One of the amusing (or time wasting depending on your perspective) applications popular right now on social networking site facebook allows people to test their personality type against the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator (it’s right up there with “Which TV couple are you?” and virtual farming). The system uses a short quiz to provide an indication as to the basic nature of the user’s personality using the well-known MBTI descriptors.
As with many facebook applications, that piece of information can then become part of the facebook user’s profile – and be shared with friends far and wide (or not, if preferred!).
Now there’s probably an argument that a tool like the Myers-Briggs indicator is best used by a professional, with the capacity to undertake a comprehensive test and carefully interpret the results; and that just giving someone a piece of information that says “this is who you are” without assisting the interpretation of that indicator is a little dangerous. Used well, tools like MBTI, the enneagram, or the DISC behavioural model can lead to some interesting discussions when used with teams or work groups.
And there’s a counter argument that many such tools are flawed and potentially do no real good other than helping someone feel good about a positively written description (ever seen the result of a personality test say “likely criminal”, “hard to work with” or “you, Scott, are fundamentally dull”)?
But nonetheless, it’s interesting to keep one skeptical eye open, but to read through the profiles of friends and family and see if the results match what you know of them. Even more interesting when those profiles help you understand someone a little more clearly, and give insight into the best ways to work together. I wouldn’t be putting my house on the accuracy of the facebook myers-briggs application, but its an interesting way to give some insight into the way somebody you know might be wired.
Me? The app classifies me as an INFP (introverted, intuitive, feeling, perception) type personality.
You are idealistic, loyal to your values and to people who are important to you. You want an external life that is congruent with your values. You are curious, quick to see possibilities, and can be a catalyst for implementing ideas. You seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential. You are adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a value is threatened.
No more surprises then, you now know me perfectly…!
And there’s a famous person who shares my personality type…..Mary the Blessed Virgin. I’m not sure how they got her to take the test…perhaps she’s on facebook.