Description

Welcome to The Once Lost Wanderer. The name is derived from two poems: Amazing Grace by reformed slave trader John Newton, and All That is Gold Does Not Glitter by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

What do Gandalf, Linus, and The Once Lost Wanderer have in common? (NOVA this week, March 19, 2016)



Gandalf, Linus and The Once Lost Wanderer are all INTP.

While perusing some book blogs recently, I happened upon three different bloggers who listed their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). MBTI is a systematic attempt to categorize human beings into various personality types. There are other systems of personality typing, but MBTI is one of the most widely accepted. It was developed by researchers Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers, and is based on the typological theory of Carl Jung. In MBTI, there are sixteen different personality types, designated by a four letter combination. 

I am INTP. That equates to (I)ntrovert, I(N)tuitive, (T)hinking, (P)erceiving.
As opposed to ESFJ: (E)xtrovert, (S)ensing, (F)eeling, (J)udging.
Everyone is either I or E; N or S; T or F; P or J

If you are one of those people like me, who dislikes being categorized too narrowly, disliking labels, it might relieve you to know that for each of the letter pairs, you can be anywhere on a continuum between the two extremes. For example, on the I or E continuum, I am distinctly I, but on the T or F continuum, I am very near the center. My point is, even though there are only 16 distinct personality types, when you think about the continuum, there are nearly endless possibilities. 

This is just scratching the surface of a very intriguing field of study.

As I said, I’m an INTP. Some famous INTPs: Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Rene Descartes, Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, Abraham Lincoln, Socrates, and Carl Jung himself. REALITY CHECK – if you google your own MBTI type, the list of famous people always comes up with pretty flattering examples. They tend to exclude people like Hitler, Caligula, Lee Harvey Oswald etc. I’m certain each type has its share of villains as well. I just throw this in here, because I despise elitism. There are support groups for every MBTI type, and sometimes they become very self-congratulating, exalting the heroes of the type, and implying INTPs (or ESFJs, or ISFJs, etc) are better people than other types. MBTI makes no such assertion. There are sinners and saints on the roles of any MBTI type you pick.

Way off track though. Not my point. Just a pet-peeve.

My favorite fictional INTP is Linus VanPelt (Peanuts). I compared myself to Linus, even before I knew what INTP meant, so that was validating. My second favorite is Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings). Other INTPs from literature: Bernard Marx (Brave New World), Howard Roark (The Fountainhead), John Galt (Atlas Shrugged), Klaus and Violet Baudelaire (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter), Mycroft Holmes  (Sherlock Holmes series).

But still really not my point. As I said in the beginning, I noticed three fellow book bloggers who listed their MBTI type. I’ve already forgotten exactly what they were, but all three were I – Introvert.
That would seem to make sense that introverts would be bookish types. Not exclusively of course. There are certainly extrovert book lovers. But I’m curious now fellow book bloggers; what is your MBTI type?

More details about my own MBTI profile:



11 comments:

  1. I guess there's a reason I always related to Gandalf. There are a few fictional INTPs but I think the other types are better represented in literature. Maybe INTPs are just either hard to write or boring to read(though I think we are, generally, the most interesting types).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Difficult to write about perhaps...and perhaps easier to portray. They are more abundant in TV and movies. Dr. House is INTP I think. Flattering no, interesting yes.

      Delete
  2. I'm INFP. No matter when or how many times I take those sort of tests, I always get the same result. I also expected that most book lovers in the blogosphere would be introverts as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am right on the cusp of T and F, and occasionally come out as INFP, but most consistently as INTP.

      Delete
  3. ISFJ. My favorite thing about MBTI is finding out what types all my favorite characters in various fandoms are, and seeing which ones are ISFJs. (And that's a very ISFJ thing, wanting to make comparisons a lot.) Fictional ISFJs include Sam Gamgee, John Watson, Ophelia (ouch), Gilbert Blythe, Matthew Cuthbert, Anne Elliot, Captain America, and Arthur Dent...

    BTW, thanks for putting my Poetry Month button up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think MBTI is fascinating, but I am no good, and don't try to figure out other people's type (real or fictional people). You're welcome.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I'm terrible at typing too. A blogging friend of mine has a great Tumblr called Funky MBTI in Fiction where she and others have typed hundreds of characters. It's fascinating fun!

      Delete
  4. I looked at a link to this because of your reference to Linus. Throughout my older sister's life (after Jung, but before Meyers Briggs was generally known about), she and I always felt that she was Lucy to my Linus (altho I'm a female). I never thought about Linus being an INTP, but of course! My sister is now deceased, but I might start trying to figure out what her type was. Thanks for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading and the feedback.

      Delete
  5. Luna and Violet are the best. I disagree with your typing of Gandalf (there seems to be a great debate on the Internet between people who think he's an INTJ, an INFJ or an INTP. I'm in the first camp, though I think all have reasonable arguments.)

    I second Hamlette's endorsement of Funky MBTI Fiction (even though they type Gandalf as an INFJ). They type using the cognitive functions, which I think yields more accurate results most of time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thomas Jefferson! Einstein! Lincoln! You are in QUITE good company. :)

    ReplyDelete

Comments are always welcome. In fact, they make my day. You needn't sign in to leave a comment. Just enter your comment, then on the "Comment as:" drop down menu, select "anonymous".