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LINK Study: people tend to cluster into four distinct personality “types” | Ars Technica

Personality type from Big Data. Okay so now we are getting somewhere.


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Personalities are phenomenal to say the least and undefinable under any scientific strata. Having to survive in a world of war, disease, famine and racial bias makes one something they do no want to be classified as. Emerging through this has produced some of the most prolific and unique people that I don't think would fit into your study.


I don't see a link to the paper outlining the research in the article. Certainly not an academic approach. Maybe there isn't one!


According to the vagrant in Team America World Police, there are only 3 types of people in the world. Fascinating.

dokala Level 7 Sep 19, 2018

I agree with youyr commenting critics. As a retired staff developer, I looked at a number of these "personality" scales and concluded that few of them are of real value.The only one I ever found that was useful was Anthony Gregorc's "Style Delineator." Gregorcs' solidly research=based model looks at the person's style(s) of information processing. Those info-processing styles determine behavior much more than any "personality" scale.

wordywalt Level 8 Sep 19, 2018

sorry, but there are so many of these, and they are popular because people like to BELONG to something... and the powers that be find it useful for people to feel as if they belong to something, too. if you know your demographics you can sell whatever you're selling more easily, be it a product or a policy (or even a religion). i don't buy it.


genessa Level 8 Sep 19, 2018

I'm sure that you know that the word ' personality ' comes from Latin, meaning persona, to wear a mask. Therefore, at best it only refers to four types of mask.

In the western world up until the Age of Enlightenment and the birth of modern science the Catholic Church was the arbiter in all matters relating to the individual. As science began to gradually make progress and treat common diseases faith in prayer and the Catholic Church began to wane in the light of results that prayer failed to achieve.

In the world in which we live science is the current arbiter, therefore, to promote any theory, even a theory that might fly in the face of reason the best way to go about it is to seek scientific endorsement and of course the creation of a pseudo-scientific vocabulary aids in the process.

ASTRALMAX Level 7 Sep 18, 2018

I'll wait for verification from multiple studies. I noticed that they used online surveys, and there isn't much information on the amount of, basically, misinformation people provide on those. In all, though, I've always thought "so what"? even if it turns out that most people cluster around these 4 groups, there will always be outliers, and understanding which cluster someone is closest to still doesn't tell you anything about their individual experience of the world.

if MIGHT be of use to some psychologists at some point, if it turns out they can refine this data into individualized therapeutic techniques, but that isn't really of interest to anyone outside of the that community.


I don't believe any of these things. I put no faith whatsoever into these "tests".
A Magic Eight Ball is every bit as reliable.

KKGator Level 9 Sep 18, 2018

@AmiSue because words communicate ideas very quickly and to associate ones self with certain words more quickly conveys one's habits than describing the habits of each identifier.

@lukostello Personally, I don't like the idea of other people being able to quickly identify or associate me with anything or anyone. I don't try to do that with anyone else, either. There is nothing wrong with taking one's time getting to know someone else.

@KKGator well lets use an example. I identify as a vegetarian because it is a quicker way of saying I don't eat meat. Are you saying I shouldn't identify as vegetarian and should instead take more time to explain the behavior which that identifier entails?

@AmiSue of course. No one label can adequately define anyone. But I think that there are a few key factors which we can distill from one's behavior to make predictions about future behavior. This is the point of personality tests. I find Myer's Briggs to be fairly helpful in this regard. But I think we are on the verge of a much better personality test which could be used to set the parameters for an A.I.'s behavior.

@lukostello You are free to do as you wish. I wouldn't dream of telling you how to present yourself to others.


This is based on online exams. Thus, it suffers from a HUGE bias that it doesn't sample the native population but only people that would want to take these exams. This is likely why the average (one would expect the largest group) is listed as highly neurotic... just the type of person that would take these online test seriously.

Further, these test are only english speaking so one can't say "people" as if it applied to everyone everywhere... one could, at most, say "english speaking people with access to the internet and who are willing to take this test" which is a pretty biased population sample IMO.

Finally, the datasets are not about personality types but are very specific. For example, the BBC test is about millenials (children born after 2000) and already is somewhat based on a five-fold personality type.

Meh... just another research paper that gets the authors published, garners some attention on the web, but will ultimitely be scientifically useless except for more Buzzfeed-style "which personality are you" quizzes.


I've taken several of these tests over the years. And it comes back pretty much the same. Calm, conscientious, get there job done, do no harm. While i think all of these lose the dinner points to ones personality, they do seem to catch the core of it.

moonmaid Level 8 Sep 18, 2018

Take the test, put it aside.
Take it 2 weeks later.
You will Not get the same results, proving, as has been noted elsewhere, that it is a load of Crap!


I took the test once and it said I am ESTJ-T. Am I really a Sentinel and my role is social engagement? Maybe. I know that I am a voice of activism in a world that seems to be unraveling for many of us who live within it. Fairness does not exist but we have to approach everything with logic and use evidence and facts. Trump and many others want to use their own facts and this alone is worse than religious indoctrination. It doubles up on those who want Democracy when the GOP marries into the religious right. Be diligent and be on guard.

DenoPenno Level 8 Sep 18, 2018

But "average" is not a personality type!

In my opinion, the traditional 4 types theory is better:


It would be fun to have a link to the questionnaire.

I looked, it doesn't seem available now but I will continue to search.


Into which cluster belong people who do reading White on black?


Into which cluster belong people who do reading White on black?

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