to dumb the copy down a bit, or at least make it more concrete, jittery, and overwrought.]
posted by darth_tedious at 2:46 PM on December 22, 2008

Potomac Ave.,

I was probably a bit strong in the "no personality" quip, but there are ways to get around the bias.

The first time I was exposed to the test we did a self-analysis, then each team did an analysis of each other, then the whole company did some. The discussion then focused on the difference between how each person perceived themselves and how others perceived them.

I don't know how you can get a "confirmation bias" when other people are filling out the answers to the questions. In that model, the outside opinion seems more like a "control".

NOTE: We had one lady who was so distraught about the discrepancy she eventually left the company after making a huge stink about how "no one really knows me."

Regardless, this stuff isn't full science yet. fMRI is just getting into the game [ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080529141354.htm ] and building pictures about how different minds(personalities) process information and make decisions is a science in its infancy.

Astrology and fortune cookies and religion have little to do with these tests, IMHO. As a matter of fact, they have about as much to do with this discussion as Hitler does.
posted by wah at 2:47 PM on December 22, 2008


I'm sorry Citizen - you are not cleared for that information. Please ask a citizen with security clearance ULTRAVIOLET or report to PSY sector for implosion testing.

Remember that the Computer is Your Friend!
posted by GuyZero at 2:53 PM on December 22, 2008 [3 favorites]

One problem I do have with the whole concept of personality tests is that they tend to solidify minor personality traits as if they were rules of nature. "OH I can't do that/say that/achieve this/understand X/etc ... I'm a TIQR#fsharp!

Personality isn't destiny, you can and should try to change bits of yourself that hold you back from being happy or successful. Understanding what you want shouldn't lead to limiting yourself from changing your mind about it, since the only thing we know for sure about personality and identity is that it does and will change often and sometimes without any reason at all.

This truth will help explain to my readers why my cooking blog is now entirely X-files slash fic.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:55 PM on December 22, 2008

MetaTalk is ISTJ?

Introverted Sensing - ISTJ

I don't know what the fuck that means and I don't care, but it makes me want to get naked, embrace the chaos and burn something, anything, to the ground.

A condition I also like to call "Monday".
posted by quin at 3:02 PM on December 22, 2008

One person, three blogs:

My main Livejournal, which mostly consists of brief notes about what I'm up to, art I've drawn, and interesting links, is labeled as ESTP ('The Doer').

The LJ I write long essays about my Tarot deck in is supposedly an INTP ('The Thinker').

And an old LJ of surreal roleplay logs is tagged as INFP ('The Idealist').

Whenever I take a Meyers-Briggs, I'm INTJ or INTP. Go figure.

Also, it is my considered opinion that the young artist who drew the images accompanying the type descriptions is left-handed.
posted by egypturnash at 3:12 PM on December 22, 2008

For my blog:
"They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation"

Well, my wife laughed.
posted by cccorlew at 3:35 PM on December 22, 2008

This is a true story. Several years ago a counselor I know was doing a presentation on the Meyer-Briggs. He was trying to explain the differences between the types and at one point he said, "My wife really appreciates my P-ness." (hilarious laughter) "No! No! I mean ... my P-ness!" (much louder laughter)
posted by artfann at 3:44 PM on December 22, 2008 [4 favorites]

From the "blog comments" (a letter to the British Medical Journal with 16 references to published, refereed articles) I linked to above:

The dichotomous classifications are actually much less reliable than the measures for the continuous dimensions would imply. This is because using mid-distribution dichotomous cut-offs actually requires even more reliable continuous measures than trait instruments [8]. Only about 50% tested within nine months score the same on all four dimensional dichotomies (i.e. remain the same type) and around 36% remain the same after nine months. Within each scale ~83% retain the same categorisation when retested within nine months, and ~75% when tested after nine months [8]. This is not good for a test supposed to detect categorical type, fixed over a lifetime, and undermines the use of a typological classification, particularly given the many revisions to the scoring system. Form M of the MBTI, scored by IRT, is reported to show an overall type agreement with the previous Form G of 60% [14].

one that takes issue, not with the concept that personality types can be identified at all,

Of course personality types can be identified. The question is how repeatable and what predictive power the typing system has.

but whether the bimodality (either/or) built into the MBTI is valid as an instrument.

You're missing the point. The bimodality built into the MBTI is the reason why it is invalid as a typing system. The distribution along the two polar axes for any personality trait is a flattened bump centered around the middle (see refs from above link). A bimodal classification system would only reflect reality if the distribution was shaped like two camel humps - most people are either X or Y, and not near the middle. This is why the repeated trials of the test fail - if I am near the middle, I have an equal chance of being binned on either side if there is any noise in the test.

Now, true believers in the MBTI will say "hey, just because some traits aren't at the extremes, that doesn't mean the extreme traits aren't useful indicators." Great. Throw them out and only report the significant (extreme) values then. This does not lend itself to neat 4-letter acronyms, but would allow one to have a type of F---.
posted by benzenedream at 3:59 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]

Should be "two poles" not "two polar axes".
posted by benzenedream at 4:00 PM on December 22, 2008

Seems that any mp3blog comes out ESFP.
posted by johnofjack at 4:00 PM on December 22, 2008

I dislike Meyers-Briggs for the same reason I don't like like Mulitple Intelligences (lets not derail on MI!); the traditional testing is more like a statement of values than measurement of personality. And I think there is a difference; claiming to be the life of the party is different than being so.

The blog analysis tool is interesting, but I have no doubt it suffers from the same selection problem. I imagine the process went: interview a few bloggers and give them the Meyer-Briggs survey, then train the classifier based on how they describe themselves. That doesn't mean it isn't useful; I imagine it'll make an decent tool to judge how much you'll appeal to your audience. But what you write says more about what you wanted to say and who you wanted to read it than who you are, surely.
posted by pwnguin at 4:35 PM on December 22, 2008

Next time I get in an argument with my blog I'll see if this helps resolve it.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:36 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

There are only two personality types:
Those that don't like personality typing
And those that can't count
posted by xorry at 4:45 PM on December 22, 2008

I always thought there were only 10 types of people, those that get binary, and those that need to learn it.
posted by wah at 6:21 PM on December 22, 2008

Or there are zen types of people:
posted by xorry at 6:51 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm INTJ and it says my blog is ESFP, the exact opposite.
posted by Nattie at 2:04 AM on December 23, 2008

The bimodality built into the MBTI is the reason why it is invalid as a typing system.

Since this is exactly what I asserted your blog commenter of purporting, I'm not sure where we disagree on this or why you think it means that I'm missing the point. I just don't think that the commenter's argument was the argument you needed it to be for your purposes up-thread, that's all.
posted by pineapple at 8:40 AM on December 23, 2008

I think there's something to the Myers-Briggs. The people who came up with it and the people who use it and believe in it tend to be NTs - most psychiatrists are INTJ and INTP. I certainly agree that INTJs and INTPs make up a distinct subset of humanity, and we're rare (about 1% each), so we need a tool to recognize and find each other.

I don't know that the distinctions between INTx and non-INTx are particularly useful.

I do know that I'm an INTJ born, and this machine called me an ESFP, so it is laughably wrong.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:14 PM on December 23, 2008

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