Hey, Ph.D., students, here’s an idea.
Do you know about the Myers-Briggs personality test? Well, here’s a link. But if you want a rough outline, it’s a personality test that results in giving you a 4-letter identifier for your personality type.
Okay, so what then?
Well, it could be quite fascinating that each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types (more on that later) could possibly be associated with Greek archetypal gods. For example, Narcissus would likely fit neatly into a narrow corner of the Myers-Briggs matrix.
Sigh. Well, here’s what I mean.
There is a 4-letter description (or identifier, if you will) that can categorize a person as one of the Roman archetypes. Let’s investigate this idea further. First, what are the four categories of traits?
World focus: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
So, there’s the set of letters. It’s a set of 4 letters. Each one of the 4 letters can be selected from a choice of 2:
- E or I
- S or N
- T or F
- J or P
Me? I’m an INTJ. That’s, basically, trouble. But I’d rather not get into that here. The point is, there is a set of 4 letter that would identify your tendencies.
But here’s my point. Is it possible that the Roman mythological demigods (and the like) neatly align with the Myers-Briggs test result categories? Does each one of the 16 possible Myers-Briggs categories neatly exemplify a Roman god? And could that be used for illustrative purposes during psychotherapy sessions? For example, if someone was intensely narcissistic, that person would fit in a specific category every time, because the “syndrome” has constricted that person’s activities. Can a clear-cut Myers-Briggs score indicate a personality issue on the subconscious level?
But …, let’s start with the 4 categories of letters?
Here ya go. Your 4 letters designate you as:
Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
Well, I bet you could pass Psychology 101 if you could guess if Donald Trump is an extrovert or introvert. Yes, extrovert. Doh!
So, Narcissus is an introvert. For the 2nd letter, let’s look at Judging or Perceiving. I do not see Narcissus as a perceiver. That’s not how he interacts with the world; instead, he has judged from Day 1. And so we know 2 of the letters. He’s an I and a J.
But what about the other 2 letter choices? Well, first, Narcissus doesn’t think; he just sits around admiring himself. The beauty of his reflection floods his senses, and he bathes in the feeling. That feeling is how he interacts with the world, what gives the world meaning to him. Therefore, he is F (feeling).
GREAT! Now we have 3 letters. I (blank) FJ. And for the 4th letter, we ask ourselves, would Narcissus be a Sensing or Intuition person? Hmmm. To me, Narcissus is enamored by his senses. They control him. Specifically, the sight of his reflection in a pool of water. Therefore, I would classify Narcissus as a Sensing person.
ISFJ (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)
So, it appears that there’s enough meat on this bone for some Ph.D. student to come a grab it and run with it. I’ll even be so kind as to keep it rolling a bit more. I’m kinda intrigued about the thought that a clear-cut Myers-Briggs “score” could be a sign of trouble (in the inner psychic sense). If I remember correctly, my scores were mostly near the border. For example, I’m a J for Judging (J), but if I had answered 1 or 2 questions in a different way, I would have crossed over into Perceiving (P).
I’ll continue with this line of thought in my next blog. It’s quite possible that a pattern will emerge that is unexpected. And that indeed is how many scientific discoveries are made, by stumbling onto them while in the pursuit of some other truth. So, I’ll try to keep an open mind as we work through this. If someone notices a pattern that I don’t, please chime in.