I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a personality inventory, in high school, and when I got my
horoscope results, I admit that I was pretty amazed at how well it described me—and, apparently, Hitler.
Then I read the results of other people in my class, and I was amazed at how well their results described me too.
Years later, I learned about the Forer effect, based on an experiment conducted in the forties by Bertram Forer and frequently repeated since then with similar results. Forer, a psychologist, gave a personality test to his students, then had them rate the accuracy of the assessment. The students didn’t know that they all received the exact same description of their personalities, yet the average evaluation was a 4.26 out of 5 (with 5 meaning the assessment was an “excellent” description of them).
Yet personality tests hold an endless fascination for many of us. We like to learn about ourselves, think about ourselves, and get compliments from “objective” sources. Internet quizzes, like those on Buzzfeed and Clickhole, have similar appeal. Who doesn’t want to know which Saved by the Bell character they are or what their celebrity cat name is? The only difference, really, is that people tend to take personality tests seriously.
Case in point: this chart, which supposedly shows the connection between Myers-Briggs personality types* and political philosophy, with some bonus philosophies around the edge, like existentialism and, um, mathematics.
I could not find the original source for this image (which I got from imgur), so I do not know the methodology used to decide where to place everything in these quadrants. If the creator of this chart wants to take credit for it (and for the magnificent clipart), please let me know and I will gladly update this post.
So instead, I thought I would take this a step further, using what I am guessing is a similarly rigorous methodology to further elucidate who YOU really are based on some real Internet quizzes.
Let’s start with the most important of these existential questions: Are you a summer, autumn, spring or winter? What colors look best on you and how does this connect with whether you’re an introverted survivalist who likes to ponder metaphysics or an extroverted mathematical fascist?
(Sorry, imperialists. Apparently no color palette makes you look good.)
The quiz that really gives the MB test a run for its money in terms of deep personal insight, however, is obviously Which Buffy character are you?
(Eerily accurate, isn’t it?)
Finally, the quiz that reveals the true connections between personality, political philosophy, and the root of who you are beneath it all: Are you a potato?
This chart really has endless potential for your journey of self-discovery, provided that journey involves placing yourself into smaller and smaller nesting dolls while squinting and waving your hands around.
But enough about you. I have a very important quiz to take about whether I’m a morning person, a night person, a 1:33pm person, or a person floating in orbit with no sense of time. The answer may shock me.
*The Myers-Briggs acronyms represent the following characteristics: E (extraversion) or I (introversion); S (sensing) or I (intuition); T (thinking) or F (feeling); and J (judging) or P (perceiving).