Sunday, May 14, 2006

Myers-Briggs Type

I just took an on-line test for my MBTI type a and this is the result:
Your Type is:
INFJ Strength of the preferences %
Introverted 44
Intuitive 62
Feeling 38
Judging 33

I always have trouble with these kinds of tests, though.  I fit either both sides of most questions, or neither. There are only a very few questions that I can truthfully answer completely comfortably one way or the other. One is usually something like "You analyze everything." To that one, I always give a resounding "YES!" (and that characteristic annoys my daughters endlessly). But given my discomfort with many of my other answers, I tend to feel that the result is more dependent on my current mood than it is dependent on my personality.

On the other hand, the Keirsey explanation of my type in this particular test, the Counselor type, certainly does seem to fit. I AM extraordinarily able to tell what people are thinking and feeling when I am with them. It is one of my greatest assets as a teacher. But it also makes teaching large groups of children difficult, because it is so frustrating to not be able to act on all of the input I am getting.

And now I just finished reading the Butt and Heiss explanation of my results and I am thinking that maybe there is more to the MBTI types than I have previously given credance.

Characteristics that seem particularly relevant/apropos:
1) Abstract in thought and speech -- I seem always to be trying to derive a general principle from what I am observing/experiencing.

2) Focus on human potentials, think in terms of ethical values

3) Not generally visibly a leader

4) This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.

5) self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper

Things that seem NOT to match:
1) Make decisions easily -- I can agonize over purchases for weeks.

2) ... but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. -- I seem to be more open than this.

A Mixed Bag:
1) ...because of their strong ability to take into themselves the feelings of others, Counselors can be hurt rather easily by those around them -- I do have this ability, but I don't seem to be hurt easily.  It is more like I have the ability to understand the feelings, but the detachment to recognize that it isn't MY feelings.  (Which seems to be more what Heiss and Butt say.)

This has been more interesting than I expected, mainly because, as I stated above, I typically have a lot of trouble with these types of "tests". I have always wondered how a valid result could be generated when the preferences
for many of the particular answers were so slight. But it does seem to have done a decent job overall. Intriguing.

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