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Aro personality type


Holmbo

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The discussion in the MBTI thread made me wonder: what would be a personality type system most useful to aromantics (in so far that personality types have use).

I feel like it would probably include extroversion/introversion because that's such a common thing to note. I also think some kind of commitment/autonomy could be useful, because some aros want more freedom while others desire for things to be more settled and predictable even though that also creates more obligations for them.

What categories do you think should be included?

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I like the distinction that William James makes, except for the wording. "Tough-minded vs. tender-minded" is a bit ridiculous.

So I would phrase it "concrete" vs "abstract" (or "principled") thinking style. Some people value hard empirical facts more, others grand, lofty concepts, ideas and principles.

To me, this axis was very important, and it really helped me to understand other people better.

It's related to S-N in the MBTI, though I think that MBTI is inferior here. Because it can't be about "sensing" in literal narrow meaning like physical senses, though it's described that way. Don't we have e.g. measurement instruments or many other sources of hard data? 😉

And why is the opposite "intuition"? I mean in a very special technical sense:

Quote

intuition, in philosophy, the power of obtaining knowledge that cannot be acquired either by inference or observation, by reason or experience. (Britannica)

... it perhaps makes sense. But normally intuition is understood as gut feeling, something emotional.

On 12/14/2023 at 9:17 AM, Holmbo said:

I also think some kind of commitment/autonomy could be useful, because some aros want more freedom while others desire for things to be more settled and predictable even though that also creates more obligations for them.

Yes, under the assumption that this is not correlated with extroversion-introversion (which is probably true).

Thinking vs. Feeling is also an important axis, but MBTI makes this way too much about "giving others a pass when they believe stupid things vs. correcting them and not caring about social consequences".

An important difference, but it seems mostly learned behavior and very dependent on context and even culture.

Also: who does not feel? Who does not think? This axis has to be more about the weighing of rationality vs. emotions in decision-making and beliefs.

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I kinda feel like most personality charts are held down by being dichotomous. Give me a stat star or something. Though this would involve some dichotomy it would be more like "this thing vs not theis thing" rather than " this thing vs something we have decided is opposite". For instance are S and N opposites or is it that some people are better at explaining why they make their choices than others? Is empiricism not also a grand ideal? Do those who create a settled life not create it with their autonomy? Is it really useful to separate these?

My x not x solution is still pretty bad though, for instance if you put thinking or reason as a category I can't imagine many people thinking positively about being unthinking or unreasonable, at least not from my cultural context (USA). You might be able to avoid this a bit by switching words, for instance being not empirically minded doesn't seem that bad, but it still is very context sensitive what words would be neutral enough for this.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I apparently mean a radar chart. Stat star is just what me and my sister called them, probably should have checked before mentioning. It mostly came to mind since the center is always zero so you can't do s vs n you can only do s vs not s.

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11 hours ago, Balfrog said:

I kinda feel like most personality charts are held down by being dichotomous. Give me a stat star or something. Though this would involve some dichotomy it would be more like "this thing vs not theis thing" rather than " this thing vs something we have decided is opposite". For instance are S and N opposites or is it that some people are better at explaining why they make their choices than others? Is empiricism not also a grand ideal? Do those who create a settled life not create it with their autonomy? Is it really useful to separate these?

I also thought about this, but ultimately rejected the idea.

For me, personality tests should also focus on communication. They flatter people a bit (hopefully without a Barnum effect) because otherwise they will not accept and share their results.

I also believe in the perhaps controversial idea that there are no (obviously) "worse" or "better" personalities. I mean, you can't rank them. There are at first glance difficult personalities, but it really depends on context and what place people find in life.

But if you don't have contrary pairs, your test either becomes an aptitude test or it has implicit contraries.

The New Personality Self-Portrait Test has no pairs, but what do you think "0 % solitary" should mean? You can just call it "sociable".

Now regarding traits like autonomy, commitment, rationality, creativity, etc. they're all positive. So if you do not pair them, you get an aptitude test.

It's just bad to be 0 % autonomous and 0% committed. This is like Veruca Salt.

But as a pair, it's not worse when there is conflict to lean more towards autonomous, or more towards committed.

It's just bad to be 0 % rational and 0 % creative. But again, if there's conflict, and you logically can't have both (like deciding on a career) it's not bad to lean one way or the other.

On the other hand, some Renaissance person type, like Leonardo da Vinci, would score very high on rational and creative, and would get an objectively better test result than an average human.

tl;dr the contrary-pairs aren't really contraries. But in life, typically conflict situations arise, and then they become contraries, and your leaning towards one or the other becomes important.

