The MBTI Lens

It occurred to me that I hadn’t posted on this specifically before, and it might be interesting to those of you who might be interested in the construction equipment behind the curtain.

Are you familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality types? Well, if not, you might want to become familiar with them before you continue with this post, ’cause otherwise it will make no sense.

Take a look at this table which shows the frequencies with which the various personality types appear in the (human, Earthling, American) population:

mbtiNow, consider that we live in a world built by the standards of and for, to a large extent, the majorities of Sensing types (73%) and Feeling types (60%). And specifically that the rarest group, the iNtuitive Thinking (“Rationals”) make up no more than 10% of the population.

Now invert it, and consider what a world would be like in which it’s the NT Rationals whose corner dominates the chart, and where the Intuitives and Thinkers are the more common functions seen in the other types, too1.

If it seems familiar to you after spending time reading here, that’s because this exercise was part of my original worldbuilding process.

(Disclaimer: the author is an INT[J|p].)

1. The world also caters more to Is than our very much built-for-Es in many ways, *there*, although that’s a subtler effect and one less reflected in the raw numbers.

11 thoughts on “The MBTI Lens

  1. I had thought that might be the case, especially considering their tendency to tell their feelings to go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut and follow the data where it might lead.

  2. I guess it does not go without saying that most worldbuilding tends to be done by Architects. (The nickname for INTJ, not entirely without reason.)

    Not sure how much of this is reflected in your readership as well, but probably quite a bit. (I’m an INTP, former borderline INTJ.)

    • One thing that would be as interesting to study as it is impossible, I have long thought, is whether most of the worldbuilding I particularly enjoy is done by people with a strong N – i.e., people who are used to/skilled at systematizing large patterns in their heads, and who are therefore better at putting together a big and internally coherent world lacking the inconsistencies that lead me to throw t’book at t’wall.

  3. Funny — I actually just took the test a few days ago for unrelated reasons, and it pegged me as an INTP (though the J/P split was about 50/50; I’ve always gotten either that or INTJ).

    I do have to wonder how the J/P breakdown looks in-universe, since it’s the only one you haven’t mentioned specifically.

  4. Pingback: June and July’s Questions | The Eldraeverse

  5. Seriously? Myers Briggs? A completely nonsensical and discredited “personality test” with no scientific validity.

    As Robert Hogan out it “Most personality psychologists regard the MBTI as little more than an elaborate Chinese fortune cookie”.

    • None of which makes it any less a useful collection of archetypes for a writer, not a psychologist, to play around with for the purposes of fictioning.
      Get someone to yank that stick out of your ass, buddy.

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