MBTI Advice and Input

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MBTI Advice and Input

Post by mel on Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:37 pm

Haven't taken a test in a while, or done anything with it. Was wondering if anybody had some advice on which tests are best/how to interpret the results/etc.

I'm also open to input based on...whatever it is that somebody might have to say. I like hearing other peoples' thoughts and opinions on things, so... yes.

I usually test roughly 50/50 on I vs. E, and like 55/45 on F vs. T. N is usually pretty conclusive and I don't think I've ever tested J over P, just for some background
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Re: MBTI Advice and Input

Post by Aisling on Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:42 pm

Any self-administered test is going to give a skewed result, and the fewer the questions, the heavier the skew. Frequently, the T-based questions are simply those which any intellectual person would apply to themselves, and the F-based questions imply that F type people are totally incapable of self-restraint. S questions imply that they are uncreative, and N questions imply that Ns are unrealistic and have head-in-cloud syndrome. P questions imply slobishness, and J questions imply unwavering loyalty to authority figures.

Also, don't let online written-out "profiles" be your entire basis of judgment. INTP and INTJ especially are written with such open vagaries as to draw in virtually any _N__ type at all, as well as many ISTPs.

"Cognitive functions" quizzes are SLIGHTLY less heavily biased than quizzes that go for each letter individually... the problem being that, in all fairness to the cog. functions method of typing MBTI, some of the functions have been VERY poorly described, most users do NOT actually understand how they are meant to be interpreted (and therefore invent their own wildly different interpretations), and EVERYBODY with a fully functioning brain USES ALL THE FUNCTIONS... yet it's frequently implied that only specific functions get used by certain types, rather than having a preference for a certain set of functions. If MBTI could be thought of as a carefully thought-out pseudoscience, cog. functions typing is pseudopseudoscience. :-/
I'm sure it would be more functional and reliable if it were kept "pure" of layperson interference and interpretation, but right now it's kinda' all the rage in MBTI websites, and very few of the members actually take the time to deeply understand what they're discussing. I've seen it claimed that INFP and ESTJ have more in common than INFP and INFJ, because the first pairing "use the same functions", but in the "reverse order". Umnn... no. Again, we all use all the functions. The first pairing uses the same functions as everybody else, but they get precisely OPPOSITE prioritization, while the INFJ (also using the same functions) uses a priority order that is vastly more alike the INFP order than the ESTJ's order.
/rant ?


Heh, sorry. I've spent quite a few years into the study of MBTI and its expanded affiliate methods. People who insist on adding to the confusion tend to get on my nerves. scratch study

In my experience, the most reliable way to really isolate and identify your MBTI type is to get to know somebody who studies MBTI and genuinely cares about giving you the most precise possible answer. Have long conversations with them in realtime, either aloud or by IM / chat. Ask and answer questions. Be willing to consider their answer(s) for a week or two before jumping to the conclusion of "no, that's impossibly wrong!"
E and I are usually the hardest to mix up, so if you definitively feel you are one of those, and your MBTI-typing buddy calls you the wrong one, it makes sense to call it out... but N/S and T/F are pretty easy to fudge up in our own self-perceptions. I thought I was INTJ, then INTP, for almost a year before somebody pointed out to me, 'Hey kid. You're an INFJ. Seriously.' It wigged me out badly at first, but after I gave it sincere consideration on my own... he was right.

It can be really difficult to accept that parts of our personalities are overtly obvious to other people, when we self-identify a specific way that we feel is privately obvious to US. When other people confront us with the notion that a different typing might be a more accurate fit for us, it varies from confusing to deeply irritating, because it can feel like they're presuming to tell us they know our brains better than we do.
The thing to remember is that MBTI type traits are most clearly expressed not INSIDE our heads, but on the outside of us, through our actions, idiosyncrasies, speech patterns, likes and dislikes, problem-solving methods, etc. Things other people can see are what get used to recognize type, not things only extant within one's own mind.

Wow, wall of text. Sorry about that.
Anyway, for what it's worth, you (mel) seem like a definite N to me, and if you're not sure about I/E, that ups the likelihood of either ENFP, ENTP, or INFJ (all three tend to be "ambiverts", people who are able to function comfortably in isolation or group tasks for extended periods of time, but who still need to take 'breaks from society' on a fairly regular basis, unlike total extraverts).
Most hard-Is and hard-Es tend to be very solidly certain of which of those two they are, and it's the one category where it's darn hard to self-mistype.
Note that ENFJ and ENTJ are VERY hard-E types, and INTP, INTJ, and INFP are all VERY hard-I types, generally.