11 hours ago, Balfrog said:

My x not x solution is still pretty bad though, for instance if you put thinking or reason as a category I can't imagine many people thinking positively about being unthinking or unreasonable, at least not from my cultural context (USA). You might be able to avoid this a bit by switching words, for instance being not empirically minded doesn't seem that bad, but it still is very context sensitive what words would be neutral enough for this.

I don't see a way around it. It's no surprise that most personality tests have pairs of contraries.

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5 hours ago, DeltaAro said:

It's just bad to be 0 % rational and 0 % creative. But again, if there's conflict, and you logically can't have both (like deciding on a career) it's not bad to lean one way or the other.

See the ish for me is that I don't think rationality and creativity conflict enough to be useful. Like what is rational for you is based on your knowledge and experience, which you also use to create. If I wanted a career with both I would probably go for something like math, where you need creativity to find solutions and rationality to make sure it works.

 

5 hours ago, DeltaAro said:

The New Personality Self-Portrait Test has no pairs, but what do you think "0 % solitary" should mean? You can just call it "sociable".

My actual solution for this would probably be "how much community do you need to be satisfied?" Rather than solitary and sociable, which I don't super see as opposites, you can be like me be sociable but only need a small community.

Really I agree that my suggestion doesn't really work all to well, but I don't think things that are socially considered to be in conflict necessarily are. I feel like this obscures personality, altho not as much as the binaries the mbti deals in (that was the other thing that made me think of radar charts but could also be solved with sliders).

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17 hours ago, Balfrog said:

If I wanted a career with both I would probably go for something like math, where you need creativity to find solutions and rationality to make sure it works.

Yes, math needs creativity and it can have its own beauty.

But the possibilities to creatively express yourself are strongly restricted by mathematics' demand for validity and rigor. E.g. while there are many ways to prove a theorem, you will never have the nigh infinite combinations that are possible in the fine arts. And the proof also has to be presented in a slick and rigorous manner.

Also, many parts of math are simply dry. You can praise the beauty of math all day long, but it won't make the quadratic formula, the law of cosines, integration by parts, polynomial division, etc. more attractive. Yet this is very important basic stuff and has to be learned.

Therefore, math is a less (!) creative endeavor compared (!) to the fine arts. The common "stereotype" is true.

Our discussion reminds me a bit of (sorry for this weird comparison) the attempts to rehabilitate the Vikings. Yes, it wasn't all marauding and pillaging. They could be reasonable, and did some good things for Europe, like exploring or spreading technology. But please don't forget: usually it was very bad news when the Vikings came.

Most personality tests have those simplified assumptions built-in, like that there are these somewhat incompatible traits. While I totally agree that the truth is way more complicated and nuanced than pop science media tells us (e.g. left-brain vs. right-brain), IMHO we also shouldn't err too much in the other direction.

17 hours ago, Balfrog said:

My actual solution for this would probably be "how much community do you need to be satisfied?" Rather than solitary and sociable, which I don't super see as opposites, you can be like me be sociable but only need a small community.

But there's also a difference in how much time you want to spend with someone else. You see, this gets complicated fast...

Yes, the common labels are crude, and you can justifiably doubt how much they're opposites. But providing more nuance would introduce new ambiguities and the other problems I mentioned.

The simple "solitary vs. sociable" or "introverted vs. extroverted" is snappy and easy to understand. For me, it's still the best option.

17 hours ago, Balfrog said:

Really I agree that my suggestion doesn't really work all to well, but I don't think things that are socially considered to be in conflict necessarily are. I feel like this obscures personality, altho not as much as the binaries the mbti deals in (that was the other thing that made me think of radar charts but could also be solved with sliders).

Yes, MBTI without percentages or at least a neutral option is simply silly.

But even the best personality test would obscure something about our real personalities. You literally put people into boxes. So IMHO, they aren't tools to get to know a person, but to understand other's perspectives better. See the quote by William James, he says: no person really fits may categorization. It's crude. But it's a tool for more empathy and understanding.

PS: all I wrote here is just my subjective opinion, I don't claim those are hard facts

20 hours ago, CanadianBird said:

That's why you'll see polar opposite types such as INTPs, ESTPs and ISTPs all sharing a skeptic view of romance.

I'm very skeptical of romance 🤪, but I'm INFP.

20 hours ago, CanadianBird said:

Please read my post above. T/F does not indicate how much you feel or don't. It is a though process and I think I explain why fairly well :)

I referred more to the naming of this axis and how most popular tests online present it that way.

Never read the 1944 book for MBTI, because the fundamental flaw of MBTI is the dichotomizing. 51 % => F, 49 % => T.

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