stars, science, personality

I was writing an email to a friend the other day (hi D!) when I realized that there’d been a confluence of crazy events within the week. I flippantly thought to myself, “Mercury must be in retrograde” — but then something stirred within me (perhaps some greater psychic force?), guiding me to Google. What do you know? I was right! Beware, folks… The alignment of celestial bodies may throw things off balance from now until November 10th.

On a more serious note, I don’t actually pay attention to the stars on a regular basis (though, in high school, you could often find me in the astrology aisle at Barnes & Noble, consulting Colorstrology and Susan Miller on my love life). It’s pretty obviously unscientific stuff. That said, I still enjoy reading up on zodiac signs and consider myself a typical Pisces. This fascination with astrology, though, has more to do with my desire to understand and categorize people and personalities than anything else.

My halcyon days of bookshop prophesying are over, but I still enjoy a good personality test here and there. I always take them with a (kosher-sized) grain of salt, since people are much more complex and three-dimensional than can be measured. Nonetheless, it’s always fun trying to examine yourself objectively.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is my absolute favorite test, even if it’s not really accepted in academic circles. You can take a quick assessment through HumanMetrics and read more about your type on The Personality Page. I’ve taken the test over several years and have always identified closely as an ENFJ, more or less.

The Five Factor Model is the current standard for personality measurement in psychology. Rather than categorizing types, this system measures where you fall on spectrums of five traits (“OCEAN”): openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. I scored pretty highly across most of the dimensions.

I have some friends who are big fans of Enneagrams. Because it’s less cut-and-dry, this model is great for those who are intuitive and invested in self-discovery. There are many tests available which determine your basic type (I’m a 2), but you can also identify with your wings, or peripheral characteristics, subjectively.

On the sillier side, we have all sorts of novelty correlations goin’ on. According to the science of Baskin Robbins, my favorite ice cream flavor pegs me as “argumentative, frugal and cautious.”  I’m also considering moving to Tennessee, based on this article. And how about Amateur Gourmet’s food personality quiz? I don’t think I’d need an online test to tell me what kind of person I am if my favorite movie theater snack is “insects foraged by René Redzepi!”

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