Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, Rebel?

September 11, 2017

Revised 23 September 2017.

The Parade newspaper supplement, September 10, 2017, on page 4 introduced The Four Tendencies, a book by Gretchen Rubin. This book is said to explore the ways we are “hard-wired” to act or behave as we do. By following this exploration online at  Parade.com/tendencies, further introduction sets up a quiz to “get a clearer reading on yourself.” Even though “this quiz isn’t dispositive” (that is, directed toward or affecting disposition – temperament, character, personality – it means to gain greater understanding of yourself and relationships with others and their tendencies.

The quiz consists of a four part series of parallel situations that intend to focus on the type or tendency that best describes you. I am always curious about the outcomes of such quizzes in coming to grips with my own typology. The diligent consideration of tendency statements helps determine which ones most clearly fit oneself.

Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike. Here I agreed to one statement: “I do what I want to do; I’m true to myself, not other people’s expectations.” Personally I’m high on self-examination to better understand myself and to do what is in my best interest. I cannot imagine doing something that I do not understand, regard as marginal, or is contrary to the best interests of myself and others. I even deplore supposed jokes that depend upon denigrating others to get a laugh. I am committed to seriousness to the extent that I understand and accept the worth of beliefs and actions.

Obligers respond to outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. I do experience obligations in a couple areas. “People often turn to me for help.” These are usually family members, close friends or other associates with whom I have bonding and shared relationships. Over the years, I have tried to drop or cut back on what I regard as social responsibilities in order to prioritize and accomplish more projects of my own interest. Failing that, I think about moving away to separate myself from others’ expectations. Accordingly also, “I’ve adopted some good habits, but I often struggle without success to form others.” That is, I do not always or often carry through with matters or projects that I really and deeply want to accomplish.

Questioners question all expectations, but meet only those justified, that is by inner expectations. I am generally a thinker, primarily a theorist: I want to do those things that I understand as valuable to myself and others. In short, my decisions are carefully considered, not automatic. I thereby agree to two statements. “I like to hear from experts, but I decide for myself … according to my own judgement.” And, alas, “I question the validity of the Four Tendencies framework.” I question the limitation to four areas which seem to have overlap and in this presentation do not follow from necessary evidence.

Upholders respond readily to both outer expectations and inner expectations. In this tendencies quiz, the four areas have five or six determinative statements. Of the five for upholders, I agree in some measure with three. “I feel uncomfortable if I’m with someone who’s breaking a rule.” Yes, I am for law and order and appreciate rules, regulations, and social mores when they make sense, provide consistency, and benefit the common good. “I can meet a self-imposed deadline.” Actually, deadlines take priority for me even though I long for getting my own interests satisfied first: alas, I feel a losing struggle against time. “It’s just as important to keep promises to myself as to others.” Well, perhaps more to my self, but here the obligation to others overlaps with my own interests and prevails.

In the upholder category, I could not agree with a statement on fulfilling New Year’s resolutions because in past experience resolutions persist to turn out beyond my satisfaction in accomplishing them. Also, I could not agree that others are annoyed over my self-discipline. Everyone else seem ignorant of my level of discipline, therefore no one accuses me. Rather, I’m the one who is annoyed with myself. Basically, I found these two statements internally conflicted because of stated conditions that may or may not be pertinent to the issue.

Rubin’s book may give a better explanation of the tendencies and our alignment with them. Otherwise, I remain with Meyers-Briggs that I am your 100% INTJ which convincingly encompasses my conjunction of tendencies.

I (Introvert): I tend to live within myself, renewed in strength from day to day, a life of constant examination that mulls and decides how I should focus, believe and act. I do not follow ideas, values, behaviors or routines unless they make sense and satisfy me. Most of my waking hours are mental, reflective and rooted at being home.

N (Intuitive): I live by principles that I find basic, trustworthy, and fundamental to profitable and beneficial common interest.

T (Thinking): Thought and the formation of theory are the core of my active life,  dependent upon constant pursuit of inquiry and knowledge, as I endeavor to widen my intellectual reach and form foundations for rational (if not accurate) bases for action and practice.

J (Judging): I come to closure on most things with the proviso that further experience or information may lead to reexamination and revision. Also some areas remain tentative or open where decisions are largely based more on valuing than evidence.

Alas, these are my expectations, the ones I try to profit from the most.

© Copyright 2017 by Roger Sween.

I welcome comments on this article.

