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[P]
Debating and personality

By I am Jack's username in Op-Ed
Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 06:17:27 PM EST
Tags: Round Table (all tags)
Round Table

It's very hard to debate an issue when antagonists approach things from completely different angles, and are not prepared to consider other points of view. Some people use empirical proof and logic, others feelings - sometimes, debating empiricists and mystics, don't come close to touching the same realities, yet keep hammering each other while neither convinces the other.

Thought patterns and personalities are distinguished by many things: surgency, openness, decision making, conscientiousness, neuroticism, education, ability, sex, age, culture, and cognition. The first 4 functions are used to make Jung's theory of psychological types understandable with Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tests and analyses.


While people of the same true MBTI types can have very different positions, they often share the same approach. As an intp I find it very hard to debate esfjs . I prefer cold hard analysis instead of emotional arguments, I put no value in imposed authority - esfjs often like hierarchies. I am rigid about my need for the truth, and if people's feelings are hurt by that - tough.

Investigating personality types has helped me better understand people, even if emotional extroverts still baffle me.

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Poll
Myers-Briggs type indicator
o intp 33%
o intj 23%
o istx 5%
o extx 3%
o ixfx 6%
o exfx 2%
o Don't care 12%
o None of the above 11%

Votes: 172
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o surgency, openness, decision making, conscientiousness, neuroticism
o Myers-Brig gs Type Indicator
o tests
o intp
o esfj
o Also by I am Jack's username


Display: Sort:
Debating and personality | 70 comments (56 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
from school psychologist (none / 0) (#4)
by rhyax on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 07:31:21 PM EST

i was told the 4 INXX types were collectively 4% of the population. (ESXX were 52%, the largest) i am not sure how true that is though, it was only what i was told.

For those unfamiliar (2.80 / 5) (#8)
by shoeboy on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 07:36:36 PM EST

With the MBTI ratings, Adequacy.org has an excellent introduction to the topic.

There's a reasonably active discussion (123 comments, of which ~20 were deleted for trolling) so you don't have to take our word for it, you can see what non-editors have to say as well.

Your friend,
--Shoeboy
No more trolls!

Huh? (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by scanman on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 12:35:19 AM EST

Deleted for trolling? Isn't that the whole point of (in)adequacy?

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

[ Parent ]

fraid not my dear (2.50 / 2) (#55)
by shoeboy on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 05:39:16 AM EST

Deleted for trolling? Isn't that the whole point of (in)adequacy?

Contrary to popular belief, Adequacy.org was not set up so that the editors could sit around and delete trolls all day. Deleting trolls is merely someting we do to protect the integrity of the discussion. Of course, the web being what it is, we have to do it a lot.

Your patient teacher,
--Shoeboy
No more trolls!
[ Parent ]

Myers-Briggs fundamentally flawed (3.57 / 19) (#9)
by Jin Wicked on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 07:45:31 PM EST

Myers-Briggs attempts to classify personality, but doesn't really bring anything new to the table.

You are asked a series of questions such as "Do you feel comfortable with other people?", and it gives back 'amazing' analysis like "You don't feel comfortable with other people" should you answer 'No'. Why to people gasp at this as though it is amazing?

Worse, Myers-Briggs is a terribly fascist notion. The idea that people can be categorised according to race, or sex, or intelligence, is utterly repugnant, and yet here we are praising a ridiculous system of categorisation in terms of 'personality'. Doesn't anybody else see where this leads? It is nothing but institutionalisation of neofascist, 'rational' categorisation.

Another problem is the way geeks tend to think of it as affirming their life. Suddenly, social inadequacy and semi-autistic behaviour isn't in need of correction - because, hey, that just means you are an 'INTP'. Be strong, be proud! Don't try to change yourself, you're an INTP like Einstein and all the rest.

I am sceptical that it is remotely possible to classify 'personality' in any meaningful way, as well - the questions are loaded and the definition of 'personality' is extremely culturally defined. This is not a hard science, it is wishywashy semi-astrological nonsense.

Considering every time I take this test I get wildly varying results, in common with most of the people I know who have also taken it, it would seem that it tests nothing more than your current mood.

In truth, Myers-Briggs tests and their ilk are just the equivalent of horoscopes for the 'intelligent' who are attracted by it's rational veneer. It is, in short, nonsense.

This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


Hey (3.12 / 8) (#10)
by shoeboy on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 07:48:48 PM EST

I thought you retired from this board?

We miss you over at Adequacy, bc in particular.

Your comrade in arms,
--Shoeboy
No more trolls!
[ Parent ]

Categorisation (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by xriso on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 08:08:26 PM EST

Yes, it is categorisation. Note that people do it all the time (I could make a very long list of ways it is done). Note that categorisation is not the same thing as discrimination. Categorisation does not force you to fit a form. Be free all you want, if that's what kind of person you are. ;-)

I agree with your initial analysis of personality systems, though. One thing I suspect is that the descriptions share things that everyone can identify with, stated differently of course. The idea that it echoes back what you said is rather amusing as well. :-) If there is one thing I am sure of, it is that not everybody has the same "personality". Maybe they aren't constant throughout life, and maybe they can't be measured, but they vary w/resp. to people.

