I've been posting all these little tests on here in the past couple of days. They're just fun and silly, and I think most people like to answer a few questions and get a little snippet of information. One that I re-encountered, though, is a little more "meaty." It's the Keirsey Temperament sorter.
It's similar to the Myers-Briggs test. I think a lot of people have taken this--it's the one that tells you if you're INFJ, ESTJ, etc. I had run across it on the Web several years ago, and one day I was talking to my friend Alissa at work, and the subject came up. Turns out she was really interested in it already, had the book, and had shared it with a few others--it was quite a hot topic at work for a while! When I took the test then, I was The Counselor (I forget what the letter combination was for it). I took it again yesterday, and in the intervening years (at least five, probably more like seven), it seems that I've turned into The Inspector (ISTJ). At first I wondered about that, but I took a couple of different versions, and both came back with the same results. This isn't an all-encompassing personality test like the MMPI, and after I thought about it, it makes sense that circumstances and experience over several years might change your outlook somewhat.
While any results from a test like this should be taken with a grain of salt, I think it's a fun exercise and a way to think about your attitude and outlook on life. For example, my change from The Counselor to The Inspector shows me that I need to be careful about not losing my empathy for others, not to let myself become too blunt in my comments, and to not completely ignore my intuition by focusing only on the facts. Take it yourself! One version of the test can be found here, or take the official Keirsey site test. Find a summary of the different Keirsey types here. Are you an Architect like Thomas Jefferson? A Promoter like Franklin D. Roosevelt? Or an Inspector like Warren Buffet--and me? In the meantime, here's me: The Inspector.
The Portait of the Inspector (ISTJ)
Inspector Guardians look carefully and thoroughly at the people and institutions around them. Making up perhaps as much as ten percent of the general population, Inspectors are characterized by decisiveness in practical affairs, are the guardians of institutions, and if only one adjective could be selected, "superdependable" would best describe them. Whether at home or at work, Inspectors are nothing if not dependable, particularly when it comes to examining the people and products they are responsible for--quietly seeing to it that uniform quality is maintained, and that those around them uphold certain standards of attitude and conduct.
These quiet, no-nonsense Guardians have a distaste for and distrust of fanciness in speech, dress, and living space. Their words tend to be simple and down-to-earth, not showy or high-flown; their clothes are often homespun and conservative rather than of the latest fashion; and their home and work environments are usually neat, orderly, and traditional, rather than up-to-date or luxurious. In their choice of personal property (cars, furnishings, jewelry, and so on) price and durability are just as important as comfort or appearance. Classics, antiques, and heirlooms are especially valued, having achieved a certain time-honored status--Inspectors prefer the old-fashioned to the newfangled every time. Even on vacation, Inspectors tend not to be attracted by exotic foods, beverages, or locales.
Their thoroughness and orderliness, combined with their interest in legality and standardization, leads Inspectors to a number of occupations that call for the careful administration of goods and services. Inspectors feel right at home with difficult, detailed forms and columns of figures, and thus they make excellent bank examiners, auditors, accountants, and tax attorneys. Managing investments in securities is likely to interest this type, particularly investments in municipal bonds and blue-chip securities. Inspectors are not likely to take chances either with their own or others' money, and the thought of a bankrupt nation, state, institution, or family gives them more than a little uneasiness. The idea of dishonoring a contract also bothers an Inspector--their word is their bond--and they naturally communicate a message of trustworthiness and stability, which can make them successful in business. With their eye for detail, Inspectors make good business men and women, librarians, dentists, optometrists, legal secretaries, and law researchers. High school and college teachers of business administration, home economics, physical education, civics, and history tend to be Inspectors, as do quartermaster officers in the military.
Queen Elizabeth II, Harry S Truman, Warren Buffet, Queen Victoria, James K. Polk, and J.D. Rockefeller are examples of Inspector Guardians.
ISTJs are very loyal, faithful, and dependable. They place great importance on honesty and integrity. They are "good citizens" who can be depended on to do the right thing for their families and communities. While they generally take things very seriously, they also usually have an offbeat sense of humor and can be a lot of fun - especially at family or work-related gatherings.
ISTJs have tremendous respect for facts. They hold a tremendous store of facts within themselves, which they have gathered through their Sensing preference. They may have difficulty understanding a theory or idea which is different from their own perspective. However, if they are shown the importance or relevance of the idea to someone who they respect or care about, the idea becomes a fact, which the ISTJ will internalize and support. Once the ISTJ supports a cause or idea, he or she will stop at no lengths to ensure that they are doing their duty of giving support where support is needed.