Web Paint-by-Number Forum
Topic #183: Myers-Briggs, What's Your Type?
By Teresa K (fasstar)

#1: Teresa K (fasstar) on Jul 31, 2009

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment tool that categorizes personalities into 16 different types, according to four dichotomies of temperament:

Extraversion-------Introversion
Sensing------------iNtuition
Thinking-----------Feeling
Judging------------Perceiving

To find out your personality type, take the online test here:
http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

My type is INFJ. What's yours?
#2: Teresa K (fasstar) on Jul 31, 2009
The reason I am conducting this survey is that I believe there are a lot more Introverted Intuitives represented here on webpbn than are in the general population. This is what the results are so far:

# on webpbn, Type, %General Population, Description

00 ESTJ - 13% --Organizer, Guardian, Bureaucrat
01 ESFJ - 13% --Helper, Teacher, Control Freak
00 ESTP - 13% --Adventurer, Entrepreneur, Conman
00 ESFP - 13% --Comedian, Consultant, National Enquirer Headline
03 ISTJ - 6% --Reliant, Computer Programmer, Thought Police
04 ISFJ - 6% --Nurturer, Nursemaid, Martyr
00 ISTP - 5% --Realist, Mechanic, Psycho Vigilante
01 ISFP - 5% --Aesthete, Composer, Crackpot
01 ENTJ - 5% --Leader, Professor, Evil Overlord
02 ENFJ - 5% --Sage, Facilitator, Cult Leader
01 ENTP - 5% --Innovator, Jack-of-all-trades, Mad Scientist
00 ENFP - 5% --Visionary, Fortune Teller, Scientologist
13 INTJ - 1% --Strategist, Engineer, Outside Contractor
05 INFJ - 1% --Counselor, Mystic, Conspiracy Theorist
01 INTP - 1% --Thinker, Scientist, Egghead
03 INFP - 1% --Dreamer, Social Worker, Idealist

Introverts in the world: 26%
Introverts here on webpbn: 89%

Intuitives out there: 24%
Intuitives on webpbn: 77%

Introverted Intuitives out there: 4%
Introverted Intuitives on webpbn: 67%

INTJ's in the world: 1%
INTJ's on webpbn: 40%
#3: Teresa K (fasstar) on Jul 31, 2009
Jan's funny story posted as Comment #10 on puzzle #6370:

Once upon a time when, we I was a professor, someone had the bright idea to pack up the whole faculty to a leadership seminar. They started by giving us a short version of the Myers-Briggs test. After we took the test and while they were tabulating, they showed us the 4x4 grid of personality types. They told us the squares in the corners tended to be extremists and the ones in the middle more conciliatory types, who could help bridge the differences between the extremists. So they plotted all the professors and every single one was in a corner, with nobody in the middle at all. Later I computerized the test and let the secretaries take it. They were all in the middle. So apparently the only thing holding the department together was the secretarial staff. Which pretty much explained everything.
#4: Adam Nielson (monkeyboy) on Jul 31, 2009
:-)
#5: Hazel Hiller (hjhiller) on Aug 1, 2009
ISTJ
#6: Byrdie (byrdie) on Aug 1, 2009
The website went down and my computer started to smoke when I completed the test. j/k


ENFJ - Idealist Teacher
#7: Jan Wolter (jan) on Aug 1, 2009
I retook the test, and got INTJ

89% I
50% N
20% T
22% J

So I'm very strongly Introverted, but more balanced on thinking/feeling judging/perceiving.

The first computerized version of this test (which is actually the Kiersey test, a simplified version of Briggs-Meyer, I think) that I ever saw was one I wrote and administered to various people. One person absolutely hated to having to answer YES/NO on every question. She wanted a SOMETIMES option on each question, and refused to take the test without it. So I rolled my eyes and added that into my version of the test. Now I find that I kind of miss it.

