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Revisiting Myers Briggs
Old 09-16-2017, 11:02 AM   #1
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Revisiting Myers Briggs

The Personality Test:

https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

This is not a snooping expedition, and the purpose for posting is not to endorse or oppose the test as a meaningful characterization of ones personality but merely to review my own experience in a test-retest experiment.

Some recent mentions of INTJ personality types made me wonder if taking the test with a 5 year separation would change the results. Since there are 60 multiple choice questions, I expected that surely there would be a change of some sort. Who could remember how they answered 5 years ago?

Surprise... With 64 possible changes in the results, my profile came back exactly the same as it was in 2012. ENFP-A.

While I don't think the generalized profile to be exact, I found it to be close to my personal perception. Looking back to the choice of career path, I now realize that circumstances led me in the wrong direction. Relative success with promotions etc, but always a feeling that I wanted more.

So why post now? Well, early retirement means that one is foregoing those years that the majority of people experience. One's workaday peers will continue, while the retiree has to forge a new beginning. What better way than to seek introspection, and if testing is at all helpful... to dig in a little deeper and find out those strengths and weaknesses that might be predictive of future happiness is those 40 or 50 hours/week of extra prime time.

The subject has a little more meaning to me, I suppose, because of an educational background in psychology. Here's the historical background of Meyers Briggs from Wiki.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers%...Type_Indicator
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:08 AM   #2
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Mentioning Myers-Briggs around psychologists --- especially personality psychologists --- is one of the fastest ways to get their eyes rolling. MBTI consistently fails to predict pretty much anything other than anecdotally. But it has a big appeal because it seems like it ought to be right. People enjoy being told simple stories that seem to relate to them.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:18 AM   #3
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ESTP-A (Is that a gas treatment additive for electric cars?) Whether or not it is in any way accurate I don't know.......or care.

May have taken this, or a similar, test years ago.....no idea what the results were at that time.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:21 AM   #4
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:24 AM   #5
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I took this test for the first time when I was in high school. Since then I have taken this test a few more times, and I always come up with the same result. INTJ. The I and the T are always really close, so I wonder if those two variables are correct. I have always felt that INTJ provides a very good description of me. I am not sure if these are the sorts of things that change about a person as time passes, but maybe.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:24 AM   #6
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Reading the text pertaining to ESTP-A it indicates that I am insensitive.

Insensitive, Moi? The only people who would think that are jerks and losers! Pah!
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:27 AM   #7
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Since INTJs are found on this board at a rate roughly 10x the general population, I'd say at minimum there's a meaningful connection with FIRE.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:36 AM   #8
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I always get inconsistent results. I can take the test later the same day and get a different result. Maybe I'm just moody.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:04 PM   #9
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INTJ-A

The first time I took a Myers-Briggs test was in 1967, when I took a senior level college psychology class called Psychology of Personality. I have probably re-taken it (the test! not the class ) dozens of times since, just for fun using online tests like this one.

The results are consistently and strongly INTJ, in every aspect, as they were this time. A couple of times I have tried to "fake it", but it still comes out INTJ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
Since INTJs are found on this board at a rate roughly 10x the general population, I'd say at minimum there's a meaningful connection with FIRE.
For some reason, a lot of our members here are engineers either by training or in their careers or both. So, maybe the connection is between being an INTJ, and an interest in engineering.

I would suspect that a professional comedian would not be an INTJ, but we don't have as many comedians as engineers. Well, some of our members ARE pretty funny! I love their jokes. But I don't know of any that earned a living that way.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:10 PM   #10
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I consistently get one of two results - ISTJ or INTJ. INTJ seems to be the result most often.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick View Post
Mentioning Myers-Briggs around psychologists --- especially personality psychologists --- is one of the fastest ways to get their eyes rolling. MBTI consistently fails to predict pretty much anything other than anecdotally. But it has a big appeal because it seems like it ought to be right. People enjoy being told simple stories that seem to relate to them.
Since you mentioned this, I thought I would throw out something I saw a couple weeks ago on a TV show "Adam Ruins Everything". Basically, the test is just BS. Not just BS, but a test that was developed by a woman and her daughter who had zero training in psychology.

From the Wiki article:

The validity (statistical validity and test validity) of the MBTI as a psychometric instrument has been the subject of much criticism.