What exactly is personality anyway?
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
[ Parent ]

Measurement != fascism (4.20 / 5) (#15)
by ucblockhead on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 08:17:41 PM EST

That's like saying that anyone calling people over 6' tall and people under 5' 6" short is fascist.

It should be pretty clear that simple categorization is not "repugnant" in any sense. Saying "He is Jewish, she is Catholic, I am Taoist" is not, in itself, bad. Saying, "He is male, she is female" is not is not, in itself, bad. Saying "He is an introvert, she is an extrovert" is not, in itself, bad.

Now of course any of these things can be used improperly. But that's not the categorization. That's the reaction to differences. The differences exist whether or not we write them down. We can never talk about the fact that one person is Jewish, another is Catholic, but that is pretty meaningless if we treat Catholics better than Jews. Conversely, we can obsessively measure the numbers of Catholics and Jews (as the US Census department does) and that is quite all right as long as we treat Catholics and Jews the same.

Personality is yet another way that people differ. Those differences are measurable, especially along the introvert/extrovert axis. Now sure, the lines aren't sharp, and any good version of the Meyers-Briggs test makes that real clear. (And believe me, the little javascript versions on the web aren't good versions.) But that doesn't mean the differences don't exist. Just because some people are 5' 9" doesn't mean that there aren't tall people and short people. (And pretending that the differencs don't exist is a very bad thing, as any tall or short people discovers when trying to wear "one size fits all" clothing.)

Honestly, the true fascism comes from those who try to force those outside the norm to conform to their idea of the norm.

You might want to read a little more on the actual psychology of the matter. Introversion <> "Social Inadequacy", nor is it at all related to autism. (Please ignore the ramblings of no-nothing idiots like John Katz who ignorantly babble about geeks and autism.) An introvert is not like an extrovert. An introvert is fundamentally different from an extrovert. Telling an introvert that they should just change and be like an extrovert is the truly fascist notion.

(BTW: I'm an INTx, and have tested as such in tens of tests over a twenty year period starting in my teenage years.)
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Categorisation and its attendant evils (3.00 / 6) (#17)
by Jin Wicked on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 08:40:06 PM EST

Categorisation is very dangerous. It is so because any system of categorisation is an attempt, conscious or not, to describe the capabilities and limitations of a person, and describe what they are. They only person who should be allowed to define such things is the person themselves: you should be in charge of your percieved capabilities.

As a communist, I believe that 'category' is a modern invention of a capitalist culture. It is needed to be able to box people into sexes and classes and different shades of strata defining their perceived (and hence actual) abilities.

In a communist system, there will be no need for 'category' at all. All categories are merely cultural artifacts, inventions: They are in your head, and hence you think of them as natural. You have to think outside the box, and imagine a society where categories are no longer needed or used.

Why have categories at all? I consider them the root of much of the strife and unhappiness in the world. People should not be boxed in by ideas.

This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


[ Parent ]
As a communist... (4.80 / 5) (#21)
by ucblockhead on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 09:25:03 PM EST

As a communist, you've just categorized yourself as a communist. Your own post is rife with references to categories. A culture in the category capitalist. An artifact of the type cultural. "Natural" vs. Artifact. Those are all categories. Those are all labels no different from "Introvert".

People are different. They are different in regular and predictable ways. If you ignore that, you are going to have problems. One size does not fit all, be it an issue of religion, sex or shoe size.

We need categories because categories help us get individuals what the need.

Yes, you are in charge of your own capabilities, but you also have to be aware of the facets of your own existence. I am 6'2". That's not something I can change. What I can change is what I do with that bit of self-knowledge. I am an introvert. That's not something I can change. What I can change is what I do with that bit of self-knowledge. Rulers measure height and personality tests measure personality. Neither imposes restrictions.

And yes, the lines between categories are not sharp. But that's something personalities tests usually explicitely reference. On a real Meyers-Briggs test, you don't get "I vs. E", you get, "74.5% I, 25.6% E". It's a scale. Just like height.

And if you truly think that something like "height" is a categorization we should ignore, you must be of average height. As someone who is tall, I am damn glad that this capitalistic society categorizes people, and hence shirts, into XS,S,M,L,LT,XL,XLT,XXL,XXXL.

"Category" is also not an "moedern invention of a capitalist culture". "Category" is an innate part of the way the brain works. The human brain works mostly by categorizing things. It always has.


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

There is no contradiction (2.60 / 5) (#23)
by Jin Wicked on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 09:40:57 PM EST

As a communist, you've just categorized yourself as a communist.