And that person who so resisted being forced into absolutes is now my partner.
#8: Byrdie (byrdie) on Aug 1, 2009
I agree. There were some questions that I felt I didn't absolutely fit into one category or the other. There are alot of employment tests that are similar to this that use 4 categories - Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree. I'd like to see more of them have a neutral category as well.
#9: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 1, 2009
Hazel, you are the only ISTJ so far.

Martin, you are in good company with Jota.

So interesting, Jan. I remember how uncomfortable that made me the first time I took this test (as part of marriage counselling many years ago when I was trying to work things out). I remember the psychologist explaining to me ahead of time that there would be questions where I would not want to choose between one or the other because they would both seem wrong, or both seem correct, or both seem equally true and false. I was told this is okay, to just pick one anyway. The real test has lots more questions, and it all evens out in the end. Sometimes the differences between the dichotomies are more or less, and you can see that in the scoring percentagles at the end.

I think everyone will experience that discomfort with having to choose just one answer on some of the questions. But the refusal to complete the test is telling. :-) I'm not a psychologist, so I won't try to analyze (as much as I feel compelled to), but I will guess that she might be either an ISTJ or ESTJ.
#10: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 1, 2009
Here is a good breakdown of the different dichotomies:
http://www.geocities.com/lifexplore/mbintro.htm
#11: Robyn Broyles (ginkgo100) on Aug 1, 2009
I already mentioned I usually come out as INFP. None of the online versions is the same as the "official" version. A lot of research goes into the official versions to make sure they are both reliable (i.e. give about the same result every time) and valid (i.e. give a true result every time).

The MMPI is a more useful personality test for clinical psychologists, and it even has scales to see if people are "faking" their answers. But its main purpose is to assess how "normal" a person is, as opposed to having symptoms of mental disorders (like depression, schizophrenia, etc.). The Myers-Briggs is much more useful just for describing personality, without taking clinical concerns into consideration.

Does the fact that I just posted that digression mark me as an INFP? ;)
#12: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 1, 2009
LOL, Robyn. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to make this distinction. I hope no one takes all this too seriously, it's mostly for fun, and to satisfy my curiousity about my fellow puzzlers.

It's funny how so many people who are quiet introverts in the outside world are prolific and outgoing here on webpbn. :-)
#13: Jan Wolter (jan) on Aug 2, 2009
Here's a link to the grid that I mentioned in the story above:

http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/jshindl/plsi/16TYPE.htm

#14: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 2, 2009
Thanks, Jan. Did you computerize the entire MBTI?
#15: Jan Wolter (jan) on Aug 3, 2009
No, just the short keirsey version. Similar to the one linked to, except the questions were phrased somewhat differently, with an (a) and (b) choice instead of a Yes/No answer, like:
 1.  At a party do you
      (a) interact with many, including strangers
      (b) interact with a few, known to you
The "Valerie" flag would add another option:
      (c) I dunno.
I still have the program, but it isn't a web program and would take a total rewrite to put up on the Internet, and it's not like the Internet really needs another personality test.
#16: Gator (Gator) on Aug 3, 2009
My INTJ was already included in the totals, but here is my percentage breakdown:

100% I
25% N
88% T
22% J

I found that I would have liked either a sometimes option (3 choices), or a Strongly Agree/Agree/Neither/Disagree/Strongly Disagree progression (5 choices) as the choice is not always absolute.

And yes, I find it a lot easier to be outgoing here. Perhaps, that is because I have more in common with people here than in the general populace.
#17: Merili (merilinnuke) on Aug 3, 2009
My INTJ:

67% I
12% N
12% T
89% J
#18: Jan Wolter (jan) on Aug 4, 2009
I think "introverted" means something slightly different in the Briggs/Meyer context than in the general context. Introverts generally do like socializing, but if they want to "recharge" they are more likely to seek solitude than a social setting. I love getting together with friends, but it is more likely to tire me than energize me. For most of my life, I've been content if I had one good friend that I see regularly. I have no burning need for any society beyond that, though I sometime enjoy some.

