Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Personality Test

I'm going to tell you the main thing you can find out from giving a Mrissa a personality test -- any personality test at all, really. If the test itself doesn't give you this information, it's probably pretty worthless, so here goes:

Mrissas hate false dichotomies.

Some personality tests account for this with a "no preference" or "no opinion" option. This is not the same thing. Having no opinion is not the same thing as holding both opinions strongly because the question was phrased stupidly in a way that utterly contradicts one's method of approaching the world.

steve_dash_o was talking about the Myers-Briggs, so it's the one that's immediately coming to mind as frustrating this way, but really the other tests I've seen are bad with it, too. The people who are enthusiastic about these tests tend to say, "Well, pick the one that fits best," or "Go with your first impulse." My first impulse is to stop taking the test, because the options it's asking me to choose between are not real options at all. My second impulse is usually either "Yes, both," or "No, neither." This whole "first impulse" thing assumes that I "really" agree with the premise of the question and am suppressing knowledge of my answer. I don't think that's the case. I think sometimes the question is just wrong.

What I said in Steve's comments was that they end up sounding to me like, "Would you rather have soup or a backrub?" Soup and a backrub are not the same category of thing, and I can't think of any sensible reason why I should ever have to say, "You know, soup on the whole really is better than backrubs are on the whole." And I don't think that the information one gets from trying to force that choice is particularly valuable.

Even among things that are the same kind of thing, I often dig my heels in when asked to pick one. I can decide on a meal at a restaurant faster than most people I know, but I have no delusions that it's the meal, and if the waitbeing was to say, "Surprise! You never get to eat anything else!", I would kick the waitbeing in the shins and run away and make my own food.

I realize that this makes me a totally typical #17, or PDQR, or Late Winter With the Thaw Just Started, or whatever else you use to categorize people. But really, isn't Nitpicky Crank enough of a personality type? Can't I just tell you that's what I am and then we can go on with things?
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