It has been estimated that between a third and a half of the published material on the MBTI has been produced for the special conferences of the Center for the Application of Psychological Type (which provide the training in the MBTI, and are funded by sales of the MBTI) or as papers in the Journal of Psychological Type (which is edited and supported by Myers–Briggs advocates and by sales of the indicator). It has been argued that this reflects a lack of critical scrutiny. Many of the studies that endorse MBTI are methodologically weak or unscientific. A 1996 review by Gardner and Martinko concluded: "It is clear that efforts to detect simplistic linkages between type preferences and managerial effectiveness have been disappointing. Indeed, given the mixed quality of research and the inconsistent findings, no definitive conclusion regarding these relationships can be drawn."

Psychometric specialist Robert Hogan wrote: "Most personality psychologists regard the MBTI as little more than an elaborate Chinese fortune cookie ..."
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:22 PM   #12
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post

Psychometric specialist Robert Hogan wrote: "Most personality psychologists regard the MBTI as little more than an elaborate Chinese fortune cookie ..."
For all that, it does seem to be remarkably consistent, at least for many individuals.

Not that I'm saying it has any validity, I have neither the knowledge, experience, or skills to evaluate that. Only that for many people it is consistent, and that argues against it being a random result.

And what the heck, even if it is regarded as only a parlor game, it is entertaining.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:47 PM   #14
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When I worked at Megacorp, they had a big push one year to be a more inclusive working environment, which somehow turned into mandatory Myers-Briggs tests for everyone. Your score was compared to the typical score for your job type and managers were bombarded with email stressing the importance of treating different personality types differently. It was reflected in reviews for that year, and in a few cases where the score was very different from the typical score for that job, managers were encouraged to push the employee into a different career path.

It's all fun and games until HR gets involved.

It could be worse. A friend worked for a company that instituted something similar based on Color Preferences. Autumns work better with Autumns or something. Not a big stretch from zodiac horoscopes.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:02 PM   #15
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It could be worse. A friend worked for a company that instituted something similar based on Color Preferences. Autumns work better with Autumns or something. Not a big stretch from zodiac horoscopes.
I worked in local government, in a public safety position that is almost always taken very seriously by everyone. To be sure there were entertaining moments, but those were the exception, not the rule.

Reading all these corporate BS stories here that sound like they're something out of The Twilight Zone I sometimes feel like I really missed the bus on corporate life. OTOH, I probably wouldn't have lasted long in that environment with my propensity to laugh at the emperor with no clothes.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:33 PM   #16
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I once worked at a fast-growing startup software company that had just completed a round of Myers-Briggs tests "for fun" on everyone.

Folks were talking about their personality types. Some were actually wondering if they should change departments because they were outliers in their current groups.

I was appalled and asked if we were going to bring in a phrenologist next.

The company went quickly downhill a few years later. I'm sure some Tarot cards or palm readings could have predicted it, but weren't consulted for some reason.

(Whenever I'm asked, I'm tempted to reply that my personality type is STFU.)
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:06 PM   #17
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I do concede that opinions on the validity of the analysis definitely vary. Hector Binfaddil said "Only an idiot would believe this has any value". As some experts have opined on other matters such as religiosity, world peace or global warning... 'different strokes for different folks'.

While I wouldn't use the personality as a factor in hiring or promoting, I would defend the value to the individual as a possible baseline too see oneself as others see us.

In particular, this website gives a condensed view of the personality types with a simplified overview of strengths and weaknesses.

http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-p...ome.htm?bhcp=1

I mentioned in the op, that I felt that I was in the wrong job... (not by choice, but circumstance). As an upper level manager, while I did well, I never felt the satisfaction of control and leadership that might have stood me in better stead.

As time went by, I found greater satisfaction in being "with" rather than being "above". This turned into volunteer work with the SBA, Youth Groups, and with the Boy Scout movement. Along the way, a less organized position as a mentor, counselor, and enabler. Still far away from my 1st choice of psychology/psychiatry, but in the same vein. Now, I spend considerable time with older members of our CCRC, and helping to organize activities and interest groups. In all, similar to the outline of the personality type.

So back to the point of seeing the "type" as introspection... especially in early retirement. If the Type seems to fit, maybe it's a clue as to what to consider in plans and activities to fill in those newly freed hours. Maybe to run for office, or become a financial advisor, to finish reading those books in your library, or work with kids, or volunteer for civic action... or maybe to be happier starting a new small business.

