Published Jan 31, 2006

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, 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, and, well, the overlap between the two makes it clear that I’m in that little box formerly labeled Misanthrope.

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.


I am flabbergasted by how alike we are in many ways. INTJs are few and far between, and I have tested as one more than once.

I can’t wait to take the IPIP-NEO. It’s nice to see a personality trait that I berate myself for daily written about in a scientific, non-judgmental way. I too am unfriendly yet agreeable, and I hope to embrace that rather than continuing to feel bad about not seeking others out.

Ever since I was small I wanted to be more of a social butterfly, because those girls had friends and I didn’t. Fortunately I gathered more and more friends as the years passed, slowly, as people approached me and realized how agreeable I was.

I’m entj. but you knew that already. LOL. I’m looking forward to taking that second test. maybe Friday afternoon?

The secret’s out, I like to surround myself with *NTJ women.

Dot keeps fluctuating every time she takes MB, and on 3 of the categories. Now, is it because she is truly on the border in those areas… or because of the internal struggle between who she really is and who she wants to be? Hmmm. :D

I’m a NT. I test right on the borderline for the I/E and P/J axes. My N is pretty solid, around 60-65% (defining 50% as equal N/S), and my T is a perfect 100%. (And I will never, ever date anyone who gets an F on the M-B. In fact, I have trouble even being friends with Fs.)

I’ve always thought Abstract/Concrete was a better description of Intuiting/Sensing. And for Perceiving/Judging, they might try Dynamic/Systematic.

Maybe I’ll try that other test some time when I’m not four days behind on reading LJ and Slate, because I’ve been doing non-stop work at work, instead of being able to spend lunch hour browsing the web…

Hey, it ate the dashes! That was supposed to begin, “I’m a xNTx.” Except where I wrote “x” this time, there were dashes.

Also, I note that I can’t even use entities like -. Feh.