February 23, 2006

Personality Types

A long time ago in college I took a personality test for my Psychology 101 class. I thought this test would be a complete waste of time due to the fact that questioning for most any testing purpose usually harbors some degree of cultural bias, which ultimately skews the results. Wanting to get a good grade which in this case was pass for taking the test and fail for not taking the test, I decided to sharpen my No.2 and get busy. The test instructions were quite clear and concise with the overriding idea being the participant should answer as honestly as possible in terms to self-reflection. It sounds simple and oddly enough it was quite simple. The questions were fairly vanilla with a few strangely worded sentences sprinkled throughout.

An hour later my pencil was barely dull and the test was complete so I passed but had to wait a few weeks for the test to be scored for my personality type. A week or two of class passed and the test was lost from memory until one day I walked into class and many four-letter combinations were written on the board and no they were not the ones used during rush hour on at the 405/101 junction. I sat down and my test was passed back revealing my personality type, "INFP" - INTROVERT INTUITIVE FEELING PERCEPTIVE. The ensuing hour of class was devoted to explaining what the four letters meant how they determine my problem solving process, group dynamics role, romantic tendencies, and even why I will wash and use my special bowl to eat some cereal when there are plenty of other clean bowls already available. Imagine the number this does on your head when the test is almost completely correct in determining all these things about a person without knowledge of gender, race, or religious affiliation.

I have taken this test several times since then and I always seem to score the exact same personality type "INFP". However I border on the line between "INFP" and "INFJ" by the smallest of margins, which might explain my grumpy moodiness!

Now what you have been waiting for, WTF does this have to do with game design? Nothing really although I am sure someone much smarter than myself could apply some type of formula to satisfy the needs of all personality types within one universally accommodating game, Tetris?

However, what I did learn from the results of the test, which I may have never come to understand about myself on my own, is that I thought I had a gift for mathematics and scientific logic. Yet at the end of the day my gut feelings on game design yield me considerably better results once both of prior tools have been exhausted. All that being said, this magical gut ability is damn near impossible channel on a regular basis which makes creating "Fun" all that more difficult. So when the gut check is telling you nothing its nice to know you can "Math it out" until the gut feels like speaking up.

I could go on and on about the importance of this test in my personal opinion but it's like 3am and I need to play some games before bed so perhaps I will revisit this topic again at a later date. Until then see below for links to the test and profiles of each of the 16 personality types.

Here is a crude from of the test I took all those years ago, followed by a list of the personality type profiles...

Test -
Personality Test

Introverted Profiles -

Extroverted Profiles -


omar kendall said...

I've taken this test several times over the course of my life, and I'm a pretty rock-solid INTJ. Sometimes I think it's cool - I find being characterized as a free-thinker comforting. Sometimes, I think it's dangerous. Working with 50 other people to achieve a common goal seems to conflict directly with my intrinsic need for autonomy.

I need to go to Japan and become Fumita Ueda. Think that position is open?

Derek Daniels said...

I got to thinking about this more and found some percentages detailing what most people are:

click here

according to this 25% of the population is either ISTJ or ESTJ.

I'm not sure what you can do with that knowledge or even how you could make a game based on that. However if you could make a game where those 2 categories both had fun/enjoyed it - you might be guaranteed some sales. Of course the game would have to look good, feel good, etc.

Telka! said...

Might want to check out this: http://www.ihobo.com/res/DGD_brochure.final.pdf

They actually came up with a book that touches on this a bit. I love stuff like this so I had a big smile when I read your comments.


eric williams said...

thanks so much first for the link because I found it very interesting and secondly for reading!

I recently took a leadership training class and they touched on a bit on personality types which was very coincidental since I just wrote this post.

Types are everywhere in my micorcosm right now!

Simon Langer said...
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