The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 May 2004

Meeting of the masterminds

Dean explains why Myers-Briggs INTJs are rare:

We aren't all that interested in social activities, and instead lead a very rich inner life (I). We interact with the world by looking for the essence, the underlying theory of why (N), so that we may predict and sometimes control rather than merely sensing and accepting what's around us. We value logic (T) over feeling, and we hate dithering around without drawing conclusions (J).

Aw, come on, just a little dithering?

On the other hand, Laura (no, not this Laura) isn't buying:

The real issue, of course, is that this test, and many other psychological tests, rely on introspection to arrive at their results. There's nothing wrong with introspection, of course, but self-deception is not an entirely uncommon phenomenon — it is simply not the case that we are all smarter, better-looking, and more ethical than average, yet far more than 50% of people would assent to each of these statements on an individual basis, and quite possibly, more than 50% would assent to the conjunction of all three statements.

I'm sure there's some degree of correlation between the results of the temperament sorter and the mind and life of the subject, far more than there is, say, for astrological readings, but I'm not at all comfortable trusting it to any significant extent.

Mental note: Resist temptation to invite Laura to visit Lake Wobegon.

Actually, given the truly godawful amount of introspection in which I've indulged over five decades — okay, maybe I didn't do so much of it before I learned how to walk — with the exception of one severe blind spot, I'm generally pretty accurate.

And, as with an amazing number of memes in blogdom, I was there first, and was duly ignored.

Posted at 8:00 PM to General Disinterest


That's odd because there are four of us in a group of ten at work. But then when you consider we all have scientific college degrees it may not be that surprising.

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip at 8:42 PM on 10 May 2004

When my wife and I first got together, she was very gung-ho about this Myers-Briggs thing. I took the test just to humor her.

Then a few years later she started nagging me to take it again. What -- did my INT-whatever certification expire and I need to have it renewed?

I think I've finally convinced her I wasn't spoofing the test the first time. Heh heh heh.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:39 AM on 12 May 2004

I have certain reservations about the whole process, partly because I don't feel I can be described adequately by four letters (well, besides "J E R K", which isn't a Myers-Briggs category), but mostly because I'm not exactly rock-solid consistent in my approach to life.

Posted by: CGHill at 6:28 PM on 12 May 2004