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A Real Personality Profile of a Lighweight Backpacker (instead of demographic sketch)
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Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Poster child for Introvert on 12/24/2008 10:51:24 MST Print View


I = 100 (Does this mean I should hike solo?)
S = 50
T = 75
J = 67

By the way Bill, there's no such thing as an "S" in the 4th category. Try a P or a J. Sorry, but the "S" in me focuses on details like that. I know another ISTJ, and we agree our conversations would drive anyone else nuts.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Poster child for Introvert on 12/24/2008 11:02:21 MST Print View

Hi Kathleen,

I guess I need to learn how to read my own handwritting. You are right it is a "J".

You don't need to hike solo just bring along a set of ear plugs for each of the folks you hike with.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
interesting results thus far on 12/24/2008 11:56:38 MST Print View

I don't know about anybody else, but the results thus far have been really interesting to me. Clearly, when a personality type is found in just 1% of the general population, yet occurs in a much higher percent of this ULB population, it seems like something is different here in this community. I look forward to sitting back and watching more results get posted.

vino vampire!

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
ISTJ on 12/24/2008 12:06:02 MST Print View


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
INTJ on 12/24/2008 12:53:27 MST Print View


The 'career path' reads like my resume.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
profile on 12/24/2008 13:22:38 MST Print View


You are:

* slightly expressed introvert
* moderately expressed sensing personality
* slightly expressed feeling personality
* slightly expressed judging personality

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
about the test on 12/24/2008 14:01:02 MST Print View

Here's something I found that is helpful in understanding the test results:

Many versions of the MBTI and related instruments reveal a “strength of preference” score beside each of the 4 letters in the code. This score is simply an indication of how sure you were about answering the questions the way you did. These scores are primarily intended for the type professional administering the instrument to use when assessing the true type of the client. They are NOT an indication of how “strong” you are at “doing” any of the functions!

The MBTI is based on Jung’s theory of psychological type, which posits a dichotomous preference between the pairs of functions. A low score on any dimension does NOT mean that you can easily flip between them, or that you’re not sure which you are — all it means is that the prevailing conditions that influenced the way you answered the questions meant that you were unsure about some of the answers you gave. It simply means that your contextual or developed self was intruding into the answers that your core self would have given.

If you answer the instrument more than once over a period of time, you may find that you get different values in these scores. This is normal and is merely an indication of the different environmental factors at work — it does NOT mean you are “becoming more INTJ” or “less INTJ”. What’s significant is that the basic code should stay the same.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Profile on 12/24/2008 14:05:30 MST Print View

I'm just glad is didn't turn out a -


Wait, maybe I did.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Yup on 12/24/2008 14:15:49 MST Print View

Another INTJ here.

A quick search on the internet yields:

"To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know."

This may explain why these forums are so useful, so full of freely given, good, "non-positional" information. I think the INTJ type is as eager to learn something new as he is to impart something he knows.

Of course, this is not to minimize the contribution of other types. I don't really know much about the various permutations-- Meyers-Briggs is not one of my specialized knowledge systems! :>)

Edited by swimjay on 12/24/2008 14:17:18 MST.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
Atlantic Monthly article from 2003 on introversion on 12/24/2008 14:58:38 MST Print View

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

If so, do you tell this person he is "too serious," or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren't caring for him properly. Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.

I know. My name is Jonathan, and I am an introvert.

Oh, for years I denied it. After all, I have good social skills. I am not morose or misanthropic. Usually. I am far from shy. I love long conversations that explore intimate thoughts or passionate interests. But at last I have self-identified and come out to my friends and colleagues. In doing so, I have found myself liberated from any number of damaging misconceptions and stereotypes. Now I am here to tell you what you need to know in order to respond sensitively and supportively to your own introverted family members, friends, and colleagues. Remember, someone you know, respect, and interact with every day is an introvert, and you are probably driving this person nuts. It pays to learn the warning signs.

What is introversion? In its modern sense, the concept goes back to the 1920s and the psychologist Carl Jung. Today it is a mainstay of personality tests, including the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say "Hell is other people at breakfast." Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.

Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn't antisocial. It isn't a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: "I'm okay, you're okay—in small doses."

How many people are introverts? I performed exhaustive research on this question, in the form of a quick Google search. The answer: About 25 percent. Or: Just under half. Or—my favorite—"a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population."

Are introverts misunderstood? Wildly. That, it appears, is our lot in life. "It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert," write the education experts Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig. (They are also the source of the quotation in the previous paragraph.) Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.

Are introverts oppressed? I would have to say so. For one thing, extroverts are overrepresented in politics, a profession in which only the garrulous are really comfortable. Look at George W. Bush. Look at Bill Clinton. They seem to come fully to life only around other people. To think of the few introverts who did rise to the top in politics—Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon—is merely to drive home the point. With the possible exception of Ronald Reagan, whose fabled aloofness and privateness were probably signs of a deep introverted streak (many actors, I've read, are introverts, and many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors), introverts are not considered "naturals" in politics.

Extroverts therefore dominate public life. This is a pity. If we introverts ran the world, it would no doubt be a calmer, saner, more peaceful sort of place. As Coolidge is supposed to have said, "Don't you know that four fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear if we would just sit down and keep still?" (He is also supposed to have said, "If you don't say anything, you won't be called on to repeat it." The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself.)

With their endless appetite for talk and attention, extroverts also dominate social life, so they tend to set expectations. In our extrovertist society, being outgoing is considered normal and therefore desirable, a mark of happiness, confidence, leadership. Extroverts are seen as bighearted, vibrant, warm, empathic. "People person" is a compliment. Introverts are described with words like "guarded," "loner," "reserved," "taciturn," "self-contained," "private"—narrow, ungenerous words, words that suggest emotional parsimony and smallness of personality. Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty.

