Bram Pitoyo, Interlude

On The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator Meme

There was a Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) testing meme going around the Portland Twitterverse this Tuesday. You know, the ESTJ’s, INFP’s, ENTP’s and the likes.

Did you catch it?

As people started retaking the test and recalling their past scores (it was my first), some trends popped out.

If we think of the MBTI as having four elements, either:

  • Extroversion or Introversion
  • Sensing or iNtuition
  • Thinking or Feeling
  • Judging or Perception

Here are my findings from a day of Twitter feed observation:

  • One dimension from past result almost always shifts. It can be the first (I/E), third (T/F) or fourth (J/P), but never the second.
  • For every 10 results, there were around 6 Introverts and 4 Extroverts.
  • There was an abundance of people with iNtuition, rather than Sensing dimension (only 3 people out of 20–25.)

This got me thinking. All dimension being equal in importance, what explained the abundance of iNtuition types and lack of Sensing on the survey result?

@PDXflaneur said that N’s self-select to take MBTI and other typology tests. Raven Zachary goes further to say that N’s are naturally more curious about abstract ideas, which probably caused them to join Twitter in the first place.

This isn’t to say that S’s aren’t curious, mind you.

My theory is this: as the web becomes more accessible (and most importantly, social) the distribution of these personality will mirror that of the physical space (I realize that the data was interpolated.)

For example, had I done the same survey in 1995, when the web was young, the I’s would probably outnumber E’s the way N’s outnumber S’s today. This is because the early web wasn’t as “social” as it is today.

I believe that we are much more complex and sophisticated than any personality system can ever hope to classify. At the same time, my anthropologist/researcher side feels that trends that appear in the result was interesting and can benefit from further discussions.

Curiosity, I tell ya.

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One thought on “On The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator Meme

  1. Good post. I think you’ve evaluated it pretty closely.

    There is a higher number of I’s here, then in real life. Generally Es outnumber Is 3:1 in RL. I think that the two quotes above, regarding Ns, have much merit.

    I also agree that as the Internet, and more importantly, Internet usage, becomes more universal, the tubes will match RL in composition of MBTI.

    My type, INTJ, is one of the rare ones. However, I think I’ve met more “architects” on Twitter and other 2.0 sites, then I normally do in RL.

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