You have to use the system to break it. This isn't something I can help; I too have been brought up in a capitalist, category-crazy society. I too am brainwashed, in a sense - it would take a long time, many generations perhaps, to completely rework society and get rid of categories for good.

People are different. They are different in regular and predictable ways.

No they aren't. There is no reason why people should confirm to any of your schema, whatsoever. People see the categories when they are young, babies even, and choose which ones to confirm to. That is the stifling tragedy of categorisation. "Category" is also not an "moedern invention of a capitalist culture". "Category" is an innate part of the way the brain works.

There you are denying flexibility again. Why should the brain use categorisation and have it fundamentally hard wired? It is a learned, created thing. It is not 'nature' but 'nurture'. The mind is but a cogitating device that is absolutely flexible.

This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


[ Parent ]
You are wrong. (4.66 / 3) (#26)
by ucblockhead on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 10:46:30 PM EST

You are under the delusion that your experience is the same as everyones, and that people are different because they want to be different. That is a common delusion, and it is also the root of much of the prejudice in the world. Telling an introvert that they can just "become" an extrovert if they want is like telling a gay man he can just "become" straight if he wants. And yeah, he can pretend he is, and walk the walk, but it won't make him happy.

You are not the same as me and I am not the same as you. That is not to say that either is better, merely that people are innately different.

Did you know that "Introversion" and "Extroversion" are traits that are inheritable to the same extent that height is and more-so than "physical" things like weight?

As far as the brain goes, the brain is a pattern matching engine. It makes sense of the world by differentiating between different patterns and thereby categorizing things. This is as fundamental to how a human brain works as a transistor is to a computer.

As far as the mind being "absolutely flexible", one visit to a hospital treating drug addicts should disabuse you of that notion.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Sorry ... (3.50 / 2) (#31)
by Kalani on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 07:29:49 AM EST

it would take a long time, many generations perhaps, to completely rework society and get rid of categories for good.

Categories are implicit in the most abstract objects known to human beings: mathematical sets.

Getting rid of overreaching categorization is a good thing (it belongs to the set of good things). Getting rid of categorization altogether leaves you with absolute nothingness (or a homogeneous blob of matter that is equivalent to nothingness).

You're pretty cute for a Communist.

-----
"I [think] that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement; in the end the machinery will be revealed and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the checker board."
--Richard Feynman
[ Parent ]
Cogitation. (5.00 / 2) (#35)
by Alarmist on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 09:58:29 AM EST

There you are denying flexibility again. Why should the brain use categorisation and have it fundamentally hard wired? It is a learned, created thing.

Well, no.

Studies done of feral children (those raised without significant interaction with other humans) indicate that people raised with no societal "schema" or programming at all can distinguish between different things. They categorize. This suggests that categorization is not a cultural artifact, but a part of the human mind, present from birth.

The mind is but a cogitating device that is absolutely flexible.

Well, no. (again.)

While I admit that we don't know everything we'd like to know about how the human mind functions (sit in on an upper-level psychology course some time - I recommend anything with the word "cognition" in the course title), we do know a few things about what it does and the way it works.

Firstly, it is not absolutely flexible. The brain (as the seat of what we might call the mind) is a pretty amazing organ, able to reroute pathways around existing damage to allow people who might otherwise have no function in a given area some semblance of functionality. While this would seem to support your contention (that it is absolutely flexible), there are things it can't do. The halves of the brain can't talk to each other if the corpus callosum is severed, which means that there are people whose right hands really don't have any idea what the left is doing.

Other examples of this: the impulse to communicate seems to be hard-wired. Only in brain-damaged or horribly psychologically crippled individuals is the desire to communicate with others extinguished or seemingly not absent. One would think that a flexible mind could rewire itself without the desire for communication, and at first glance this is possible (witness catatonics), but it does not seem to be possible without a great number of deleterious side effects.

Color is hard-wired as well. We have different names for colors, but barring brain damage or some ocular defect, we are always aware of color. A color-sighted person cannot wake up one morning and decide to live in a monochromatic world without mechanical assistance.

Avoidance of pain is another hard-wired impulse. While you might be quick to point to the examples of masochists or those who endure pain to assist others (or to make it through basic training), consider that those people might be avoiding a perceived pain of greater magnitude: the pangs of sexual frustration, the agony of conscience felt when one might have helped another but did nothing instead, or to avoid the shame and anguish of not passing basic training (not to mention the ministrations of the drill sergeant). People avoid whatever pain seems greatest.

I could go on for a while, but my point should be obvious by now: there are at least a few behaviors and characteristics present in human beings which do not seem to be alterable except through intensive psychological training or brain damage. The existence of these behaviors and characteristics would tend to suggest that the human mind is not absolutely flexible, but possessed of at least a few fundamentals.

(if this seems disjointed, it may be due to a raging fever and some sinus drugs. That I'm able to type at all is a testament to the drive to communicate.)


