Greg Bowering : the personalities

My personality is fairly dynamic and fluid in that it changes continually in response to my changing situation, experiences, goals and the people I associate with. Nothing is set in stone, although some facets of my personality are less changeable than others.

A number of schemes for measuring personality have been devised, and many are in widespread use. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) measures temperament across 4 scales. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) is similar to the MBTI. Try it out! My type turned out in 1996 to be approximately INTP ("Architect"). Another go at the KTS in 1998 classified my temperament as INFJ ("Counselor"). This suggests a swing from Thinking to Feeling and from Perceiving to Judging.

More recently I have come across Cattell's Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) which measures personality along 16 dimensions instead of 4. I did one in August 1997 and a second one 9 months later in May 1998 (16PF fifth edition). Some results are listed below, including any differences between the two sets of results. Standardised scores range from 1 to 10, with the population norm being between 4 and 7.

Factor '97 Score Meaning '98 Score Meaning Change Meaning
A:Warmth 4 Reserved 4 Reserved 0  
B:Reasoning 10 Abstract 9 Abstract -1 less abstract
C:Emotional Stability 5 Average 4 Emotional -1 more emotinal
E:Dominance 5 Average 5 Average 0  
F:Liveliness 5 Average 5 Average 0  
G:Rule-Consciousness 3 Nonconforming 3 Nonconforming 0  
H:Social Boldness 4 Shy 5 Average +1 less shy
I:Sensitivity 5 Average 6 Average +1 more sensitive
L:Vigilance 7 Skeptical 4 Trusting -3 more trusting
M:Imagination 8 Imaginative 9 Imaginative +1 more imaginative
N:Privateness 5 Average 7 Discreet +2 more private
O:Apprehension 5 Average 3 Self-Assured -2 more confident
Q1:Openness to Change 6 Average 9 Experimenting +3 more open to change
Q2:Self-Reliance 8 Self-Reliant 8 Self-Reliant 0  
Q3:Perfectionism 8 Perfectionistic 4 Flexible -4 more flexible
Q4:Tension 6 Average 2 Relaxed -4 more relaxed

The 16PF results from 1997 also included an interpretation:

You have a high degree of abstract thinking ability and are able to grasp complicated ideas and concepts quickly. You tend to act independently of group influence and refuse to be bound by social limitations. This allows you to feel few obligations and to act expediently, as suits you. You have a very active imagination and sometimes dwell is a world of your own. This tendency to be absorbed by your thoughts and inner creations can lead to a neglect of the outer world and therefore you can be impractical at times. You are very resourceful and although you like people you do not need their agreement or support. This strong self sufficiency supports you in making your own decisions and in going your own way. You have strong control of your emotions and general behaviour and as you have a high regard for your social reputation, you are inclined to be socially aware and careful.

Another online test is The Keirsey Character Sorter. This one classifies me as INTP ("Architect"), which agrees with my earlier 1996 result. I guess my true personality lies somewhere between INTP and INFJ. Generally I think I prefer the 16PF scale because it reports on more dimensions of personality.

Author: Greg Bowering
Last modified: 2002.05.09