If you’re interested in classifying yourself — and goodness knows, I classify everything so such an exercise certainly appeals to me — a good place to start might be the “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator”:http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm, a scientifically un-validated test that classifies everyone into one of 16 groups with four-letter names. I’m an INTJ; every time I’ve taken the MBTI — whether a fake version online I found in college or the real, authorized one I took in b-school or the several in between — I’ve come out an INTJ. But I took this other test for a class, the “IPIP-NEO”:http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/j/5/j5j/IPIP/, and, well, the overlap between the two makes it clear that I’m in that little box formerly labeled “Misanthrope”:http://www.biercephile.com/.
Now, if you’re as compulsive a categorizer as I, then you’ve already taken those two tests linked above, gotten your results, and taken some time to understand them. If, however, you’re reading this blog voluntarily, you’re probably bored and wishing I’d get on with making sense already. So, for the benefit of those who haven’t read their classification explanations, an INTJ is:
* An Introvert, meaning I am energized by being alone, that being around others saps my energy, and that I enjoy spending time with my own thoughts. Which, frankly, explains why I put them down here rather than inviting you all over for dinner, then holding forth.
* An Intuiter, meaning that I noodle on everything and, by doing so, understand everything, rather than having to physically experience everything.
* A Thinker, meaning that I like to put ideas and impressions together with logic, rather than with emotions.
* A Judger, meaning not that I’m judgemental but rather that I prefer to be systematic in my thinking and in my life progression.
All the above is probably obvious to anybody who’s spent more than about 20 minutes with me. But, when you take the above definition in tandem with my IPIP-NEO result, well, you can narrow down the possiblities quite a bit.
The IPIP-NEO classifies the subject on five “domains”, each with several sub-scales. On each sub-scale and each domain, the subject is rated on a scale of 1-100, with 50 being “average” for people from the relevant culture and age group, and 0 being low and 100 high. I got:
* 43 on Extraversion, which is close to normal but please note the _3_ on the Friendliness sub-scale. I hope that, as the description says, “an introvert who scores high on the agreeableness dimension will not seek others out but will be quite pleasant when approached” will turn out to be true!
* 60 on Agreeableness, which makes me happy, except for the 18 on the Modesty sub-scale and the 29 on the Morality sub-scale, which, from the definition, should really be called Bluntness as it measures only propensity to speak diplomatically, at which I am surprisingly good.
* 36 on Conscientiousness, with a stunning 0 on the Dutifulness and 9 on Self-Discipline sub-scales — OK, we all knew I had a problem with authority and that maybe I need to shape up some — but at least the 91 on the Achievement-Striving sub-scale is predictable.
* 80 on Neuroticism, which frankly I think is low for a Jew. 89 on the Self-Consciousness sub-scale, 81 on Anxiety, and 86 on Depression were all predictable, but I’m happy to see that I scored only 35 on Anger. Really, I think the Depression scale is exaggerated, as I’m good at finding the sunshine after allowing myself a bit of rain from time to time.
* 77 on Openness to Experience, with an 89 on the Imagination sub-scale and 87 on Liberalism.
So what does this all tell us? Well, put it together and I’m an introverted, unfriendly, perhaps approachable, logical intellecutal who is somewhat messy and maybe doesn’t follow through (or maybe is a perfectionist) and who worries all the time, especially when trying new things. Alone. That’s a pretty accurate box to put ‘ol me in, and I offer it as a convenience to you all out there, my beloved readers.