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MOTM Nov 2010
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I give an old person an MBTI test, they often screw it up. Especially if it's an extrovert. Old people, even if they are extroverts eventually start "nesting" and staying home more. They don't care about the group as much, what other's think, and they just don't go out as much. They tend to think of themselves as introverts. It doesn't help that most of the tests are geared towards 20 year olds and try to define "extroverts" by "clubbing" behaviors. Not many people after 40 are like "OMG! How many clubs are we hitting tonight?".

So then these older folk take these tests and end up messing up. They consider themselves "introverts". I have to keep reminding the elderly to test as if they were still 20. And then they get mad because then they claim they aren't like they used to be at 20. They are like who they are today and the tests should reflect that.

So often I get an obvious extrovert typing as an introvert. And they are not an introvert, they are just old.

Does anyone see this as an issue? Is there a way we can fix the tests for the elderly? I see this as a consistent problem.

*I purposely was crudely using old, since I fit the category. :tongue:
 

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Perhaps special tests should be created for the elderly that give scenarios analogous to the ones in the normal MBTI? Or maybe these tests could specifically ask "What were you like at X age?"
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Perhaps special tests should be created for the elderly that give scenarios analogous to the ones in the normal MBTI? Or maybe these tests could specifically ask "What were you like at X age?"
That's a good idea. I notice that a lot of older extroverts will answer that they "prefer to be in small groups" rather than "a big group". They are not realizing that the test is really asking them if get increased energy "being in a big group" as opposed to getting more energized "being alone."

Most older people own their own homes and will entertain for a few friends more. They don't need to go out in order to have fun and be around people.
 

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Yes, I noticed this problem while trying to type my grandparents. It's not as easy as saying "Imagine when you were 20", maybe there weren't clubs then or they were in the 2. world war etc. For the E/I dichotomy I try to think of how much friend-company they need. My grandma likes to go on pilgrimages all the time and has always visitors at home, so I imagine she's an E.
But it is pretty difficult for all the letters; they've been through so much that they figured out how much feelings should they put out, they are more realistic because they know there's not much future in front of them so they're more S than N ...
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I noticed this problem while trying to type my grandparents. It's not as easy as saying "Imagine when you were 20", maybe there weren't clubs then or they were in the 2. world war etc. For the E/I dichotomy I try to think of how much friend-company they need. My grandma likes to go on pilgrimages all the time and has always visitors at home, so I imagine she's an E.
But it is pretty difficult for all the letters; they've been through so much that they figured out how much feelings should they put out, they are more realistic because they know there's not much future in front of them so they're more S than N ...
Good point about the sensing. Being "in the moment" gets more and more important as you get older, because today is all you know you have left.

I also know many of us intuitive mid lifers whole all of a sudden went "Wee! Se is fun!" and have become really involved in different athletics and external sensory input instead of being so up in our minds.
 

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I don't want for die out so fast. I have a question: regarding that test is obviously not made for the elderly, does anybody have good suggestions how to figure out their type? I'm dying to know what my grandmothers are because I cannot come up with any type, not even any functions. (On the other hand, my grandfather is the easiest person ever to type, ISTP, but just because he's a mechanic and a complete stereotype :D)
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, this thread was inspired by this 41 year old guy I went out with a few months back. He was incredibly offended when I pulled out a test for him the first night we were together. But I was just trying to type him. :crazy:

So he ended up being very difficult and I think throwing the test. We also ended up only having one more date after that. Bottom line is- I'm a shit-disturber and he was a paranoid asshole. Okay, last time his results were INTP. Nope, no way. He is NOT an N. He plays too much fantasy football. But I don't know what the heck he is because he is too old for the descriptions. Hahaha.

Anyway, he was impossible to type especially because the tests are often geared towards 20 year olds. So when I was testing him, he would respond to the extroversion/introverted questions with "Well I used to hang out and go out all the time, but now......" Ugh. It was so difficult. And I see his point.

Anyway, I was given another chance. Lol. Even though things ended on a bad note two months ago because he thought I was "testing" him for relationship worthiness and trying to "stuff" him "in a box" and I thought he was being an insecure freak, we have forgiven each other. He has called me and asked me out again this weekend.

And although it made things bad to test him before, I am still determined to figure out his type! (Hahahaha!) Sooooooo.... I obviously can't bring up functions or MBTI again lest I hear how evil I am. So here's my plan: I've decided to pay attention to his energy level. He sorta moves around like my ISTP ex. I'm deciding where else to go from there :unsure:

Oh yeah, he also thinks my brain is "hyper". I think there may be some clues in that.....

