A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Wow! Who knew? Apparently, the entire human population of this planet, 7 billion plus, can be boiled down to just 4 different personalities. (Five, actually, but I’m getting ahead of myself.) It seems a couple of researchers in Spain developed a series of totally complicated, reward- and- punishment personality tests. Then they brought in 541 volunteers and tested the hell out of them. They analyzed the results and came up with 4 distinct personalities — only four. Actually, they found that 10% of the group didn’t really fit anywhere, so, in fact, there were five (but, I’m getting ahead of myself, again.) Now, you’re probably thinking, “Hey! Wait a minute! Don’t we have a bunch of personality tests already, like Myers-Briggs and Minnesota Multiphasic?” and you’d be right. However, like our BFFs, the dog, humans are pack animals and we all have a burning need to find out where we fit in the pack, so any personality research gets a lot of Internet ink. As you can probably tell from my tone, I think personality tests are very similar to The Sorting Hat at Hogwarts, and I’ve drawn my own conclusions. However, here are the results of the Spanish study. The labels and explanations are real (I’m not making this up) but I’ve played a little fast and loose with the analysis.
1 — Trusting — always cooperates with the group regardless of the result.
These are people who lost their virginity at a Ted Talk. They invested heavily in Greek Municipal Bonds and now spend their days answering emails from Nigerian princes.
2 — Optimists — believe the group will always come up with the best result.
These are the people who love breakfast business meetings and Team- Building events. They’re always networking. They talk at the movies and during television shows. They never shut up. God! Stick a sock in it!
3 — Pessimists — always choose the lesser of two evils, regardless of what the group does or the result.
These people are assholes.
4 — Envious — don’t care about the group or the result– as long it’s better than everyone else’s result.
The largest group of the study but since when did enlightened self-interest become an inherent personality trait?
What do you think? Did you recognize yourself anywhere? I didn’t either. However, the study isn’t a total loss. Remember that this research was conducted in Spain with 541 volunteers. And remember that 10% (54) volunteers were so strange they didn’t fit into any personality model. So, in conclusion, if you’re planning a vacation this winter — Don’t Go To Spain! We now have documented proof that there are at least 54 weirdos — sitting there, waiting for you.