In previous posts, I have discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of survival groups. One of the big disadvantages I always raise is the issue of how do you know who you should allow into your group? And who should you avoid at all costs?
There are a number of personality tests that can be relatively easily used to determine the type of person someone is. Once you know what a stranger’s personality is – hopefully you will be in a much stronger position to decide whether they would make a successful addition to you group.
Carl G. Jung’s theory of psychological types and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
These personality tests categorise people by their general attitude. The results are given as a four letter acronym. The personality types given are:
•Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I)
•Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
•Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
•Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
There are a potential of 16 personality types that are given in this test. The results will also show the percentage of how far into that trait you are. This does not mean that all individuals will fall strictly into one category or another. If someone has a high percentage of being extraverted, that does not mean that they don’t also behave as an introvert sometimes. Everyone behaves in each of the personality traits. However they tend to always fall back into their main trait. This is when they will perform to the best of their abilities and feel most comfortable.
A person with an ENTJ personality type is likely to be a very good leader in a survival situation.
The Big Five personality traits
In psychology, the Big Five personality traits are five words that are used to describe the personality of people. This is often referred to as the five-factor model (FFM). The five factors in the model are openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. These factors then have secondary traits that further categorise an individual’s personality. An example of this is that beneath extroversion are traits such as excitement seeking, assertiveness etc.
As neuroticism is when someone has a tendency to experience negative emotions like anger, depression etc. These types of people will likely be a very difficult member of the group to work with. They are likely to need lots of reassurance that everything will be ok. Also close monitoring to ensure they do not have angry outbursts at other group members. Agreeableness would be a good trait for new group members as they are likely to join in with the group’s tasks without causing too much difficulty.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter
This personality test categorises people into four temperaments. These four are Artisan, Guardian, Idealist and Rational. Keirsey divided the four temperaments into two categories (roles). Each with two types (role variants). The resulting 16 types relate to the16 personality types described by Briggs/Jung.
One of the main differences in this test is that it focuses on peoples behaviours and actions as opposed to their thoughts and feelings. This makes it a particularly useful way of finding out a new group member’s personality. You should be able to get a rough idea of how they behave simply by watching them as they interact with the group members.
I would prefer to have people with rational temperament in my group as they are much more likely to stay calm and think about rational solutions rather than getting into a panic and potentially placing the group in danger.