Yesterday I was checking my referrer log and came across a weblog called PTypes, which rates famous people, and bloggers, by personality type, and also draws linkages between three well-known personality typing schemas. I have commented before that the majority of bloggers seem to be INTPs or INFPs on the Myers-Briggs personality test, but the PTypes blogger list contains more ‘Counselors’ (INFJ) than either ‘Architect’ (INTP) or ‘Healer’ (INFP) personalities.
More surprisingly, How to Save the World is identified as an ‘Inspector’s’ (ISTJ) blog, which surprised me. I had always been a strong NT, and right on the line between E-I (to quote Neil Young, who seems to have a similar personality to mine, “I need a crowd of people, but I can’t face them day-to-day”), and right on the line between J-P (I’m a compulsive list-maker, but I hate inflexibility). So I couldn’t understand how the author of PTypes assessed me as ISTJ.
Rather than argue, I decided to re-take the Myers-Briggs test. I Googled ‘Myers-Briggs’ and took the first four tests that came up, including this quite detailed one, which all produced the same answer: my personality has changed markedly since I started blogging. I’ve plotted the shift on the charts above. Using a small letter instead of a capital for close-to-the-border (less than 55-45%) scores, I’ve gone in one year from iNTj (a Thinker) to eNfP (a Change Agent), after not moving on the test for a decade. I suspect my blogging is more a reflection of changes in my ‘personality’ rather than a cause of them. But it’s interesting — is anyone else’s personality changing, and why? Are personality changes fundamental and enduring, or situational and transient?
Oh, and there is a ‘disorder’ associated with each of the 16 personality types when that personality becomes extreme or pathological. For INTPs it’s schizoid (disengagement) behaviour, for INFPs it’s histrionics, for INFJs it’s avoidant, for ISTJs it’s depression (maybe that’s why the author of PTypes pegged me as ISTJ), for INTJs like I was last year it’s schizotypal (social anxiety), and for ENFPs like I’ve apparently become this year it’s paranoia.
Not sure I buy this last stretch, since if I were borderline paranoic I would have self-censored some of my recent blog posts.