March 22, 2018: Psychology and Personality

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The first time I understood myself.

Psychology is what some people call a pseudoscience. This means that they believe its practice to mimic science but not actually be scientific. As a great lover, learner and practitioner of psychology I will say this. It’s a bit like the ocean. The human mind, much like the ocean, is abundant in information of which we are only cracking the surface of.

Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of psychology is the discussion of personality. I’m a little odd and LOVE taking new and different personality tests. Each one is set up and functions a little differently. Each one has different results and is testing for different things.

The FIRST time I took a personality test was in a Psychology class at OCC, with Peter Buckland. It was the Myers Briggs, probably the most well known and popular. My results were INTP. If you’ve never taken it before let me explain the basics. Myers Briggs tests four areas; introversion and extroversion, sensing and intuition, thinking and feeling, judging and perceiving.

There are those that think, based on your results you are one thing and not the other. So for instance, as an INTP, I am an intuitive introvert who has the ability to perceive through my thinking. Therefore I am not an extrovert who possess the skills of sensing, feeling and judging.

Really, this isn’t the case. I can be or possess those qualities but they are not dominate. It’s not a one or the other kind of thing, people don’t work that way.

I remember that when I got the results back one of the descriptions talked about INTP’s often struggle with empathy. A light bulb sort of went off, that was something that was true of me. It wasn’t that I didn’t posses the ability to empathize, it was just a struggle to find empathy in a situation that my logic took over.

As I kept reading I saw more and more things that seemed to hit the nail on the head. I saw myself through another pair eyes, one that not only saw but interpreted. Now, not everything was right on the money. Why? Because I’m an individual. I am the only me out there. And without knowing me personally there is no way to get it all right.

I think that moment was the one in which I found a true interest in Psychology. I liked that there was something out there that could not only help me to understand myself but understand the people around me. As I took more classes in it I actually found my empathy growing, I started seeing things in new ways with a wider perspective.

I eventually decided to continue following the path of psychology and pursued a masters in it.  I still find it as fascinating now as I at that very first psychology test.

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