Weekend Project: Who ARE You, Anyway?

Well, it’s the weekend, which means that it’s my chance to accomplish everything I haven’t been able to get to during the week, and that I need to find ways to get readers at America’s Right involved.

A few weeks ago, in an Interviewing & Counseling practical course in which I’m currently enrolled, our professor thought it a good idea for us prospective attorneys to take the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, the idea being that if we better understand ourselves and our tendencies, we’ll be better equipped to more effectively interact with clients. I saw the value in it immediately, but what I didn’t see until the test was finished were the political connections.

I knew, at that point, that this would likely make an interesting Weekend Project. And, given that the most recent piece here at America’s Right posted yesterday afternoon, Facts, Emotions, Liberty, Tyranny and Health Care, had much to do with the personality roots of political ideology, I figured that this weekend was as good a time as any.

I think it could be fascinating, and that we can all learn quite a bit about ourselves, each other, and our friends on the other side of the political spectrum. But it’s going to need your input and involvement. Is it a little bit Dr. Phil? Sure. Is it superficial pop psychology? Of course. But while it might be both those things and while it may seem a little touchy-feely or frou frou considering some of the other material here at America’s Right, please bear with me.

Before I get to my results, and how to analyze yours, here are the instructions:

  1. Take the online test. It’s not the full Myers-Briggs test, but it’s free, and my results were almost exactly the same as with the full test. Important: be honest. Find the test HERE.
  2. Click “Score It!” when done.
  3. Note your four-letter type.
  4. Come back here and leave your results in a comment. Detail (a) what your four-letter type is, (b) where you put yourself on the political spectrum, and (c) whether or not you think the four-letter type and characteristics below are a fair assessment of yourself. It won’t be perfect, but it will be interesting.

What the test does is score you on four sliding scales: Extraversion vs. introversion; sensing vs. intuition; thinking vs. feeling; and judging vs. perceiving.

Here are some basic preference characteristics, and an even more basic summary of each. Obviously, it’s better to look at the comparison between each category on a chart, but I don’t have the time to develop a chart for both. So, do your best:

  • Extraverson: Attention focused outward on people, things and action; Energized by being with others; External; Breadth; Interaction; Multiple relationships; Sociable; Extensive; Action; Interest in external events; Easy to know.
  • Introversion: Attention focused inward on concepts, ideas and feelings; Energized by being alone; Internal; Depth; Concentration; Close relationships; Territorial; Intensive; Reflection; Interest in internal reactions; Hard to know.
  • Sensing: Facts; Details; Reality; Experience; Specifics; Here & Now; Practical; Literal; Concrete; Sequential; Perspiration; Down to Earth.
  • Intuition: Meaning; Big Picture; Possibilities; Hunches; Patterns; Future; Ingenious; Figurative; Abstract; Random; Inspiration; Head in clouds.
  • Thinking: Objective; Principles; Policy; Justice; Categorize; Critique; Analyze; Firmness; Logic; Why.
  • Feeling: Subjective; Personal values; Circumstances; Mercy; Harmonize; Appreciate; Sympathize; Persuasion; Impact on people; Who.
  • Judging: Closure; Decided; Plan ahead; Scheduled; Planned; Settled; Fixed; Completed; Punctual; Purposeful; Control events.
  • Perceiving: Options; Open-minded; Adapt as you go; Spontaneous; Open-ended; Pending; Flexible; Emergent; Leisurely; Adaptable; Respond to moment.


When I took the test, I fell very, very strongly on one side versus the other. I favored very strongly extroversion, sensing, thinking and perceiving. I certainly am no introvert, and compared to thinking, I’m not one for feeling. Therefore, my four-letter type was a strong “ESTP.”


In Isabel Briggs Myers’ book, Introduction to Type, she described each of the four-letter personality types as follows:

ISTJ

Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.

ISFJ

Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.

ISTP

Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency.

ISFP

Quiet, friendly, sensitive, and kind. Enjoy the present moment, what’s going on around them. Like to have their own space and to work within their own time frame. Loyal and committed to their values and to people who are important to them. Dislike disagreements and conflicts, do not force their opinions or values on others.

INFJ

Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.

INTJ

Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.

INFP

Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are important to them. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential. Adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a value is threatened.

INTP

Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.