Sixteen Personalities

June 14, 2017

Profiling by Neris Analytics Limited

Revised 3 July 2017

Except for book length treatments on personality typology, I have never experienced a profiling assessment as grounded and explicit as the Sixteen Personalities instrument from Neris. They start with a review of theory to “fit something as complex and fluid as human personality into a well- defined model.” Though reaching that goal is admittedly some way off, current models “often predict with a high degree of confidence how we are likely to behave” while “environment, experience, and individual goals” can also influence our actions. This view translates to how someone with a specific personality type is LIKELY to behave.

Findings on personality as shown by indicators and tendencies are not necessarily definitive. Presumably, we may hold greater confidence in an 80% score than a 10% one. Profile alignment information ought to inspire one’s personal awareness and growth and better understanding of others with more likelihood than certainty.

Neris blends the typology categories advanced by Carl Jung with the further developments from the findings of Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers, explained in Myers’ book, Gifts Differing (1980).  Neris, holding copyrights on its work since 2011, considers traits additional to the earlier established typologies by identifying five personality “aspects.”

  1. Mind shows how we interact with our surroundings.
  2. Energy shows how we see the world and process information.
  3. Nature shows how we make decisions and cope with emotions.
  4. Tactics show how we approach work, planning and decision making.
  5. Identity ranges between assertive and turbulent.

This approach shows my type (INTJ-A) with the role of Analyst (driven to understand and create while valuing intellect above all else). Consequent strategies are Confident Individualism and Constant Improvement.

Confident Individualists, like me, embrace solitude as much as possible to pursue their own interests: reading, research, and writing in my case. Self-reliance is the key. Pursuit of goals is for my own satisfaction without any need to prove myself to others. Inspiration is to be found within me in pursuit of positive substance and personal honesty. I hold to my own views without much desire or hope of convincing others on any kind of scale. Friendships for me are few, but dedicated, strong and honest. At my age, I have outlived many of my dearest friends; others have been lost to physical distance and lack of conversation.

Constant Improvement blossoms from my own habitation of space and freedom. The drive to do better often struggles against doubt: do I know enough; am I pertinent; can I express myself better; or, do I fail? I prefer ongoing projects; new knowledge, new means of self-expression for better results than socializing and other distractions in games or other entertainments. To be specific, I have not watched commercial television for decades and see only those films that promise to be most artistic and meaningful.

I took the inventory twice, a series of questions with 7 degrees of alignment from strongly agreeing to strongly disagreeing. Personality traits are expressed in resulting percentages that show the extent to which answers represent various aspects.

→ Mind: Interaction:        Extrovert 30/38           Introvert 70/62

→ Energy: Direction:        INtuitive 79/60            Observant 21/38

→ Nature: Decisions:        Thinking 64/55            Feeling 36/45

→ Tactics: Approach:        Judging 84/84              Prospecting 16/16

→ Identity: Confidence:    Assertive 92/92           Turbulent 8/8

In the first try, I spent more time analyzing my choices and often taking the middle position out of a “neither,” “sometimes,” or not sure what the question asks position. For the Neris results In both Judging and Assertive, the percentages did not vary from first to second test. In these aspects, I am the strongest in response and therefor most sure. In short, I am INTJ-A and by Neris casting fit the Architect Personality, calculated to be 2% of the population (or 1% of the U.S. population). This grouping is imaginative while decisive, ambitious yet private, curious though husbanding energy. The Architect Personality thirsts for knowledge even from childhood when called a “bookworm,” even as I was then and later nick-named “professor” in high school. I abhor games, most jokes, gossip, mass market culture, and other trivial distractions from more significant and essential pursuits.

We Architect types tend towards idealism on one hand and criticism on the other, believing that with intelligence, consideration, and effort nothing is impossible, while noting that most people lack these strengths, fail, and blame others. Another way to see this self-rootedness is that the Architect Personality exhibits wanting to achieve the best there is to accomplish within their provenance. When you travel alone, that singular opportunity makes room for more reflection regardless of others’ notice, expectation or desire.

I feel fortunate to have quit employment when I was 60. I was in a position to develop library systems to enlarge and extend services through the cooperation of libraries of different types. My approach was the invention of mechanisms to do this based on a theory of the domains under which multi-type library cooperative systems seek to operate. That approach did not go over well.

I feel more fortunate now when I have major time for my own pursuits.