Do you guys think there is a connection to brain activity, speed of speech, mannerisms, positive/negative outlook and type? Meaning, how should I rule out SP temperament? How do I rule out NF (although I think that's ruled out already), etc.

For instance, a mature T can sometimes appear F-y. I dated an older ENTP who had a lot of Fe already kicked in. What remains?

Maybe there is something to our little badge names for each type? Perhaps it is as simple as asking someone "Do you feel like you are a Mechanic? Doer? Inspirer? Caregiver? Maybe I'll work that into convo. Yeah! Help me, guys! I think I'm almost there. :laughing:
 

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You consider 40 old? I don't see how a 40 year old is old, unless you mean too old to be able to participate in the social activities of people in their twenties.
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You consider 40 old? I don't see how a 40 year old is old, unless you mean too old to be able to participate in the social activities of people in their twenties.
No 40 isn't old. 41 is :wink:

My point is that the tests aren't really geared for people who are moving through their functions and have changed their ways. People tend to "nest" when they get older, etc. They are harder to type because they are no longer fitting in with the stereo type. A lot of them have learned to mix all their functions.

Okay, perhaps I should say oldER.

And how would you type grandpa? According to stories from his past?
 

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Ask him what really pisses him off the most, and that will correlate to his weakest function or strongest function.

Or, pay attention to his body language when idle or thinking between sentences and speech.

Ti = entire body will freeze for a second or so inbetween sentences
Te = very confrontational look in his eyes, demands eye contact (see ESTJ's telling people to look at them when speaking to them)
Si = looks off to the side with focus as if checking his inner rulebook
Ni = dreamy and slow eye movements, rolling to the top right or top left to think, or head drifting very slowly and eyes fixed staring at nothing
Se = looking around everywhere, like a pigeon, catlike focus on one object for prolonged period of time
Ne = eccsatic wide eyes
Fe = facial expressions all designed for someone else, very expressive with face.
Fi = monotone voice heavy with passion, sometimes looks like Ti with the freeze, users tend to look kinda squinty when organizing emotional values (I think)
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ask him what really pisses him off the most, and that will correlate to his weakest function or strongest function.
Okay, I'm pretty sure the answer to this is: me. Which I correlate with Ne. So maybe Ne is his weakest function?

Or, pay attention to his body language when idle or thinking between sentences and speech.

Ti = entire body will freeze for a second or so inbetween sentences
Te = very confrontational look in his eyes, demands eye contact (see ESTJ's telling people to look at them when speaking to them)
Si = looks off to the side with focus as if checking his inner rulebook
Ni = dreamy and slow eye movements, rolling to the top right or top left to think, or head drifting very slowly and eyes fixed staring at nothing
Se = looking around everywhere, like a pigeon, catlike focus on one object for prolonged period of time
Ne = eccsatic wide eyes
Fe = facial expressions all designed for someone else, very expressive with face.
Fi = monotone voice heavy with passion, sometimes looks like Ti with the freeze, users tend to look kinda squinty when organizing emotional values (I think)
Oooooh. This is some really good stuff here. However, I do tend to do your description of Ni even though I have Ne. I often "think" by looking up to the sky over to right. This is because I'm trying to "picture" what is being said before I respond. I do it a lot, in fact. But I believe my movements to be much "faster" than Ni.

I would like to print out this cheat sheet and bring it with me. :laughing: And I bet you he will find it and we'd have another spat (lol). That just makes me want to do it more. :crazy:

Out of all of the above, which one of these would you say needs to keep everything positive and uncomplicated? That's got to be Se, wouldn't you think? Or perhaps it's some sort of Se with Ti combo: Relax, don't get your panties in a knot, there is a solution for everything. You just have to do this......

In comparison, Se with Fi tend to ask for my input more and have more visible worry moments.

Ne with Ti reads my sarcasm and we can keep a conversation going based on nothing else but bullshit. I think guy I'm describing would rather have sexy time than bullshit forever.

Ti dominant with Ne is much more dry than vice versa.

Yay! I'm coming up with my own system!
 

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MOTM Dec 2011
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There are a lot of problems with the test when you factor in age & culture & the way the someone sees a question versus what they test is actually trying to get at.
 