On-line interaction is very different to me, if only because I control the pace. I can take as much time as I want to respond, or choose not to respond. It isn't at all the same feeling as face-to-face socializing.

Honestly, I've never seen any online forum that isn't predominantly introverts.
#19: Robyn Broyles (ginkgo100) on Aug 4, 2009
I agree with Jan. Introversion/extraversion isn't asocial/social. All humans are social, except those with devastating conditions like autism. It more has to do with gregariousness. Introverts tend to prefer socializing with people they are already close to, while extraverts love meeting new people.

I think I also remember seeing the "I" called "introspective," not "introverted." That suggests that it means that you tend to look within yourself for your bearings, while E's tend to look to others. The "battery-charging" analogy is a good one. I's *do* like to be in social settings sometimes, but it drains their "batteries." And E's *do* successfully work by themselves, but it drains their "batteries."
#20: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 4, 2009
Good explanation, Jan.

Robyn, I prefer "introspective" as a descriptor also.

Hey, I found a really great explanation of INTJ types. Since there are so many here, it's worth a read, whether you are an INTJ or just want to try to understand them better. It's only 4 pages and it's kinda funny, but mostly true. I can laugh because I'm on the edge of being one myself. This is the "Compleat Idot's Guide to the INTJ."

http://intjcentral.com/manual1
#21: Merili (merilinnuke) on Aug 4, 2009
LOL "Q: How can I break up with my INTJ?
A: Tell us the truth. We'll reply, "Sure, why not?", and go on with our lives."

Flashback... My first boyfriend, who I really liked, told me at a party "I think we should see other people". I took a sip from my drinking cup, indifferently answered "Okay", and went back to the party.
#22: Robyn Broyles (ginkgo100) on Aug 4, 2009
Has everybody read the description of their MBTI "opposite" yet? Does it make you sort of shudder? When I read a description of an ESTJ (opposite of my INFP), I think to myself, "I SO don't want to hang out with that person." Although I sure could use one being my household secretary, LOL!
#23: Jen (LightVader) on Aug 4, 2009
I 78%
N 12%
F 38%
J 44%

Seems like an accurate description to me.
#24: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 4, 2009
LOL, Merili.

Robyn, I just read my opposite, and it describes the love of my life to a T! Well, my Ex Love, I should say. No wonder, after a 10 year roller coaster romance, we were never able to make it work out enough to get married. <sigh>

Hey, Jen, another INFJ = hurray!! :-)
#25: Jan Wolter (jan) on Aug 5, 2009
The intjcentral.com site does hit home on a lot of points, though I'm not a perfect example of an INTJ - I'm a bit too close to the Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceiving lines, I actually have enough awareness of my own feelings and of other people's feelings to work them into my soulless plans.
#26: Katydid (kmeifert) on Aug 24, 2009
I guess I'm INFJ, although not very strongly:
I 11%
N 100%
F 12%
J 56%
#27: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 24, 2009
Wow - half of us are introverted, intuitive, judging types.
#28: Sylvain "WCPman" (qwerty) on Aug 30, 2009
just took the test ENTJ

Extraverted 100%
Intuitive 50%
thinking 50%
judging 67%

guess that me
#29: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 30, 2009
Ah, our first ENTJ. "The Leader" - that's you!
#30: Jan Wolter (jan) on Aug 31, 2009
100% Extraverted? Wow. That's really extraverted.
#31: Sylvain "WCPman" (qwerty) on Aug 31, 2009
but that really me
#32: Arduinna (arduinna) on Sep 2, 2009
Introverted 44%
Intuitive 88%
Feeling 38%
Judging 33%


Though another recent one I took gave me INFP. I tend to fall down the middle on a lot of the categories. I've very emotional and very logical. I'm even very logical about why I'm emotional. Ok-- I'm just a mess!

