I have always had a great dislike of personality tests and the authors tendency to put us all into neat little boxes. Human beings are very complex and we tend to change our responses to interactions from day to day, or even several time throughout the day.
The most well known of these tests, and one most of us have encountered, is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) with it’s 16 personality types based on a combination of 4 dichotomies:
Extraversion (E) – (I) Introversion
Sensing (S) – (N) Intuition
Thinking (T) – (F) Feeling
Judging (J) – (P) Perception
yielding 16 types into which all of humanity is divided.
ISTJ – ISFJ – INFJ – INTJ – ISTP – ISFP – INFP – INTP
ESTP – ESFP – ENFP – ENTP – ESTJ – ESFJ – ENFJ – ENTJ
This test was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers based upon character types developed by by Carl Jung.
Other tests include Oscar Ichazo’s 9 personality Enneagram, Tim Flynn’s Global 5-SLOAN Multidimensional Typing System, the MOTIV personality System, and the R-Drive Personality System. The competing tests can leave you with a dizzying array of possible personality types.
A popular one these days is the ColorCode Personality Test that slides your personality into a percentage of four colour combinations. The result is a pretty pie chart similar to the one seen here.
Another one that has been around for about 7 years, but is new to me, is how your Preferred Music Style is linked to your personality.
Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease
Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing
Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing
Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease
Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle
Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle
Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing
Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease
Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease
Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease
How would I classify myself when my play-list includes at least 8 of the above styles and vary depending upon the time of day and my mood? Those of us who listen to a variety of core genres of movies as well as fusions of several types, must be doomed to a life coping with Multiple Personality Disorder.
One of the dangers of these tests, especially the MBTI, is that are sometimes used for decisions such as hiring, firing, or career and relationship advice. They can also lead to self-fulfilling prophesies as we may respond to events the way we believe we should based upon our type.
Or, we could recognize that personality tests are a fun way to pass the time and don’t tell us anything we don’t already know.