Personality Type from 41 Questions

June 12, 2017

41q: The 41 Questions Personality Test Under Review

Revised 3 July 2017

41q cites various reasons for taking a personality test because, in short, different people can have differing needs or interests. At basis is knowing oneself better and thereby making one’s way beneficially into the environment. Likely, in examining the self, findings may be multiple and raise or answer or guide responses to several questions.

Who am I really? How might I change? What do I want out of life? What values do I have and want to pursue? How do I relate to others? What social connections would work for me. In what career path would I do well? What’s my best fit for satisfaction, success, happiness, or whatever?

Put simply, personality probing and conclusions derive from aligning one’s self with a series of personal inventory enquiries. Questions may seek a yes or no polarity or some response range in between strongly agree and strongly disagree with agreement neutrality or ambiguity in the middle. Often personality explorations discourage landing midway between extremes.

Over my years, I find participating in personality inventories enjoyable, ascertaining how they work and how they compare with previous examinations. While inventory directions routinely call for honest responses, the major challenge for me is determining answers by how I understand the questions. I have found too many questions imprecise. Some examples in the 41q inventory follow.

  1. Is depressed, blue? Sometimes yes, sometimes no and for various lengths of time. Therefore, between extremes.
  2. Generates a lot of enthusiasm? What do a lot, generate, and enthusiasm mean? Again, in the middle.
  3. Has an assertive personality? What does assertive mean and how is it exercised. Middle.
  4. Can be moody? What is moody? Middle.
  5. Makes plans and follows through with them. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Middle.
  6. Is easily distracted? What do easily or distracted mean? Middle.

Of 47 questions, I strongly disagreed with 5 (find fault, careless, quarrels, lazy, rude) and strongly agreed with 12 (relaxed, curious, deep thinker, forgiving, quiet, trusting, stable, aesthetic, inhibited, reflective, cooperative, intelligent).

Based on Carl Jung’s identification of ranges in personality types, I am in rank order, closest to Judging (I organize, plan, control, and decide); Thinking (I am logical, consistent, analytical, process driven); Introvert (attentive to ideas and the inner self); and Intuitive (introspective, following patterns and possibilities, focused on meanings).

As in other inventory findings stemming from Jung, I am INTJ, this time called “Independent Thinker.” The characteristics given are independent, original, analytical, determined, and able to turn theories into solid plans for action. I highly value knowledge, competence and structure, and derive meaning from what might be and ought to be. As such, I am a long-range thinker with high standards of performance for myself and others. Such people are potential leaders at least in their field of occupation or interest.

Q41 identifies a long string of fitting careers including scientists, engineers, professors, lawyers, judges, psychologists, researchers, and university instructors. This leaves out architects, archivists, librarians, and philosophers offered in other INTJ profiles.

Q41 names persons with INTJ personality types, a few of them that I favor or could identify with: especially Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) English mathematician, astronomer, and  physicist, a key figure in the scientific revolution; Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) an Enlightenment intellectual and founding father of the United States; and Jane Austen (1775-1817) champion of the novel as a critique of sensibility and shift to literary realism. Also named is Julius Caesar Augustus from which it is not clear who is meant: Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) or Gaius Octavianus Augustus (63 BCE-14 CE), whom I think is the more likely. Among others named, I cannot see myself aligning with Donald Rumsfeld, Rudy Giuliani, or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Generally, for an inventory that I find very problematic, I generally agree with the results and am satisfied with the profile.



One More Day

May 15, 2017

Any Day in the Life of Roger David Sween

Revised 3 July 2017

Based on an interview with Robyn Dochterman, by Andy Lien, Lavender Magazine (#573, May 11-24, 1917) 24.

Age: 77

Where did you grow up? Granite Falls MN, 1940-1958; then, Saint Olaf and the wider world.

Where do you live? Since 2011 in Maplewood MN, after various places in between and 35 years mostly in Red Wing MN.

Who do you live with? Patricia Anne (Worringer) Sween, married since 1962.

What is your occupation? After a 40-year career in library and information services, I say that beyond employment my work is reading, writing, and freelance thinking.

When did you come out? Yes, I am INTJ: see MY TYPE.

How’d that go? I’ve become a fan of personality typing for almost 40 years, and my various personality profiles cluster together, showing the same or related behavior.

When do you wake up? Usually 5 a.m.; sometimes before that.

