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August 4th, 2006, 12:29 AM
I've taken an interest in MBTI lately, and was wondering if there is a corelation between type and the way people go about their writing.

Here's a site that does a good enough introduction to MBTI: http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html

I'm most interested in the last letter: J/P. Js, according to MBTI, like to address things with a plan in mind. They make lists and outlines. Ps are more go-with-the-flow. Does this mean that those writers who do outlines are more likely to be Js and those who write and see where the story ends up are more likely to be Ps? It's just a curious thought. (I used to test as J a lot, because I'm fairly organized, but I'm actually a P. I'd prefer to go with the flow, but school gets in the way. :p)

Do T writers tend to talk about the action, the mechanics of some object, battles, that style of writing often described as masculine? And F writers, are those the ones who are interested in developing relationships and whose stories are more character-driven? The argument about male-female writing styles comes up a lot, and T/F seems to be the only one with a more distinct gender split: Ts are more often male, and Fs female.

Then there is S/N -- being more aware of the details, or looking at the bigger picture -- and E/I. I expect more writers to be Is than Es, as Is are the ones who get their energy from thinking about ideas and imagination. Who knows if there is actually a link, though? It's just a theory I'm putting forward right now.

So what do you test as and does that have any relation to the way you write?

(I'm not sure if this is in the right forum. If it's not, please do move it!)

August 4th, 2006, 09:34 AM
Is it common knowlegde that the acronym MBTI stands for Myers Briggs Personality Test?

Personally, I think this kind of psycho-social grouping of personalities is about as useful as the zodiak signs. I would hate to think that a writer who's been classified as type X (X being an arbitrary classification here) could experience a stiffled creativity due to an externally imposed belief that he or she can only write a certain way.

Where I can see a use for it, if you're so inclined, is in character development and conflict management within stories.

August 5th, 2006, 07:35 AM
Well, if there's anything to the MBTI (or any personality typologies) then there will be a correlation. But it's not a causal relationship, it's a nominal one. For example, you're not planning your stories because you're a J, but you're a J because you're planning your stories.

All that MBTI really says is there are people who plan, and people who don't (and then they attach labels to it). Thinking about your personality in these terms might help, as long as you're not thinking in absolutes. ("I am a J. I am a N...")

Me, I always come out INFP. But by now, I've acquired a set reply pattern to that kind of test (habit), so I'll probably fall even more into the INFP reply pattern when testing out. Minds are adaptive. Look up self-fulfilling prophecy.

Wait, I'm rambling... :o

August 9th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Had to take one of these for the day job about a year ago. Classifications may be useful to some, but to me they are meaningless. As a writer you can usually find character traits pretty quickly. Knowing somebody is an I blah blah blah is redundant.

If you're in a workplace setting, you're supposed to do what's necessary to get the job done, regardless of comfort zones. Meet folks half-way and do it. Push back when pushed, don't roll over. Enough. Getting bad memories of that place already.