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Interim Research Report (3/31/05)

Personality Type and Outdoor Enthusiasts

By Ross Reinhold, intj

I've received over 325 responses to my informal survey of Personality Type and selected outdoor leisure pursuits. As promised I'll share these results with visitors to SuperiorTrails.com and PersonalityPathways.com

Recall my "research" questions were:

  •   Do Birds of a Feather flock together?

  • Are day hikers, backpackers and canoe (and kayak) trippers cut from a different bolt of cloth than the general run of people types?

  • Is there something about the basic nature of "who" were are that innately pulls us towards these outdoors activities?

First Some Caveats

  • As this study undertaken as much for entertainment as intellectual enlightenment, it lacks the rigor required by serious research.

  • The Cognitive Style Inventory is an instrument designed to assist in Verifying MBTI ® type. It does not purport to be a replacement for the more accurate instrument. So respondents relying exclusively on the CSI to determine their personality type may mis-report what is their true type.

  • Many of the people participating in this study learned of it through visiting PersonalityPathways.com. Thus my sample was heavily drawn from people who have an interest in "personality" and "human behavior." Thus types of people who find such subjects of little interest may not be well represented among my sample.

  • The range of outdoor interests offered as choices were quite narrow. This served to exclude a number of interests that would have been worthwhile to ask about. Perhaps in a second version, I may broaden the offering.

The Distribution of Type In General Population
Allen Hammer and Wayne Mitchell
CPP, Inc. Study of normative sample of 1267 adults
Journal of Psychological Type, Volume 37, 1996

TABLE 1.

ISTJ
15.6%

ISFJ
11.5%

INFJ
2.6%

INTJ
3.5%

33.2%

ISTP
6.4%

ISFP
4.5%

INFP
4.3%

INTP
5.2%

20.4%

ESTP
4.8%

ESFP
5.7%

ENFP
6.3%

ENTP
4.7%

21.5%

ESTJ
9.9%

ESFJ
9.6%

ENFJ
2.5%

ENTJ
2.8%

24.8%

36.7%

31.3%

15.7%

16.2%

N=1267

This distribution is offered as one benchmark against which to compare the distribution of people who have participated in this present study (outdoor pursuits personality study).

 

The Distribution of Type among the membership
of the Association for Psychological Type
(2004)
A professional association for practitioners and lay people
with an interest in Myers-Briggs, the MBTI, and associated theories and instruments
derived from the Theory of Psychological Type of Carl Jung.

TABLE 2.

ISTJ
5.5%

ISFJ
3.2%

INFJ
8.6%

INTJ
10.7%

28.0%

ISTP
0.9%

ISFP
1.1%

INFP
11.5%

INTP
6.6%

20.1%

ESTP
0.7%

ESFP
1.2%

ENFP
16.4%

ENTP
7.5%

25.9%

ESTJ
4.5%

ESFJ
3.5%

ENFJ
9.8%

ENTJ
8.2%

26.0%

11.6%

8.9%

46.3%

33.1%

 

This distribution is another benchmark measure to consider when looking at this present study.

~~~~~~

Comparing table 1 and table 2, you can easily see the kinds of folks who are drawn to learning about Personality Type, to the extent of joining an organization like APT, are a quite different ilk from the general population.

~~~~~~

Some comparisons:

Among APT members, 51.9% favor Extraversion, slightly more than the general population.

A much more significant difference is the fact that 79% of APT Members favor Intuition over Sensing, whereas in the general population that figure is only 31.9%.

Only 3.9% of APT members favor S & P (the four xSxP types) whereas in the general population they are 21.4%.

In the general population NF types (xNFx) were the smallest grouping at 15.7%, whereas in APT they are the largest - the clear majority by a long shot at 46.3%

The differences in the APT distribution from the general population leads me to suspect that the type distribution for my study will be similarly skewed towards Intuitives and Intuitive-Feeling types and greatly under-represented by Sensing Perceiving (xSxP) types. This latter development would be of some concern because it is SP types that one would expect to participate in more rigorous and adventuresome outdoor sports like backpacking, canoe tripping, and kayaking.

The Distribution of Type among the respondents in
a Study on Personality Type and Outdoor Pursuits
As of 03/31/05 a total of 327 survey responses were received from people
who visited either PersonalityPathways.com or SuperiorTrails.com
and accepted an invitation to participate in this study.

[Click Here to see a copy of the Survey Response Form]

TABLE 3.

ISTJ
7.0%

ISFJ
5.8%

INFJ
9.2%

INTJ
8.3%

30.3%

ISTP
3.7%

ISFP
4.0%

INFP
16.5%

INTP
12.8%

37.0%

ESTP
4.6%

ESFP
3.4%

ENFP
8.9%

ENTP
7.3%

24.2%

ESTJ
1.8%

ESFJ
0.6%

ENFJ
1.8%

ENTJ
4.3%

8.6%

17.1%

13.8%

36.4%

32.7%

N=327


TABLE 4.

-Type Distribution Ratio-
Outdoor Recreation Personality Type Distribution
vs Distribution of APT Membership

ISTJ
1.27

ISFJ
1.84

INFJ
1.07

INTJ
0.77

1.08

ISTP
4.16

ISFP
3.68

INFP
1.43

INTP
1.94

1.84

ESTP
6.20

ESFP
2.81

ENFP
0.54

ENTP
.97

.093

ESTJ
0.41

ESFJ
0.17

ENFJ
0.19

ENTJ
.52

0.33

1.47

1.54

0.79

.99

 


TABLE 5.

