Khan mentioned this on one of the other forums, the Keirsey-Myer Temperment analysis test. You can find it at http://www.keirsey.com. Anyway, though it might be fun to analyze ourselves and find out whether we're all Authors or Masterminds or Champions or whatnot, I actually thought the site provides some interesting insights about writing, in an article called The Mirror of Fiction
Also, if you're willing to be pretty honest and know someone pretty well, you can take the test for them. It might even be more accurate that way. My test result was initially distorted because I think of myself as having ten senses rather than just seven, for example, as well as because I know that I have very passionate emotions. And you can do the same thing for a character that you've just made up. Take the test for them and you'll get a descriptive outline of their temperment. It's a pretty cool tool. Or a cheap trick. Anyway, try it out on some of the characters that you're imagining and see if it helps them come into focus.
[This message has been edited by Survivor (edited February 20, 2000).]
You can read the descriptions of all of these on the website, or even take the test for any of the characters and find out what they are. I have to say, the descriptions fit the various characters really well. I'm not sure whether Tuvok is more of a INTJ or an INTP, so I would be interested in how he comes out on someone elses test of him.
Actually, I think it would be interesting to find out how all your favorite characters stack up. I suspect that the character models on Voyager might have been developed with the use of the Keirsey temperment types, so it would be interesting to see how well it identifies, say, King Lear or Ivan Ilych.
There's a lot of interesting stuff about how various temperments relate to each other, too, in the book. Not all of it is on the website, of course. I was evaluating the profile of a young woman that I was madly in love with once, and discovered that she was my ideal romantic 'type'. The character description of her was dead on, and kind of explains why I never got over her despite deciding not to pursue a relationship with her.
It also depicts other people that I know, sometimes with hilarious accuracy. Which is astonishing, considering that it only breaks down into sixteen differing types, with four predominating temperment classes. Anyway, I'm going to try it on some of my characters that I'm coming up with, just to see what they come up as.
My latest creation turns out to be an ISTJ, an Inspector type. I've barely met him and I already know everything about him. Nifty, eh?
Actually, I think that it's more accurate, and more interesting, to score other people. We often tend to think in terms that center our strongest characteristics. I'm a wildly intuitive thinker, as well as being almost completely introverted, but I think of my sense of well being and my sense of truth as being literal senses, like sight and touch, so I tend to answer as only slightly prefering intuitive thought. Same for thinking verses feeling. I feel my emotions from the inside, but I don't show them on the outside, so I tend to think of myself as being more emotional than others see me. Introversion too. I tend to think of myself as participating in a conversation just by observing it, even if I don't say anything of react to what's being said. So I think of myself as being less introverted than I am.
As for P vs J, other people can't make a strong assignment on that either. I'll close a case, but then reopen it for any hint of new evidence. But I think I'm more J than P.
Anyways, I'll give you one guess about the profile of the woman I was in love with
[This message has been edited by Survivor (edited February 22, 2000).]
The woman you were in love with was either your complete opposite - ESFP or the same as you INTJ.
I think I'm an INFJ - but the I/E and F/T parts seem to score equal on both. Or close to it. The trouble is, when you've taken the test once you can pretty much work out what answers are going to give you what profile.
She was an ENFP, actually. Love isnt' the same thing as a strong attraction. Nor, as Jeannette points out, can it always lead to a relationship. I'm afraid that I tend to class it as a mere phenomenon. Still, it has its points, doesn't it?
Actually, I think what ice cream one likes, and what toppings/accessories says way more about a person than any of these so called personality metrics. These things have been so abused by the personnel field (trying to find new and more exciting ways to justify their existence, and trying to assert their control over processes when they aren't responsible for the final outcome...)
Basically, I like to find out if someone likes Rocky Road versus Vanilla. Do they like hot fudge? Chocolate sauce (cold)? Fruit? Nuts? ...
I'll bet I can give just as good a description of someone's personality based on these traits as I could from these tests. Its all about the same as astrology or phrenology. It's just our generation's fad solution to an unsolveable problem. Predicting what someone will do in a situation they haven't been faced with.
Actually, I think the point of the Keirsey work is to point out that there are valid differences in the ways that people make decisions. The books are mostly about successfully relating to others even though they may seem incomprehensible at times. In fact, generally what someone will actually do is ignored by the authors, since they concentrate on how they do it.
Of course, N types like myself see no reason to put up with S types at all, whatever some author says about the validity of their perceptual model, so yes, it's mostly just for fun.
