Personality test

While we were driving around doing errands last night Barb read an online personality test to me and I gave her the answers. Here are the results:

According to the test I am an “AnonymousVirtuoso”. Details follow…

Code: ISTP-A

ISTPs love to explore with their hands and their eyes, touching and examining the world around them with cool rationalism and spirited curiosity. People with this personality type are natural Makers, moving from project to project, building the useful and the superfluous for the fun of it, and learning from their environment as they go. Often mechanics and engineers, ISTPs find no greater joy than in getting their hands dirty pulling things apart and putting them back together, just a little bit better than they were before.

ISTPs explore ideas through creating, troubleshooting, trial and error and first-hand experience. They enjoy having other people take an interest in their projects and sometimes don’t even mind them getting into their space. Of course, that’s on the condition that those people don’t interfere with ISTPs’ principles and freedom, and they’ll need to be open to ISTPs returning the interest in kind.

ISTPs enjoy lending a hand and sharing their experience, especially with the people they care about, and it’s a shame they’re so uncommon, making up only about five percent of the population. ISTP women are especially rare, and the typical gender roles that society tends to expect can be a poor fit – they’ll often be seen as tomboys from a young age.

Dare to Differ

While their mechanical tendencies can make them appear simple at a glance, ISTPs are actually quite enigmatic. Friendly but very private, calm but suddenly spontaneous, extremely curious but unable to stay focused on formal studies, ISTP personalities can be a challenge to predict, even by their friends and loved ones. ISTPs can seem very loyal and steady for a while, but they tend to build up a store of impulsive energy that explodes without warning, taking their interests in bold new directions.

Rather than some sort of vision quest though, ISTPs are merely exploring the viability of a new interest when they make these seismic shifts.

ISTPs’ decisions stem from a sense of practical realism, and at their heart is a strong sense of direct fairness, a “do unto others” attitude, which really helps to explain many of ISTPs’ puzzling traits. Instead of being overly cautious though, avoiding stepping on toes in order to avoid having their toes stepped on, ISTPs are likely to go too far, accepting likewise retaliation, good or bad, as fair play.

The biggest issue ISTPs are likely to face is that they often act too soon, taking for granted their permissive nature and assuming that others are the same. They’ll be the first to tell an insensitive joke, get overly involved in someone else’s project, roughhouse and play around, or suddenly change their plans because something more interesting came up.

Nothing Is as Boring as Everyone Agreeing With You

ISTPs will come to learn that many other personality types have much more firmly drawn lines on rules and acceptable behavior than they do – they don’t want to hear an insensitive joke, and certainly wouldn’t tell one back, and they wouldn’t want to engage in horseplay, even with a willing party. If a situation is already emotionally charged, violating these boundaries can backfire tremendously.

ISTPs have a particular difficulty in predicting emotions, but this is just a natural extension of their fairness, given how difficult it is to gauge ISTPs’ emotions and motivations. However, their tendency to explore their relationships through their actions rather than through empathy can lead to some very frustrating situations. People with the ISTP personality type struggle with boundaries and guidelines, preferring the freedom to move about and color outside the lines if they need to.

Finding an environment where they can work with good friends who understand their style and unpredictability, combining their creativity, sense of humor and hands-on approach to build practical solutions and things, will give ISTPs many happy years of building useful boxes – and admiring them from the outside.

Role: Explorer

Shared traits: Observant and Prospecting

Explorers – Virtuosos, Adventurers, Entrepreneurs, and Entertainers – possess a self-reliant mix of enthusiasm, quick thinking, and ingenuity that can lead to impressive personal and professional accomplishments. Comfortable with uncertainty and minimally concerned with preparation, these personality types simply adapt and overcome as events present themselves. Explorers’ flexibility helps them make snap decisions in the moment, and they’re unlikely to dwell on the future or the past.

They aren’t obsessed with precise detail (unless they’re really in the zone, in which case they can muster a level of precision and focus that would make a seasoned engineer blush). Usually, they require workability rather than perfection. Explorer personalities are utilitarian masters of diverse tools and techniques, ranging from instruments and engines to the art of persuasion, and they distinguish themselves in crises, crafts, and sales.

This versatile decisiveness doesn’t mean commitment, however. Explorers can change their minds with minimal regret or second-guessing. People in this Role dislike monotony, and often feel tempted to stray from obligations in favor of entertaining new things. They experiment with many interests and live and breathe whatever they connect with – for a time. If these personality types sometimes leave business unfinished, let clutter build up, or misplace important things, it’s because they’ve moved on to something fresh.

Explorers enjoy being free of obligations, where they can indulge themselves or their interests on their own time. An Explorer might design and build their own dream house, enthralled with the process, but end up procrastinating on simple repairs after a few years. They are highly motivated when steering themselves through something interesting, but don’t like being restrained by anything “mandatory.”

