I’ve been doing a lot of research on psychological personality type again recently. It’s one of the many subjects that is a frequent interest of mine. Sometimes I wonder how much one can really attribute to any particular descriptive method whether it’s personality type, astrology, numerology stereotyping or really anything you can think of that exists currently to try to fit people into neat little categories. Inevitably, someone just won’t fit the mold you try to create for them.

It’s interesting that this seems to be such a longstanding preoccupation for humans, trying to differentiate between ourselves in an effort to either (and hopefully) understand others better or for other less altruistic reasons. We are so much more similar than we could ever be different and although I’m not saying someone should try to be best friends with a serial killer or something crazy like that, I have a hard time understanding why it seems so challenging for people to just get along. I observe people and I often feel that if people put just a tad more effort into seeing things from other people’s perspectives it really wouldn’t be that hard to understand and accept other people for who they are.

Group dynamics especially seem challenging for people. I know people come from various family sizes and that experience would contribute; however, the overwhelming quantity of times that we humans are generally required to interact with others on a daily basis would seem good cause to gain a better understanding of how to communicate and interact well with other people who are dissimilar from ourselves. Is this illogical of me?

On another note, I wonder how much certain behaviors can be explained (or rather tend to be attributed) to a personality type. For instance, I acknowledge that I sometimes have an issue with procrastination, even though I nearly always finish everything I’m required to do, if it’s not a requirement the path I take to complete something may seem a bit wayward to someone else. Things like this can keep me in thought about people for a long while. I would love to have a unique understanding of human nuances, we’re such fascinatingly unique creatures!

If you would like to learn a little about personality type there are many places on the web that you can go to get a brief immersion in the subject. I enjoy Personality Café for one of the forum sites. You can take a free sample Keirsey II Temperament Sorter test or take any of the various free personality type tests. You can also take the full Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the MBTI Complete which is a paid test. Regardless of which test you use, I highly recommend doing a bit of reading on each of the individual types which will help you better understand others as well as helping you to verify if you’ve typed yourself accurately.
Happy typing!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Corin
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 17:15:19

    In the book Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, he reports on a psychological study that says humans can’t differentiate similar items into more the 8 different ranges.

    For example, if I gave you 30 different coffees with varying amounts of sugar in it, you could only different the coffees into 8 different categories of sweetness.

    Our mind tends to clump similarity. I think that applies to people. That’s were the MBTI comes in handy. Instead of clumping people into democrat, republican, male, female, cliques, social organizations, we can group by preferred behavior.

    Our mind has certain dominant functions. It’s how we prefer to think. How we think affects behavior and that’s why certain behaviors can be attributed to MBTI type. A good analogy would be MBTI type is like being left-handed or right-handed. If someone is left-handed, I can deduce that they are most likely left-legged and that they kick with their left leg.

    So how does this matter? If it know if someone is left-handed, I would defend myself differently than if they were right-handed. If someone is an S instead of an N, then I would give directions differently.


  2. alegnasevarg
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 18:37:28

    I’m glad to hear you use the left or right handed analogy as that’s generally how I think of it. At the same time, I wonder how deeply we can carry the attributions in regard to type without overgeneralizing someone’s uniqueness. (Hopefully that makes sense.) I know there are considered to be subtype categories and that “shadow” types are merely our less developed functions which contributes to our uniquesness in the variations of our individual development based on our collections of knowledge and wisdom. I would like to continue my study of Developmental and Learning Psychology. It’s such a fascinating field to try to understand human behavior!


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