It's fun to see everyone's results! Thanks for sharing!
#33: Teresa K (fasstar) on Sep 2, 2009
Thanks, Arduinna. Yeah, another INFJ! I know what you mean about being logical about emotions. :-)
#34: Wendy (wen9988) on Nov 3, 2009
Because Teresa asked and I liked the idea, I did the test too:

Introverted 100
Sensing 25
Feeling 38
Judging 56

George Bush was also ISFJ :( but Mother Teresa also :)
But I am very high-sensitive and I see everywhere that a ISFJ is very practical and love facts. I do, but there is also an other side...
#35: Teresa K (fasstar) on Nov 3, 2009
Thanks, Wendy. You share this type with Deanna (ffwife) so you are in good company. :-)
#36: Adam Nielson (monkeyboy) on Nov 3, 2009
:-)
#37: Wombat (wombatilim) on Nov 5, 2009
I've taken the official version; it showed me as an INFP. Most of the Internet tests I've taken have come up with the same, though occasionally the I slides to an E (I'm a very outgoing introvert, which can be mistaken for extroversion, depending on the questions).
#38: Teresa K (fasstar) on Nov 5, 2009
Thanks, Wombat.
#39: Cro-Magnon (Hermit) on Nov 28, 2009
This is interesting stuff. Is this survey still open?

Looking at #2, there's isn't one for cavemen so I hope I'm an Evil Overlord. :-O
#40: Teresa K (fasstar) on Nov 28, 2009
We would love to know what type you are, Cro. A caveman can be any of those types. Are you an introvert like a hermit? Or an extrovert like a caveman? Or like many here, who are extroverts on Webpbn but introverts in the real world? Am I implying that Webpbn is not real? Just an unreal world of interesting people. :-)
#41: Cro-Magnon (Hermit) on Nov 28, 2009
Definitely a hermit, normally very introverted! The caveman label is the part of me that is, um, 'primitive'; I can be a lewd crude cave dude. :-) Plus, I am told I have an over-sized hairy melon on my shoulders… I’m a real looker. LOL

So, I took the test, the results are ....
I - 100
N - 62
T - 1
J - 44

So, I'm INTJ but almost INFJ.

I found the information interesting. And like others have said, I really could have used an "I don't know" or "Either/Neither/Both" for some questions.

Thanks for starting this survey, Teresa!
#42: Teresa K (fasstar) on Nov 29, 2009
Well, you are in good company - with Jan and Gator! Thanks for participating.
#43: Gator (Gator) on Nov 29, 2009
I found this version which does offer more choices on the answers.

http://similarminds.com/embj.html
#44: Ray Star (RazorStar) on Feb 5, 2010
I was an INTJ the last time I did this test a few years back, but the Sensing/Intuition was almost 50-50.
#45: Teresa K (fasstar) on Feb 5, 2010
Ah, another IN. That makes 17 out of 21. You are the same type as Jan, Gator, and Merili. Thanks for sharing your score.
#46: Jane Doe (telly) on Feb 6, 2010
Okay, I took the test in August and I was an INFJ but I don't remember the percentages. Today I took the one you posted, Teresa, and also Gator's and I was an ISFJ.
On Teresa's I=44%, S=1%, F=50%, and J=8%.
On Gator's I=53%, S=58%, F=58%, and J=54% (with E= 47%, N=42%, T=42% and P=45%.)
Interesting results.
#47: Teresa K (fasstar) on Feb 6, 2010
Wow - your score on Gator's seem very balanced. :-)
#48: Merili (merilinnuke) on Mar 3, 2010
I just did the Jungian type test on Facebook and now I got ISTJ
#49: Teresa K (fasstar) on Mar 4, 2010
That's not surprising, since your N score was pretty low before. You need to play more on webpbn, then your N will become stronger. :-)
#50: Merili (merilinnuke) on Mar 4, 2010
So far I have solved all puzzles I can solve in here, there's pretty much no way I can play MORE on webpbn :)
#51: Teresa K (fasstar) on Mar 4, 2010
You can CREATE some more puzzles for us! :-)
#52: Merili (merilinnuke) on Mar 4, 2010
Well, me and puzzle creating... we're not exactly the best of friends :)
#53: Teresa K (fasstar) on Mar 4, 2010
You're good at it. Remember your contest entry? Go for it!
#54: Merili (merilinnuke) on Mar 4, 2010
OK, when I get a good idea, I'll try. Just because YOU asked :)
#55: Jane Doe (telly) on Mar 5, 2010
I want more too! :)
#56: Merili (merilinnuke) on Mar 6, 2010
:)
#57: Liz P (Lizteach) on Jul 29, 2010
Ha. I grinned when I saw your prediction, because it matches me exactly. I didn't even bother taking the test, because I've taken it many times now. My result most often is INTP, although the latter two qualities are usually fairly evenly split down the middle, so it depends on where my head is the day I take it...I'm almost as likely to get INFJ.