Phone alarm or alarm clock? The radio near my bed comes on with pleasing, soft, tranquil music from Minnesota Public Radio’s classic music station.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Visit the bathroom, drink water, wash dishes left over from previous day, make coffee.

Breakfast? First breakfast is often something to go with my coffee, often a sweet bread, energy bar, or healthy cookie, as oatmeal or peanut butter. In the fuller second breakfast about two hours later, I rotate between cereals, toast with peanut butter, waffles, or eggs prepared in some way. I almost always have fruit, usually a combination of bananas, strawberries and blueberries.

Coffee? Cream or no? Most days, I have one full 14-ounce cup of dark French roast after first pouring a base of  half & half in the cup.

How do you spend your commute? At home, going up and down stairs, from my office plus outside when the temperature rises to allow shorts and sandals. On the road, listening to public radio news or classical music.

If your job were a yearbook, how would you be voted? Most likely to continue in my own ideas.

What inspires you? Philosophy, theory, and serious imaginative literature.

Do you eat your lunch while working or take a break? Never at work, unless you include random thoughts as work. I don’t lunch in a routine or regular way, but I do need to take breaks.

Is your work space tidy or a hot mess? After years of attempting the imperative “file, don’t pile.” I tend to pile, even lose things in the morass of the unfiled. I crave variety and after four hours on a project without finishing, I go on to some other preoccupation, promising myself to shortly go back to the pieces left behind.

What’s been your favorite job? In employment, it was learning more than I was giving. After employment, its pursuing the foundations and explorations of story logic.

Who are your heroes? From a young age, it was Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Later, it was Voltaire, Ayn Rand, Aristotle, and Abraham Lincoln. It’s still Aristotle and in my maturity Ursula K. Le Guin.

Favorite weeknight meal: Go out, take out, or cook in? I prefer going out if it’s a family gathering or we are celebrating something. In house, I’m the sous-chef unless alone.

Most embarrassing moment? I guess I have repressed them all.

On a usual weekend, you are doing what? Leftover projects from the days before, grocery shopping, church, writing a round robin to my three siblings, watching Masterpiece if it is a good one, which usually means a classic one.

Bedtime? I try for 9p.m., but it’s usually later. Sometimes, I need to read awhile to relax myself, but not as lengthy a time as an earlier past when reading books kept me awake.

Words of wisdom to share? We all have limits and imperfections: our challenge is to become our best and strive for the will to do so.

At Home With Yourself

February 26, 2016


Authenticity of My Big Five

September 30, 2015

Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Openness

A while ago I reported the results of a personality inventory of the “big five” characteristics. Today I took another one linked from the political blog fivethirtyeight, written from the standpoint of authenticity, Hillary Clinton’s in particular. Once I launched into this inventory, I imagined that results would constitute a check on the prior one.

The distributor of these factor markers is the International Personallity Item Pool which has a fuller scale 300 item version presented as having a high degree of pertinence and reliability. However, answering all these questions takes an estimated 30-40 minutes. Thus the quicker inventory has 50 questions.

The specific wording of these character descriptions seems to vary from my previous experience taking a123test®. This time I went through the statements twice in an effort to assure that I understood the measures fully and replied with corresponding accuracy. Each question calls for one of five possible responses – disagree, slightly disagree, neutral, slightly agree, or agree. These responses are the flip of the 123 version – strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree.

My responses to the statements found me responding disagree 18 times, slightly disagree 2, neutral 2, slightly agree 9, and agree 19 times. I wanted to answer on the extreme ends of the responses; nevertheless, at times I found I could not. These predicaments and choices were based on my splitting hairs on just how each statement represented me when a more rigid approach would have sprung from all or nothing choices. Some example statements follow.

3. I am always prepared. I regard that I am usually prepared, but not always as fully as I like or at times learn from an experience that I  could have prepared better. So I only slightly agreed.

8. I leave my belongings around. Yes, sometimes, more than I would like. I don’t always hang my clothes up. I have a tendency to pile, not file building miscellaneous stacks because I am very archival. But I also have thousands of clippings, sheets of correspondence and writings. I own something over 6,000 volumes. Most of this is in order, but I am always behind and struggle to spend some portion of every day clearing my desk. Alas, I can only slightly agree.

16. I keep in the background. Well … I like the background, the vantage point, the retreat to do my thinking and rejuvenate the soul and its consciousness. But I speak out as needed; I serve on task forces; I conduct and speak out at forums; I do readings in front of audiences. I organize book clubs for years at a time. Lately, I have even sung in pickup choirs, something I have been leery of doing for over 70 years. Another slightly agree.

