Skip to main content

A personality quiz (#1039)

Topics/tags: Autobiographical

Recently, the Plans community has been taking and reporting on a new personality survey, an alternative to the Myers-Briggs and the ilk [1]. According to the designers, the survey will determine your similarity with a long list of fictional characters. I don’t recall the results from the first survey. In part, it’s that I’m woefully under-informed about modern popular culture; I’ve even forgotten much of the popular culture that used to be meaningful to may, such as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In part, it’s that I was more interested in my responses to the survey and, in trying to remember them [2], I forgot the results.

Since I’ve forgotten my responses and the results, it seems only appropriate that I take it again and report what I discover. I will likely skip some questions in describing the process but will do my best to document my results.

Here goes.

Am I more normal or weird? That’s an easy one. I may be a white-presenting, cisgender, heterosexual male, but I’m not particularly macho, read more than the average person, write more than the average person, take joy in strange jokes and rusty metal, and, well, think and act outside the box. We’ll go with fairly weird [3].

Am I more spiritual or skeptical? Skeptical of what? I’m skeptical of the president. I’m skeptical of Fox news. I’m skeptical of the claims of most software companies. But I don’t think that’s what the survey designers mean. I pray to a higher power, but I don’t get the same level of comfort from that my power that my truly spiritual friends get. Let’s push me slightly to the spiritual side.

Am I more artistic or scientific? That’s easy [4].

Am I more cheery or sorrowful? I take joy in a great many things. And I’m fat. Fat men are cheery, right?

Am I playful or serious? It depends on the context. And I believe in serious play. But I expect that most who know me would call me playful.

Am I fast or slow? I type fast but move slowly. And, wow, those terms have so many other loaded meanings. I’m going with a bit on the slow side.

Am I creative or conventional? Can’t you be both? And how does this differ from normal vs. weird? We’ll go with highly creative.

Am I more charming or awkward? For anyone who has watched me attempt social conversation that is not about my kids or my work, that’s an easy one.

Am I more orderly or chaotic? Stop laughing. That’s harder than you’d think. While the world I create around myself is the epitome of chaos, I also strive to organize myself in many ways. I enjoy organization, I just don’t have time for it.

Am I more arcane or mainstream? I’m confuzzled. Haven’t I answered a similar question twice before? Are they looking for validation?

Am I more blue-collar or ivory-tower? Well, I work in the equivalent of an ivory-tower, at least when I’m not sheltering at home, so this one seems obvious.

Am I more refined or rugged? How do I say neither? I’m leaving this one right in the middle.

Am I more loyal or traitorous? I’m not telling.

Am I more strict or lenient? Anyone who has recently asked me for an extension knows the answer to this one.

Am I more indulgent or sober? Once again, these don’t seem to be the ends of a spectrum to me. But at least it’s not another variant of the normal/weird spectrum. I indulge myself. I’ve been known to indulge my children. I sometimes indulge my students. But I rarely drink a lot. Let’s go with more indulgent than sober.

Am I more masculine or feminine? I self-identify as a cisgender heterosexual male. But I’ve been known to show traits that others identify as feminine. I care about those around me. I believe in communal projects. I even cry at sad movies.

Am I more brave or careful? Another strange dichotomy. I’d compare careless and careful. I don’t feel particularly brave. I speak out in faculty meetings, but that’s a relatively low-risk activity. Let’s tilt toward careful.

Am I more ludicrous or sensible? Isn’t it often sensible to be ludicrous? How else does one approach the ludicrous state of the world without adopting some of that state?

Am I more of a Luddite or a technophile? Believe it or not, but it’s hard to say. I teach technology, but that doesn’t mean that I’m someone who always uses the latest technology. I also teach people to be suspicious of technology. I’d put myself a bit more on the Luddite side, but just a bit.

Am I more modest or flamboyant? Perhaps because I know some very flamboyant people, it’s hard to call myself flamboyant. However, it’s hard to call myself modest. I’m proud of my accomplishments. I speak highly of them. And I certainly present myself in some flamboyant ways, whether it be my elderly professor look or my new shaved head.

Am I more frugal or lavish? I try to be responsible with money, but I also spend relatively lavishly on some things.

Am I more intellectual or physical? I like making things by hand, but my intellect is core to my personality. Let’s put me far on the intellectual side.

Am I more trusting or suspicious? It depends on who you compare me to. I’m much less trusting than my mother, so if I use her as the norm, I’d say suspicious. I’m much more trusting than my mother-in-law. Were I to comparemyself ot her, I’d have say trusting. In general, I tend to expect the best of people, so taht guides my answer.

Am I more tense or relaxed? That’s easy.

Am I more angelic or demonic? I do a lot of nice things, or at least I try to do a lot of nice things. I’m a harsh grader (that’s nice, right?). I care about my students, my family, the people around me. But I indulge in the sin of gluttony. Let’s say 75% angelic and 25% demonic.

