Hello world. I was discussing personality inventories with my sister earlier today and wanted to expand the discussion to the intraverse.
Disclaimer: I’ve had many discussions on the validities of various personality tests and inventories, and I’m completely aware that contemporary psychological science finds the only truly valid system for assessing a person’s mind is a psychiatric inventory (at least, the last I read about it.) There are a host of issues with measuring personality traits: to put it in simple terms, it’s all a bit fuzzy and it’s difficult to design a cohesive and objective test. It would fair, I think, to say that just as people are a mass of conflicting needs/wants/emotions/motivations/childhood issues/personality disorders etc., a complete picture of a person would need to be just as convoluted, lengthy, and precise. There are other issues, as suggested in the link, such as statistical validity, the honesty and objectivity of the participants, and even the framing of questions can institute a bias. I am not a psych major, just an interested party.
The MOTIV and R-Drive systems came up in the aforemention discussion. These are an attempt by a long-time personality theorist (who, thanks to the internet, is able to run tests on an earnest general public) to navigate the various pitfalls and design a cohesive system that can provide an accurate picture of a person. According to the author, the R-Drive Personality Test (I recommend the longer test) basically measures a person by their favour of certain behaviours: the theory is that a person’s behaviour is primarily driven by what they perceive to deliver the greatest personal reward. Seems logical to me. Even if you favour altruism, you help others because somewhere inside your mind, you feel it is better for you to be that way. You find it personally rewarding. You tick a box of personal validation.
I found my results illuminating and wanted to share and compare/contrast with others:
My high scores are:
Perceived reward: External validation makes me happy
I acknowledge that I really enjoy positive feedback from others, depending on the setting(!) I hate public attention. That said, this is offset by:
The pursuit of being unique/different. I wouldn’t say it’s a need for me, but.. for better or worse, I am a strange/weird person, or at least I’ve always been perceived that way by others, and that is constantly reinforced by others behaviour and reactions to what I do and say. To some degree I enjoy it, but it’s like.. being a paraplegic. You have to learn to enjoy life the way you are.
“Being rational makes me happy.”
No surprise there.
“Dangerous potential flaws: No person is an island, trust issues, avoidant.”
(Note: I believe a trait is only negative if it delivers a destructive force on yourself and/or others. It would be perfectly fine to.. marry an invalid with Down Syndrome and Tourette’s so long as you’re both happy, and it’s consensual. In terms of behaviours, what’s healthy for you can be quite different to a healthy choice for others. Maturity is finding an amiable balance.)
“Pathological dishonesty, self serving vanity.”
No to the former, okay to the latter.
The descriptor page for this trait reveals a deeper picture: I’m shamed by failure, defensive, prefer to be right,
I’m more interested in financial reward than achievement for its own sake, skeptical of advice, take myself seriously, am standoffish, and critical. But I’m also a load of positive descriptors like: modest, honest, hard working, I try to be respectful and listen actively, I don’t openly criticise people and attempt to be empathetic.
I believe it’s swayed by my stating that I’m not open about myself, my intentions, beliefs etc. to others. I can be, but only after my trust and sense of safety is earned. I’m pushing against a sense of personal risk by posting this online.
I had a low score on emotional controls, but I don’t really buy the interpretation. I’m fantastic in a crisis, precisely because I’m disconnected, self-centred and logical. Okay, some crises. Personal crises, and people’s emotional crises, not so much. If you collapse into a pile of tears I’m most likely to act like: ‘What is this echidna and how do I pet it?’
We can distill further results into: disorganised hedonistic overly sexual individualist who enjoys excercise and is creatively driven, incidentally dismissive of religion, yet is too cautious to be terribly adventurous.
An Interdependence of 0% reveals an inability to work with others. I’m also highly conflict-avoidant with no desire to dominate yet am uncomfortable with authority, avoidant of people and emotional pain, identify as weird with a strong need for independence, hold a complete disregard for humanitarian causes and have no family drive. I’m seeing a pattern here.. One man who is an island. A tropical island that wants to be beautiful and appealing to others, yet prefers to remain an island and stand alone. Clearly I’m Hawaii.
I love the romanticism of being an archetype, I appreciate the ideal of being a Randian hero like Howard Roark or Henry Rearden (Yes, I just noticed they have the same initials myself), yet the isolation and alienation can be depressing.
The one thing that sticks out as not really me is a low score on Schizoid: “Not having feelings is easier” and a 0% on Obsessive prescribing that I find perfectionism to be useless. I am a perfectionist. Every detail has to be right and then some. I’ve rewritten this thing at least eight times. I’ve been counting.
Lets draw up a conclusion: I am a hedonist who treasures my ability to think, feel, and act alone. Despite this, I”m quite sensitive to feedback from other people. I love to be loved, I hate to be hated, I desire to appear attractive, yet I positively identify and act strange and overly logical. Quite an awkward position to hold in our world of interaction.
For an objective assessment of the system I would go as far as:
Would these results mean anything if there were not a blog post relating them into a mass of introspection? Without this, you may be able to draw some guesses as to the individual holding these traits, but, I suppose we identify people and their issues in light of working with others, their capacity for productivity and healthy social interaction. A person may be selfish and hard-working, or they may be selfish and lazy, they might be demanding, clingy, standoffish, funny, or dull. Sure, some of these are subjective assessments, but I believe it points out that we have our own internal yardstick for the value of a person, and the extent of their traits. Often these traits are interrelated. Clearly, you can rely on me to be a self-interested party to trumpet my own cause and accomplishments. If I can assist, I will, but only insofar as it benefits me because… life is too short to worry too much about others, especially when people tend to be a bunch of dicks.
I’m kidding, sort of. That was my assessment of humanity growing up.
Have you taken the R-Drive or another personality test and found it to be useful? How well did the results coincide with your view of yourself or others, and would you recommend it? I’d like to hear all about it. Please leave a note in the comments 🙂