[ExI] MBTI, and what a difference a letter makes...

Aware aware at awareresearch.com
Tue Jan 5 00:00:05 UTC 2010

On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 7:36 AM, Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I'm not at all convinced by these personality tests.  Every time I've tried a Myers-Briggs test (being just as vain as everyone else), I've got a different result.

I've taken 4 over 20+ years.  Three sponsored by business/management
seminars and one as part of a college course that I took with one of
our kids.  Mine have always indicated INTJ, with most of the scores
moving closer to center.

> So far, I'm INTP, INFJ, and INFP, so rather than an xNTx, I seem to be a INxx. Does that mean anything?

That you're not good at taking tests?

> Also, the summaries remind me more of a horoscope than anything.  Why do I never read anything bad about myself?  That's suspicious, I'm not so vain as to think I don't have bad points.

Well, quite a lot of statistical effort was applied to MBTI and
businesses find utility in them for training people how to recognize
differences and find ways to relate to other temperaments.  But as
Emlyn points out, the Big 5, system has superseded MBTI for academic
work.  You should note, however, that the descriptions do not say
anything "bad" about any of the types, because it's incoherent to say
there is anything intrinsically bad about the true nature of anything.
 That said, they point out plenty of propensities.

Compare ISTJ (Gordon, presumably, but with high certainty) with INTJ
(Jef), per the Wikipedia descriptions:

ISTJ  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISTJ>,
"ISTJs are faithful, logical, organized, sensible, and earnest traditionalists."
"...prefer concrete and useful applications and will tolerate theory
only if it leads to these ends."
"Material that seems too easy or too enjoyable leads ISTJs to be
skeptical of its merit."
"...they resist putting energy into things that don't make sense to them..."
"They have little use for theory or abstract thinking, unless the
practical application is clear."

INTJ  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INTJ>,
"INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to
everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social
"...an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the
constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own
"...known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part
because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and
"...seek new angles or novel ways of looking at things. They enjoy
coming to new understandings...."
"They harbor an innate desire to express themselves by conceptualizing
their own intellectual designs."

Can you see from the above why I might view Gordon (and Lee) as
puzzles, while they might see me as an unfathomable irritant?

Would members of this list have any trouble deciding between Max and
Natasha which is the likely INTJ and which is the likely ENFP?

- Jef

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