ESTP

Flexible and tolerant, they take a pragmatic approach focused immediate results. Theories and conceptual explanations bore them – they want to act energetically to solve the problem. Focus on the here-and-now, spontaneous, enjoy each moment that they can be active with others. Enjoy material comforts and style. Learn best through doing.

ESFP

Outgoing, friendly, and accepting. Exuberant lovers of life, people, and material comforts. Enjoy working with others to make things happen. Bring common sense and a realistic approach to their work, and make work fun. Flexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to new people and environments. Learn best by trying a new skill with other people.

ESTJ

Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive, quickly move to implement decisions. Organize projects and people to get things done, focus on getting results in the most efficient way possible. Take care of routine details. Have a clear set of logical standards, systematically follow them and want others to also. Forceful in implementing their plans.

ESFJ

Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute.

ENFP

Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of possibilities. Make connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency.

ENTP

Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and outspoken. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems. Adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically. Good at reading other people. Bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another.

ENFJ

Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and provide inspiring leadership.

ENTJ

Frank, decisive, assume leadership readily. Quickly see illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems. Enjoy long-term planning and goal setting. Usually well informed, well read, enjoy expanding their knowledge and passing it on to others. Forceful in presenting their ideas.

As most of you know, I was a liberal democrat only ten years ago. Through the cathartic outlet that is America’s Right, I’ve been pondering for almost two years how exactly how I made by Fosburian leap rightward, and what it all means. Completing the full Myers-Briggs test, and even the shorter online one as well, provided me with a fantastic illustration of who I was ten years ago and who I am now. That, in turn, really shed light–for me, at least–about the inherent differences in personality between liberals and conservatives.

Now, I am a strong ESTP type. I am flexible. I am spontaneous. I am tolerant (despite what many liberals want to say about me, and right-wing extremists like me). My first inclination when presented with a problem is to solve the darned thing. After all, what’s the use in talking about it when I already know how best to bring about a solution?

While I could never have qualified as an introvert, ten years ago while still a liberal I was nonetheless very different. I never took any such test then, but I likely would have been a strong ENFJ. I did not have an open mind, even though liberals always tout their open minds. I was more intuitive and feeling than sensing and thinking, focusing more on possibilities instead of realities, hunches rather than experience, the future more than the present, the figurative more than the literal, the abstract more than the concrete, the subjective more than the objective, mercy instead of justice, emotion rather than fact, “who?” instead of “why?”, and circumstances instead of policy.

I look at the two different Jeffs–the liberal Jeff and the conservative-libertarian Jeff–and consider how each would react, for instance, to the ongoing debate over health care. The difference is stark. As far as yesterday’s piece is concerned, I would have preferred the PBS assessment of Maine’s Dirigo Health Care System, I would have sided with emotion over fact, and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence instead of the power of freedom.

It amazes me how much of our political ideology is ingrained in our person and personality. And it shows that a person’s change in ideology is likely only genuine if that person also has a change in personality. Whether the chicken or egg comes first, though, is a question for another time. For now, please complete the online test, and see if you notice the same dichotomy.

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Comments

  1. Ian Thorpe says:

    I came up ESFP Jeff but having spent years having my ear bent by "Human Resources Proifessionals" about the value and validity of this kind of test I'm still convinced they are a waste of time.

    Yes / No, either – or answers can never grant insight into the subtleties of human minds. Take these few questions with the real answers appropriate to me…

    14.You prefer to act immediately rather than speculate about various options?
    It depends entirely on the circumstances. Sometimes urgent action is called for, somtimes we have more time to think things through. What I and any competent manager have in common is that once the decision is made we would stick with it.

    15.You trust reason rather than feelings?
    Again a grey area. There's a time for reasoned analysis and for following the gut instinct.

    16.You are inclined to rely more on improvisation than on careful planning?
    As with the above two.

    29.You get bored if you have to read theoretical books?
    Stupid Question really. It depends on the topic and how well written it is. I've read brilliant books on quantum physics and given up on certain others before getting to page twenty.

    52.You usually place yourself nearer to the side than in the center of the room.
    You will usually find me placed in the room where the food / booze / attractive female is. Who cares whether that is the centre or to one side. I know my priorities

  2. Katie says:

    ISTJ – same result as when I took the full test in the early '90's.

    Thanks for the diversion and insight, Jeff.

  3. BE AFRAID says:

    Interesting, I am less judgmental and less emotional than your wife Jeff… and coming from all-caps-man you should find concern in that… lol.

