Academia and personality type

posted
01-Dec-11, 00:03
by lughna
Avatar for lughna
posted about 8 years ago
I'm curious as to whether other PhD candidates (and doctors) on the forum know their Myers-Briggs personality type. (or Keirsey/Jung for that matter)

There is some evidence to suggest that INTJ (Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging) is the most common type among academics and scientists, despite being one of the rarest of the 16 personalities.

I have taken various tests and repeatedly come out as an INTJ. It is slightly unnerving to see how well it applies to me! Does anyone else care to share?

For those who don't know theirs, there is a version here: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp
Or for a more comprehensive test you can go to the official website.

Here is a run-down of INTJ. Even if it isn't your type, you may recognize it from your experience with academics.

To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature, its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know.

INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.

INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ, both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play, as INTJs can be unsparing of both themselves and the others on the project. Anyone considered to be "slacking," including superiors, will lose their respect -- and will generally be made aware of this, INTJs have also been known to take it upon themselves to implement critical decisions without consulting their supervisors or co-workers. On the other hand, they do tend to be scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project, and have a gift for seizing opportunities which others might not even notice.

In the broadest terms, what INTJs "do" tends to be what they "know". Typical INTJ career choices are in the sciences and engineering, but they can be...
posted
01-Dec-11, 06:20
edited about 22 seconds later
by collin1
Avatar for collin1
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 01 Dec 2011 09:33:53 =======
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posted
01-Dec-11, 10:39
Avatar for screamingaddabs
posted about 8 years ago
Apparently I am an ENTJ. Though some of the questions I thought I could answer either way depending on the specific situation.

I would agree that most people in academia are introverted though. It kind of makes sense. You have to be able to spend a lot of time on your own working in quite a quiet environment. Really outgoing and social people wouldn't generally like that so much.

I always confuse the survey when I do any introvert/extrovert test because I like spending time quietly on my own, but I also like spending time in groups and am quite happy doing things like public speaking. I like to think I don't need attention all the time but don't mind attention when I get it.
posted
01-Dec-11, 10:39
edited about 22 seconds later
by sneaks
Avatar for sneaks
posted about 8 years ago
I'm an ISTJ, but then don't forget that academia appeals to people who love showing off and presenting in front of lots of people/teaching at every opportunity. I know a lot of extroverts in my discipline.
posted
01-Dec-11, 11:59
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for FrogPrincess
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 01 Dec 2011 12:01:47 =======
I got ENFP. Though i am a perfectionist so that does surprise me a bit. And i'm a scientist. I guess that means i'm a little bit odd! Though on that test i got very Extravert (not really a surprise) but only moderately for the others.

Hmz. Any other ENFPs out there in academia?

(@ Sneaks... i think you just described me. Though i'm not sure i'd call myself a show off... doesn't mean others wouldn't though :-p I know my outgoing, chattiness irritates some of my colleagues. But meh. And I tend to enjoy the teaching/presenting element of the work more than the research. So i guess that kinda fits!)
posted
01-Dec-11, 13:15
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for intheheadplease
posted about 8 years ago
INTJ, the moment I started reading I knew it was me and sure enough I am, number 1 thing I do is over analyse everything so I s ored high on the IntuItive aspect. Very interesting stuff thanks for the post, I needed more things to over analyse lol 8-)8-)
posted
01-Dec-11, 13:25
Avatar for Fibonacci
posted about 8 years ago
ENTP. Probably the least visible among academics.
posted
01-Dec-11, 13:28
by ady
Avatar for ady
posted about 8 years ago
Ditto intheheadplease, I'm a INTJ as well!
posted
01-Dec-11, 14:27
Avatar for Manfred_Symphony
posted about 8 years ago
I got ISTJ, with a thinking preference of 1%... how does this fit with doing a PhD?! Not very well I would imagine!

"The one word that best describes Inspectors is superdependable. Whether at home or at work, Inspectors are extraordinarily persevering and dutiful, particularly when it comes to keeping an eye on the people and products they are responsible for. In their quiet way, Inspectors see to it that rules are followed, laws are respected, and standards are upheld.

Inspectors (as much as ten percent of the general population) are the true guardians of institutions. They are patient with their work and with the procedures within an institution, although not always with the unauthorized behavior of some people in that institution. Responsible to the core, Inspectors like it when people know their duties, follow the guidelines, and operate within the rules. For their part, Inspectors will see to it that goods are examined and schedules are kept, that resources will be up to standards and delivered when and where they are supposed to be. And they would prefer that everyone be this dependable. Inspectors can be hard-nosed about the need for following the rules in the workplace, and do not hesitate to report irregularities to the proper authorities. Because of this they are often misjudged as being hard-hearted, or as having ice in their veins, for people fail to see their good intentions and their vulnerability to criticism. Also, because Inspectors usually make their inspections without much flourish or fanfare, the dedication they bring to their work can go unnoticed and unappreciated.