23. I get chores done right away. First off, what is meant by “chores?” I interpreted it to cover anything that is done on a routine or regular basis. That’s agree for me. However, most of what I do requires what I prefer to call mulling, especially matters of an intellectual nature which is where I spend most of my waking time. I cannot handle matters of this nature right away because they do not lend themselves to immediacy. Alas, most of the 13 novels I have attempted have never been completed because I haven’t resolved a satisfactory way to finish them. This time I slightly disagree.

37. I take time out for others. Yes, of course. But the time I spend is largely foundational in building up the community, the culture, or the civilization. I seek my own pleasure in so doing and I trouble whether anything I ever do will have a lasting effect. So I have to slightly agree.

Twice, I have taken the neutral position, something I have not wanted to do. But it seemed to me that was the only alternative since the statement does not really or fully apply to me as it stands.

41. I don’t mind being the center of attention. Okay, I don’t mind, but I do not seek to be at a noticeable center, and my preference remains to get out to the edge and stay there.

47. I make people feel at ease. Pardon me, but I have no gauge for determining an answer to this one.

So here is my resulting profile expressed for each trait. Scores run 1-5, low to high and show the relative dominance of personality domains. Percentiles show that portion of the population I score higher than, presumably better than to fit my own personality.

Neuroticism (elsewhere termed Natural Reaction) shows the tendency to experience and/or show negative emotions or neuroses. My score is 1.8, rather low, and at 9%.

Extraversion shows the orientation towards and satisfaction from other people. The score is 2.4, towards the middle, and at 24%

Conscientiousness reflects carefulness and order for one who is hardworking and reliable. I score 3.7. above the middle, and at 62%

Openness indicates how much I seek out new experiences. I score 4.5, very high, at 71%.

Finally, agreeableness points to how much a person likes and wants to please others. Here the score reaches my highest, 4.7, with 87% ranking lower than I find myself.

I remain unsure or confused as to whether this inventory coincides with others that seek personality identification. In the typologies based on Jung, extraversion-introversion reflect where the sense of oneself comes from and the consequent source of psychological energy.

Nevertheless, it seems the image and identification of my self holds. I see myself as one who has learned or practiced the control of his emotions. I can weep at a painting but remain controlled at the death of a friend or relative. I recognize and live my obligation to others but regard my role as distantly overarching and essentially far reaching, not intimate except with a few. I prefer the depth and nurture of solitude in a life that has numerous public demands. I want to be orderly, thoughtful and imaginative in creative and intellectual ways. I want to make my ideals real and grow through learning and the study required to reach desired levels of knowledge.

Alas, I am not completely satisfied that however much these ratings are in a desirable direction for me, they are not as ultimately on target as other inventories have been.

Copyright © 2015 by Roger Sween.

I welcome comments on this blog. Direct personal comments to me at my email address.


May 27, 2015

Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Introversion, Natural Reactions


Past readings led me to think about my innate “strengths and weaknesses,” how I might assess them, and what to do with the possibilities for improvements. I searched online for possible assessment tools and started with 123test®. This particular tool, as is the case with other companies, has less interest in self-knowledge than work-related factors and their discovery.

123test® is an international company, headquartered at Radbound University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. The company operates with contributors from all over the world through a network of websites. Their tests are free and fast while also scientifically valid and reliable. Users can go beyond the free start to pay for fuller analysis and documentation. 123test®’s “highly successful” development scheme follows.

  • Using scientific literature as a theoretical basis for tests.
  • Collecting massive amounts of empirical data to ensure representative sampling.
  • Drawing upon the skills and experience of PhD level test developers.
  • Generating valid reports through ‘expert systems’ based on empirical findings.
  • And some other stuff we prefer not to say.

Though their battery of assessments focuses on employment-related skills, I chose as my own basis, the most generic and fundamental personality test, though they also have DISC and Jung tests.

Test results for the “big five personality factors” hinge on responses to 120 statements. The system requires all 120 responses; otherwise, it does not compute the results. Responders can strongly disagree, disagree, take a middle position, agree or strongly agree. The instructions come with the caution about the middle: “Try not to use the ‘Neutral’ option too often.” Directions identify use of ‘Neutral’ as when “you are neutral about the statement, if you cannot decide, or if the statement is about equally true and false.” I am so glad for this level of possible response.