  4. GATOR-1 says:

    WHAT..?

    I started reading a website only to later find "Assigned Reading"…

    Now there are tests?…YIKES! :)

    I N F J
    22 38 12 56

    I thought I flunked until I read the description and then it made more sense. Pretty durn close.

    I also considered myself a Conservative all of my life but scored today as well as several other times as a solid Libertarian?

    I am also anxious to know what Mr Jeff thinks of all this. So Sir, you have another assignment…analize us…..

    BLESSINGS PATRIOTS

  5. Anonymous says:

    ISTJ

    I was not too surprised with the definition.
    Interesting test.

    Thanks
    ken in CA

  6. Anonymous says:

    INTP

    I took this test years ago, the full test. It fits me perfectly. Sort of scary, in fact, how accurate it is.

    Politically, I'm an independent, who leans conservative, but libertarian on social issues, meaning if you're not hurting ANYBODY else, then I could not care less what you do. Operative word: anybody. That means I do care if kids get hurt by irresponsible actions of their parents. Meaning, I'm very pro-life. For what it's worth. I vote for the best person, no matter the party; in fact, I tend to dislike people who are strongly partisan.

    The N and the P parts of my personality, I believe, allowed me to see through our current president the very first time I saw him. It's a puzzle to me why more people can't see what I see. It's right there in front of us. And if that isn't enough, if you listen closely and read what he's written, then he's not hiding who he is. Too many see what they want to see instead of what is.

  7. MOTOWN, SLOWTOWN says:

    DETROIT (Reuters) – In a crowded ballroom next to a bankrupt casino, what remains of the Detroit property market was being picked over by speculators and mostly discarded.

    After five hours of calling out a drumbeat of "no bid" for properties listed in an auction book as thick as a city phone directory, the energy of the county auctioneer began to flag.

    "OK," he said. "We only have 300 more pages to go."

  8. Anonymous says:

    a) ISTJ — 78-12-38-56.
    b) conservative – most ways
    c) probably fair — who am I to judge? :)
    .

  9. Anonymous says:

    mmm, INTJ.

    I did not know that about myself!

    The description posted seems accurate enough.

    Kinda of interesting though…
    – I recall a completely different result 25 years ago.

  10. Dee says:

    ISFJ
    Conservative with some libertarian leanings.
    I feel that I am more extroverted than the test said but much of it describes me. Besides, being compared to Mother Teresa isn't so bad.
    Fun project.

  11. Anonymous says:

    ISFP
    Conservative
    Pretty accurate discription.

  12. La Muse Poetique says:

    ISFJ for me.

  13. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    "Also interesting Jeff, that you are the only one with a "P" so far."

    There were a few more in there, Robert being one of them. My "P" comes from me being absolutely riddled with ADD, and always having to struggle with organization. Always.

    "I hope you didn't pay real money to take this."

    HA! If you even entertain the idea that I would do such a think, I should invite you to take a look at my bank statements.

    "Pretty much right on except for the organized house. I like things organized but don't always have the time.

    Thanks for the homework sweetie."

    See, it gets both of us.

    "Very interesting idea and I can't wait to read a future post to read about Jeff's observations."

    I don't know that I can or will sum up everything in a future post.

    I will say that I was surprised by the amount of "F" folks in there, especially those who consider themselves conservatives. We're always told that we're heartless, that we don't care about the little guy — I don't think that's true at all, I just believe that we approach a solution by thinking rather than feeling our way there.

    Here's the question I want to ask now:

    What do you guys make of this?

  14. Anonymous says:

    ESFJ: 33-100?!-62-11

    I'm certain growing up the middle child of 7 kids has a lot to do with this outcome. (And being married to an INTJ makes life really interesting …)

    jeano

  15. Celia in TX says:

    I am INTJ
    44 25 38 78

    Incidentally, I also recently took a quiz about spiritual gifts, and the result was that I am gifted in discernment…which I felt explained a lot!!!

  16. Celia in TX says:

    Interesting!!! I took the political leanings test that someone posted, and it said Libertarian.

  17. Gail B says:

    Still a Patriot will see this tomorrow. Will be interesting to see her scores, too.

    Forgot to say that I think of myself as being conservative (at least compared to what I USED to be!) but I score as a Libertarian every time.

    My letters were ENFJ.
    ——————————–
    Anybody gotten Whazzup's "I.Q." yet?

