Tuesday 31 October 2006

hidden well, what are you concealing?

If you take a quick look at my profile on the right-hand side of this page, you’ll see that I mention that I am an INTP. As best as I can remember, that description has been there since this blog began in March 2004. Some of the other words have changed with time, but I have always described myself as an INTP.

What does it mean? Well, I’m sure some of you already know what it means, but for those of you who don’t, it’s one of the 16 personality types identified as part of the Myers-Briggs type indicator test. You can read about it in detail here, but suffice it to say that this is a fairly detailed and well-respected form of personality profiling that enables your colleagues at work to identify the box they should put you in.

Back in 1998, I first sat the test and came out as an INTP (Introverted Thinking with Intuition). Cynical though I was (and am) about this kind of thing, I did quite like some of the things that I read about the characteristics of this personality type:

“Rational, curious, theoretical, abstract and prefer to organise ideas rather than situations or people”
“They approach almost everything with scepticism”
“Logical, analytical and objectively critical”
“Mentally quick, insightful and ingenious”
“Quiet, contained, calm and detached observers”

Hell, I even liked some of the negative stuff:
”May become cynical and negative”
“May be sarcastic and destructively critical”
“May engage in verbal sparring and arguments”

It was all quite interesting - C. in particular found it hysterically funny when she read the detailed description of my profile and agreed with every point.

As part of the whole kerfuffle around my transfer at work, I have been asked to sit the test again as part of a team exercise. It only takes about 30 minutes to take the test, and it consists mainly of choosing between words and different scenarios (“Would you say it was better to be a) hard or b) soft”, “When faced with a deadline do you a) complete the work well in advance or b) work best at the last minute”, “Justice or Mercy” etc. etc.) I had a hunch that I might have changed in the last 8 years, and apparently I have changed.

A bit.

I’ve moved boxes. Where once I was an INTP, now I am apparently an INTJ (Introverted Intuition with Thinking).

“Independent, individualistic, single-minded and determined individuals who trust their vision of possibilities regardless of universal scepticism”
“Decisive, intellectually challenging people focused on implementing long-range visions”
“Conceptual, long-range thinkers”
“Rational, detached and objectively critical”

Again, there’s some truth in the negatives too:

“Can be aloof and abrupt”
“May appear unyielding”
“Engage in ‘intellectual games’, quibbling over abstract issues and terms that have little meaning or relevance to others”

I can see myself in both descriptions (and if you are interested, do go and read the detailed descriptions of all the types) and I actually had a sense that I had changed over the last few years.

There may be a small kernel of truth in it, but it’s basically all cobblers though, isn’t it? (although I like the fact that INTJ is apparently the rarest of the personality types. I'm so vain!)


You can try the test (or one like it) here (I came out as an INTJ again, so it must be half-decent). What do you come out as ? Does it sound like you?

In the meantime, perhaps I’d better change my profile....


  1. ENFP for me (whatever that means)

  2. ENFP for me, too.

    "ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm..."

    I hate myself already.

  3. I appear to be an ENFJ.

    We are the benevolent pedagogues of humanity, apparently. Something about "tremendous charisma".

    I like this test. :-)

  4. "Generally, the ENFP is a warm and affirming creature who is very interested and able to have an intense, meaningful, close relationship with their mate.

    Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, ENFP's natural partner is the INTJ, or the INFJ. ENFP's dominant function of Extraverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Introverted Intuition. How did we arrive at this? "

    Is this why you like me so much?

  5. Okay...my world is reeling just a little bit.

    I've taken this test (well, not this particular one, but the Myers-Briggs) many, many times and always come up with E/INFP.

    So what has happened in the universe that today I'm scoring as an ISFJ?!

    Although I have to admit that most of the description fits, except the part that describes this personality as someone who follows convention. I don't think that really fits too well.

  6. *laughs at the idea of Spin being someone who follows convention*

    Exams always tell you more about the people who set the questions, I reckon.

  7. I just wizzed through that one in 2 minutes and I cam out as a .....


    I dunno what it means though..?

    Apparently I'm a Provider Guardian.

    Provider Guardians take it upon themselves to arrange for the health and welfare of those in their care, but they are also the most sociable of all the Guardians, and thus are the great nurturers of established institutions such as schools, businesses, churches, social clubs, and civic groups. Wherever they go, Providers take up the role of social contributor, happily giving their time and energy to make sure that the needs of others are met, that traditions are supported and developed, and that social functions are a success.

    Wow! That is me! (I work in a University!)

  8. *sends Spin's blog url to Myers and Briggs*

    *still laughing*

    I'm an rgnloar, word verification tells me. Accurately, this also shows me to be red and wavy.


  9. Ditto what Bargs said for me.

  10. I'm another rarity.


    Gave me 89% Introvert.
    12% Intuitive
    12% Thinking
    44% Judging.

    Make up a whole 1% of the population... No wonder why I have this tendency to confuse so many people.

    I tested the same in the past, I just forgot the letters. But when I went to one of the links, it said I'm a mastermind... which I do remember being classified as.

  11. ENFP, love. "The Inspirer". Pah.

    There seem to be plenty of us in Blogarama. Are we all matching pieces, like an old lady's china teaset? And how come extroverts have geeky online communities? I MUST KNOW.

  12. ISTJ - thats me. The link calls it "the inspector" but I've seen it called "the trustee" before.The exact opposite of all the ENFPs here.

    I'm certainly thinking, and definitely judging. And I've just taken on a high profilish charity trusteeship so the trustee bit fits as well.

  13. "ENFP: This type is found in only about 5 percent of the general population, but they have great influence because of their extraordinary impact on others."

    I translate this as "You people, you just rock, y'know? You do. You rock."

    It doesn't explain how we're all in one tiny corner of cyberspace though.

  14. I've thought about doing a Myers-Briggs thing for ages, but 30 minutes is just too much of my life!

    Did this one though and cam out as ENFJ like Bargs. Interesting that I have been both a teacher and a trainer so I guess that works.

    "And how come extroverts have geeky online communities? I MUST KNOW"
    Because we want to be adored, silly!

  15. I'm an ISTJ.

    "Does not answer questions consistently in internet tests"

    I'm not sure what it means.

    When I started my current job, I had a personality test as part of an exercise to see how I would fit into the team. Now that was almost scarily accurate. Unfortunately, I can't remember what type of test it was.

  16. I came out as a ISFJ (Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging).

    Moderately expressed introvert.
    Slightly expressed sensing personality.
    Slightly expressed feeling personality.
    Moderately expressed judging personality.

    I did the Myers-Briggs type test over a year ago. The tester was a lady who was the spitting image of Daisy Donovan and I spent the whole session winding her up. Testing me... Hummph...