But always IN. Even though I'm a teacher, so I should be an E rather than an I. Oh, well. :)


Edited to add: Okay, I took this one, and the results were not surprising:

I 33

N 56

T 1

J 11
#58: overcomer (overcomer) on Aug 3, 2010
I 11%
N 62%
T 1%
J 78%
#59: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 3, 2010
Introverts in the world: 26%
Introverts here on webpbn: 85%

Intuitives out there: 24%
zintuitives on webpbn: 80%
#60: Jane Doe (telly) on Aug 5, 2010
interesting
#61: Gator (Gator) on Aug 6, 2010
I was noticing that on this site men tend to be INTx and women tend to be INFx.

So I looked it up, and INTJs as a whole are 1.5% of the population; however 2.5% of the male population is INTJ as opposed to 0.5% of the female population.

Here's a chart (from mypersonality.info):

Type Total Pop. / Male / Female / Difference
INTJ 1.5% / 2.5% / 0.5% / 2.0%
INTP 2.5% / 4.0% / 1.0% / 3.0%
INFJ 1.0% / 0.5% / 1.5% / -1.0%
INFP 2.0% / 1.5% / 2.5% / -1.0%
ISTJ 8.5% / 10.5% / 6.5% / 4.0%
ISTP 6.0% / 8.5% / 3.5% / 5.0%
ISFJ 7.0% / 4.0% / 10.0% / -6.0%
ISFP 6.0% / 5.0% / 7.0% / -2.0%
ENTJ 4.0% / 5.5% / 2.5% / 3.0%
ENTP 4.5% / 6.0% / 3.0% / 3.0%
ENFJ 4.0% / 2.5% / 5.5% / -3.0%
ENFP 7.0% / 6.0% / 8.0% / -2.0%
ESTJ 13.0% / 16.0% / 13.0% / 3.0%
ESTP 10.0% / 12.5% / 7.5% / 5.0%
ESFJ 12.0% / 7.0% / 17.0% / -10.0%
ESFP 11.0% / 8.0% / 14.0% / -6.0%

This site has introverts at 34.5% (36.5% male,32.5% female) of the population, and intuitives at 26.5% (28.5% male,24.5% female). So not much difference between the sexes here.

What is more interesting is the difference between thinkers and feelers. Males account for 65.5% of thinkers, and females account for 65.5% of feelers.
#62: Teresa K (fasstar) on Aug 6, 2010
Thanks for the insights, Gator. As an INTJ, that was very thoughtful of you. :-)
#63: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Aug 6, 2010
I know I took this before, but I guess I never posted. Oh well, par for the course for an INTJ.