Hm.... my favorite ice cream is Ben and Jerry's "Cherry Garcia". I also like their "White Russian" flavor, which I haven't seen for a long time. In an actual ice cream parlor, it depends on what time of year it is, what I've eaten that day, and how I feel. I love fresh fruit, flavored liquers, (like fruit-flavored brandies and such), chocolate sauce, and sprinkles, but not necessarily all of them at once. As for flavors, if there's no toppings available I'll take Rocky Road or coffee-flavored varieties over Vanilla any day, but I can put more stuff on the latter, so I'd go with that for fancier stuff. So, what does *that* tell you? As for those tests, yes, their fun, but once you've seen all of the possible outcomes, it's easy to manipulate them so they become useless. I've never worked somewhere where they gave me a "personality" test once I was employed, but I've been given several "am I stupid enough to tell you what you don't want to hear" tests as a condition for being hired. I think that, by now, they know that all they're useful for is weeding out those who haven't figured them out yet. I hope so, anyway.... Posts: 79 | Registered: Dec 1999
Here is your requested Ice Cream personality profile:
You like high quality and are willing to go the extra mile to get the job done right.
You prefer variety over stability, but too much variety all at once tends to overwhelm you and make you unhappy.
Given the choice, you like to work on complex tasks, but when forced to work on boring or mundane tasks you invariably add a bit of personal flair to them.
You usually handle minor disappointments well. Friends admire you for making the best of annoying situations. You personally feel, however, that you sometimes settle for less than what you set out for. This usually makes you even more determined to succeed the next time.
Check's in the mail. Really. ;P My husband got a kick out of your analysis, too...I'd like to get him to give his ice cream opinion, but he won't. (He usually gets Ben and Jerry's Mint chocolate cookie or Coconut Cream Pie, though).
Hmm, well, I like Neapolitan with bannanas and peanut butter, rocky road, mint chocolate chip, he...Um what is easier to say is that I don't like butter pecan, no matter how high it's quality, nor do I like walnuts in any combination with chocolate or any sweetener (they have this bitterly acrid skin that tastes like dry oak leaves) or any nuts that are not covered with chocolate or caramel. I am partial to inclusions of chocolate over syrup or flavoring, and like real strawberries and bannanas in my ice cream. On the other hand, I prefer most other fruits be finely rendered or their flavors imitated artificially, excepting those that I do not consider suitable for ice cream, such as apple and grape. I will not eat, nor will I buy, any form of non-fat or low fat ice cream. I also detest refrozen and stale ice cream, but enjoy freeze dried confections readily.
As for particular brands, I have little preference, although I can say that I have never been induced to buy or express a particular desire for Ben and Jerry's. I have tasted their unaccountably popular ice cream on occasion but prefer blends that have a lighter flavor and more body, if that means anything when speaking of ice cream. Breyer's is more to my taste, although I don't feel any strong loyalty to their products either.
And I don't worry much about hiring standards. For one thing, no one that really wanted a standard personality could possibly mistake me for a suitable candidate for employment, nor would I long serve an employer that did not meet my own standards.
Okay. We're dealing with limited information with Mr. Hill (I assume you and he share a last name, but if not I apologize).
Mr. Hill's choice of Ben & Jerry's may be a consequence of his wife's love of quality. He has come to know the joy of the better things rather late in life. Now, he feels compelled to go even further, selecting the less frequent path sometimes for the sheer joy of discovery. There's a bit of a darker side to this, though. He often chooses the less-trod path simply because he wants to prove his individuality. There's a hint of insecurity there, which is made up for in his strong passions. Note that some misunderstand him and this may derive, in part, from his ability to suddenly change directions and go "full steam" into a project or new approach that others hadn't thought him capable of. He likes surprises and doesn't always understand when others are taken aback.
Survivor, I almost hate to take your information because my perceptions of you are already colored by so much of what you have said in previous posts. All I can say is, it is all becoming much clearer now. First, let me say that you have a strong need for stability, almost bordering on a compulsion. You dislike this trait in yourself, but also see it as one of your greatest attributes. Something to be proud of and a track record you can point to. You eschew the glossiness of the world around you, preferring to get to the "heart of the matter." Bumps in the road don't bother you as much as you let on, but still you tend to overdramatize the ones you come across. Life is a game to you, and you feel as if every action is requires strategy and forethought. Personal inconsistencies trouble you, but (as with Mr. Hill above), you don't expose that side of yourself to public view. When in doubt, you find a strong opinion to state, and you stick to it. Your likes and dislikes are important to you, to the point where others find you a tad "persnickity" or too darn "picky." There are major pluses. You can deal with amazingly complex and hard to define situations that leave others simply baffled. You get bored rather easily, however, and, when a solution does not readily present itself, you are quick to "shelve" the problem and come back to it later. Confrontations are always "head on" for you, which is something of an enigma because you truly believe that strategy and cunning are valuable traits that you possess in great abundance. Subtlety angers you, however, even to the point of making you drive close friends away when they are trying to be tactful. I should say, however, that I'm not as certain in this assessment as I usually am. There is much about you that is "fragmented," almost as if any statement might be equally true or false in your description, depending on the mood you are in, or the mode of thought you are pursuing. You never wonder who the "real" you is, but others around you can't help but be confused. They often miss the boat.