If I were going to type you right now just going off your speech patterns and assistance at the forum, I'd be most likely to guess ENTP, but it's still early in the game for me to swear by it.
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Re: MBTI Advice and Input

Post by mel on Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:54 pm

Wow, you weren't kidding about the wall of text! Read all of it though. Interesting stuff. Keeping in mind that I'm obnoxiously ill-read on this subject and I feel slightly stupid talking about it, I'm going to get into a bit about how/why I'm confused in how to read myself:

E/I is a tough call, I'd actually likely self-identify as leaning more towards "I", but I feel that the tests ask all the wrong questions to get at the bottom of it. On the one hand, I don't really like being alone very much, I much prefer to spend extended time in smallish groups in familiar social situations, and the only time I need "breaks" from other people is when those people are very specifically stressful to me for some reason other than that they are people that I need to be around (like, if they dislike me, or put a lot of pressure on me, or expect something from me that I never agreed to and can't deliver on), those traits are semi-extroverted....but I also hate crowds, parties, and "open-ended" and/or unfamiliar social situations, as well as any situation where I would have to confront or argue with someone for any reason, at least in person. Those traits sound pretty introverted. The tests can't make up their mind, and most of them just kinda throw me at a fifty/fifty line and take a guess. I come off more extroverted in social situatons online, where some of the pressure is off because it's so effortless to just "walk away" or block somebody or ban somebody if necessary. And to throw another wrench into it, while I prefer to focus most of my energy on the outside world and tasks outside of myself and involving others, I have a very rich inner life as well, full of more-or-less constant introspection and how much this side of me is clear to or shows to others depends on what types of projects I've involved myself in. For instance, when I've taken to poetry or other creative writing I tend to withdraw from the world at large and need frequent breaks from the company of others, whereas if I've taken to more social hobbies, I end up almost dreading all the time I have to spend away from other people.

F/T is another tough-ish call. Online I will probably always come across as T, and similarly I come across as considerably more masculine than I do in meatspace. I think it partially has something to do with the amount of "authority" I tend to be able to wield in online discussions due to years of background in computer and web work. Also, part of it is likely because most of my interaction online tends to be of an intellectual or academic nature, and so it's only natural that I'd show the face that would be read as "T" more on the internet. In my everyday decision making I'm actually far more concerned with my relationships with the people whom my decision would effect and how I feel about the situations than making the most logical or rational choice, though thinking about it I suppose you could argue that considering ones relationships and feelings when making a decision is the most logical choice, but a person can talk their way around anything that way. The larger point is while this whole analysis probably sounds very T and my tone online tends to seem very masculine, people who know me in my personal life know me as being very emotional, sensitive, and effeminate, so I'm kind of a mixed bag all over the board. My whole personality changes swiftly and totally depending on who I spend my time around and what kinds of things I've gotten myself interested in for the moment.

"N" is pretty much the only strong definite, in my mind given the limited amount that I've read. I've never scored anything else on any of the assessment tests and I'd be pretty shocked to find out differently, though I wouldn't know what the implications of that would be if I did. Still though, not much to say about this one.

That just leaves J/P, which honestly I'm not totally sure how concerned I am about it. I'm an extremely flighty disorganized and indecisive person that doesn't like to make plans or care much for structure but doesn't like to be sitting around confused because nobody was capable of coming up with plans and so I'm not sure if I just learned some structured approaches after too many weekends sitting in a circle going "what do you want to do" with a few friends whose answers were all "I dunno" or if that's a part of me that for some reason comes naturally but doesn't "take charge" except when necessary or what. Also interesting is while I'm a disorganized mess in meatspace, my hard drive is extremely meticulously organized into hierarchal, descriptive and exclusive categories and maintained in that state on a more or less constant basis. It's an entirely different personality type that exists on the internet than the me in meatspace, and it can't all be a function of the anonymity the web provides.

Sooooo yes, this was a wall of text with more than you ever wanted or needed to know about me. You've reached the end! cheers
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Re: MBTI Advice and Input

Post by Aisling on Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:23 pm

Right, at this point I'd say you're solidly a _N_P; and your social-life description is for all intents and purposes the description of an ambivert.

