How Accurate are Personality Tests?

Facebook is filled with a lot of interesting tidbits, including those posts that state that your personality can be determined based on what animal, color, or TV show you are most drawn to. The games are entertaining, and becoming aware of who you are, does help you relate to others, but I doubt the tests are very scientific. Some people say, “Oh that is so right on!” but I think it’s because we want it to be.

When I took the Myers Briggs Personality test recently,  the results to the questions I answered determined that I fall into the ENFP category  (Extrovert-Intuitive-Feeling-Perception). However, when I took the test a few years ago, I must have answered the questions differently, because I was placed in the INFP category.

I decided to research more what theat meant and this is what I came up with:

“As an ENFP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition (I care too much what people think about me). Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit in with your personal value system (yes, I do that, too). ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things (borderlining obsession). Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types (always). They can talk their way in or out of anything (yes, lol). They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it (I do now, but not always).”

ENFP: THE ROMANTIC

“With more thirst for opportunity and more talent than they can handle, the ENFPs are drawn in so many different directions its hard to pick just one (constantly). The ENFPs love the spotlight (no, not really … I like to be recognized, but I’m more of a behind-the-scenes person), are incredibly creative (a WILD imagination), and sustain their high energy levels through being surrounded by others (no, being around people actually drains me). Their attention span is low, (easily distracted) meaning they need a fast-paced work environment with constant new challenges for the ENFPs to face (I loved being a server-every day was a challenge!). They also find a need to help others but in a more spontaneous fashion. The challenge will be to hold onto the ENFPs attention, so they need a wide range of duties to stay put.” (I am always working on 3-4 projects at a time)

Ideal Careers: Performers/Actors, Entrepreneurs, Counselor, Writer, Teacher, Advertising, PR, HR.

“ENFPs are basically happy people (yes). They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks (ditto). Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves (Meis Communications). They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they’re doing (I spend hours on my computer without a break).”

“Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments (always), ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension (headaches, neck, and back problems). They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled (stubborn, too). They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.

ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.”

There is so much literature pertaining to the results of this test, but this is the overall picture. As you can see, I agree with most of what they say I am, but maybe that’s why when broken down, it shows by the questions I answered that I am 55% extrovert and %45 introvert. Maybe my extrovertism overrides my shyness in some cases.

And what this does is give me insight to who I am in relation to others.

I always thought it was a bit odd that I am terrified to walk up to someone and ask them questions for a story, but yet I can carry on a conversation with a stranger in line at the grocery store.

The test might be able to tell us what category of personaility we fall into, but it can’t determine who we really are. We still have the power to be who we want to be, regardless what tests might reveal.

As one of my favorite cartoon characters, Popeye, was famous for saying, “I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.” 

 

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