Okay, okay, I'll send you $10. I showed your response to Paul after I read it, and he said, "that's pretty funny," which means that you are right. (Which I knew before I showed him...). Scary, really, but that's okay. I don't mind being an open book to people who can't (and I'm sure won't) hurt me. As for Paul, he lives every day honestly, and can't be surprised when people figure him out.
Posts: 79 | Registered: Dec 1999
Okay, games up. I actually intend to publish the "ice cream personality test" someday, but I'll let you in on the secret which I hope others will shell out money for.
This is all psychobabble. Like any good "fortune teller" you have to make a big show of thinking about the traits revealed by small, arcane signs. It takes years of practice to adequately interpret someone's ice cream choices. I could wax eloquent for hours about the reasons ice cream choice is so revealing -- it is us exposing our inner child. When we choose a flavor of something that is clearly such a "treat" we are displaying our most heartfelt likes and dislikes. We are showing that faced with nearly infinite possibilities, we like this and not that. But it's all a humbug.
You have to start with a bunch of stock phrases that are somewhat vague. Then, you add weasel words and convenient "outs." Then you let the ice cream choices guide which ones you select for the "profile."
And Richard, I purposefully put the extra caveats in yours so that I could claim success even though I knew that if I was right, you would never in a million years admit it. Best any gypsy could do under the circumstances.
But still, isn't this more fun than knowing you are an IFTN, or whatever. You can go to coctail parties and discuss people like "oh, he's Rocky Road with Pineapple slices and whipped cream. But...the Pineapple always has to be on the bottom." Those in the know would howl with derisive laughter at this obvious put down. Hee hee hee.
PS: I like pure vanilla with extra hot fudge, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry. Must use the biggest bowl in the house.
[This message has been edited by jackonus (edited March 06, 2000).]
I hope you don't take it as I was joking at your expense. I can tell you right now that this is how all personality "tests" work. Only the authors of other tests are not honest about it. They believe their own nonsense and try to explain how it has been "validated" in thousands of trials. What they are really saying is that they ran a bunch of undergraduates through it and crunched the numbers to show that people generally agreed with thier profile.
There has been some research (using scrambled horoscopes, if I recall correctly) which shows that people will find practically any trait you ascribe to them if you do it right (the use of weasel words is very important). So I can say things like "you like variety, but too much variety overwhelms you" because that would be true for just about anyone. "Too much" is subjective. I weasel out of having to say how much is too much for you. And of course, once the point of "too much" is reached, everyone is, by definition, overwhelmed.
I didn't do this to have fun at your expense, and I hope you aren't angry with me. I think ice cream choice is just as revealing (and perhaps more so) than people's answers on a psychological questionnaire. I think the profiles are exactly as telling and as useful. It's all parlor games, in my opinion.
But, feel free to use this whenever you want. It is just as much fun as comparing horoscopes. Once you are in on the secret, the gypsies can't rob you.
And, for Survivor's profile, I toyed with the idea of adding another standard disclaimer. I could've said that "friends would recognize you in these statements but you will no doubt deny them." You can see how that would've paid off.
[This message has been edited by jackonus (edited March 07, 2000).]
No, it wouldn't have. Your analysis was about half right, half too vague, half not on target, half obviously based on other things than my ice cream preferences. In other words, I pretty much guessed that your system...wasn't. But then, I already knew that. Much of what we like or don't like about ice cream is due to sensory sensitivity, which is almost totally unrelated to personality, and cultural programming, which is also almost totally unrelated to personality. Take my dislike of walnut skins, for instance. It doesn't reveal anything about my personality, because it's based on a sensitivity to a chemical compound that most people find innocuous. Same for liking chocolate, most people do, regardless of personality or culture (notwithstanding all the comments that us chocolate lovers make about the so called "vanilla personality")
The thing that I like about the Kiersey Briggs test is that the connections between the questions on the test and the profiles are not only obvious, they are sensible. In other words, it doesn't try and fool anybody into thinking that there is some kind of magic at work. To find out if a person is more introverted, more of an observer than a participant, it asks simple questions about whether they prefer parties or solitaire (or things to that effect, I don't think any of the questions actually mention solitaire). Same for finding out if they are more interested in intuition or sense data, or the other traits.