Why P?

The "split personality between OL and IRL" doesn't show up in many J types at all, but it's pretty well expected that introvert and ambivert Ps are more willing to show opinions, decisiveness, and "seemingly-T behaviour" online than offline. Conflict-aversion is also pretty rare in Js, except for the I_FJs. Conflict deeply bothers me, but my ENFJ mother revels in the opportunity to sound right, and my ESTJ uncle loves arguments to a downright disturbing degree. The ISFJ librarian, on the other hand, will totally clam up if you try to get her to argue.

Tonight your speech patterns are pretty T-language-heavy, and if that trend sticks around, my earlier ENTP typing of you will become fairly solid.
In profiles, ENTPs get depicted as everything from dynamic speakers to reclusive geniuses, and it can be hard to decide what is trustworthy of the online 'information' about the type.

Here's the short-form "quick profile" I'd make, if that were up to me:
ENTP likes:
-creative control and freedom at their chosen project(s) and activities
-a smallish group of people who are loyal and willing to listen
-the right to set their own hours
-to have at least one, preferably a few 'projects'; these can be anything from a specific person to counsel, a song to write, a website to build...
-trying new things, but not because they were pressured into it
-going places and doing things ONLY on their own terms; if somebody tries to corner or guilt-trip, they'll usually just walk out instead of getting visibly and vocally pi$$ed off

ENTP HATES:
-feeling surrounded, trapped, or otherwise deprived of an "eject button"
-being forced to finish a task with a deadline (caveat: if they want to finish it fast, it WILL be done at an astonishing rate)
-having somebody watching over their shoulder, putting pressure on the project's completion or qualities
-betrayal, in the "will never even consider trusting them again; no forgiveness; they're not worth it" sense

Even then, many people have these feelings, and I'm sure some ENTPs DON'T have some of these feelings. This isn't a hard-and-fast set of rules, but it's very stereotypical of how the type actually operates on a day-to-day basis.

If I had to break down the type into two sentences, they would be:
"I do what I love and love what I do. Don't try to own me or tie me down."

Of course, I may be missing critical details, and mistyping you as a result. I won't claim to be 100% at anything, and it's always up to the person to decide what labels they do and don't want to possess.
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Re: MBTI Advice and Input

Post by Faelights on Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:58 pm

*pokes at Tegid*

I know you already guessed ENFP for me, but I was wondering if you could post the characteristics that are attributed to ENFPs just like you did with ENTP up there, so that everyone could see. ^_^
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Re: MBTI Advice and Input

Post by Aisling on Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:13 pm

In profiles, ENFPs get depicted as everything from dynamic "starving artists' to incomprehensible but extremely enthusiastic lunatics, and it can be hard to decide what is trustworthy of the online 'information' about the type.

Here's the short-form "quick profile" I'd make, if that were up to me:
ENFP likes:
-creative control and freedom at their chosen project(s) and activities
-a smallish group of people who are loyal and willing to snuggle (can be just close emotional bonds or it could include actual physical nearness to others)
-the right to choose who they work with, and to leave the instant they see somebody approaching with whom they don't desire to associate
-to have at least one, preferably a few 'projects'; these can be anything from a specific person to counsel, a song to write, a website to build...
-feeling like the 'heart' of a group, without being forced to play the 'head', even though they're usually adept at taking that role if they genuinely feel like it
-saying exactly what they mean, whenever they feel like saying it

ENFP HATES:
-feeling surrounded, trapped, or otherwise deprived of an "eject button"
-being forced to finish a task with a deadline (caveat: if they want to finish it fast, it WILL be done at an astonishing rate)
-having somebody watching over their shoulder, putting pressure on the project's completion or qualities
-being lied-to, in the "I'm so sorry for you, you poor idiot, because now you get to live with knowing you've lost the best friend you'll ever had" variety.

Even then, many people have these feelings, and I'm sure some ENFPs DON'T have some of these feelings. This isn't a hard-and-fast set of rules, but it's very stereotypical of how the type actually operates on a day-to-day basis.

If I had to break down the type into two sentences, they would be:
"I don't let the rules of society become my excuse to do nothing. It's funny how you think my imagination is anything less than a weapon of mass world-alteration ."


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