While not as talkative as Supervisor Guardians [ESTJs], Inspectors are still highly sociable, and are likely to be involved in community service organizations, such as Sunday School, Little League, or Boy and Girl Scouting, that transmit traditional values to the young. Like all Guardians, Inspectors hold dear their family social ceremonies-weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries - although they tend to be shy if the occasion becomes too large or too public. Generally speaking, Inspectors are not comfortable with anything that gets too fancy. Their words tend to be plain and down-to-earth, not showy or high-flown; their clothes are often simple and conservative rather than of the latest fashion; and their home and work environments are usually neat, orderly, and traditional, rather than trendy or ostentatious. As for personal property, they usually choose standard items over models loaded with features, and they often try to find classics and antiques - Inspectors prefer the old-fashioned to the newfangled every time."
posted
01-Dec-11, 15:59
edited about 12 seconds later
by skig
Avatar for skig
posted about 8 years ago
Not me at all. I'm an ESFJ. I'm in the wrong career altogether! lol
posted
01-Dec-11, 15:59
edited about 6 seconds later
by olivia
Avatar for olivia
posted about 8 years ago
Quote From FrogPrincess:

======= Date Modified 01 Dec 2011 12:01:47 =======
I got ENFP. Though i am a perfectionist so that does surprise me a bit. And i'm a scientist. I guess that means i'm a little bit odd! Though on that test i got very Extravert (not really a surprise) but only moderately for the others.

Hmz. Any other ENFPs out there in academia?

(@ Sneaks... i think you just described me. Though i'm not sure i'd call myself a show off... doesn't mean others wouldn't though :-p I know my outgoing, chattiness irritates some of my colleagues. But meh. And I tend to enjoy the teaching/presenting element of the work more than the research. So i guess that kinda fits!)



I am very very ENFP! I tend to think we are a rarity in academia, though there is so much about academia that we love ( like teaching and presenting).

Other interesting personality tests ( I am a personality test junkie!) are Enneagrams, where I type as an Enneagram Seven--which under stress becomes like an Ennegram One ( perfectionist and rigid...) so that might explain the occasional perfectionist tendencies in ENFP. Enneagram Sevens correlate with ENFP. There is also Socionics, where I type as an IEE...and often IEEs are closely correlated with ENFP. Its all very interesting!
posted
01-Dec-11, 16:17
by lughna
Avatar for lughna
posted about 8 years ago
Lots of interesting replies. 8-)
Good to know there are lots of 'E's out there. I agree that is very beneficial for teaching and presenting, although I definitely know lecturers who seem introverted, but can switch easily into the role of public speaker when the time comes.

People sometimes confuse being introverted with being shy/lack of social skills, when it generally just reflects whether you gain or lose energy from interaction with others. Many Introverts have extroverted Thinking; they are energized by sharing ideas with others (well-suited to academia), but they can be drained by too much group interaction and work better in solitude.

posted
01-Dec-11, 16:57
Avatar for cplusplusgirl
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 01 Dec 2011 17:00:35 =======
ENTJ
# moderately expressed extravert
# distinctively expressed intuitive personality
# moderately expressed thinking personality
# moderately expressed judging personality

hmmmmmm......
posted
01-Dec-11, 19:51
Avatar for FrogPrincess
posted about 8 years ago
======= Date Modified 01 Dec 2011 19:51:32 =======
Quote From olivia:

I am very very ENFP! I tend to think we are a rarity in academia, though there is so much about academia that we love ( like teaching and presenting).

Other interesting personality tests ( I am a personality test junkie!) are Enneagrams, where I type as an Enneagram Seven--which under stress becomes like an Ennegram One ( perfectionist and rigid...) so that might explain the occasional perfectionist tendencies in ENFP. Enneagram Sevens correlate with ENFP. There is also Socionics, where I type as an IEE...and often IEEs are closely correlated with ENFP. Its all very interesting!


I just did the Enneagrams, i came out as a type 4 ("Individualist") - the description describes me perfectly, the innermost bits of me that i don't think other people would know about. "Rather than look for practical solutions to their difficulties, Fours are prone to fantasizing about a savior who will rescue them from their unhappiness." I have been feeling a bit down lately, when this happens, the only thing that makes me feel better is to go off into my fantasy world in my head and daydream for hours and hours about falling in love, and getting married, and being happy and content with everything in my life. Sigh.

Actually, i'm a little freaked by the description. As i say, it appears to have identified the innermost of my thoughts and verbalised them.

Also, as an Individualist i quite dislike the idea that i can be categorised as a personality type.
posted
01-Dec-11, 20:16
edited about 21 seconds later
by lughna
Avatar for lughna
posted about 8 years ago
I just did the Enneagrams test and got a tie between 3 (the achiever) and 4. (the individualist). They do sum up the contradictory aspects of my personality eerily well!

Type Three
The Achiever
The adaptable, success-oriented type. Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best:: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to beā€”role models who inspire others.

Type Four
The Individualist
The introspective, romantic type. Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

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