By the by, have you actually taken the test? Or at least looked over it?
Yes, and yes. I have a degree in Psychology and worked for several years consulting in (among other things), the personnel field. You can believe me when I tell you that these things are about as valid as horoscopes. Anyone who wants to can see what answers are being fished for, and supply those to make the profile come out any way they please. More importantly, the only legitimate use for such "tests" is to point out the fairly obvious thing that people differ on several dimensions. Given that, some people have gone on to abuse the tests in bizarre and ultimately hurtful ways (as in selecting people for specific jobs). I find the whole thing appeals mostly to fascists. Posts: 303 | Registered: Feb 1999
Now now, I believe that Victor Frankel has said a few things that might be relevant to the attitude that you're displaying. I find your comment rather strange, given your stand on moral absolutes. After all, you expressly forbade yourself the freedom to call another person wrong because of their beliefs, as I recall.
Posts: 8322 | Registered: Aug 1999
Richard. Once again, you mistake my position on MORAL absolutes with one about TRUTH. I believe in the principals of scientific proof. Where science ends, as in where its methods cannot be used to test the truth of a given hypothesis, I remain completely non-committal and non-judgemental. Where science can illuminate the truth, I adhere to the principles of science. If you can't understand the distinction, you and I can't even discuss the issue. Your continued attempts to "prove" that I've said one thing when I have not make me think you are either a smart person trying to bait me for the fun of it, or you are truly ignorant of the scientific method and of logic. I don't see a third alternative. I have nothing more I wish to say on the subject so I will henceforth ignore you when you get like this.
If you wish to inform yourself on the issue of personality testing and it's use in personnel selection, go look in the scientific journals in psychology. Find real experiments (with actual control groups) and then you'll be able to judge what the data tell you about so-called personality tests.
As for my comment about fascism, I know of no other term that is so succinct and descriptive for the blatant attempt to categorize human beings for the purpose of deciding what future opportunities are meted out to them. When this is done by an organization which takes for its own the powers of limiting or advancing individuals' potential, the possible abuses of such "power" are obvious, it seems to me.
I never said you did that, if that's got you all in a knot. I was, I think you'll agree if you re-read the previous posts, talking about a particular usage of personality testing and had nothing at all to say about other uses for these tests.
Now, before we both get asked to shut up, why don't we just drop this?
Well, I was never talking about using the test for anything but understanding the perspectives and possible motivations of literary characters, which I still think is a neat idea.
As for my aspersions on your ice cream temperments and your fascism remarks, I was just mentioning that they seemed a little silly, in light of what you've said on both subjects (namely, that all personality tests were just mumbo jumbo and that you would never call anyone wrong for taking a position based on their beliefs).
Anyway, I have to say that I did sort of think that you were pushing the limits of my topic by introducing the ice cream test, and your last couple of comments really are straying far afield. On the other hand, no one seems to be very interested in using the Keirsey method as a literary tool (except me) so I don't think that there's any real danger that anyone will tell us to shut up about this, since they don't seem to care much about my original idea anyway.
Actually, I thought is was a pretty good idea. One wouldn't have to use the Keirsey test necessarily, but with main characters it's a good idea to get to know them as well as possible. Back in the day, I had a friend who gave out an extensive survey for our AD&D characters. It asked about family, political views, sexual preference, and many other subjects. This impressed me, because it told me that, since he expected so much effort from us, he probably wasn't going to kill us off right away. It also gave me a framework for writing character backgrounds. I have now become quite proficient in this area, and try to do this for as many of my characters, (both literary and RPG), as I have time to. This is really important for AD&D characters. Because the alignment choices are so broad, they don't say much about day-to-day behavior, so it's easy to make every Lawful Good Paladin act exactly like the one that got killed in the last adventure. If I write out their background, I will instead come up with two knightly guys as different El Cid and Sir Lancelot. (Okay, so Lancelot would have to go on a quest to regain his Paladin status, but that's a whole nother story). Or, two wizards as different as the Wicked Witch of the West (or is that East?) and Merlin.
Posts: 79 | Registered: Dec 1999
That sounds pretty cool. Of course, some things tell you more than others. For instance, all other things being equal, a paladin's sexual orientation probably doesn't affect his actions all that much (unless you mean a non celibate paladin), but his family history may affect his actions dramatically.
