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Personality Types (Myer-Briggs)

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When I started what I thought was a new thread I didn't realize there had been so much discussion on this topic in the past. Several interesting trends show up:

1. INTJs and INTPs are well represented on this forum.

2. There are many questions about the validity and purpose of the test.

3. The subject keeps coming up.

There are probably good reasons for those. I postulate:

1. Rand laid out her system of philosophy in a style that particularly appeals to NTs. Based on a survey of the personalities and the events of her life, she likely was INTJ.

2. The criticisms of the tests are valid but that does not mean there is no value in the underlying concept.

3. Human behavior is classifiable, and the classifications are useful for identification. Because we do conceptualize whether we choose to or not, rational people continually seek to make those conceptualizations match reality. If people exist and are classifiable by behavior patterns, it makes sense to ask what those classifications are or rightly can be. We seem to be drawn to the task.

What are you calling Primary Values?

MBTI is predictive of behavior, but not sure that it's predictive of values.

I ask myself, "how do I decide what activities I want to pursue and what choices to make?" Maybe I am using the terms a little too loosely (one of the traits of an extrovert is understanding an idea by talking about it). The context I am coming from here is reforming my life from the framework of Objectivism after decades of theism. I used to judge my choice of activities based on whether I thought god wanted me to do something. I was so used to sacrifice as a way of life that it was not apparent to me at first what *I* wanted. I find that my MB type helps me predict what, in fact, does have the most value to me.

I could go into a lot of detail on how the type description has helped me identify what is likely to be my highest values.

Part of my purpose in raising this subject is to hopefully identify other people here who are NOT INTJ, and I'm especially looking for other NFs.

Edited by Scribulus
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Another problem/question: are there any SJs out there who are also *decided* atheists?

Living proof, at your service. I'm an ESTJ.

As you can see, I'm having trouble coming up with herioc characters of hers that are SPs or SJs.

Kay Ludlow? Richard Halley? I think they fit the artisan profile.

Agree? Disagree? Are they too secondary, or not heroic enough?

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I'm INTJ.

1. INTJs and INTPs are well represented on this forum.

I think INTJs and INTPs are well represented on most forums. Although that might relate to the types of forums I'm around in the first place. I think the people that post and take the test because they want to indicates an enjoyment of thinking (and other characteristics of NTs). I think an ESFJ is almost unheard of on internet forums. I can't imagine why an extroverted person would ever want to spend time writing posts. I would rather say the MB can be indicative of your values rather than predictive. Your values reflect your personality. If your values change, your personality changes. If I started to value social interaction more, I'd become more extroverted. I do not think the MB would help you identify what values you have, but it certainly can help with introspection. I have a very pronounced 'I' according to the test, so it makes me think about being more sociable. Would it actually help me to achieve my highest values? I don't think so. But it does help me realize that I *am* very introverted. I can use that information to evaluate how I'm living my life.

Edited by Eiuol
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No matter what intellectual message board you visit, you will find a strong majority of INTJ and INTP types. Those are the personality types that are drawn the most towards online intellectual debate. I'm confident there's a larger amount of Objectivist ENTJ and ENTP types than what this thread reflects.

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I'm interested to hear your reasoning behind placing Eddie Willers under the ISTJ category.

Sure. Now bear with me since I haven't read the book in awhile. Taking the letters one at a time, he strikes me as an I because he is not someone who likes to deal with large numbers of people at once, or draw energy and strength from the external as opposed to the internal world. He prefers a few people to be close to him, such as Dagny and the man we later find out is John Galt, which is typically the mark of an I. The S designation, which I'm going to assume is the one you most want explained, I chose because I think that while Eddie is clearly an intelligent man, he is more comfortable focusing on his more immediate observations and things that are typically concrete rather than abstract. This is hardly to say that he is anti-conceptual. Obviously far from it. But he is not an abstract systems-type thinker. That's why he looks to Dagny for those types of answers. The T and the J I think are a little more obvious. Eddie is clearly more of a thinker than a feeler, and his desire for clear-cut boundaries, instructions, and standards all indicate a J preference.

Now, looking one letter at a time is all well and good, but I actually think the case is made better by looking at the type and subtype. By subtype I mean his being an SJ (perhaps another term like "grouping" would be more appropriate, I don't know). He fits the SJ mold pretty well, being a guy who is drawn to rock-solid institutions (like Taggart Transcontinental) and is not particularly comfortable with change. He is not out of place in the Guardian profile. In the end, you could argue that his absolute devotion to the institution of TT, long after its underlying meaning and heart were gone, was his undoing. And lastly, looking at the ISTJ "Inspector" profile, I think it fits Eddie to a T.

If you want to disagree at all, feel free, as I would be interested to hear another POV and maybe I will change my mind. Man, I feel like I'm in English class or somethin.

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If you want to disagree at all, feel free, as I would be interested to hear another POV and maybe I will change my mind. Man,

Actually, I did disagree, thinking he was more intuitive than observant. But your argument about him being loyal to TT even after its spirit was dashed changed my mind a little. He behaved in a principled manner throughout the book, that I think is for sure, but he does fit more of a loyal guardian profile. It can be said that his principled thinking was in fact a reflection of his observance of Dagny (how his principles were really only hers, and he just observed that they seemed to work well for her and adopted them for himself).

I think ISTJ does really work for him. Though I'm still convinced the S versus N is a false dichotomy. He's really a pretty intuitive guy as well.

More thoughts? (I'm not through with AS, only just beginning Galt's speech, so please no spoilers).

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Actually, I did disagree, thinking he was more intuitive than observant. But your argument about him being loyal to TT even after its spirit was dashed changed my mind a little. He behaved in a principled manner throughout the book, that I think is for sure, but he does fit more of a loyal guardian profile. It can be said that his principled thinking was in fact a reflection of his observance of Dagny (how his principles were really only hers, and he just observed that they seemed to work well for her and adopted them for himself).

