Friday, September 3

It's Official: I Have a Personality

And it is that of a Supervisor, apparently. Now, I've done these Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tests before (I'm sure most have in some form or another), but as the BBC usually make these things more accessible to us common folk, I decided to give their take on it a go.

Personally I think that they're all a load of balls - there's no way that twenty, fifty or even a hundred questions can determine someone's personality; and that's if you accept that there are a fixed number of personalities into which you can pigeonhole people in the first place.

The test had four qualities each with two subtypes, and placed the person being tested in a single subtype per quality. The trouble is that the test doesn't allow you to lie somewhere in the middle - to be half-planner and half-spontaneous for example. This makes it way too coarse and where my result was a Supervisor, I reckon I'm more a mixture of that as well as it's neighbouring categories, and at some level all of the remaining ones. But what do I know - 90% of the people taking the test thought it was bang on. I think it's that's due to what I call The Horoscope Effect - one would see themselves in whatever was presented to them if it was written vaguely and positively enough. But hey - it's this ability of being able to relate to a variety of different personalities that makes us interesting.

But moving on... Discussing the subject with an online friend, I was surprised at how her results didn't match what I considered her personality to be. Her explanation for this was that it was impossible to determine one's "true" personality unless you knew them in a more traditional way. I disagreed.

My theory is that no one ever knows your "real" personality. Y'see, personality is defined in many dimensions, some not perceivable under what we consider to be "normal conditions". You can only get to see it via filters... Or in other words, a limited number of dimensions at a time. And in that manner, how you may consider someone via other means isn't necessarily an inaccurate, untrue or fake perception, rather a different aspect of the same subject. Think of an egg - and how it appears to be a circle if you view it from one end.

So what follows is that a person's personality is more than how they appear in real life. And more than how they appear online. And more than how they may appear to their parents, or to a significant other. Or at work - you get the picture. It's the sum of all these things that begins to describe what a guy or girl is really like. And paradoxically it's only when you realise this about a person - the fact that there's more to them than you (will prolly ever) know - that you really know them.

And that, dear reader, is why all personality tests suck.

You can take the BBC Personality Test thingy here.

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