  18. Anonymous says:

    ENTJ – now
    ESTJ – 20 years ago while in college.

    very conservative – make Sean Hannity look like a liberal :-)

    perhaps a little less able to believe that people will change. Jeff – your 'conversion' to conservatism give me hope that many others will follow.

    RM in SC

  19. Vibe says:

    I had a friend take this,an ex marine that owns a lot more guns than I do. ENFP – Go figure.
    I also took the test and changed quite a few of the iffy answers – I still scored ISTJ, though the distributions were different.

  20. Randy Wills says:

    "What do you guys make of all of this?" (Jeff)

    Well, I didn't take the test this time (I have more than once during my working days as a result of the myriad of seminars that the company I worked for insisted that we attend. In fact, I was an instructor for the Corporate "Managing Managers" course), but my experience says that it's difficult to separate the test results from the expectation.

    In other words, most visitors to this site have a pretty good idea of what their peer expectations are, so they typically shape their responses to fit those expectation whereas in reality, they may function entirely differently.

    Now, to integrate all of the tendencies that the test identifies with the reality of our supposedly Constitutional conservatism, we need to do a similar experiment covering spriritual values. Before getting my head handed to on a platter by those who profess non-belief or overt atheism, let me explain.

    To believe that we, as a nation, can restore the values expressed in the Constitution without also restoring the spiritual perspective is an exercise in futility. It can't be done. The Founders made that very clear, so you have to make a choice. Is it really Constitutional conservatism that you want, or is it some secularized form of it that you think will suffice?

    So, in response to your closing question, Jeff, I would like to pose the following one; "Now that you all know what your personality characteristics are, are you willing to delve into the subject of your spiritual characteristics as well?" Seems only fair to me.

    Hopefully, you haven't missed the point of almost everything I've written, have you? You know, the "secret sauce" thing?

    Randy

  21. Roses,WA says:

    I take it there are many roads to the right place, and none of them are the wrong road.. just different :-)

  22. Gail B says:

    Organized house? ORGANIZED house? What the blazes is an organized house?!

    JUST finished moving the rest of my mess out of Sarah's basement from my move from NC two years ago, and books seem to be taking me over. Well, bookshelves put up on exterior walls would aid in insulation, yes?

    My next-door neighbor came over tonight for a visit. When I mentioned building bookshelves, he said, "Gail, you need a shed!" (We've been talking about my getting one or building one. Now I know it's a fact that it's a shed that's needed, not bookshelves!)

    Buckshot ran through the place this afternoon and leaped right over a sack of something because he didn't see it in time to stop.

    Organized house?

  23. Lori says:

    INTS

    Very close. Very interesting.

  24. YOUR HONOR, I FORGOT WHERE I WAS says:

    ADD, and going to college, to be a lawyer???? you ARE a glutton for punishment. The smartest, and bravest man I know has that as well…. Glenn Beck.

  25. Anonymous says:

    ENFJ – Moderate in all scores except Feeling was lower
    I am a conservative/libertarian leaning/christian
    Believe it or not, both Ron Reagan and Obama are ENFJ
    Have taken this test for the past 20 yrs and it scores the same every single time.

  26. Anonymous says:

    INTJ
    89 12 62 44

    I have scored as an S instead of an N at times and do seem to go back and forth sometimes.

    This describes me pretty well, and I am VERY conservative. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.

  27. suek says:

    Gail B…

    Nix on the shed! You'll never be able to find your books – so you might as well get rid of them as put them in a shed. In addition, you'll have silverfish and other glue/paper eating creatures if you're lucky and don't end up with mice, rats or other assorted rodents who specialize in attacking seldom trafficked places so that they can make their homes and raise their babies. Now – it's not that I begrudge them space to raise families…but _not_ in my books please!

    Build the bookshelves – put metals and ceramic stuff out in the shed. Don't put electric stuff out there either – rodents seem attracted to the coverings on electric wires…

    Oh yeah…and I forgot to mention spiders…!

  28. Anonymous says:

    ISTJ
    Strongly conservative

    Mostly accurate except for the organized house part. I wish I was and try to be, but reading America's Right is much more fun than cleaning house. :-)

    Amazed at how many ISTJs there are on here. Also noticed that we almost all have J even if the other attributes are different. Fascinating.

    Let's try this experiment at Daily Kos.