[ Parent ]

IHBT, but what the hell. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by Alarmist on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 09:41:33 AM EST

Categorisation is very dangerous. It is so because any system of categorisation is an attempt, conscious or not, to describe the capabilities and limitations of a person, and describe what they are.

And this is bad how?

I find it difficult to have meaningful interaction with a handful of abstract concepts. I find it much more rewarding to talk to people, some of whom are distinguishable from others by sex, religion, intelligence, political persuasion, and various other descriptors.

Any intelligent person realizes that categorization does not define a human being. I am not defined by being more or less white, somewhat more intelligent than average, male, or a citizen of the United States. These things don't define me any more than my name does. What they do is describe me. This is a critical distinction that you seem not to have grasped.

We can sit here and discuss the merits of categorization until the end of time, but what you and I and everyone else here should leave with is that categorization is at best a description of an individual's traits, and that thinking that categorization should be a definition of one person is folly. Yes, some people use categorization that way. They are not behaving in a terribly rational way, though, and they usually do so in an attempt to oppress those they categorize.

Categorization, like a lot of other things, is neutral. The fact that it can be used for evil doesn't make it evil.


[ Parent ]

silly approach (none / 0) (#48)
by adiffer on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 07:31:07 PM EST

Understand that it is not my intent to attack you personally.

I consider your statement to be a rather silly one. You are attacking the very underpinnings of the scientific method. Categorization is the first step emperical theorists take when trying to understand their observations. This occurs whether the theorist works in a so-called hard or soft science.

Science is probably the largest inter-cultural open project ever supported by humanity. An individual's motivations for participating or learning the tools created by the project can vary from altruistic to down-right evil. The project is what it is, though, and it is very hard to dispute the power we have all gained as a result.

I remember similar arguments to yours being used against medical research in the 19th century. If they had not been overridden by the continuation of research, I would have died at age 4. You may understand why, then, I find these arguments be be very silly.

[ Parent ]
Your post, with no categorization! (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by scanman on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 12:30:49 AM EST

Is this how you'd like everyone to talk?

Categorisation is. It is so because any system is. The only person is the person: you of your capabilities.

I believe that 'category' is. It is.

In a system, there will be no need. All categories are. You have to think, and imagine a society.

Why have categories? I consider them. People should not be.

I think I removed them all....

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

[ Parent ]

imagine a society where categories are not used. (none / 0) (#53)
by scanman on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 12:56:36 AM EST

Let's see...

Communism: Pure Communism is not a viable society either large-scale or long-term because of basis on false assumptions.

Capitalism: Requires obvious distinctions between rich and poor.

Fascism/Monarchy/Despotism/etc.: Requires obvious distinctions between rulers and subjects.

Monoculture: Susceptible to catastrophic plagues.

Hive: Requires no categorization. Not compatible with human mind.

Nope, can't imagine it, that is, if we are to remain human.

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

[ Parent ]

random musing on categories in communism (none / 0) (#64)
by Skwirl on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 04:52:18 PM EST

The flaw with all large-scale implementations of communism is the fact that there has to be someone to plow the fields and someone else to control the distribution of wheat and, most importantly, punish any individual farmer who hoards their wheat. Therefore, the categories of proletariat and bougeois are replaced by a political hierarchy.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
Nonsense. (none / 0) (#30)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 04:39:44 AM EST

You can measure the height or weight of somebody. You can even know the stated religious beliefs of somebody with reltively little ambiguity.

I dare you to show me an objective way to measure introversion or extroversion.


---
Those who sleep can't sin.
Those who sin, sleep well.

[ Parent ]
That's easy. (none / 0) (#36)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 11:12:45 AM EST

A psychological test such as the Meyer's-Briggs.

That's the whole point of psychological testing in the first place. To objectively measure psychological features. The purpose of such tests isn't to make people feel better. It is so psychologists have objective data to study.


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Sigh (4.66 / 6) (#16)
by greenrd on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 08:24:52 PM EST

The idea that people can be categorised according to race, or sex, or intelligence, is utterly repugnant.

No it's not... oh wait, you're trolling.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Argument flawed (4.66 / 6) (#19)
by Tatarigami on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 09:11:11 PM EST

The fervour of your beliefs can't be called into question, but I think I've spotted some inherent contradiction in your arguments supporting them.

here we are praising a ridiculous system of categorisation in terms of 'personality'. Doesn't anybody else see where this leads? It is nothing but institutionalisation of neofascist, 'rational' categorisation.

You're denouncing categorisation by personality -- and later on continue to denounce categorisation in general -- because it represents a category of politics you don't approve of? I'd like some clarification on this issue: are categories like socialist, capitalist and fascist okay, but categories like introvert, extrovert, etc not okay? Is there a fundamental difference between the philosophies of personality-typing and political typing?

Suddenly, social inadequacy and semi-autistic behaviour isn't in need of correction - because, hey, that just means you are an 'INTP'. Be strong, be proud! Don't try to change yourself, you're an INTP like Einstein and all the rest.