I 100
N 62
T 25
J 11

So now you know why I so rarely reply to messages. Which reminds me -- I have to go check my email.
#64: Joel Lynn (furface1) on Aug 11, 2010
Teresa, my result was:

I 89
S 12
T 88
J 56

I've been retired for a year, but the description was spot on for how I operated when I was working. My attention to detail was critical to my projects and got me some excellent salary increases. Unfortunately, my people skills have never been all that great, my spouse and I are becoming quite the hermits now...
#65: Ron Jacobson (shmily999) on Oct 11, 2010
ISFJ
#66: Kristen Coolman (kristen) on Feb 18, 2011
This time I got ISTJ 67 75 25 56. I usually get a different result each time I take the test, depending on how the questions are worded. The I is generally constant, though.

I would go a step further, and wonder how many people are on the autism spectrum. I was recently self-diagnosed as having Asperger's Syndrome. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html A score of 32 or above indicates a possibility of AS, and I scored a 38. This article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome is the one that really convinced me, though. It was like reading an autobiography.

Of course, I don't expect anyone to out themselves as autistic, but I just wonder if there's a high prevalence among folks who'll spend their free time designing and solving logic problems.
#67: Teresa K (fasstar) on Feb 19, 2011
Interesting. I scored 22, probably because I'm more introverted.

I'm gonna guess that most WEBPBN regulars score above the average (16.4) and below 40 (mild Asperger's).
#68: Byrdie (byrdie) on Feb 19, 2011
I scored a 13. I tried to answer questions honestly but also knew what answers would trigger which score.

Things I found troubling about the test were that it had no variation in score between slightly or strongly leaving little reason to differentiate the two. Likewise, there was no neutral response. (I enjoy museums as much as theater and would've been neutral if given the option, etc.) Both imply that one either is or isn't and can't have a foot in both worlds.
#69: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Feb 19, 2011
Very interesting. I've known for a long time that I have asperger's qualities. We looked into it as our daughter was growing up. We both just took this test. She got 30. Me: 39.

I rated very high in the numbers, details, and avoiding social interaction sections, while not so bad in the non-empathy sections.

And that's more detail than you wanted, in true asperger's style. ;P
#70: Gator (Gator) on Feb 20, 2011
I scored a 35. I'm not really surprised.
#71: Brian Bellis (mootpoint) on Feb 20, 2011
I 22
N 12
T 66
J 33
#72: Wombat (wombatilim) on Feb 21, 2011
I scored a 15 on the AQ test.
#73: Merili (merilinnuke) on Mar 5, 2011
I got 35
#74: Wombat (wombatilim) on Mar 5, 2011
#68 I suspect knowing which answers would trigger which score is itself somewhat an indication of which end of the spectrum you're on. :)

My primary issue with the AQ test actually is a lot of the questions seem to be based almost entirely on how introverted or extroverted you are. It seems to assume that someone who is introverted is necessarily more likely to be autistic, which in my experience is simply not true.

I had taken a different but similar AQ test online somewhere several months ago and scored similarly (14 on that one) and I don't remember the other test I took having the extroversion bias nearly as badly, but unfortunately I'm failing to remember where to find the link to it.
#75: Byrdie (byrdie) on Mar 6, 2011
Understand your comment, Wombat, but it actually has more to do with my work & life experiences than what part of the spectrum I fit. As I said, I tried to answer the questions honestly and believe the score is reasonably accurate.

I also agree that with your interpretation that these types of tests often confusion introversion with autism or autism-spectrum conditions. I don't think a good self administered test can be designed that accurately measures how individuls respond to certain social situations or how they conceive of themselves in relation to others.

