DAY 158: Nailing down my psyche

5 Feb

Do a Google image search for Jung and you get loads of girls in corsets. This is Jung, though.

THERE are all sorts of personality tests designed to pigeonhole you these days, and you’re liable to be pranged by them anywhere from job interviews to dating sites. They’re kind of fun, though, and slightly more technical than horoscopes.

These tests are all about asking you the same questions again and again in different tones of voices, in an attempt to confuse and trick you. They’ll generally take around 20-30 minutes, with hundreds of questions. They’re very blandly worded, but really they amount to things like: “Do you want to scream when someone accidentally brushes their elbow against you?” or “Would you like to crush everyone in your kingdom like little ants?”

I pack some sandwiches and sit down for a few hours of assessment.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Developed by a mother-daughter team in 1962 and based on Jungian theory (love a bit of Jung), this psychometric questionnaire identifies character types based on how people perceive the world and make decisions. I’m an INFP: Flexible (you should see my backbend) and laidback with aggressive outbursts, quick to take criticism (see aggressive outbursts), a talented writer (their words, but I won’t quibble) but an awkward verbalist, rubbish with hard logic, and “might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet”. Spot on!

The Validity Indicator Profile
Designed as a tool to support psychological evaluation, the four response styles are Compliant, Inconsistent, Irrelevant, and Suppressed – which sounds like they’ve got a downer on the interviewee right from the start. This particular online test, however, focuses on your strengths. Mine make me sound suspiciously like a grinning imbecile – curiosity, appreciation of excellence, gratitude and energy – but at least they don’t come right out and say so.

eHarmony Compatability Test
The company behind the dating website has analysed different personality profiles that make up a successful marriage, and has designed questions to weed out those ‘good’ profiles (enter your own derisive descriptions of said profiles here). My psyche must be starting to shatter from psychological profiling fatigue, because over the course of a zillion questions I’m suddenly veering between personas: new and old, good and baaaaaad, what I should be saying and how I feel about myself in my darkest hour. I can’t stay consistent and might be politely profiled as a sociopathic liar. And doesn’t eHarmony know it.

Unable to match you at this time,” comes the response. “One of the requirements for successful matching is that participants fall within certain defined profiles. Unfortunately, we are not able to make our profiles work for you.” 

Bap-baaaaaap. Never mind.

Keeper? With the exception of eHarmony’s typology, I find these labels quite comforting – slap em on, I say.

2 Responses to “DAY 158: Nailing down my psyche”

  1. valentish February 8, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Here’s another test if you get the urge. I ran out of lunch break.


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