-Type Distribution Ratio-
Outdoor Recreation Personality Type Distribution
vs General Population Distribution of the 16 Types

ISTJ
.45

ISFJ
.51

INFJ
3.53

INTJ
2.36

.91

ISTP
.57

ISFP
.88

INFP
3.84

INTP
2.47

1.81

ESTP
.96

ESFP
.59

ENFP
1.41

ENTP
1.56

1.12

ESTJ
.19

ESFJ
.06

ENFJ
0.73

ENTJ
1.53

.035

1.47

.44

2.32

2.02

 


The Ratios in Tables 4 & 5 are two attempts to correct possible bias in our data sample. Table 4 uses a ratio with APT membership to correct for the fact that certain personality types have a greater than average interest in the subject of personality and thus more likely to participate in a survey of this type. Conversely some types have a more decided disinterest in this subject and are therefore less likely to participate.

Table 5 uses a ratio with the General Population as it is known that personality type is unevenly distributed among the population with some types being much more common than others. The table 5 ratio adjusts for this distribution.

Table 6 (below) combines and averages the two ratios in an attempt to adjust for both sources of potential bias. This ratio eases the comparison of the results of Table 3 against the two reference groups (tables 1 & 2).


TABLE 6.

-Type Distribution Ratio-
Outdoor Recreation Sample vs Avg of Tables 5 & 6

ISTJ
.86

ISFJ
1.17

INFJ
2.30

INTJ
1.56

1.00

ISTP
2.37

ISFP
2.28

INFP
2.64

INTP
2.20

1.83

ESTP
3.58

ESFP
1.70

ENFP
.97

ENTP
1.27

1.03

ESTJ
.30

ESFJ
.12

ENFJ
.46

ENTJ
1.03

.34

.97

.99

1.55

1.50

 


What stands out in looking at Table 6?

  • 6 Personality Types are more than twice as likely (ratios of 2 or more) to engage in our selected outdoor recreational activities than what we would expect from their presence in the general population and from their membership in a major personality type organization. [INFJ, ISTP, ISFP, INFP, INTP, & ESTP]

  • 2 additional types had impressive ratios of participation (in excess of 1.5): INTJ & ESFP.

  • In general, Introverted types are much more likely than Extraverted types to participate in the collection of outdoor activities (See Sample Survey Response Form) covered by this survey.

  • Of the 8 Extraverted types, only 2 showed interest in these activities (ESTP and ESFP).

  • Comparing the 8 J types (xxxJ) versus the 8 P types (xxxP), Ps in general are much more strongly drawn to these pursuits (more about this later).

  • ESTP had the highest rate of adjusted participation - which is quite consistent with popular type literature's depiction of the interests of this particular personality type. The second highest adjusted rate of participation was for INFP - a fact I would NOT have predicted from popular type literature's depiction of the interests of the INFP personality type (more about that later).

  • All 4 SP types (xSxP) had a significantly greater interest in these activities than would have been predicited from their interest in the subject of personality and their representation in the general population. This finding is consistent with popular type literature's depiction of their interests.

  • The adjusted rate of participation of 3 personality types was low enough (below .5) to imply a negative relationship. ESTJs, ESFJs, and ENFJs in general find little appeal in these kinds of outdoor activities (more about this later).

I'll be slicing the pie several different ways - looking at the particular types of activities favored by different types and also passing along some comments made by respondents that I think particularly well reflect how a given type relates to the outdoors.

NOTE: The following reports are based on 327 responses received prior to April 1, 2005. As the research is ongoing, I'll update the results again, perhaps in about 6 months.

INFP and ISFP Reports

INTP and ISTP Reports

INTJ and INFJ Reports

ISTJ and ISFJ Reports

ENTP and ENFP Reports

ESFJ and ENFJ Reports

ESTJ and ENTJ Reports

ESTP and ESFP Reports

Reports by Outdoor Activity

 

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.

Ross Reinhold - email ross@personaltiypathways.com

*There is a shorthand language often used to talk about people and groups who share a common preference. It is the type letter followed by an "s" as in Is, Es, Ns, Ts, Js, etc. An unfortunate byproduct of this handy shorthand is the implication these people have no opposite nature - which is contrary to the Myers-Jung model. Ns have a sensing side of their nature; but Intuiton is more dominant. Js have a Perceiving side to their nature; but Judging is more dominant. So whenever you see the shorthand designation used, remember it refers to a preference not an isolated dimension of personality. (think of your hands. If you are right-handed, it does not mean you lack and do not use your left hand!)

 

Links for More Information on Personality Type:

Myers-Briggs test * What's Your Myers-Briggs MBTI Personality Type?

An introduction to the Myers-Briggs Model of Personality Type

Learn about characteristics of the 16 Myers Briggs Personality Types

Center for Applications of Psychological Type

Association for Psychological Type

 

® MBTI, Myers-Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries

*While commonly called a "test" the MBTI is not a test but a personality inventory in which there are no right or wrong answers.

 


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