The Atlantic, Kelly Conaboy, 18 Apr 2023: What Your Favorite Personality Test Says About You, subtitled “Are you a Myers-Briggs person, an Enneagram person, or something else? The Atlantic made a quiz to help you find out.”
(Updated Sun 23 Apr 23.)
I’ve grown up with the Myers-Briggs test, which sorts people into 16 different personality types, from ISTJ to ENFP. My workplace used it back in the late 1980s as a kind of group therapy, to help people working in technical groups how to understand fellow employees who did not see things the same way they did. I’ve always scored something like INFJ or INFP (“someone who possesses the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting personality traits. These rare personality types tend to be quiet, open-minded, and imaginative, and they apply a caring and creative approach to everything they do.”) though this doesn’t seem right quite now; I haven’t taken the test recently. I’ve learned to avoid intuition and ‘common sense’ as more often being wrong that right.
Anyway, it seems there are plenty of other personality tests — Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, and so on. There’s a quiz on this page. Many of the questions are black and white — “I believe I am innately suited for a particular kind of job” — which I cannot respond to positively or negatively. I try to second-guess what they’re getting at. Certainly I’m good and some kinds of jobs, and would be woeful at many others, so… I’ll say yes.
Others are obvious. “I find comfort in religious wisdom.” Nope.
“I believe personality falls on a spectrum rather than into clear-cut types.” Yes yes yes. Black and white thinking is invariably wrong.
And so on. My result: I should take the Big Five personality test.
You want to take a personality quiz, but you don’t want to be the kind of person who “wants to take a personality quiz.” You understand that most of them are junk science. But on the path to self-knowledge, this might be as rational as it gets.
Cute. This article doesn’t give a link to that test, but I Googled it and landed here. I’ve started it, but I need to finish dinner right now, and will finish it tomorrow…
So I took the test linked above, and it ended with a request to pay to see my complete results. But it teased those results: “Look at the big brain on you! You are singularly driven by the pursuit of acquiring more information and wisdom. When it comes to your life’s mantra; knowledge is power certainly seems to sit well. You are drawn towards achieving a finer understanding of things and solving the many mysteries of the universe. Your curiosity and innovative nature ensure that you don’t walk the well-known paths of life, but rather blaze your own trail.” I did not pay.
Well I did agree to statements about having a wide range of interests and interested in complex ideas, yada yada, and I disagreed with statements about being the life of the party or someone people would have confidence leading them. A lots of the statements struck me as aspirational: personality characteristics that many people might think themselves having, because isn’t it better to have them than not? I won’t list any examples; it’s easy enough to click above and steps through the test yourself.