After taking the free online test and getting results, I went back to the 120 questions and tabulated how I answered.

  1. Strongly Agree – 10
  2. Agree -18
  3. Neutral – 28
  4. Disagree – 14
  5. Strongly Disagree – 50

I wondered if this pattern identified me as a contrarian.

As with the many inventories I have taken in the last 40 years, answers depend on one’s understanding of the terms of the statements offered. I always find myself asking a couple starter questions. What does each combination of words really mean? How does the statement apply to my generalized or usual experience?

In this case, if I am to avoid the neutral option as much as possible, why does it mount up to equal the total of agreements and why is it some measure less than half of the disagreements?

For one thing, several statements cause me to strongly disagree. For example:

2. I make friends easily. What is a friend? For me, friends are those you know well or very well on the road to fully knowing one another. Many such friends in my life may still be friendly and understanding, but relatively incidental. I am not sure that we make friends so much as find them. None of friend-making is easy. As with most things I have a high standard for what makes the term. In short, though to be highly prized, friends are few: the rest are acquaintances.

11. I often feel sad. How often is often? For me often is frequent, at least routine or regular. I know horrible things are constantly happening around the world, but I don’t see myself being sad about them unless I deliberately dwell upon such misfortunes. I work to maintain a positive attitude despite obvious existing ignorance, intolerance, and cruelty.

46. I am afraid to draw attention to myself. Afraid? Well, I was afraid when a child since there were so many things where my performance ability was non-existent to poor – games, sports, singing, art work, mechanics, penmanship. It was best to stand on the sidelines or take myself out of the picture. I’m still reserved but often actually on stage as a speaker, entertainer, or panelist – all done in support of some other goal. However, I never want or feel the need of attention for attention’s sake. I like to think I am doing my part where asked or needed.

57. I have a lot of fun. As I have written several times in the past, I have a very low regard for fun which to me is a great distraction and an inferior human experience. Instead, I hold up enjoyment, a blessing more rare and worthy than fun. Enjoyment follows from excellence and achievement in myself or my realization of others’ magnitude. I admit that many things are fun or delightful – positive comedy, laughter, the cleverness of children, dancing and picnicking – and these soon also bring enjoyment. Mostly I abstain from games, parties, or any entertainment trivial, demeaning or at someone’s expensive, especially concussive sports or athletics that thrive on drugs.

Among the statements are some that are so reprehensible, they prompt from me an automatic Strongly Disagree. Such as, “I use and manipulate others to get my own way” (9); “I over indulge and go on ‘binges’” (21); “I am very spontaneous – I act without thinking” (29); “I don’t mind cheating to get ahead” (39). The list goes on. Who would admit to such things as “I shout and yell at people” (49); or, “I make rash decisions” (60)? And that is only statements from the first half.

I used the Disagree response when the statement is largely untrue but applicable in some situations. 47. I never sit still – I’m always on the go. Here I took ‘sit still’ and ‘on the go’ as metaphors translating to not doing or doing something. Use of ‘never’ and ‘always’ verge on the impossible or the absent so far. I am active at one thing or another during my waking hours, most frequently 8 hours at my desk. I also go for walks, bicycling, exercise, and attend movies, theaters, concerts and watch a small amount of tv. I’m on FB with a limited number of family and “friend” contacts. I email at length with three of my long-term and closest friends. With my three siblings, I join in round robin email communications.

62. I avoid coming into contact with people If I can help it.  Disagree. I do not usually walk up to strangers and start a conversation, something I question because it seems to me imposing. I don’t so much avoid people as live in a situation where acquaintances are just that or I am, otherwise, by myself doing what occupies me – thinking, reading, researching, writing – all solitary occupations.

The relative number of middle responses, a split between agreement and disagreement, is often due to the random status of situations, the mixture of happening and not happening.

42. I try to be in charge – to lead others. It’s tough enough to be in charge of one’s self, and I’m more interested in cooperation than leadership. In most opportunitiess, I wait to see who goes first. I only volunteer when I see I have a suitable skill or appropriate background on some aspect of a project. I favor most those things I can do on my own – thinking, researching, problem solving, concept-formation, or writing. Facilitation is my principle group skill, followed by administration at the direction of the group.

