Personality Tests: You and Your Characters

Last night, I remembered a personality test I’d taken once at work. All I could remember is that it gave you four letters as a response, and it told you about how you learned and worked best. I looked up the test, and it turns out it’s called the Personality test based on C. Jung and I. Briggs Myers type theory. I found it at http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp.

brain

I took the test for myself, and my husband did too. I found out I was an ISFJ, meaning introvert/ sensing/ feeling/ judging. He came out the same except thinking rather than feeling, which makes total sense if you know the two of us. Anyway, according to the website, I am “the nurturer,” I have a rich inner world, I feel a strong sense of responsibility and duty, have a strong sense of inadequacy, and desperately need positive feedback from others. I will let anyone who knows me decide if that’s accurate. 🙂 Famous ISFJs include Jimmy Carter, and Frederic Chopin. Good jobs for me include social work, teaching, and jobs in the medical profession.

As I was writing, I was thinking: did I know my main character well enough to take a personality test as her? I gave it a try, and I was pleased that I could answer the questions easily. According to the test, Alexis from my first book is an ISTJ. Her numbers on the scales for introversion and judging are high, much higher than mine. (Interestingly, she is the exact same type as my husband, and I wouldn’t say there were alike at all!) ISTJs are “inspectors,” concerned with right and wrong, and can sometimes be perceived as aloof. They are frustrated with the inconsistency of others. Famous ISTJs include George Washington, Andrew Johnson, and George H.W. Bush. Good career choices would be in management, accounting, and computer programming. To some extent, these aspects reflect Alexis; she’s certainly an “inspector,” and the other traits fit. But I certainly can’t see her with any of those career choices or having a similarity with presidents and generals!

Anyway, this was an interesting exercise, and I think I’ll try it with the main character of my second book, Rachael. I’m pretty sure that answering the questions as Rachael will show me how very much I *don’t* know this character, so it should be a valuable exercise.

Has anyone every taken this test? What were you? Dare to try it as a character?

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3 responses to “Personality Tests: You and Your Characters

  1. I’m an INTJ “mastermind” – basically Spock (rationality over emotions, independent, intelligent). An estimated 1 in 400 people are female INTJ’s, so sometimes I feel pretty special and other times I get frustrated because not many people understand me.

    When I write characters, I tend to base them on Chinese zodiac signs rather than MBTI, so I don’t know how mine would fit.

      • Kasey is definitely a Cancer – family/home matters most, shy, withdraws into herself when threatened.

        Thanks for reading Tim and Sara; I’m glad you liked it!

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