Thursday, June 28, 2012

Personality tests for characters? Really??

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I recently found an old file that showed the results of a Myers-Briggs Personality test that I had taken over fifteen years ago (and it seems like just yesterday….gulp!) Anyway, the results were different than what they were when I tried the same test today.  As a younger woman I’d scored an ENFP and I have to admit to knowing why things have changed for me.

Always having been an extrovert, I derive enjoyment from interaction with others. I watch their idiosyncrasies, and I admit to using some of their foibles in my characters. It helps me tremendously. I do know many authors who are introverts and love using their imagination rather than real-life examples. Not me!

Intuition has stayed the same and as an author I’m glad. I’d rather see the big picture than deal with all that annoying small stuff. Of course one does have to edit…??

Feeling rather than thinking will never change. I admit to being a bit of a bubble head and it’s too ingrained. People matter to me much more than ideals, and so I’m afraid I’ll be stuck with this till the end.

The one that has changed is the last, from perceptive to judgment -  and of that I am glad. Since I’ve become an author, I’ve had to plan my days, and my characters days. To do this properly it’s taken a lot of organization. I’ve had to become predictable in my choices using sound judgment.   

  • E – Extraversion preferred to introversion: ENFJs often feel motivated by their interaction with people. They tend to enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances, and they gain energy in social situations (whereas introverts expend energy).[7]
  • N – Intuition preferred to sensing: ENFJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.[8]
  • F – Feeling preferred to thinking: ENFJs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.[9]
  • J – Judgment preferred to perception: ENFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.[10]

I wonder if our characters would benefit from taking this test.  After all, many writers plan their character’s roles from the day they’re born to the day they show up on the page. Would you consider this as being a useful tool?


And would it matter if you wrote for a living? This information could help anyone in their day to day life. Explain why they do the things they do—make the choices they make. Marry the people they chose.


If you would like to take your own test go to:



 And check the results:



 What do you think…does it make sense??





I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
 
 
For this Freedom to Read Blog Hop I will be happy to present one lucky winner with a $10 Amazon Gift certificate and five others with a free e-copy of My Cheeky Angel. All you need to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address.

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***

49 comments:

  1. Thanks for this great giveaway!
    Danasquare3@aol.com

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  2. I know some writers do use personality tests for their characters. It's probably a useful tool for logical thinkers, perhaps - those who need clear guidlines from which to work, thise who are more likely to be detailed plotters than pantsers. I admit it has crossed my mind...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have often used this for characters. As well as character interviews. I do tend to be a plotter (and an introvert) so it's sometimes hard for me to get to know a character. Occasionally a character will pop in and just start talking but that's rare. Oh. I just realized this was a bloghop, cool. dianalayne at yahoo dot com

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  4. Ciara & Diana,
    Thanks for the comments. I'm glad to see that there are some who would take this seriously as a part of plotting. I tend to write as a pantser so I scoffed at first. Until I read my own test results and realized that it really did work...so...why not use it as a tool for authors??

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the giveaway!

    mpg12345@aol.com

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  6. Fascinating. I wonder which authors I read use this or something similar.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    sena.sagani at gmail dot com

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  8. That was really interesting. I took the test on how I use to be and how I am now after losing my son to war induced PTSD. I knew that I had changed but I didn't realize how much.

    proudarmymom32(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  9. Sue, I'm not surprised that you've changed. I'm sending hugs!
    xo Mimi

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  16. These type of tests have always fascinated me. Thank you also for the giveaway!

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  28. I think they would be helpful for a writer to use these tests. Might have to try and see where I fall I think I took it when I was younger but its been so long.

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  34. I loved the Myers-Brigg test and studied it in college-almost a psych degree thanks to that interest. Funny applying it to characters. I was an INFJ --I still remember. Thanks for the giveaway! Jody D.
    iteachfl@aol.com

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