Archive for ‘Psychology’

June 5, 2009

Which type are you?

by Kevin Aditya

Feeling like you don’t really understand yourself? That’s okay, that’s youth. But rather than taking some stupid facebook quiz about who you really are determined by the first letter of your name, why don’t you take real online personality test based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, such like this?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI for short, determines your personality based on four dichotomies:

Attitudes: Extraversion/Introversion (E/I)
Extraverted people tend to gain energy from social activities, while introverted people spend their energy in the same activity. Introverted people feel energized when being alone instead, and tend to not prefer activities that involve many people as such activities exhaust them while extraverted people feel energized.

Functions: Sensing/iNtuition (S/N) and Thinking/Feeling (T/F)
I’ve a lack of words to explain in length for this part so let’s just quote Wikipedia. (hehe)

Jung identified two pairs of psychological functions:

  • The two perceiving functions, sensing and intuition
  • The two judging functions, thinking and feeling

According to the Myers-Briggs typology model, each person uses one of these four functions more dominantly and proficiently than the other three; however, all four functions are used at different times depending on the circumstances.

Sensing and Intuition are the information-gathering (perceiving) functions. They describe how new information is understood and interpreted. Individuals who prefer sensing are more likely to trust information that is in the present, tangible and concrete: that is, information that can be understood by the five senses. They tend to distrust hunches that seem to come out of nowhere. They prefer to look for details and facts. For them, the meaning is in the data. On the other hand, those who prefer intuition tend to trust information that is more abstract or theoretical, that can be associated with other information (either remembered or discovered by seeking a wider context or pattern). They may be more interested in future possibilities. They tend to trust those flashes of insight that seem to bubble up from the unconscious mind. The meaning is in how the data relates to the pattern or theory.

Thinking and feeling are the decision-making (judging) functions. The thinking and feeling functions are both used to make rational decisions, based on the data received from their information-gathering functions (sensing or intuition). Those who prefer thinking tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, measuring the decision by what seems reasonable, logical, causal, consistent and matching a given set of rules. Those who prefer feeling tend to come to decisions by associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it ‘from the inside’ and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony, consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved.

As noted already, people who prefer thinking do not necessarily, in the everyday sense, ‘think better’ than their feeling counterparts; the opposite preference is considered an equally rational way of coming to decisions (and, in any case, the MBTI assessment is a measure of preference, not ability). Similarly, those who prefer feeling do not necessarily have ‘better’ emotional reactions than their thinking counterparts.

Lifestyle: Judgment/Perception (J/P)

This one’s an extra, to show you which one is your preferred function: the judging function (thinking/feeling) or the perceiving function (sensing/perception) when orienting to the outside world. People who prefer Judgment tend to be a planner and make decisions early in the game, and gain a sense of control if things are predictable. Perception people, however, prefer to keep the options open so if the circumstances change they could adapt their decisions.

For more into the differences you can check it up here. All of these are then combined into four-letter personality type, classifying them into one of the 16 personality types — so if you’re a lonely procrastinator that relies on your gut feeling and take things emotionally, you’re an INFP. Of course the definitions aren’t that simple, and you might actually be surprised that the type describes you pretty clearly since there are four combined aspects being analyzed (note the Forer effect though). Every type, be it ESTP, INFJ, ISTJ, ENFP, or any other combinations, has its own distinctive features so don’t worry about vague descriptions. And you can take it even further by correlating it to Keirsey Temperament Sorter like this table shows you:

I’m an INTP, described as “quiet, thoughtful, analytical individuals who enjoy spending long periods of time on their own, working through problems and forming solutions.” (the actual description is long) and that’s pretty accurate. And it brings me to the Architect role variant in Keirsey’s which is surprising, because I’m gonna go to the architecture school at ITB. So, what are you waiting for? You could try it now at, and tell me your result and how exact is the description! Which type are you?

Click to view my Personality Profile page

April 12, 2009

Forer’s got something for you

by Kevin Aditya

Most of the times if you take glance at your Facebook home page, chances are you’ll be seeing “[friend name here] took the [random quiz subject] quiz.” Maybe you’ve done some of them too. But when the results hit your screen, did you believe what they proudly say as “You are [some random stuffs under the quiz theme]!” and felt like the test had really described your distinct personality?

Psychologist Bertram R. Forer, once upon a day in 1948, had his student took a personality test he created and asked them to rate whether the analysis really describes their personality or not. He got the overall rating of 4.26, which means it somehow magically describes their personality well.

One thing he did unmask to the students only after they had taken the test: they all got the same analysis.

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.

The experiment showed us that, when people are given vague analysis that could practically describes anyone’s personality, they will still believe that the result did “really describe them well”. This effect was therefore dubbed as the “Forer effect”.

But well, I still take (and love) detailed and sophisticated personality-determining tests such as this one on Facebook. I’m INTP.

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