Recently in Personality Category


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Wow, talking about missing the point. The idea is that the Myers-Briggs personality test is bunk because it has two options for each category, when people are actually along a spectrum for each category, and most people are nearer to the middle than the extremes. Right. That's actually why the Myers-Briggs scores themselves actually put people along a spectrum according to how strong each trait is, and if they're close to the middle they say to count yourself as X instead (at least the Keirsey one that anyone uses does this; I have no knowledge of the official test you have to pay for, but no one else does either unless they pay lots of money for it, and that's dumb given the free availability of the Keirsey one).

The MBTI type scale is a highly useful way of coming to understand significant aspects of other people's preferences and tendencies. The problems with it have to do with focusing on four different ways that people can really differ and not getting to some other ways people can differ, but that just means it's incomplete. The idea that it's bunk merely because the scales it introduces are a matter of degree reflects nothing but total ignorance about how the scales function (since they are indeed scales and not binary categories). It's sad that someone with the readership of Ann Althouse is helping to perpetuate such a ridiculous criticism.

Latest Cute Kid Quote

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The boys were at their Occupational Therapy, and it was Isaiah's turn. Ethan and Sophia were playing with a game in the gym, which abuts the therapy room. This was late enough for the room to be empty, since they do their therapy from 5:00-6:45 pm, and this was after 6:00. The sanitation engineer, a woman wearing a pink shirt, came in the room to change the trash bags just as I was poking my head into the therapy room to see how Isaiah was doing. When I went back, Sophia said the following:

Daddy, we were sitting here, and that pink lady came in, and she said hi, but we didn't either, because we were too shy.

1. Sophia still refers to people as having certain colors not because their skin is a certain color but because they're wearing clothing that color. She used to do this regularly when she was just beginning to speak in complete sentences. She clearly knows how to distinguish people according to skin color, but she's got a clear enough sense of accuracy not to call anyone black or white, since no one actually is those colors; Mommy is brown, and the rest of the family is peach. It still doesn't stop her from saying a person is the color the person is wearing.

2. The word 'either' seems to be doing the job of 'also' or 'too', either of which would have sounded very strange, so she substituted something that sounds syntactically ok even if it's semantically crazy. Her error-correction has problems in terms of its positive solutions, but she certainly can catch something that doesn't sound right.

3. Many kids are shy. Some will admit to it occasionally if you ask them. What kind of a kid will volunteer her shyness as an explanation for not saying hi to someone, when you didn't ask for an explanation, didn't know to begin with that the person had said hi and she'd refused to respond, and really wouldn't have noticed if you'd never been told? She realizes that she's being shy by not speaking to the woman, but she has this compulsion to tell us not only that she didn't respond but that her shyness is the explanation why she didn't respond. It's as if she has to speak her inner monologue aloud all the time whenever she's just with us, but she won't say a word to other people. That's a weird combination of being shy and being very much not shy.

4. She doesn't just tell us the events that occurred. She's engaging in behind-the-scenes explanation of why she does certain things, and she attributes it to a somewhat abstract quality of herself, her shyness. Do three-year-olds typically engage in such second-order reflection? This is new for us. Since her brothers are well behind her in such things, we have no idea when this sort of thing normally begins.

Your Five Factor Personality Profile

You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have medium neuroticism.
You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.
Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.
Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is medium.
You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.
But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.
You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.
[hat tip: Sam]

You are Simon, the young, brilliant doctor. Your devotion to your sister drove you to part with the world you knew. Raised on a civilized planet, you are not used to coping with the situation you have landed yourself in -- though you seem to be adapting well enough to suggest robbing a hospital.
"You may not believe this, but I am not all that good at talking to girls."

