Online quizzes explained


I got Gandalf!


When I was in college, there was a guy in my crowd who was obsessed with the Myers Briggs. I think his parents were involved in management consulting and he picked it up from them. There was this one book that he pretty much forced all of his friends to read and we had all divided ourselves up by our types (ENTP in case you are wondering). Much like horoscopes, we would predict our love lives by types and since we were all Ns we would sneer at the poor little Ses that we secretly did not like much.

A couple of years after college, I volunteered on a listening hotline. I became close to the training director. Her parents were consultants specializing in the Myers Briggs - in fact, her stepdad had written a popular book on the subject - Guess Which One??? And it turned out that in fact her parents were very judgy about people’s types even though their book was all about how we are different and we should appreciate each others differences. Thought it was so funny. It definitely burst my bubble on the Myers Briggs.


Isn’t there a more prosaic explanation? These things were the rage on LiveJournal back in the day, which made them deeply uncool, and it’s taken this long for web nerds to try making them again? And now with the souped-up virality generator that is Facebook, they have found their true audience: all your idiotic relatives.


Which wildly over-analytical Wired writer are YOU?


Please Understand Me ?

Either way, what you said was funny because when I was in college we also had a guy in our crowd running around making everyone read about MBTI and using it to explain our relationships to each other.

I won’t say my type because it’ll trigger someone to say “oh I never get along with X”, when actually, if it goes like usual, we’d (that person and I) have already been getting along just fine.

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Y’know, as much as this is depressing and all, I’ve never heard of nonsense facebook surveys causing serious health problems or centuries of unremitting violence, which may (dreadful as the words taste even in the uttering) mean that these mechanisms for coping with the inscrutable human condition and our inevitable deaths be represent an improvement over heavy drinking and religion, the incumbents in the area.

I’ll be damned if I thought I’d see the day where I admitted that facebook might have improved anything; but honesty compels us to follow the evidence wherever it may lead…

The book was Type Talk. It was like our Bible or something. I think it came down to a very scientific analysis that our special group was more special than everyone else and that we had the powers to identify and select other people who could join our special group using this tool that only we knew about.


In my particular case I may be contributing to the popularity of online quizzes because I like to take 'em over and over and plug in different answers to see what results I get. I especially like figuring out the minimum number of a certain type of answer that’s required for a specific result.


Myers Briggs is ‘still a thing’; I was asked to take the instrument just last year as part of an ‘emerging leaders’ thing at work. Here they were trying to argue we should communicate and manage people differently depending on their type, and look to our own type to find insight into our challenges and possible failings. I went along with the ensuing discussions, but didn’t believe in it, beyond the superficial ‘different people require different management styles’ argument. From what I’ve read (not my field here) introversion / extroversion is a real thing, but is better understood as ‘preferred level of external stimulus’, not as a preferred way of interacting with others. Beyond that, there’s nothing there. We behave differently in different roles.

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ESFP represent!

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I’m not prejudiced against Js. Some of my best friends are Js! If I had a daughter, why, I’d even let her marry a J, if that’s what she really wanted.


Being an INTJ (get that result consistently through decades, kind of dull, but often people move through the different categories) not-withstanding, I thought the whole Myers-Briggs test was dreamed up during WWII by some gals and lacks any true basis other then theory. Has it ever provided good means of managing people? Or just an excuse to ignore them? Cause I got to tell you, dealing with people, neighbors, family, children, students and etc… has taught me the damn thing means little to nothing. If people were quantifiable, well we are - we can measure height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, etc… I don’t think we have a good grasp of ourselves to measure the rest yet.

Man, FB is less appealing than ever for me now with these stupid “Imma Kit from Knightrider” tests.

I already don’t “use” it anymore per se, but I still enjoyed looking at it occasionally, or over my partner’s shoulder because of the posts of a few friends & one guy in particular who always either cracks me up or challenges me. (indirectly challenges, with his posts). FB freaks me out like a crowded room, I’ve heard introverts dig it a lot but for every one minute of actual FB interaction, some act beyond viewing, I feel like I need 10 minutes of EVE, which I play in a solitary manner despite it being a mmorpg.

But these things are apparently his blindspot, unnoticed crack use in the blind stupor of his social media use that served him well before the crack slipped in. Over the past few weeks they’ve increased in frequency til that’s all he seems to post now “What character are you from xxx” etc.

I’m sure he’ll be back to normal in a few weeks or months, can’t possibly last. Goes too long & it’ll be all “What type of cloud are you?” (Oh man I got cirrus! so wispy & high all the time) when popular culture is completely covered.

What I’m surprised at is that it isn’t all “Which crunchy brand of snack are you?” (Doritos! Cool! Wait, are we all Doritos?, well I’m cool ranch, that’s special anyway!" yet. We can all take tests with little or no mechanics behind them to see what to consume next. I’m sure we already do, but these would be more transparently dishonest, & we all know transparency is a virtue beyond honesty in today’s world.

edit- Oh & I’m INTP (Intensely Nascent Taco Pinata)

Ugh. Those people.

I think I got INTJ last time I got made to do one of these.

I will say I liked it when the IQ test one went around years ago, and people kept their scores up on their walls even when it was double-digit.

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