Are introverts arrogant? Hardly. I suppose this common misconception has to do with our being more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive than extroverts. Also, it is probably due to our lack of small talk, a lack that extroverts often mistake for disdain. We tend to think before talking, whereas extroverts tend to think by talking, which is why their meetings never last less than six hours. "Introverts," writes a perceptive fellow named Thomas P. Crouser, in an online review of a recent book called Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money? (I'm not making that up, either), "are driven to distraction by the semi-internal dialogue extroverts tend to conduct. Introverts don't outwardly complain, instead roll their eyes and silently curse the darkness." Just so.

The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."

How can I let the introvert in my life know that I support him and respect his choice? First, recognize that it's not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's an orientation.

Second, when you see an introvert lost in thought, don't say "What's the matter?" or "Are you all right?"

Third, don't say anything else, either.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Great post on 12/24/2008 15:45:24 MST Print View

Thanks for that great post. It's informative, sure, but even better, it's extraordinarily well written. In general, the quality of the language used on these forums is quite high, and a pleasure, but this was especially great.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
correcting something on 12/24/2008 17:08:54 MST Print View

James - I may be wrong, but your post seems to suggest that you believe the poster on this forum wrote the long piece on introverts, but the subject line suggests that he cut & pasted something from The Atlanic. Just wanted to be clear.


Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Memo to self--read the subject line, carefully on 12/24/2008 18:01:27 MST Print View

Thanks, Thomas. You're right, and I've already PM-ed Tim, apologizing.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
no, I can't take credit, but it really is a great article, isn't it? on 12/24/2008 19:11:52 MST Print View

I read it several years ago, but could still remember enough to google it the first time.

James, no need for an apology.

I'm also an INTJ. I suspect that most who participate in internet forums tend toward introversion, so I'm not sure we can conclude lightweight backpackers tend toward introversion.

Somebody needs to write a dissertation on this, and how our personalities direct decision making in the wild. See, I really am an INTJ.

Heh, everybody out there have a Merry Christmas! I'm going to go socialize now, just don't expect me to talk about it...

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Another... on 12/24/2008 21:39:49 MST Print View

INTP here (though the P and J are almost equal in score).

As a group, we're definitely skewed from the norm...

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Internet Usage on 12/24/2008 22:19:16 MST Print View

I definitely agree that internet forum usage likely has some affect on the results, and those trends towards "I" for example, may be a result. Perhaps a similar survey could be conducted over at one of the traditional backpacker forums, for a non-scientific sample with which to contrast.

Update - after searching forums, looks like they had similar results, especially in regards to the INTJ:;f=852107219;t=9991112120;st=0

Further update - and here is a post from a laptop forum from a random google search, looks like the numbers are highly skewed due to internet usage:

Last INTJ fueled google search - yields a non-scientific sample of about 200 outdoor enthusiasts - note only 3.5% INTJ, but on the INTJ page, a heavy slant towards backpacking. Maybe there is some validity to the numbers:

Now off to start planning how to spend money I don't have on 40% of items tommorow...

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 12/24/2008 22:36:50 MST.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Mixed results on 12/25/2008 01:17:10 MST Print View

I've changed to an 'E' this morning. So i'm an extrovert in the morning, and become introverted at night.
Leave me alone, i'm tired! :)

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
INTJ/INTP on 12/25/2008 12:45:40 MST Print View

I guess it makes sense that INTJ/INTP's would be represented disproportionately here--an introverted person would welcome the way he can leave a virtual "conversation" whenever he wishes, and an intuitive person would be able to have enough of a sense, from subtle cues of phrasing, context, etc., of those with whom he was "conversing" for the conversation to be satisfying.

Perhaps, in an earlier time, INTJ/INTP types were letter writers.

Edited by swimjay on 12/25/2008 12:58:09 MST.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Mixed results on 12/25/2008 17:28:32 MST Print View

Years ago I had to participate in a job related seminar that used the M-B personality tests. It was done to understand the team's individual types so as to be able to work better. A point made was that you can be a different type at work versus at home or in another circumstance. Also, your types can change.

Here's the M-B in a nutshell...

What world do you like? the outer world (E) OR on your own inner world (I)?

How do you learn? direct hands on, touchy-feely (S) OR interpret the symbols and increase their meaning (N)?

What makes up your mind? logical and consistent processes (T) OR people and special situations (F)?

How do you handle the outside world? go ahead and make a decision, shut it down (J) OR keep things open for more options (P)?

What I found really interesting was that my wife and I are totally opposites. We've been married over 32 years. One thing for sure, when we argue it's really weird. I've always thought that being aware of our types helps us understand each other, and she says M-B is a bunch of crap.


Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute.


Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Mixed results on 12/25/2008 18:26:28 MST Print View


Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and what they contribute.


Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical."

Hi George,
This sounds to me very similar to the traditional role definitions of man and woman. Not saying they currently apply to men and women, just how they were traditionally viewed.
We have also been married just over 32 years and, as in your case, when we argue it's really weird. Mostly we don't argue anymore, so it's no big deal. I wonder if the people of our generation are a bit more locked into traditional roles that don't quite the M-B test parameters, at least in our domestic environment? Complicating factor in my case is that my wife was born into a very traditional society where M-B would almost certainly have been considered crap, albeit more diplomatically put, if one were to ask them about it. Hmmmm. Maybe next time we visit family...