Which Firefly character are you?
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[Hat tip: Sam]

Richard Chappell of Philosophy et cetera is trying to move the IPIP-NEO personality test into the more conservative parts of the blogosphere, and he's enlisted me to help. To participate, just follow the instructions below. I do consider this the most informative personality test I've ever taken, and I took the time to interact with my results with some criticism and some appreciation back when I took it. That post gives a good sense of what the test looks at. He's combined this with the Political Compass, which I've also taken, but I can't seem to find a post where I discuss the results. He doesn't link to The Blogosphere Political Compass Project, which records different bloggers' scores on that test. I'm glad I submitted mine, or I would have to take it again. The Political Compass is a much more nuanced political categorization than standard left-right analyses. It separates two ways of being libertarian. One opposes authoritarianism, the other collectivism. Where you stand on each scale might be independent of where you stand on the other.

Gay Men and MBTI

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I generally save my weird searches for roundups, but this one raised a pretty fascinating question that I thought I could spend a little time saying something about:

myers-briggs t or f the truth infp men are gay

As an absolute statement, the answer should obviously be false, but someone whose websearching skills are this bad might not even understand the distinction between absolute statements and generalizations. I know a few INFP men, and one of them has admitted to having struggled with his sexual identity in college but has strong heterosexual tendencies and is happily married to an ENTJ woman. The others I know don't even have any sense of gay tendencies.

As a generalization, we'd need to do an empirical study, but I'd say the odds are against it. The percentage of the U.S. adult male population that's gay is something like 3%. The percentage of the population that's INFP is something like 1%. It's consistent with those numbers that INFP men tend to be gay, but it must be a very large percentage of the gay population, and that doesn't seem likely to me. For one, many gay people are extroverts, and many gay people are not P but J. Just look at some of the celebrities who are openly gay. Queer Eye capitalizes on J gay people, and the outward-focused nature of quite a number of gay celebrities makes it likely that a good number of them are E. What's more likely to correlate, thouh certainly not necessarily, is being F. What's likely to lead to a gay identification is a trait more commonly thought to be feminine, and F is that. I don't have any sense of N or S, but it's not likely to me that it could be much more than a very general favoring.

So the answer is probably just no. There might be more INFP gay men than some other MBTI types, but I doubt INFP is even the dominant personality type for gay men, if there is one. I don't think it's even the stereotypical type. That's more likely to be ENFJ.


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Marla Swoffer (formerly Proverbial Wife for those who might know her by that but not by her real name) has started TypeBlogs. One of the selling points is a blogroll for each Myers-Briggs personality type, and she's got a link to a quick, online test to discover which type you're most like. [You could also do this short one, this longer one, or this word matching one. Generally speaking, longer tests are more accurate, but shorter ones are quicker to do.

To join one of the blogrolls, see this post.


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PlaidBerry raises some concerns about pessimism. People are too often negative when there's a lot to be positive about. I agree. As a Christian, I think there are plenty of things to be negative about simply because God evaluates those things negatively, but you can't use that to ignore the things God considers beautiful, valuable, and good. Certain hope is one of the key excellences the Christian is called to seek.

At the same time, I hesitate about some of what Chad says, particularly this: "My issue here is with those folks who offer plenty of critique and nothing by way of recommendation. Zero proactive effort is taken to remedy the problem (as they see it) and no ideas are offered as an alternate solution. Of course, countless examples of this scenario abound, whether it be at home, work, church, etc." I think this attitude ignores something very important about how God has constructed different people. What follows is a development of my comments on his post (I seem to be doing this a lot lately).

Proverbial Wife posted a piece of David Keirsey's Please Understand Me II in which he claims biblical support for the four temperaments he discusses at length in his book. He sees them symbolized by the four faces on the theophany of Ezekiel 1 and the four bodies on the living creatures around the throne in Revelation 4. He also thinks each gospel writer was of a different personality type, thus representing each type's distinctive account of the gospel story. I commented on her site, but I realized after I posted it that it was a significant chunk of writing and might as well go on my own blog. I already submitted it there, so it's there in case you want to read her whole post before seeing my discussion, but I figured if I'm going to write four substantial paragraphs (one for each temperament?) then I might as well post it on my own blog, especially because I've been over-politicking lately for my tastes. Here's my comment on her post:


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