follow me on Twitter


    From the Gaping Void

    Food for thought

    « Shopping | Main | More lost »

    May 15, 2006



    The test is also fun to complete, with original ways of answering the questions (filling in buckets etc.).

    (Did this a while back, and discovered I was an "attentive creator", for what it is worth!)


    Thanks for the trackback.

    A bit of a boring methodological point (and long, I now realise!!)but, user friendly as the questionnaire is, I wonder how much noise the sliding scales introduce: there is a sense of unlimited choice...sometimes in multiple dimensions.

    I have completed many different Myers Briggs-related tests over the years, and always come out as an INFJ, with similar splits between the different poles. I've taken this test twice (yes I'm that sad) and been different both times: a Considerate Inventor and a Respectful Experiencer (although Considerate and Respectful are probably not that different, and inventing/experiencing aren't bad qualities for a planner). On 5 of the measures my scores varied by between 10 & 20 (out of 100), and one, Empathy, by nearly 50 (go figure).

    Anyway, got me thinking about online questionnaires: they are becoming more intuitive, visual and fluid in design, which we all say is a good thing. But does this just create a whole load of new issues?

    The more didactic 'yes/no' style may force you into a 'best fit' box. But even though not 100% accurate (assuming that's possible / important), one person's answers are probably less likely to fluctuate if faced with black and white options. The new graphical interfaces are arguably more qualitative in nature: that 'looks' or 'feels' right. Which is good, as it probably better reflects the messiness of reality. But if there is loads of noise built in, you may as well read tea leaves if you're wanting something 'objective' and 'true' (if research can ever be that!). Anyway, does nothing to reassure me about the validity of attitudinally-focused quant research.

    Another thought that struck me (to be frivolous for a mo), was also whether there is a planning personality (I’m sure there is). Looking at our colour boxes, there are some obvious differences (attention to style! I haven’t got much). But also some interesting similarities: low authoritarianism, low confidence, average to low extrovertism. Ahhh, the planning disease. Although without it we may have ended up in account management, so we should be thankful for small mercies!!



    Fair point about the methodology. One thing your post makes me thinks of is it fair to pigeonhole someone as one of 16 types? Do our personalities change depensing on context - time of day, circumstances, etc. I'm sure some core things remain the same but maybe we do change at the edges. But I share your point about the methodology and attitudinal quant. Always reminds me of the old maxim I was taught when a youngster in the planning world - qual is to understand why, quant how many. So maybe force fit is better as long as we are forcing people in to the right boxes and give them the chance to opt out.


    Have the same debates with my wife - she loathes the whole idea of personality testing.

    I agree that we change based on context - send me on a course or an awayday and I turn, Mr Hyde-like, into this domineering, mouthy slave driver.

    And as you grow and mature, things do change - you mellow in certain areas; overcome hang ups in other.

    But I do think the core basic building blocks of any one individual's psyche are probably pretty consistent.

    So I think forcing people to say what they are like 'most of the time', with binary yes/no choices, is possibly better than offering the freedom to magnify that bit of your personality that you really like which only emerges once in a blue moon. Or the idealised you that isn't even really there at all.

    Opt outs? Definately. Always seen that as the way to people to vote in elections as well (he says with a massive tangential swerve): I exercise my democratic right to choose no one!

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Age of Conversation

    Traffic by

    Blog powered by Typepad

    All the views

    • expressed on this blog are those of their author alone.

    Battle of The Ad Blogs 2006