Monday, August 11, 2008

Personality Type

When I was a kid, my family went to Presbyterian Synod School at the University of Central Missouri every summer. If you've never been to a synod school, I hardly know how to describe it. We stayed in the dorms, the 5 of us in a 2-room suite connected by a bathroom. (I have no memory of where my youngest sister slept, though I bet she does! Lilsis?)

All day there were classes and workshops and music and art and . . . fun stuff. As a preteen and young teen, I was very excited by walking around campus, going to classes without my parents, and eating meals in a dining hall (with a soda fountain! and soft serve ice cream! our favorite was to fill a class with ice cream and cover it with every type of soda).

One year, when I was 13 or 14, my class took a Myers-Briggs personality test. I was an INFJ. My husband recently had many of his co-workers take a Myers-Briggs-type test as part of a team-building exercise, and I took it just for fun. You can, too!

Now, I am an INTJ. The difference? I used to be more feeling, now I'm more thinking. Well . . . yeah. I grew up! But seriously, this transition makes sense to me; as a teenager, like many teenagers, I felt everything so acutely. As I grew up, that toned down a bit.

I don't mean to suggest that adults who are "F's" are immature. But it makes sense as a description of me. The "Thinking" thing is a trait I've attempted to cultivate, practicing and concentrating and focusing on hearing, analyzing, and responding to arguments intellectually rather than emotionally. Both types are necessary, of course, but I made a conscious effort to shift my balance.

Anyway, I like the description of me (though it's not all accurate). And the suggested careers? Not so much!
INTJ - Scientists, engineers, professors, teachers, medical doctors, dentists, corporate strategists, organization founders, business administrators, managers, military, lawyers, judges, computer programmers, system analysts, computer specialists, psychologists, photographers, research department managers, researchers, university instructors, chess players. They have a particular skill at grasping difficult, complex concepts and building strategies.

E=2 Extraversion
I=9 Introversion
S=5 Sensing
N=15 iNtuition
T=12 Thinking
F=7 Feeling
J=16 Judging
P=3 Perceiving
You are an INTJ


Kathy said...

Also an INTJ. I pretty much get the same results every time I take some variation of this test.

Rob Monroe said...

ENFP at the age of 13 based on the official, full blown test.

ENFJ last year based on the web version.

Not sure why I would be more judging now, and really the line was fuzzy and could have easily gone to P with one different answer.

steph said...

Yeah, I did the full test at 13-14-15ish, and was an ENFP then. Just now, I retested, and came up with ENTP. While both career lists are similar, I actually fall into the ENTP category. Weird.

Topher said...

In high school I was ENFP, now I'm ENTJ. It's funny, because the former contains University Professor and the latter teacher, and they both have scientist, so either way I'm on the "right path." I can see that I have changed from one to the other, too. It's frightening what 16 years does to someone...

Kristi said...

I'm also INTJ most often. That T can sometimes be an F for me, depending on my mood. I've taken it several times--online at least once, during marriage prep, once or twice in college for something or other, etc.

You know, this is a good tool to use when creating characters for fiction, and to figure out how the various personalities interact with each other.

Anonymous said...

the test isn't normed on teens, so what you took at Synod School probably wasn't accurate. And the online version is a knock-off of the real, deal (which is about 2-3 times as long), so if the description doesn't sound like might not be!

Some people find the online versions to be really accurate and others don't. Generally speaking, the P-J scale is the most likely to change during one's life (followed by the I-E). Most people don't get a change in the F-T or the N-S. My guess is that either the teenage one was wrong, or the short version was wrong.

Now I'll duck back under the rock again. I actually have official-like credentials in this stuff, which is somewhat embarassing.

liss n kids said...

I've been an INFP on every version of this test, at every age. I think it's funny that all careers that I've ever had (or want to have, in the case of writer) fall into this category. Even the very specific "English Teacher." Not just teacher. I am almost completely introverted, according to this online dealie. Which is true, but I also speak up the most in places like work meetings, class discussions, etc. So interesting.

Sarahlynn said...

PPB, I'm glad you're out from under your rock; no need to duck back! I figured that the short online (specially for computer programmers, which I'm not) was a just-for-fun thing, but it hadn't occurred to me that the real Myers-Briggs isn't normalized for teens. That makes sense.

Kathy, Rob, Steph, Topher, Kristi, Liss, thank you for sharing! It's fun to see how everyone else falls.

stljoie said...

I have done my most satisfying work as a street outreach worker with homeless persons in both the city and county. This meant finding them, approaching them, establishing a relationship of trust and refering them..hand in the care they need. This is my result:

ENFPs are initiators of change, keenly perceptive of possibilities. They energize and stimulate others through their contagious enthusiasm. They prefer the start-up phase of a project or relationship, and are tireless in the pursuit of new-found interests. ENFPs are able to anticipate the needs of others and to offer them needed help and appreciation. They bring zest, joy, liveliness, and fun to all aspects of their lives. They are at their best in situations that are fluid and changing, and that allow them to express their creativity and use their charisma. They tend to idealize people, and can be disappointed when reality fails to fulfill their expectations. They are easily frustrated if a project requires a great deal of follow-up or attention to detail.

It is spot on. I had great respect for the ingenuity of the people I found to find and utilize what they needed to get through the next hour...let alone 24. I found this amazing.

Anonymous said... I have to admit I have never taken one of these, but according to the results I am a ESTJ.

Hmmm....not sure what to think.

Monkeyflower said...

I'm also an INTJ and the suggested careers are a good match (I've had several of these) as well as the description (esp. regarding work). That's eerie.

Sara T