I normally try not to borrow content too much, but yesterday, Moonrat did a Myers-Briggs Survey with her readership and I was STUNNED with the results. Let me e’splain…
Affinity for Fellow Writers
My Psych Background
I LOVE psychology or I wouldn’t have studied it through two degrees, but I have always held out a little skepticism for any systems of classification. I prefer to look at social influences—predictions of behaviors or outlooks that are situational or perceptual—NOT personality. I am definitely a nurture gal… nature deals us a set of inclinations and abilities, but in my opinion what we do with that package has a broad spectrum of possibilities.
That said, the Myers-Briggs, because it is multi-dimensional, because it can wiggle a little in response to all that nurture stuff, is more appealing than most.
The first time I took the test (in grad school), I got INTJ. My Professor had said that was what he had, so when I said, “me too,” he told me how rare it was. At that time, my I-E ratio (introversion, extroversion) was 55/45—pretty middling, but introverted. The others were all well into their range.
Oddly, though I didn’t take the test again for many years, the next time I took it, it wasn’t the I that had changed, but the T. I’d gone from being a Thinker, to a Feeler… I attribute that to having children. There are several things that changed in my life between those times, but that, and the difficulties worked through with my spouse are the only things that would predict a shift from thinking to feeling (possibly not being a student anymore, but I WAS an academic)… everything else would work the other direction.
So What’s All this Crap Mean?
I-E—Introversion Extroversion: seems pretty self explanatory, but… it says it is actually a means of cognitive functioning… whether a person sort of deals in terms of behavior, action, people and things (extroversion) or reflection and ideas (introversion). It’s a little different twist on how we normally think of these ideas (others oriented, versus solitary)
S-iN—Sensing versus Intuition: these are about information gathering and what we trust. Sensing people like their ‘evidence’ to be present, tangible and concrete. Intuitive trust information that is more theoretical or abstract. (this is the pair that is about PERCEIVING)
T-F—Thinking and Feeling are about decision making. Thinking is more detached and objective, feeling is more through empathy. (This is the pair that is about JUDGING)
P-J—Perceiving and Judging is a distinction for which TYPE of information is dominant in how a person processes—so which of the above pair takes dominance in a person’s personality.
Here is a description of what the 16 combos mean: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.asp
On the other tail are the NTs, not adding to 10% for 4 types. Intuitive thinkers are apparently rare, but also rare are the NFJs.
BUT THE WRITERS!!!
The least common and third least common personalities among the population made up 49% of the people who took Moonrat’s quiz (people, because Moonrat is an editor, who are predominantly WRITERS). Among WRITERS these are the most common personalities, and not just by a little bit.
So writers are introverted… no real surprises there—dealing with reflection and ideas rather than the external world? Sounds about right… Intuitive rather than sensory? Again… this is not surprising that we like the theoretical and abstract better than the concrete… that we are willing to believe without evidence…
This final summary amused me greatly. Seems maybe, with my world domination plans, I am an INTJ after all…