On behalf of all INTPs, go to hell. (And I mean that in the nicest possible way.)

It's not up to you to determine whether I'm defective and need to be fixed -- I'm not a kitchen appliance, thanks very much. I don't consider myself 'socially inadequate' or 'semi-autistic' because I prefer to interact with people on my own terms. I may not be a social butterfly, but the fact seems to bother you a whole lot more than it does me. If you're unhappy with the situation -- tough. Learn to live with it.

[ Parent ]
heh (4.50 / 4) (#22)
by ucblockhead on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 09:40:05 PM EST

On behalf of all INTPs, go to hell. (And I mean that in the nicest possible way.)

That's what I find sadly amusing about the parent post. She is making the claim that categorization causes people to treat each other poorly because of differences, and then proceeds to tell a whole group of people who aren't like her that there is something wrong with them, because they are different.

The problem isn't labels and categories. The problem is the idea that the different are wrong.


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Don't get me wrong (4.75 / 4) (#24)
by Tatarigami on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 09:45:23 PM EST

The problem isn't labels and categories. The problem is the idea that the different are wrong.

I think I'd have to agree with Jin that different is bad -- her mistake is in thinking she represents the ideal state of being, and not me.

:o)

And yes, I'm perfectly comfortable with the knowledge that my ego could shelter a small town from the rain.

[ Parent ]
Speculation on my part... (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by ti dave on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 02:41:49 AM EST

"Considering every time I take this test I get wildly varying results..."

Have you tried taking the tests at the same point of your cycle?

Just Curious,

ti dave


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Not this again... (none / 0) (#50)
by scanman on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 12:17:25 AM EST

Here we go again with the tired old "categories are bad" syndrome. When will you learn that categories are not bad, it is only your own pejudice that is bad? Simply removing all adjectives from your vocabulary is not a cure for prejudice any more than removing all your teeth is a cure for bad breath. Or perhaps we should all be made to be perfectly identical? That's known as eugenics, and it was tried, without much success, by Adolf Hitler. As someone else already said, go to hell.

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

[ Parent ]

What's so special about Myers-Briggs? (4.64 / 34) (#12)
by Joe Groff on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 07:54:00 PM EST

Look, I can make up my own superficial, pseudoscientific, arbitrary rating system too!
  • Friendliness (F,U,C,K). How nice and outgoing a person is: Friendly, Unfriendly, Caring, or Kind.
  • Wisdom (T,H,I,S). An adjective describing how people perceive you on the inside: Thoughtful, Helpful, Insightful, or Shameful.
  • Appearance (B,U,L,L). An adjective describing how people perceive you on the outside: Beautiful, Ugly, Lovely, or Loathsome. (Yes, there is some ambiguity inherent in assigning two values to L, but that's hardly important.)
  • Intelligence (S,H,I,T). How full of knowledge you find yourself to be: Smart, Half-arsed, Inane, or Thickheaded.
As for me, I'm Smart, Thoughtful, Friendly, and Ugly, or for short, STFU. Where do you fit on the scale?
--
How long must I travel on
to be just where you are?

Idea: an k5 editor team! (none / 0) (#13)
by imrdkl on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 07:56:56 PM EST

Composed of people from the subset of all positions which represent all people on K5!

They should have good ideas and observational skills, and compose them accordingly into posts which everyone can agree upon. Whaddya think?

Poll? +1FP!

Second go-round (5.00 / 3) (#18)
by rusty on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 09:06:34 PM EST

Those with a strong interest in this should look at psicE's previous story on this, which shows what K5 tested as circa April 2000.

____
Not the real rusty
Moderation (4.25 / 4) (#20)
by joecool12321 on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 09:13:40 PM EST

First, I'm not a huge fan of personality ratings. It seems that trying to make a formula for people using four spaces is like trying to classify the elements of nature with Empedocles' air, water, fire, and earth.

That being said, I think moderation is the important issue here. One should be neither overly introverted nor overly extroverted. Rather, one should behave appropriately according to the situation. Now, since I'm introverted, I practice extroversion by asking people questions, trying to find an area of commonality which we share, and then use that as a platform for the relationship. I'm still not excellent, but I'm better at being around people than I once was.

Sensing and intuition are both equally useful. Becoming overly dominant on intuition may lead you to miss the "true essence" -- the experience of an event. Also, it leads to a deficiency of appreciation -- "I understand this, I shall now move on," instead of, "Wow! I really appreciate this, even though I understand it, because it is beautiful (fun...etc). Relying too much on sensation can cause one to miss truth or understanding where someone else might not. And in fact, this understanding may lead to a deeper appreciation of the object. For example, a deeper understanding of the mathematics behind Bach led me to further appreciate his music.

Again, moderation in thinking and feeling is important, as well as judgment and perception. Test yourself, and exercise yourself to become moderate! (Be a part of the flaming middle!) But seriously, acting and reacting in the appropriate way can lead to a deeper appreciation and understanding, and leads to a more well rounded individual.