I think ISTJ does really work for him. Though I'm still convinced the S versus N is a false dichotomy. He's really a pretty intuitive guy as well.

More thoughts? (I'm not through with AS, only just beginning Galt's speech, so please no spoilers).

My only comment is I don't see why being ISTJ precludes having principles. Much as we NT types may enjoy glorifying ourselves, I don't think it does anyone any good to prejudice ourselves against particular types. I think that any of the 16 types can be intelligent and rational, even if some may be more inclined to do it easily than others.

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My only comment is I don't see why being ISTJ precludes having principles. Much as we NT types may enjoy glorifying ourselves, I don't think it does anyone any good to prejudice ourselves against particular types. I think that any of the 16 types can be intelligent and rational, even if some may be more inclined to do it easily than others.

I completely agree with that. I myself am an ESTJ, so I definitely wasn't trying to exercise a prejudice.

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My only comment is I don't see why being ISTJ precludes having principles. Much as we NT types may enjoy glorifying ourselves, I don't think it does anyone any good to prejudice ourselves against particular types. I think that any of the 16 types can be intelligent and rational, even if some may be more inclined to do it easily than others.

Yes, I quite agree. It's no more than saying that even though a person is right-handed, they can still do things with their left hand as much as they feel the need to. As an ENFP, I've never considered myself to be the logical type, but using reason has become a very high value to me, and I find that the more I apply myself to it, the more I can do it, and my life improves accordingly. Now I look for people who can be expressive of emotions, but do so based on a well-reasoned philosophy.

Ah, that's interesting. So you're using this to try to help give you a little more clarity in identifying things about yourself, as a possible bit of an extra aid and guide for introspection?

Yes, I find it useful for identification. One would think that knowing what one wants is a matter of only introspection, but that isn't necessarily true. The brain takes cues from the environment, and when the environment is consistently full of sacrificial cues, it can be hard to identify by introspection alone. I view the MBTI as a time-saver.

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To a certain extent we need concepts about personality in order to understand people, but I think the attempt to categorize people into groups like "you're an introverted intellectual" is often a waste of time. Individuals vary far too much to have any kind of reliable, general definition of personality types.

For instance, I have a girlfriend and only two people I would call friends. I don't actively look for friends because: there are few people out there whom I would like, I've always been happier on my own anyway, and I'm happy with the two friends I have.

But does that qualify me as anti-social or introverted? Maybe I am introverted, but I can be quite extroverted with the right people. And I'm very good at conversation, with the right people.

Can the Myers-Briggs assess that?

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To a certain extent we need concepts about personality in order to understand people, but I think the attempt to categorize people into groups like "you're an introverted intellectual" is often a waste of time. Individuals vary far too much to have any kind of reliable, general definition of personality types.

For instance, I have a girlfriend and only two people I would call friends. I don't actively look for friends because: there are few people out there whom I would like, I've always been happier on my own anyway, and I'm happy with the two friends I have.

But does that qualify me as anti-social or introverted? Maybe I am introverted, but I can be quite extroverted with the right people. And I'm very good at conversation, with the right people.

Can the Myers-Briggs assess that?

Yes, but you have to define your terms. I'm an extrovert, but I also only have a few close friends at a given time. It is common to think of introversion as a negative trait, but there is a difference in the term when it's used as an evaluation versus as a description. It's not a measure of how good you are at conversation. The way I think of it in the Myers-Briggs is what you do to relieve stress: an extrovert will want to talk to people in order to think, and an introvert will want to think alone. Sometimes extroverts want to be alone, and sometimes introverts want to talk to someone else about a problem, but the moment of ---aahhh-- of stress relief, tends to come from social versus solitary exercises.

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  • 2 years later...

I tend to score INTJ every time I take the test, but looking at my score, I'm relatively low on a thinking with a score of 25. I'm very high on judging, at 89. This has made me wonder to what extent the MBTI is accurate, or at least how questionable a free online one is. While I relate well to any INTJ description I've seen, I also relate well to INTP and INFJ, depending on the context. My preferred judging trait seems to stem from a strong feeling trait, but is expressed as thinking due to the extent I try to explain emotions in an objective way. Worded differently, I make judgments really fast with strong attention to my emotion to realize what my judgment is, but I heavily think and really try to check the validity of my judgment. When I make a judgment, I always search for more information that may alter my judgment, when I know I'm lacking information, which may come across as perceiving trait in intellectual discussions. This sort of complexity I observe in myself leads me to question how an MBTI tests really gets at one's preferred personality style.

Is there anyone here knowledgeable about the MBTI test? Has anyone taken a the free version, and also a paid version administered by someone certified. I'm wondering a paid version may be more accurate, or if I should put aside the test as a whole as sophisticated astrology. In terms of psychology at least, how much empirical evidence is there to suggest if the MBTI categories are meaningful or representative?

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I don't think the test has strong validity because:

1) It is self-administered/self-answered (People may answer how they want to be or how they evaluate themselves, rather than ow they actually are.)

2) A number of the questions ask you to choose between false alternatives.

3) Like you said above, you can sometimes score just over the dividing line between types.

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1) It is self-administered/self-answered (People may answer how they want to be or how they evaluate themselves, rather than ow they actually are.)

I'm not asking about the free online tests alone, I'm talking about the free online ones in comparison to someone certified administering the test. An online test taken to evaluate if you have a personality disorder would be useless, but that doesn't mean an actual psychologist cannot take other aspects into consideration to legitimately diagnose a personality disorder on top of using a similar test. Has anyone here taken an MBTI test administered by someone certified, or know how it may differ if not?

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  • 3 months later...

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