48. I prefer to stick with things I know. At basis, I am constantly mulling things over and most of my opinions, however lasting, are open to change or alteration. Most of what I know develops within the enlarging context which I endeavor to learn. I deliberately strive for good decisions, based on some studied evidence, and the search for increasingly relevant knowledge.

55. I get the job done and carry out my plans. Yes and no. Most of what I am working on requires a long process due to several factors. I am a slow starter and must have enough background information and clear understanding before I set to work. I have multiple interests and want to know in depth whatever has my attention. I live in a constant stage of revision as I seek some fuller and final satisfaction. The priority of deadlines captures most of my projects so that the less public endeavors fall to the bottom. I have attempted a dozen novels, a few of which came to an end, but I am not satisfied with any of them. I am working on the 13th which has taken so far a year and a half to establish the foundations, but likely will take another six months before I set to developing the story. Story depends on tension: because I do not hold with conflict as the basis of story-logic, the setting of tension requires my deepest and prolonged thinking.

65. I handle tasks methodically. And method means …? Webster’s Collegiate sees method as a procedure or process for attaining an object. More specifically, a systematic procedure, technique or mode employed by a particular discipline or art. That’s me, by and large, due to my focus on reading and thinking, learning and experience in library and information services, predilection and practice. However, I berate myself that I am not methodical enough, nor persistent enough. Often I lack focus. As I age, I tire more easily and divert myself by turning from one task to another. I rage with myself that I have let too many years go by unproductively; that is, without a finished product.

Alas, I find that I can only Strongly Agree with a few statements – 10 of 120; that is 8.33%. They follow.

3. I have a vivid imagination. I substitute “lively” for “vivid.” I try to keep my imagination going, thinking of alternatives, making up stories when I am awake in bed.

8. I think art is important. Why would this be a question?

15. I keep my promises. I do, or try to do, given the time they might require to fulfill.

17. I am always busy – always on the go. This is the flip of 47 above.

20. I work hard. If hard means attentively, then yes. Of greater pertinence, I see myself doing work that is itself “hard” in that much of it is without precedent, or even a ready model.

23. I enjoy reading challenging books and articles. Of course: what use is learning that is not challenging? I go to clearance book sales at the end when there is little or less remaining, making it easier to find what others ignore, and wind up with the likes of Alter, Ancient Israel, the former prophets (2013); Murray, The Problem of God (1964); Collins & Makowsky, The Discovery of Society; 3rd ed. (1984); Gardner, Morale (1978); Late Nineteenth-Century American Liberalism (Filler, 1962); Kersten & Pearlstein, Close to Home: the American experiment in freedom (2000); Brooks, The Well Wrought Urn [the structure of poetry] (1947). And those are among the less challenging works I read. When I bother to worry, my worries range over the decline in learning and the loss of access to serious sources such as these. Though I have given decades to intellectual freedom issues, I have become repulsed by the vacuity of most media and its decline from the central elements of our lives together. My mind goes back to 1959 when reading Huxley, Brave New World (1932) and his portrayal of mass culture for a manufactured population. Why have we not benefitted from his prescience?

51. I rarely over-indulge. What a imprecise statement, less so than the binge in  21 above. Indulgence appears here without context and in terms further clouded by the relative vagueness or rare. Whatever. I determined it as something going on that ought to be avoided.

67. I prefer to be alone. This is most certainly true. As a confirmed INTJ, solitude is the source of my strength.

87. I love life. Certainly, considering the alternative.

97. I avoid crowds. Another way of saying 67.

Given all my kvetching about the way questions are phrased, I must say that I concur with the results.

Big Five Results

  1. Openness to Experience: 74% (High Range). I am imaginative, open-minded, and experimental.
  2. Conscientiousness: 54% (Middle Range). On the bell curve, I am above the 40% average of the middle towards conscientious, disciplined, efficient, and well-organized.
  3. Agreeableness: 53% (Middle Range). Similarly towards compassionate, eager to please, good natured.
  4. Extraversion: 8% (Low Range). Here I am at the bottom of the low range towards being reserved, formal, serious, and quiet.
  5. Natural Reactions: 5% (Very Low Range). As reported, I tend to be not easily upset in stressful situations and relaxed.

Each of these alignments in my personality are well-recognized by me as central to my life, my preferences and habits. The results clearly and markedly parallel other inventories taken and reported on the MY TYPE page.

Now I am on to reflecting about my strengths and weaknesses.

Slightly revised, 12 January 2016.

© Copyright 2015 by Roger Sween.