--Joey
(BTW, if this post seems like it's too much thinking-intuition, and has no feeling, that may be true. It seemed the appropriate mode of communication, given the medium. I think I could provide a decent feelings-based presentation of the need for moderation (although I'm more prone to thinking-intuition, and I'm somewhat deficient in the feelings based presentation. I think I do a good job and feeling, but presenting it in a way another 'feelings' based person would appreciate -- much more difficult))


INTJ (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by dzimmerm on Sun Jan 20, 2002 at 11:09:19 PM EST

This is what I tested as. I noticed that the INTJ type is not the dominant one so far in this survey. Not too surprising as we are the least common type around.

As far as arguing, I love to argue. I just do not like to get emotional about it. Most people I have argued with seem to feel that being emotional affects my opinion of their arguement. It does not. I may put aside my opinions if it bothers someone but they are still my opinions.

Did I mention that INTJs think they are always right?

dzimmerm

intjs (none / 0) (#67)
by 'abstrakt on Wed Jan 23, 2002 at 04:22:09 AM EST

Did I mention that INTJs think they are always right?

no, really?

abstrakt

[ Parent ]

It's because we are <nt> (none / 0) (#70)
by CodeWright on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 09:37:07 AM EST



--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
What is it with INTP? (none / 0) (#28)
by demi on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 12:25:32 AM EST

It's so strange that I took that stupid MBTI test when I was a kid, then I read the results, and I have since been haunted by this 2-dimensional personality stereotype. Like I turned out to be a chemist, and I remember reading that INTPs are well suited to be chemists. I'm just having a hard time accepting it I guess. How come so many k5ers are INTP?



Not such a big deal (none / 0) (#38)
by dennis on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 12:44:35 PM EST

Actually it's four-dimensional :)

I don't know why so many INTPs here but add another one - I took the test with software I downloaded from a BBS so I don't know how valid it was, but the descriptive results it gave me seemed fairly accurate.

Am I haunted like you? Hell no. Being introverted doesn't mean you have no social skills, or anything like that. "Thinking" instead of "feeling" doesn't mean you have no feelings. And innate personality doesn't mean you're locked into any particular behavior. From what I've read (and I'm no expert), it seems more a description of how you work under the surface, and knowing that can help you keep all cylinders running. For example, if you're as introverted as I am you'll wear yourself out if you don't take some time for yourself to reflect on things...but that doesn't mean you have to be a wallflower in social situations.

[ Parent ]

INTP (none / 0) (#44)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 06:01:06 PM EST

INTPs tend to be good at engineering. Although all *NT* types have strong reasoning abilities, the field in which they apply them is determined by the other two dimensions. Since K5 is still, mostly, a subset of the "geek" community, and that consists largely of software developers and other IT types, its not surprising really.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Not abilities (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 02:48:03 PM EST

Technically speaking, a personality test doesn't measure ability at all. It is better to say that INTPs prefer logical reasoning.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Jargon File (none / 0) (#54)
by Paul Johnson on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 05:07:00 AM EST

In an appendix to the Jargon File ESR notes that "hackerdom" seems to attract INTP and INTJ types. As an INTP this makes perfect sense. Other stuff in the Jargon file exhibits this mindset perfectly. E.g. "Grok" sums up the NT desire for deep intellectual comprehension.

Paul (INTP).
You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.
[ Parent ]

ISTJ (none / 0) (#32)
by YesNoCancel on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 07:36:25 AM EST

I took one of these tests and according to it I'm an ISTJ (Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Thinking). The description fits me pretty well. Of course, I already knew all these things about me, so the test was somewhat pointless. =)

I wonder what the percentage of ISTJs in the general population (not Kuro5hin =)) is like. Does anyone have any information on this?

-1 for the following reason... (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by {ice}blueplazma on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 09:33:20 AM EST

Maybe all you should read Psice's old story. It is much more comprehensive and well worded. Make sure you look at it before modding this story.

Anyway... something else now. Personality type tests like the Myers-Briggs test can only work so well. There are many people (a lot in K5) that fit into many different catagories and if they changed one answer; they would be a different type. I am one of those. So I find that these tests don't show me anything because I've already realized most of what it tells me on my own. Self-discovery is the only good way to tell what kind of person you are, these tests just put it into words for you.

"Denise, I've been begging you for the kind of love that Donny and Smitty have, but you won't let me do it, not even once!"
--Jimmy Fallon
Looks familiar (5.00 / 1) (#40)
by psicE on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 01:34:54 PM EST

Hmm... I could give you a -1 for repetition, but my story was posted quite a while back, in fact before K5's huge user boom, so it's good to give this topic exposure. I could give you -1 for brevity, but I was just about to post a diary entry to say that I think anyone who posts a topical comment to a story should be forced to vote at least +1 to section... so I'll follow my own rule and vote +1.