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Okay, this thread was inspired by this 41 year old guy I went out with a few months back. He was incredibly offended when I pulled out a test for him the first night we were together. But I was just trying to type him. :crazy:

So he ended up being very difficult and I think throwing the test. We also ended up only having one more date after that. Bottom line is- I'm a shit-disturber and he was a paranoid asshole. Okay, last time his results were INTP. Nope, no way. He is NOT an N. He plays too much fantasy football. But I don't know what the heck he is because he is too old for the descriptions. Hahaha.

Anyway, he was impossible to type especially because the tests are often geared towards 20 year olds. So when I was testing him, he would respond to the extroversion/introverted questions with "Well I used to hang out and go out all the time, but now......" Ugh. It was so difficult. And I see his point.

Anyway, I was given another chance. Lol. Even though things ended on a bad note two months ago because he thought I was "testing" him for relationship worthiness and trying to "stuff" him "in a box" and I thought he was being an insecure freak, we have forgiven each other. He has called me and asked me out again this weekend.

And although it made things bad to test him before, I am still determined to figure out his type! (Hahahaha!) Sooooooo.... I obviously can't bring up functions or MBTI again lest I hear how evil I am. So here's my plan: I've decided to pay attention to his energy level. He sorta moves around like my ISTP ex. I'm deciding where else to go from there :unsure:

Oh yeah, he also thinks my brain is "hyper". I think there may be some clues in that.....

Do you guys think there is a connection to brain activity, speed of speech, mannerisms, positive/negative outlook and type? Meaning, how should I rule out SP temperament? How do I rule out NF (although I think that's ruled out already), etc.

For instance, a mature T can sometimes appear F-y. I dated an older ENTP who had a lot of Fe already kicked in. What remains?

Maybe there is something to our little badge names for each type? Perhaps it is as simple as asking someone "Do you feel like you are a Mechanic? Doer? Inspirer? Caregiver? Maybe I'll work that into convo. Yeah! Help me, guys! I think I'm almost there. :laughing:
Wow....

I feel sorry for the guy.
 

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It seems to get harder earlier than 40 to type someone. It took me a while with my brother when he was in his mid-twenties, because he seemed very feeler-y and interested in making people comfortable/getting them to talk about themselves. Putting the focus entirely on them and seeming generally very Fe-like.

Nevertheless it's tertiary Fe without a doubt, because he hasn't always been like this, it was something that I could see had developed more recently, when I thought about it.

To be honest the whole development confuses the hell out of me because the developments aren't set in stone. It raises so many questions for me. When do we typically develop them? What triggers development earlier than usual? Are some functions easier to develop early than others? Can you develop them in a different order than you're set to? (E.g. could I develop Se before Ti or even somehow develop Fi or Si or something?) And many more...

I agree with you that as people get older they get much more difficult, which must surely also be due to their experience? They probably get better at working out where to use their functions and how to switch for ones that will help them in their situation when they consider how things turned out before for them, at least I think that's a possibility. It makes it about twenty times harder to figure them out though, I still can't work out my parent's and grandparent's types for this reason, I've just taken my best guess.
 

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Or perhaps MBTI is just too ridiculously dichotomic and limited to give any sort of solid answer or explanation on human behaviour.

:happy:
 

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Or perhaps MBTI is just too ridiculously dichotomic and limited to give any sort of solid answer or explanation on human behaviour.

:happy:
Are you suggesting that we are more than mere personality-theory descriptions?? :shocked: Why I can't believe you would say such a thing! I want to retaliate but my darn Fe-function apparently dictates that I am only allowed to express myself in fluffy cuddles and my type 9 dictates that this form of response is forbidden and I must instead repress and later slam a few doors REALLY HARD!

If only I had some kind of free-will and different experience to allow me to act in a non-prescribed way, then I'd be showing you a whole new story!

:wink:
 

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Do I detect the vaguest subtle hint of sarcasm, there?

Old people. Hmm. I typed my mother a few months back. She's 80. I absolutely could not figure her out, and I think that is partly because many of her functions are now developed (or as many as will ever be, I guess) and also because she is undoubtedly a powerful introvert, which I find always makes it difficult for me to type people.

Anyhoo, she came out as INTJ, but with a marginal T-F preference. I was very, very surprised.


....um, I guess that's irrelevant, isn't it. So here's another thing altogether: not all people over 40 take to nesting. I have been out clubbing in the last year, generally go to a couple of music festivals every year, like concerts, parties, you name it. I'm 47. I like new things, I like fun, I perform on stage, etc etc, but hey, I'm an ENTP, no surprise there.

What I am getting at is that people who settle down when they get to the age where it is expected that they settle down might just be of a more traditionalist mindset. Do you have yourself an SJ man, there?
 
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