How Integrated are You?

 Posted by on 4 January 2007 at 7:51 am  Uncategorized
Jan 042007

Which are you more interested in: what is actual or what is possible? In approaching others, is your inclination to be objective, or personal? Do you go more by facts, or by principles? Are you more comfortable in making logical judgments, or value judgments? Which rules you more: heart or head? Do facts speak for themselves, or illustrate principles? Is it a greater error to be too passionate, or too objective?

Those are from a Myers-Briggs test for programmers that a friend sent my way. This is my second such test: maybe fifteen years ago, the head of the little company I was working at gave me the Myers-Briggs test he’d picked up at some management training program (I’m not sure why, maybe out of curiosity to see how I might contrast with him). I began taking it and was soon jammed up because of choices like the above. Impatient, he insisted that I nonetheless pick whatever answer was even a smidge better for me and just get through it without so darned much analysis. Pressing on, my concern grew as I noted an accumulation of basically arbitrary choices. After finishing, I explained that the more of those that went by, the less meaningful the results had to be for my case. Further, since many of the problematic choices seemed to be based in philosophically-unsound alternatives, I was a bit suspicious of the overall methodology (heck, anyone with a little exposure to Objectivism would have seen it like that). He was aghast that I would presume to second-guess the psychological authorities and their scientific techniques, and it seemed to boggle him the most to find a young know-nothing upstart like me saying there were obvious and flawed philosophical premises behind the carefully-designed questions of those experts. Throwing up his hands, he headed back to the management end of the building and I turned back to my work with a shrug.

Fast-forward to now. Going through this test I noticed that a significantly higher percentage of the questions were unanswerable (as before, by being meaningless for lack of context, or for presenting a false alternative, etc.). Naturally, this leaves me with the even stronger impression that Myers-Briggs tests simply aren’t worth much, at least for Objectivists.

Well, I take that back: the formal results don’t seem to be worth much, but a cool metric for Objectivists may lie in how many of the questions are honestly unanswerable and invite an arbitrary selection — the higher the percentage, the better your level of integration! Way back when, I couldn’t answer maybe 15% of the questions, but this time I genuinely couldn’t answer 66%+ of them! Sweet, it looks like I’m growing. :^)

Hence the question: How integrated are you?

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