Personality types are good for very rough estimates of people, and not much else; and they're horrible when it comes to borderline people. For example, I'm an iNFj, by some estimates the rarest personality type. However, I've also tested as iNFp, iNTj, iNTp, eNFj, and eNFp. I think iNFj is the most accurate one, but that's not saying much. Granted, many people come out far more clearly as one type, but I didn't. The types can possibly be used if you're debating someone whom you've never met, to get a basic idea of how they'll act, but that's it. The Big 5 that you linked to is better in this respect, because it only uses traits instead of types; unlike the MBTI where iNTp's are defined as being very much different from iNTj's, the Big 5 just tells you the person is x amount neurotic, or x amount conscientious, and lets you come to your own conclusions. Still, the most important use for these tests IMHO is to help people identify traits in people and how they work together to form different personalities; I can now look at people, see how they act (how extroverted or neurotic they are, for example) and have a general idea of how they'll respond in a certain situation or to a certain action.

I remember in my article guessing that most people here would be iNTj, and later retracting that and saying that most people here would be iNTp. It appears I was, and still am, right. It makes sense that very few E's would bother spending their time on a site like this when they can be out in real life, and that very few S's would want to have discussions like these (probably the few who do are borderline S-N's), but why so few F's? Granted, we are the next most common group after iNTj's, but 7 times more Ts than Fs isn't very many F's. Is that because none of them bothered to vote (which I greatly doubt), or because very few of them want to be at a site like this in the first place?

Where have all the F's gone? (none / 0) (#68)
by jabon on Wed Jan 23, 2002 at 05:52:28 AM EST

Im an InFJ. I have always tested as such, except that I have leaned more towards I over the years, despite the efforts of those around me to push towards E. I can't speak for everyone, but I didn't vote for my type because it wasn't on the list. Furthermore, it takes a great deal of effort for me to comment on something. It has something to with being comfortable exposing my opinions and a dash of not really know how to express my feelings on a topic, or what my real feelings are on said topic.

[ Parent ]
All 16 types are in the poll (none / 0) (#69)
by I am Jack's username on Wed Jan 23, 2002 at 04:36:19 PM EST

x is a wildcard in MB types, therefore you can vote for "ixfx", which includes isfj, isfp, infj, and infp.

The poll also has a "none of the above" (nota) option, which every poll should have. All 16 types are represented in the poll with the wildcards, but I always include nota anyway. There are also people who are on the exact edges of types, e.g.: an intx who is equally j and p - so they could vote nota.
--
Inoshiro for president!
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Interesting tests (none / 0) (#45)
by ParadigmShift on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 06:07:00 PM EST

I remember taking a similar test quite some time ago.
A friend of mine who is really into this sort of thing nearly fell off her chair when she found out I was an INFJ (Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging). Apparently, from what I'm told, only 2% of the population are INFJ's and males of that type are almost non-existent. I find that kind of hard to believe though. I'm nothing special. Just another guy. =)

For those who are wondering what the hell I'm babbling about, here's an overview of the INFJ personality

And according to your referral... (none / 0) (#57)
by MisterQueue on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 09:05:37 AM EST

John Katz is also one...interesting

-Q

-------
Publicly lame since 01/20/02
[ Parent ]

Different Katz, maybe? (none / 0) (#58)
by ParadigmShift on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 09:21:58 AM EST

I noticed that too. But I also noticed the spelling of his name was different from that of the other Jon Katz.
Our infamous /. Katz is spelled as "Jon".
Still, I wonder if they are talking about the same person.
Honestly, from what I get from his writing, he doesn't feel like an INFJ.
But hey, you never know.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm.. (none / 0) (#59)
by MisterQueue on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 09:42:25 AM EST

Maybe they meant comedian Johnathan Katz from Dr Katz...but I doubt it...it says writer/critic there...

-Q

-------
Publicly lame since 01/20/02
[ Parent ]

Actual results, or guesses? (none / 0) (#60)
by LordEq on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 10:14:50 AM EST

Is this an actual MBTI evaluation of Katz, or did the authors of these profiles just guess? Look through the profiles. A lot of people who are listed were dead and gone long before the MBTI existed. Some examples:

  • Chaucer (INFJ)
  • David, king of Israel (ENFJ)
  • Marie Antionette (ISFP)
  • Alexander the Great (ENTP)
  • Simon Peter, Christ's disciple (ESTP)
The folks who wrote these even offered some speculation on fictional characters, mentioning Hannibal Lecter (INTJ), Tim "The Toolman" Taylor (ESFP), and even Eeyore (ISTJ). I know, without a doubt, that Eeyore didn't take the test.

