I stumbled across an interesting personality test today (PersonalDNA — link below). As a fan of the old Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (based on Jungian types, but updated from his mythical worldview—I’m an INTP), I enjoy taking useful and interesting personality tests once in a while. However, I never get far from my suspicion that most people would self-identify with almost any random sampling of evaluations from most tests.
One reason I like the MBTI or it’s non-professional offspring, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, is that when I read the other 15 types, they don’t fit me (except, on a few occasions I’ve come out of the test as an ENTP or INTJ). One of the best books I ever read, that really helped me get a handle on why I thought and reacted so differently from my peers and friends, was Please Understand Me by David Keirsey. I had no idea we INTPs were such an exclusive segment of the population (2%)! The biggest thing I carried away from the book was not only a better understanding and acceptance of what made me tick, but a better willingness to accept others and their temperaments as not being “wrong” because they were not like me, and the accompanying attitude that I should not attempt to mold others into my own self-image.
I was first introduced to the MBTI at a weekend leadership sponsored by Southwestern A/G College, my alma mater. I was a junior at the time, and the school counselor invited me to the weekend conference. I remember only one thing from the weekend, and it was an eye-opener for me.
While sitting in the retreat chapel we were all given a booklet and pencils and asked to fill out this personality test. There were a lot of questions, over a hundred in all. After we filled out the test and scored our results, we were given a profile that corresponded to which of the 16 types we tested out as. Then, as a practical demonstration of how these 16 types are distributed throughout the populace, we identified our types and assembled with our fellow temperaments.
Fifteen types later, I was literally all alone out of a group of 120 or so students. Alone. There wasn’t a single other soul in that group that tested out as the 16th type: INTP.
What an eye-opener. You can be sure I wanted to know more about that! (You can take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, based on the Myers-Briggs test, at advisorteam.com.)
The test I found tonight, PersonalDNA, is interesting too. I don’t know about its professional pedigree (it claims to have been developed with the help of psychologists), but the most interesting thing about it for me was the unusual style of answering the questions. Rather than providing only True/False answers (which drive me batty) this test gives the user sliders and two-dimensional plots and dynamic “buckets” for your self-assessment. I love that, on the front end. (There’s no telling how rigid and structured the scoring is, though. Just because a slider allows a potentially fine-grained answer, there’s no guarantee the scoring isn’t still binary).
Anyhow, if you’re into this sort of thing, this was interesting. This test also allows others to evaluate you from the outside as well.
Interesting, at the least. (My PersonalDNA profile here, for the curious.)
[tags]BlogRodent, personality-test, myers-briggs, Keirsey, Keirsey-Temperament-Sorter, MBTI, PersonalDNA, personality, psychology, INTP, ENTP, INTJ, multiple-intelligences, rich-tatum[/tags]