About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Massimo's personality type

OK, after Adrienne's suggestion on this blog, I took the (short) version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality type test. Contrary to her prediction (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging), I turned out to be:

ENTJ (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging)

i.e., decisive, fearless, planner, thrill seeker, engaged, social, comfortable around others, image conscious, likes to be center of attention, adventurous, outgoing, emotionally stable, leader, ambitious, hard working, dominant, prepared, hates to be bored, confident, opinionated, analytical, prepares for worst case scenarios, organized, orderly, clean, driven, resourceful, finish most things they start, achieving, risk taker, desires fame/acclaim, image focused, perfectionist, driven. (OK, she got the TJ right!)

Among my favorite careers are, not surprisingly I guess, "genetics researcher" and "professor." I am both. (Though I really don't see myself as some of the alternatives, like CIA or FBI agent!) I took the test (for what is worth), here. Have fun!


  1. Oh wow. In my experience, intellectuals, *especially* the ones with careers in science & engineering, are nearly all "I"s. In fact, I think this is the first time I've ever heard of a scientist being an "E".

    Must be something in those Italian genes....

  2. Oh yeah, congrats, now you have a nice icebreaker for talking to female intellectuals at social occasions. Instead of asking a brainy woman what her sign is, you can ask what her MBTI type is.

  3. Thanks for the suggestion, I have been looking for just such an alternative to the trite old astrological stuff... :-)

  4. what doesn't surprise me is that he is an N. an S, in my opinion, wouldn't have gotten into the topics presented in this blog. however, regarding the E - how far on the I/E scale? i suspect toward the middle somewhere...

  5. Are these tests any good, by the way? I'm asking because I'm completely ignorant about their foundations (or lack thereof). And the stuff Massimo posted there does sound suspiciously like horoscope talk...

    Anyway, a psychological test done over the web should not be regarded as much more than amusement anyway.

    Now my turn to go see what they'll call me there. :-)


  6. I've always found this test to be insightful. I think the sixteen different types describe distinctly different personalies. It isn't like astrology or cold reading where the answers could apply to anyone. For most people I know of who have taken this test, the results have been accurate. Also, it is reproducible: If you take it again a few months or years later, the answers turn out the same (assuming you haven't undergone a major personality change, which is entirely possible).

    At least, that has been my experience. Your mileage may vary, of course.

  7. j asked:

    Are these tests any good, by the way?

    Like Charlie, I think they do offer some insight. Just like with any other type of generalization, however, someone's tested MBTI type shouldn't be taken as the final word on how that person thinks or acts.

    One big diff between the MBTI types and the zodiac signs is, as charlie pointed out, that your MBTI type can change over the course of a lifetime. It's not fixed at birth.

    Another difference is that if you take some of the more intensive versions of the test, you can actually see where you lie on the N-S continuum for each trait. It's not a matter of you're either an X or a Y, but rather, "You're mostly like an X, but sometimes can be a Y."


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