Posts: 8322 | Registered: Aug 1999
Actually, I'm doing that right now. My last submission to my group is a story starring one of my RPG characters. I'm setting it before she joined her current group, and since we aren't playing that campaign right now, I miss her. Seriously, she's a well-thought-out character and I feel I can write about her thoughts and actions in an interesting way. Plus, with her job, she gets into lots of trouble!!
Posts: 79 | Registered: Dec 1999
Hi, Survivor, I was browsing through some old threads and found this one, and wondered if taking the test costs money in any sneaky kind of way. I'm a litle distrustful about giving my name on the net, and quickly reading through the terms and conditions saw a reference to products and possible fees. Did this turn out to be a rope-em-in scheme?
Posts: 1807 | Registered: Jun 2002
If you take the test, they only give your "general type" for free, not the full result. That now requires membership. The links to the types still work, though I don't know whether they've modified the descriptions.
They seem pretty much as I remembered them. If you want to see them, the following should be a complete list.
The idea isn't that complicated. I think that giving the various temperments names is actually pretty counterproductive, since it makes people prefer a priori one result over another (I mean, "Mastermind"? Why not just call 'em "Supervillians"?).
Basically, there are four axes of personality that this test is trying to measure. First, you have the question of whether a person is basically introverted or extroverted. If you find that you prefer smaller groups of people or complete solitude, or that dealing with a large group of people takes energy, then you're introverted. If you prefer being in a larger group of people (even if you don't know most of them well) because it energizes you, then you're extroverted. I or E for the first letter. This is the most independent of the variables, and probably the least important.
The second variable is the preference to rely on intuition verses senses. This is the most important variable, and the one that the test is probably worst at measuring. Basically, N types prefer to rely on abstractions, theories, and internal perceptions as being more real. S types rely on the physical senses to discern truth. The distinction is hard to explain, but easy for N types to see in S types and vice versa.
For an N type, the dicotomy of relying on thought as opposed to feeling is the second most important variable (and competes for being the hardest to measure). For an S type, it isn't that much more important than introversion verses extroversion. Basically, it is a question of whether you trust emotion or reason as a source of insight (not necessarily of truth, just insight). NFs sometimes test as NTs, though the opposite is rare. Even classic Idealist temperments can test as Rationals at times. This may be partly because NFs rarely discount reason the way that NTs tend to discount emotion, and partly because NFs are more empathetic. While an NT may admire the idealism of an NF, he cannot easily share it.
The second most important characteristic of the S types is whether they prefer concrete judgements or open perceptions. To an N type, the preference for options or results is variable, and will rarely be pronounced unless there is an important dealine they are dealing with currently. To an S type, that preference is vitally important, because it affects the concrete sensory experiences that they percieve life through. J types prefer things over and done with, P types prefer things open to interpretation. A Guardian wouldn't enjoy gambling unless the odds were truly in his favor. An SP can enjoy taking risks even when there is no proffered gain at all.
If you test as a Rational or Idealist, try reading a few descriptions of the Guardians and Artisans. You'll find yourself wondering how anyone pegged with such a description could help but be offended. I don't know what S types think when they read the N type descriptions.
But as I mentioned at the beginning, I was more interested in using the types as a referance for creating fictional characters with consistent temperments than as a tool for real life evaluation of anyone we really know. I think that the percentages listed are of interest too, since it tells you when having more than one or two of a given type would be unrealistic (actually having a Mastermind is unrealistic in any case, they are too rare to exist in real life, so they only appear in comic books ).
Anyway, if you really want a good assesment of yourself, just ask someone else to assess you. After all, we all tend to think that we have the proper balance between intuition and the senses, thinking and feeling, commitment and freedom. And of course, otheres that know us disagree.
Well, if it's utilised for character creation then it sounds like a powerful tool. I ordered something from amazon about personality types and traits, but there really is nothing of note that a little common sense could and would not discern.
Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2002
quote:The second variable is the preference to rely on intuition verses senses. This is the most important variable, and the one that the test is probably worst at measuring.
I'd agree there. To some the rational is simply equivalent to the intellect. But the intellect by itself can be a limited process liable to dead-end thinking and illogical constructs.
I'd say my own perceptual frame is based on a close symbiosis of intellect and intuition. They both provide a very stabilising ground to work with. Sometimes I am amazed at how irrational some of the science reports in New Scientist read - the absence of common sense can be quite astonishing. And without common sense - an intuitive frame - the intellect can appear quite irrational.