Their relaxed, free-form attitude makes Explorer personalities socially dynamic as well. They often seek out people and experiences that cater to their senses, finding more pleasure in stimulation than planning. They happily approach appealing strangers and interesting experiences, and when things get in the way of a good time, they apply their ingenuity to getting around it. Explorers want to see what happens next!

The same themes run through their friendships and families, though these relationships have much more staying power than most other interests. Rather than forcing relationships into or out of existence though, Explorers let things flow naturally according to their desires. Compatible people simply become a part of their lives. These personality types tend to be individualistic and freedom-loving, going their own way with little regard for naysayers, but they do enjoy knowing that the people they trust will be around in the end.

Explorers are highly spontaneous, connecting with and adapting to their environment in a way that is almost childlike in its wonder and sheer fun. It can be a challenge for them to work for things with a distant or unexciting payoff, as they need a sense of immediacy to feel truly engaged, but when they are passionate, Explorer personalities can move heaven and earth.

Strategy: Confident Individualism

Shared traits: Introverted and Assertive

Confident Individualists typically trust in themselves, and they often embrace solitude to pursue their own interests rather than seeking out social activity. Fascinated by personal projects, people following this Strategy often have an impressive range of skills and interesting ideas. But projects are usually only pursued for their own merit – Confident Individualists tend to feel that social displays and bragging are time and energy wasted. These personality types are proud of who they are, what they know, and what they can do, but they don’t feel the need to prove themselves to others.

Confident Individualists engage their internal inspiration instead of searching for motivation outside themselves. They favor privacy, and aren’t particularly fond of interacting with society, whether in a strictly social sense or when embracing broader societal goals. These personalities often favor substance over superficiality and personal honesty over playing along, and prefer a utilitarian approach, even when pursuing esoteric goals.

This utilitarianism also means that Confident Individualists are not easily drawn into emotional drama. They hold their own opinions firmly, but tend to see little reason to try to convince others. When drama does arise, these personality types express their truth with little concern over whether they’ll cause friction or offense. Confident Individualists tend to endorse self-reliance over cooperation, and are rarely pressured into agreeing with or lending support to others unless they believe in the cause.

This relaxed self-assurance means that Confident Individualists may not push their boundaries. Their live-and-let-live attitude goes both ways: they don’t need to convince others, and they tend to expect others to return the favor. While highly capable, they can miss information and opportunities that challenge their views because they simply don’t place much importance on factoring in others’ approval. They can be tolerant in disagreement though, respecting others’ individualism just as they respect their own.

When these personality types form friendships, they tend to be strong and honest. Because these types don’t feel like they need other people’s approval, their loyalty and affection is a deliberate expression of affection. Impressing a Confident Individualist earns their respect and care, and these types make for dedicated, passionate friends.

Self-reliance is central for these types, and they handle difficult situations well because they tend to be emotionally secure, bold, and resistant to stress. They rarely seek leadership or the spotlight, but when they do find themselves in these positons, these personalities lead by an example of self-determination and uncomplicated honesty – they appreciate grace, class, and form, and rarely seek to impress by appearances alone. When acting with knowledge and wisdom, Confident Individualists can be noble pillars of strength.

I don’t see anything I particularly disagree with.

8 thoughts on “Personality test

  1. It’s rather over-thought, delving into an unrealistic level of detail, but yeah. That would hopefully describe just about everyone, but if it’s only five percent then it’s no wonder the world is screwed up.

    I’ll add another “trait” to the mix;
    He can at times be hated for not taking seriously the frivolous things that other people take very seriously, or for his relative lack of fear.

    He will often clash with the social climber or the poser. He has little patience for them. They can be his mortal enemies, as once they’ve identified him they will realize that he’s a threat to their game and often lash out at him. Although they often depend on him (making him hated all the more), they cannot afford to have him in their close company and he seldom tolerates them anyway.

    • Not exactly. Here is what their website says:

      The type codes used by us are similar to those shared by a number of diverse theories and approaches such as Socionics, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, Linda Berens’ Interaction Styles and many others. However, while the acronyms adopted by different theories may be identical or very similar, their meanings do not always overlap – consequently, you should not assume that, for instance, INTj in Socionics is identical to INTJ-A as defined and described by us, or to the INTJ definition on a different website.

      To use an analogy, taxis and Formula 1 racers both drive ‘cars’ – but what each of them considers a car can look pretty different depending on where they’re driving. Make sure you review the theoretical model that a specific website relies on before comparing your results. You can find more information about our theoretical approach here.

  2. It’s scary how accurate this type of test is. I’ve migrated over my life from INTJ to INTP, and I blame the drift on becoming more socialized with age. Likely, though, I’m right on the edge between the two.

    My wife has taken these assessments occasionally, also, and we both agree with the results there. And no, I’m not going to admit what her type is 😉

  3. Yeah, I took the test. Either I’m lying to myself, or I’m a frigging “People Person”.
    (Read: “Mediator”)

    Which doesn’t explain why I live alone and rarely talk on the phone.

    Strangely, there doesn’t seem to be a category titled “Geek”.

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