Katz may be an INFJ, but I doubt it. Take it from another of the rare INFJ males -- he doesn't sound like One of Us. :)



--LordEq

"That's what K5's about. Hippies and narcs cavorting together." --panck
[ Parent ]
Katz (none / 0) (#61)
by ParadigmShift on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 01:25:12 PM EST

I have no idea, but I'm guessing they were guesses based on personality traits. At least, the obvious people you listed were. I don't know if any of the others are legit.
You're right though, Jon Katz is certainly not an INFJ. I don't know about you, but I can spot one a mile away. And he is definitely not.
To be honest, I've only met one other in my life - someone who is very kindred to me. It's like looking into a mirror and seeing myself 20 years older..And female. ;)

[ Parent ]
Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (5.00 / 4) (#47)
by K5er 16877 on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 06:44:40 PM EST

The Myers-Briggs Type Inventory is a cauldren of misconception. First, the MBTI is not based on Jungian work. Myers was not a psychologist and was not trained in Jungian theory. She had no real knowledge of Jungian psychology. She was just a normal person who came up with a personality test. The test happened to match with Jungian theory nicely.

As such, MBTI is a general purpose personality test. General personality tests are very rare because they are almost never valid or reliable.

There are two forms of psychological tool validity: internal and external. The internal validity measures how consistent the questions are amoung themselves. For example, if the tool asked "Do you like pink roses?" and then asked "Do pink roses make you happy?", then an internally valid instrument will have the same answer for both questions the majority of the time. We can't really debate the internal validity of the MBTI. The real MBTI is under tight security. Even going through several courses on psychological tests, I've never seen it. The ones that almost everyone has seen are cheap knock-offs.

External validity is notoriously difficult to test for general personality. External validity refers to how closely the tool matches reality. So, if the MBTI tells me I'm an extrovert and I'm not, then the MBTI doesn't have very good external validity. The problem with measuring the external validity of general personality tests is that there is no objective measurement. For any single trait, you can establish objective scales. For general personality, however, there are no such standards.

Reliability is the measurement of repeatability. The results of a reliable instrument should be the same every time. General personality, however, changes with time and mood. In psychology there is debate over the concept of static personality. Many people, myself included, believe that personality is dynamic. I am a different person at work than I am at home than I am taking a test. I am a different person in the morning or the evening. Generalized personality tests have low reliability.

In sum, don't believe generalized personality tests. There does not exist an external standard to measure their validity. Personality changes, so they are not reliable. This is why there are very few generalized personality tests of any value. The only reason the MBTI became famous is that, coincidentally, it happened to match Jung.

Question (none / 0) (#56)
by Simon Kinahan on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 08:41:07 AM EST

I agree with you that the MBTI does not have much scientific validity behind it. As you say, since there's no way to check its measurements of the traits it claims to measure, there cannot be.

However, my personal expperience of its external validity has been quite good. You can see a typical example in the poll: the community here has vastly more INTPs, and NTs in general, than you would expect in the general population, because such people are overwhelmingly in scientific and technical careers. Although its admittedly not a very scientific test, it does seem to indicate that the MBTI is measuring something vaguely like what it claims to measure, no ?

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
This thread has drifted off topic. (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by wildgift on Mon Jan 21, 2002 at 10:37:23 PM EST

I thought we'd be discussing what happens when two different "personality types" clash. One thing I've noticed, in myself, and in some others, is the willingness to have fights grounded in rational arguments. Tactically, they turn the fight into a disagreement over facts.

It fails to impress when the opponent is not dedicated to rationality.

Seems to be a losing strategy overall, but I see people persist.

Thinkers vs feelers (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by I am Jack's username on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 06:38:02 PM EST

> off topic

Yeah, I wrote it wanting to talk about how understanding different approaches can help in debates.

> It fails to impress when the opponent
> is not dedicated to rationality.

An f friend told me that feeling good about believing in Jesus was much more important to her than being logical and rejecting something if there wasn't proof - truth when it hurts herself/someone else is undesirable to her.

I ease up the argument when I realize the person is an f. Most ts aren't as extreme as I am, so they could possibly see the other person's pov and change tactics instead of just blindly using ineffectual arguments. For me tho, proof, logic, and reason (as the best ways to find what is the truth) is the only way I can argue and believe it.

Personality types helped me realize that I can't use those t methods to explain to an f that I'm a secular humanist: they aren't mystics because they thought about it and reasoned mysticism to be truth, they just felt that way, and when authority figures told them that they were right in believing in invisible pink unicorns, that clinched it (and they are fine with that approach).

A short paper describing 2 students, a thinker and a feeler.
--
Inoshiro for president!
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

well, of course (none / 0) (#63)
by gregholmes on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 03:59:08 PM EST

Those who disagree with you are emotional. You, of course, are logical.

It just has to be true; how else could they persist in the error of their ways? Even after you explain things to them so logically? Let's build a psychobabblish superstructure to prove it is so.

Richard Hofstadter made a better attempt, but yours is a good try.



logical (4.50 / 2) (#66)
by I am Jack's username on Tue Jan 22, 2002 at 06:58:52 PM EST

Argumentum ad Hominem

Don't get so emotional :)
--
Inoshiro for president!
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Debating and personality | 70 comments (56 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
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