  29. Anonymous says:

    INTJ

    Same score and description for the past 20 years

    I do find it interesting that there are so many in this comment area

    This personality is one of the rarer

  30. Roses,WA says:

    INTJ a are type? This old saying has a new twist…
    Even political birds of a feather flying in a huge cyber space still manage to flock together :-)

  31. Randy Wills says:

    I'm still waiting for someone to tell Jeff "what you make of all of this".

    Some mention how many times they have taken this test and how consistant the results have been, but how does that get reflected in what you do?

    I've been 6'-0" and 200 lbs since I was in the service more than 50 years ago, but it sure looks different on me now than it did then and it certainly has brought about very significan changes in what I'm able to do, physically. So I'm thinking that you can respond the same to the test questions – after all, you have to admit to a certain amount of conditioning, but are you really the same person that you were, say 20 years ago? I doubt it. And what would it look like if your spouse, your boss, or a close friend did the scoring? In other words, did this knowlege do anything to influence what you do?

    I contend that the only real means of defining who and what a person is is by evaluating the decisions that they make in real-life experiences. That's where I found the Myers-Briggs test, and others like it, to be woefully inadaquate in demonstrating values and predicting performance "on the job".

    So come on, give Jeff some feedback as to what you really think the effect of your scoring is on your life, relationships, and accomplishments.

    What I want to know is what we're willing to die for. I'll have an article on that soon.

    Randy

  32. Hugh says:

    Jeff:

    I am a conservative to strong conservative Republican. What is going on tends to push me into the Liberatian camp.

    I scored as a INFJ as follows:

    moderately expressed introvert

    moderately expressed intuitive

    moderately expressed feeling

    slightly expressed judging

    The introvert and judging are pretty accurate.

    I take great exception with the sensing vs intuition and the thinking vs feeling.

    I am a detail person and analytical.

    I found some of the questions to be conflicted, absolutely defying a clear yes/no answer.

  33. Anonymous says:

    INTP

    Much like the other INTP above, I am an independent who leans both conservative and libertarian.

  34. Jan says:

    Randy –
    Having worked in HR for many years and having been subjected to many of these sorts of "tests" I am not incredibly fond of them for predicting behavior. Experience with the individual is still the best indication, in my honest opinion. Depending on the circumstances in my life at the time of these test I could answer them differently every time. My views in life in general have changed dramatically over the years. I have four children and through experiences with each one I have learned and changed. I became a devoted and 'active' Christian and that has changed my perspectives, behaviors, and expectations and continues to do so as I mature in faith. These tests do not influence me or my behavior, I leave that to God! The results tend to be much better!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I am an INTJ. Well, I have to say that I think it has described me with scary accuracy. That includes one aspect of me that was played out during a meltdown at work, and that the INTJ characterization also described with perfection.
    I am Conservative and have been so most of my politically conscious life.
    Cheers. Mifouf

  36. Randy Wills says:

    Well said, Jan. Our experiences have been similar.

    The dynamic of life – Christian and secular alike – is the decisions that we make. The predictive ability of tests such as Myers-Briggs is minimal. We all know what is expected of us, but the only real indicator of our values and future choices we might make in yet-unforeseen circumstances lies within the decisions that we have made in the past.

    The most visible demonstration of this truth is President Obama. If you look carefully at his past decisions regarding his close friends and associates, you would know exactly where he is taking the country. His words mean nothing, because he knows what the public's expectations are. To some, they are comforting words. To others, they are code words. But in both cases they have only one purpose; to meet the expectations of his listeners in order to move freely towards his personal objective.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and words of wisdom.

    Randy

  37. Nick Cochran says:

    I am an INTJ and a strong conservative based on my Christian convictions. And I'm a bit obsessed with statistics (baseball fan, of course), so here you go.

    Based on the sample of 67 reported test results:

    E: 33%
    I: 67%

    S: 39%
    N: 61%

    T: 65%
    F: 35%

    J: 86%
    P: 14%

    And here are the type combination frequencies:

    TYPE COUNT %
    INTJ 18 27%
    ISTJ 12 18%
    ENTJ 7 10%
    INFJ 6 9%
    ENFJ 5 7%
    ESFJ 5 7%
    INTP 3 4%
    ISFJ 3 4%
    ISFP 3 4%
    ESTJ 2 3%
    ENTP 1 1%
    ESFP 1 1%
    ESTP 1 1%
    ENFP 0 0%
    INFP 0 0%
    ISTP 0 0%

    Enjoy!

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