INFJ seeks ENt/f? ENp/j?
February 12, 2011 4:18 PM   Subscribe

What does it mean when you come out completely even on half of the Myers-Briggs/Kiersey temperament sorter indicators?

My friend scored completely even on the T/F and P/J portions of the Myers-Briggs test. (Real 70-question test, not quickie online one.) Google-fu fails in trying to figure out what it means. If you're on the cusp of one indicator you can look at the two descriptions and still get a sense of where you fall, but with two on the cusp it's a mystery. (Please don't answer by telling us Myers-Briggs is a crock, we are just doing this for fun.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It just means she doesn't fit into one of the 16 M-B cubbyholes. (I don't either.) So instead of two types to consider, she really has four: She's a blend of the four types ENTJ, ENTP, ENFJ, ENFP. Definitely extraverted and intuitive. Partly thinking, partly feeling, not completely on-time or late. She can read descriptions of all four, and pick out the characteristics that she recognizes in herself, and disregard the ones that obviously don't apply. While not as clear-cut as someone who fits right into one of the M-B types, she can still learn about herself and how she relates to other personality types.
posted by exphysicist345 at 4:32 PM on February 12, 2011

Well if it's for fun, there are no rules, and you should go with whatever you'd prefer, no?
posted by phrontist at 4:33 PM on February 12, 2011

There are descriptions for what each indicator means, so you could look up what E/I means and what S/N means. For the others, it just means you're on the cusp.

I've found mbti scarily accurate at times, though of course it's a simplification
posted by sninctown at 4:35 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

It can also mean that she is changing. I went from INFJ to INTJ (with N on the cusp in both cases, actually). When I did the test (professionally administered) when I was 18, I was strongly IFJ, and when I did it last year again professionally administered) I was strongly ITJ. I suspect if I had done it when I was, e.g. 25, I would have been strong only in I and J, and on the cusp in N and F/T.
posted by lollusc at 4:56 PM on February 12, 2011

I'm in basically your situation -- E vs I for me. For me it's a matter of reading the different descriptions with people who know you and get a sense of which has more attributes that seem like a match.
posted by artlung at 5:00 PM on February 12, 2011

Ask your friend to take it again in a week, see if the results are the same.

Otherwise, don't t think of it as a definitive personality tool, but rather one that exists along a spectrum. If anything it means they're comfortable using being either trait, depending on the situation or emotional state.

Real 70-question test, not quickie online one.

Does this mean it came from the official Myers-Briggs foundation or what?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:49 PM on February 12, 2011

Definitely take it again in a week, and on a different (preferably non-exciting/unusual) day. Chances are she'll be heavier on each of the two. I am reliably just on the N-side of N/S (as in, if there are ten questions for each, I'm 9 on I, 10 on T, 9 on J, and 6 on N; if there are forty questions for each it's 38, 50, 39, but then 27 for N.) I only ever move onto the S side on an emotionally charged day. I'm amused that people are forever telling me that N/S is the one that's never really supposed to be like that.

I'd also read the descriptions, because a lot of the questions tell you how you ought to answer them (that is to say, it's pretty easy to get into a "this is the right answer"/"this is how I wish I was" mode, instead of a "this is how I really am" mode.)
posted by SMPA at 6:36 PM on February 12, 2011

I've heard/seen the neutral attribute rendered as an x. So I'm an INTx - consistently neutral on J/P. Over the years I've gone from very strong I and T to approaching xNxx, which would be kind of rad.
posted by griselda at 6:37 PM on February 12, 2011

My E/I and F/P attributes have balanced or near-balanced each other consistently for the past 20 years I have taken the test. This means I'm essentially an XNFX, with my N and F defined very strongly. The blend is exactly how exphysicist345 describes, as the attributes emerge based on the situation. The benefit is that it's easy for me to empathize with both E/I and F/P folks because I experience both sides personally. The only problem I have encountered is in my work -- since my job is very well suited for a social ENFJ, the INFP side of me struggles a bit from time to time.
posted by mochapickle at 7:27 PM on February 12, 2011

Well, one of the reasons it's a crock is that it doesn't measure many things reliably

Didn't Heisenberg take care of this quibble?
posted by rhizome at 7:37 PM on February 12, 2011

People take it a different day and get a different thing? That's fascinating. Every time I take it, I get the same 4 letters (INFJ). The first time was in the 8th grade, as a written test.

When I take that autism spectrum quiz, I get the same thing every time, too (average for ordinary people is apparently around 12, my husband got 8 the one time he took it and I get 35).

I would suggest reading all the things for each one and then taking it again. Sometimes knowing more about where the questions are coming from can be helpful in understanding what they are really asking, and you can be more confident in your answer. For other people, I mean. My scores are always the same...
posted by AllieTessKipp at 9:11 PM on February 12, 2011

I'm an idiot: E/I; J/P.
posted by mochapickle at 9:14 PM on February 12, 2011

I've taken the test multiple times since middle school. I started out INFP. Last time I took it, I came out XXXX. That's right, I came out even on every single darned thing.

Uh... I guess some of us interpret differently from day to day, or could go either way, or... the test is useless for the likes of me?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:33 PM on February 12, 2011

I came out very close to even on everything the first time I took it and was terribly disappointed. Upon reflection I realized I had waaaaay overanalyzed the questions which had swung my answers back and forth so much I landed in the middle. Once I recognized that I tried it again but without thinking so hard about the questions. I just looked for the general sense of the question and responded more to that rather than the specific example. The results the second time were far more definitive and a much better match for me - INTP, a type which not surprisingly tends to overanalyze and get hung up on details. Turns out how I approached the test was just as indicative of my type as the actual answers I selected!
posted by platinum at 12:18 AM on February 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

It means your friend breaks someone's model of personality. I'm some sort of Meyers-Briggs freak myself.
posted by nanojath at 12:40 PM on February 13, 2011

If it's for fun, then just pick whatever two letters you like that seems to match your personalities best - it's just two letters.
posted by TrinsicWS at 7:04 AM on February 14, 2011

I don't have a link handy, but I know in the past I've read criticisms of the Meyers-Briggs sorter that fault it for taking characteristics that have a roughly normal shaped distribution and treating them as if they were bimodal. If true, it would mean that a lot of people will fall near the boundary instead of ending up as a well defined type.
posted by doctord at 7:05 AM on February 16, 2011

Here's a pdf.
posted by doctord at 7:08 AM on February 16, 2011

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