Am I more wise or foolish? Can’t I just check sophomoric? I’m both. Or perhaps neither. I’m going to assume I’ve learned something in my fifty-five years and suggest that I’m more on the wise side [5].

Am I more dominant or submissive? In professional situations, I tend to take the lead. I’m going with dominant, although not completely.

Am I more ferocious or more of a pacifist? Where does wimp fall on this scale? I think of real pacifists as being ferociously pacifistic. But I prefer peaceful resolutions to conflict, so we’ll put me on the pacifist side.

Ooh! Time for the optional survey. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about any of the shows they’ve chosen. I’ve not watched Lost or Crazy Rich Asians or Silicon Valley [6] or Cowboy Bebop or Downton Abbey or Parks and Recreation or Stargate SG-1 or The Wire or Mean Girls or Game of Thrones. I haven’t watched Twin Peaks since grad school. It’s been nearly as long since I’ve watched Law & Order: SVU, Jurassic Park, The Simpsons, or Pirates of the Caribbean. I guess I can try Marvel Cinematic Universe. I think I’ve watched most of the movies once.

Is Gamora more politically correct or edgy? Is that a real dichotomy? Don’t know, skip.

Is Tony Stark more remote or involved? I’m going with 75% remote. I should probably have chosen a larger number.

Is Loki more resigned or resistant? Resistant. Certainly.

Is Peggy Carter more focused on the present or the future? I have no idea.

Is the Black Panther more permanent or transient? I’m not even sure what they intend by those terms. I am clearly not a helpful participant.

Is Thanos more modest or flamboyant? I expect that he’d call himself modest, but I"m going with the other one.

Is Tony Stark more loyal or traitorous? Isn’t loyalty a key aspect of the avengers?

Is Clint Barton more self-conscious or self-assured? The latter.

Is Bruce Banner more happy or sad? Angry.

Okay, I’m sick of recording my answers. Sorry. Some of the dichotomies remain strange. Awkward vs. Suspicious? Really? Jealous or Compersive? What does compersive even mean?

My results say that I my closest match is Craig Pelton of Community. I have no idea what that means. I’ve never seen Community. We match at 81%. Next up is Fogell (McLovin) from Superbad. I also have no idea what that means. We also match at 81%. Next up is Andy Bernard from The Office at 80%. Another show I haven’t watched [7]. At number four we have Raj Koothrappali at 80%. Finally, one I know! I’d swear that I was closer to Leonard. Certainly, Michelle claims that I’m most like him. (Or perhaps it’s that she thinks our mothers are similar.) But we only have a 63% match. It doesn’t help that I’m more of an alpha personality and that I consider myself much more artistic than scientific [8].

Here are the top thirty matches.

  1. Craig Pelton (Community): 81%
  2. Fogell (McLovin) (Superbad): 81%
  3. Andy Bernard (The Office): 80%
  4. Raj Koothrappali (The Big Bang Theory): 80%
  5. Damian Leigh (Mean Girls): 80%
  6. Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter): 79%
  7. Michael Scott (The Office): 79%
  8. Paul Kinsey (Mad Men): 78%
  9. Fez (That 70’s Show): 77%
  10. Horace Slughorn (Harry Potter): 76%
  11. Stan Rizzo (Mad Men): 75%
  12. Goh Peik Lin (Crazy Rich Asians): 75%
  13. Phoebe Buffay (Friends): 74%
  14. Charlie Pace (LOST): 74%
  15. Howard Wolowitz (The Big Bang Theory): 74%
  16. Ian Duncan (Community): 74%
  17. Timon (The Lion King): 74%
  18. June George (Mean Girls): 74%
  19. Hugo Hurley Reyes (LOST): 73%
  20. Moaning Myrtle (Harry Potter): 72%
  21. Nymphadora Tonks (Harry Potter): 72%
  22. Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City): 72%
  23. Vince Masuka (Dexter): 72%
  24. Bert Cooper (Mad Men): 72%
  25. John Hammond (Jurassic Park): 72%
  26. Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter): 71%
  27. Aang (Avatar: The Last Airbender): 71%
  28. Tom Haverford (Park and Recreation): 71%
  29. Effie Trinket (The Hunger Games): 71%
  30. Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): 71%

I had to go to thirty to get to someone from Buffy. I’ll accept Willow as a close-enough match from that show. It’s been a decade or so since I watched it last, so it’s hard to think of who might be a better match.

Wasn’t that fun?

[1] Yes, ilk is a word. I have not misspelled milk.

[2] And failing.

[3] I am not documenting exact numbers.

[4] We’ll leave it to the reader to decide what the easy decision is.

[5] Certainly, a bunch of people call me a wise ass.

[6] Well, I’ve watched a few episodes, but not enough to know it well.

[7] Did I mention that I am clueless about popular media?

[8] That’s the answer to the earlier question.

Version 1.0 of 2020-04-04.