08 November, 2012

Test Results

When I was young, I was a fan of The Spark, an online community that revolved around taking tests and quizzes about one's personality. It was silly, but I was serious enough about it to actually stay on the site for years, even after they switched over to OkCupid, which is primarily a dating and friendship finding community site.

While most of those tests are now the kind of thing that I don't take seriously at all, there are quite a few that nonetheless have some minor level of legitimacy to them. As I was taking the 2012 LessWrong Census/Survey, quite a few of these test results were requested, and so I ended up retaking several of the more scientific ones. It seemed wasteful to only allow that information to be used for CFAR, so I thought it might be appropriate to pull together these results here in a blog post. Consolidating this data is probably not worth reading for most of my blog subscribers (feel free to close this page now, all of you), but if you're the Eric of the future who is wanting to compare results from these tests taken years later, this is as good a place as any for me to compile the data.

So, without further ado, I present the results of several personality (and other) tests taken this year.

Big Five (OCEAN)

The Big Five test scores on openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism. (Hence why it is sometimes referred to as the OCEAN test.) These personality traits are often used by psychologists as a model of human personality. I took the test at outofservice.com/bigfive. My scores are available there, and reproduced below.

  • Openness: 96%
  • Conscientiousness: 96%
  • Extraversion: 4%
  • Agreeableness: 87%
  • Neuroticism: 1%

Political Compass

Political stances differ widely between most people, not just in terms of economic Left and Right, but also in terms of social libertarian/authoritarian values. The test at politicalcompass.org does an exemplary job of tracking one's political views on a two-dimensional grid. My results are available there, as well as below.

  • Economic: -10.00
  • Social: -8.62

Intelligence Quotient

First of all, IQ is not really a useful measure. A simple search through the skeptical literature on how IQ tests are used in our society will easily show this. However, it does have the minor legitimate use of determining one thing in particular: the aptitude of the person taking the test in how well they perform on IQ tests. That sounds silly, but hey: at least it's true. The IQ test I took is available at iqtest.dk, and is wholly pattern oriented, with all cultural questions removed. I scored 122, which is about twenty points less than the score I received in independent testing during my childhood. I'm not sure if this rather dramatic drop says something about the earlier test, this test, or specifically about me.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Jungian typological theories are underneath the MBTI questionnaire, and break down the personality in terms of sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. The validity of this test is about on par with IQ; it is currently used, but the evidence for it being useful is lackluster in comparison to how often the test is given. Nevertheless, mainstream opinion seems to be neutral, as opposed to for or against, so it is included here as well. I took the test at Humanmetrics Jung typology test, and received an INTJ classification.
  • Strong preference of Introversion over Extraversion (78%)
  • Strong preference of Intuition over Sensing (100%)
  • Moderate preference of Thinking over Feeling (25%)
  • Moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving (44%)

Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R)

While all of the above tests were taken in early November of 2012, the results of the PCL-R I record here come from a self-test administered in May of 2012. The PCL-R is a checklist for sociopathic tendencies, and has both adherents and critics in the field, making it unclear as to how seriously one should take the results. The vast majority of people score a 3 or less on the test; sociopaths generally score 25+. I scored 8. Among all friends that I've talked into taking the test, I am by far the highest. (The highest any of my friends has so far scored is 3.) I'm not sure what this says about any sociopathic tendencies I may or may not have, though I should take pains to assure readers that most people consider me to be a very moral person in general.

Final Notes

If for some reason someone is still reading who isn't me in the future, then you might possibly be interested in knowing where you can find more data from tests I've taken or questions I've answered. I will direct such people to my OkCupid profile, which has well over a thousand questions published that I've answered publicly. While OKC is branded as a dating site, the sheer amount of public data there on questions ranging from personality to morality, everyday outlook to political persuasion, and even metaphysical philosophy to aesthetic tastes can be useful for any number of non-relationship purposes. Also related is my Combosaurus account, which has several additional data points. Combosaurus is currently in alpha, so may not be visible to most people yet. They're run by the same engineers behind The Spark and OkCupid.

Also of interest may be my responses to the PhilPapers Survey of philosophers, which lists just about every philosophical position I have on mainstream philosophical questions.


  1. As part of accepting a new job, I had to take the MBTI again, but this time it was given to me by a professional instead of being just an online test. I was again scored as an INTJ, although they considered the INT part to be quite clear with only a moderate preference for J.

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