Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Personality and Intelligence

So, I was reading an article this morning that reminded me of something that amuses me:

I have taken the SATs, the ACT, and a formal IQ test.  None of the scores match up with each other the way they "should" according to conversion charts.  I mean, they're all within a reasonably similar percentile range, but several points off of each other in one direction or the other.  I've been accused of having avoidant personality disorder more than once, and I have been identified as an INFJ, INTJ, ISFJ and INTP by various personality-type junkies I know, as well as being identified as a green personality, a blue personality and a purple personality.

So, my point here would be?  Its just funny to me that so many different people and standards of measurement have measured me so differently.  Its not that I think all these tools are totally worthless--we all have frameworks we use to help us make sense of the world and people around us, to help us figure out more effective ways to communicate with and understand each other--but perhaps its best to approach each person in our life as an individual, not a "type".  And maybe it'd be best to do that while bearing in mind that we often only see snapshots of even the people we know fairly well, and that the way we interpret those snapshots is influenced by our own intelligence, personality or agenda.

After all, there are some of these assessments about myself with which I agree, and some with which I definitely disagree.  Looking back, I can see times where my self-assessment differed with someone else's assessment and, in retrospect, the other party was probably right and I was probably wrong.  And while the most basic features of most individual's personalities remain pretty much the same through most of their lives, people are fluid, changing often and sometimes dramatically.  I ascribe to a belief system that declares that individuals can, for good or ill, change their very natures.  Don't get stuck in a label, for yourself or for someone else.

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