If you were always totally happy with your chosen profession... maybe staying there would give the most satisfaction and happiness.

Not selling a product here... just some thoughts on taking a second look. Many years to fill... and world travel might get harder when ya reach 85...
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
When I worked at Megacorp, they had a big push one year to be a more inclusive working environment, which somehow turned into mandatory Myers-Briggs tests for everyone. Your score was compared to the typical score for your job type and managers were bombarded with email stressing the importance of treating different personality types differently. It was reflected in reviews for that year, and in a few cases where the score was very different from the typical score for that job, managers were encouraged to push the employee into a different career path.

It's all fun and games until HR gets involved.

It could be worse. A friend worked for a company that instituted something similar based on Color Preferences. Autumns work better with Autumns or something. Not a big stretch from zodiac horoscopes.
Re: Meyer-Briggs and HR

Yup. A couple of years ago they pulled this stunt where I work. They made everyone in the department take the test, and claimed "no one will know your results" and "it's just for fun." Supposed to be one of those team building exercises. All-righty then.

To put it mildly, introverts are not valued or appreciated by my VP. She does not care for my personality; she is an extreme extrovert. I had heard from other departments that people's job responsibilities were being shifted based on the results of the test. The managers claimed they were trying to "increase efficiency" and "build better teams."

Knowing that every time I have taken the test in the past I came out as a very strong INTJ, I faked every answer and chose the exact opposite of what I really thought. Miraculously, I scored as a very social, high-extrovert personality. (If you knew me, you would be clutching your sides laughing right now).

The instant the test was over, the VP called out the 16 types, and asked everyone to identify how they scored. (So much for private results). I have worked with many folks in my department for decades, so when I identified myself as the high-extrovert personality during this little roll call, a few of my friends snorted out loud.

The VP's jaw dropped, but what could she do? Here we had indisputable, "scientific" proof that I had the perfect personality for my job. Since she was the one who pushed the test, she could hardly argue with the results, eh?

I am still doing my job. My line manager has my back 100%. And every time I see the VP I give her a huge smile, and she scowls in my direction.

Re: Color Palette training

Yup, they had us do that one too. The same friends had another good laugh at my "results" for that one.

{sigh} Only a few more years of this silliness for me. My true personality "type" at this point is DGAF. Not sure what color that is.

Edited to add: Just to clarify, I have nothing against folks who are, or who consider themselves to be, extroverts. Some of my best friends are extroverts! My objection to the test being administered in a professional setting is that the purpose was to slap labels on people, and put them in certain "boxes." People are far more complex than that, and I object to labels being applied to anyone for that reason.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:58 PM   #19
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Stuff You Should Know has a podcast on this. Amazing how stuff like this gets traction and twisted.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:47 PM   #20
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This very long article takes a deep-dive into the secret life of Isabel Myers-Briggs and her mother Katharine Cook Briggs, like this little tidbit -

Quote:
Less obvious at first, and then wholly undeniable, is how hard the present-day guardians of the type indicator work to shield Myers's personal and professional history from critical scrutiny. For the foundation, as well as for its for-profit-research-arm, the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), this means keeping journalists far away from Myers's notebooks, correspondences and research materials, which are stored in the Special Collections division of the University of Florida library. Although they are technically the property of the university — thus open to the public — Myers's papers require permission from CAPT to access; permission that has not been granted to anyone1 in the decade since the papers were donated to the university by Myers's granddaughter, Katharine Hughes. Twice I was warned by the university librarian, a kind and rueful man, that CAPT was "very invested in protecting Isabel's image." Why her image should need protection, I did not yet understand.
and this -

Quote:

Not one article details how Myers, an award-winning mystery writer who possessed no formal training in psychology or sociology, concocted a test routinely deployed by 89 of the Fortune 100 companies, the US government, hundreds of universities, and online dating sites like Perfect Match, Project Evolove and Type Tango. And not one expert in the field of psychometric testing, a $500 million industry with over 2,500 different tests on offer in the US alone, can explain why Myers-Briggs has so thoroughly surpassed its competition, emerging as a household name on par with the Atkins Diet or The Secret.
Uncovering The Secret History Of Myers-Briggs - Digg
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