Just my 2c worth.
#76: Wombat (wombatilim) on Apr 7, 2011
So, related:
I was sent a link to this "Empathy Quotient" test, which seems to be the reverse of the Autism Quotient exam, and this one doesn't seem to have the extrovert bias:

http://glennrowe.net/BaronCohen/EmpathyQuotient/EmpathyQuotient.aspx

I scored a 69.
#77: Kristen Coolman (kristen) on Apr 7, 2011
I got a 27, which is slightly higher than the 20 typical of Aspies, but women (with AS) are better than men at faking social situations.
#78: Teresa K (fasstar) on Apr 7, 2011
I got 69 also. Very interesting test.
#79: Gator (Gator) on Apr 7, 2011
I scored a 7...
#80: Jane Doe (telly) on Apr 7, 2011
I scored a 55
#81: Byrdie (byrdie) on Apr 8, 2011
I scored a 43. Might score differently another day ... I just balanced my checkbook.
#82: Liz P (lizteach) on Apr 10, 2011
I saw "BaronCohen" in the URL and I wondered what an empathy test had to do with Borat. And then I googled, and saw that Sacha Baron Cohen's cousin is an autism researcher out of Cambridge.

Anyway, I scored a 29. I thought that was low-ish for me.
#83: LoloJean (LoloJean) on Apr 18, 2011
I got INTJ for the first one, and 14 for the second.

Hm. Not sure what I should think about that.
#84: Teresa K (fasstar) on Apr 18, 2011
It means you are in good company, as there are lots of others here with similar scores. :-)
#85: Jan Wolter (jan) on May 6, 2011
21 on the AQ test. I'm pretty introverted, but pretty empathetic anyway. Still, I've got a son diagnosed with Asperger's and another diagnosed autistic, so maybe I have some tendency that way too. But then, I hear that the latest studies say 1 in 58 boys have Autism, so it's getting pretty danged common.
#86: Byrdie (byrdie) on May 7, 2011
One can't help but wonder why so many more diagnosis are being made now than in the past. Was it just missed? Is there something environmental that's causing the effect? I tend to lean toward the later.
#87: Teresa K (fasstar) on May 7, 2011
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=autism-rise-driven-by-environment

This report from California shows multiple explanations for the drastic increase in diagnosis of autism in that state:

Doctors are more aware of the disorder and are diagnosing children earlier.

Doctors are diagnosing milder cases.

More cases are being reported to the government (otherwise many diagnoses were not even counted).

Those factors however don't account for all of the increase. The report states that some of the increase is "likely caused by something that pregnant women or infants are exposed to, or a combination of genetic and environmental factors."

My professional area of expertise is prenatal exposure to teratogens that impact brain development. My personal interest is in chemicals in the diet and environment that further impact the affected child's ability to function. There are so many chemicals in our food and water that collectively can be quite significant in their effects on our mature brains, I hate to think of the effects on the developing baby.
#88: Teresa K (fasstar) on May 7, 2011
I did a report on the research results for different environmental teratogens.

http://come-over.to/FAS/EnvironmentalTeratogens.pdf

What I have found in my clinical work where I actually screen children for symptoms of neurobehavioral disorders due to prenatal exposure to alcohol and other drugs, is that many of those who have mild forms of fetal alcohol disorders are more likely to get a diagnosis of autism (or aspergers, a mild form of autism) than of a fetal alcohol disorder, because most of them do not have the facial features associate with full Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. All children with fetal alcohol disorders have symtpoms that match the DSM definitioni for diagnosis of autism. There are studies that show that prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause autism. (Of course I am NOT saying all or even most cases of autism are caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, just some of them.)

This is what researchers have stated in a report on the subject: "FAS represents the largest environmental cause of behavioral teratogenesis yet discovered and, perhaps, the largest single environmental cause that will ever be discovered." -Riley, E. P., and Vorhees, C. V. (1986). Handbook of Behavioral Teratology. Plenum Press, New York, NY

According to the March of Dimes reports, binge drinking by women of childbearing age in the US continues to be quite high (>15%). Half of all women are drinking at the time they get pregnant. Half of all pregnancies are unplanned. A few nights of typical partying during the weeks before a woman realizes she is pregnant are enough to be a risk of brain damage to the developing baby.

If anyone is interested in comparing the symptoms of fetal alcohol to the symptoms of autism, look at this chart:

http://come-over.to/FAS/PDF/OverlappingCharacteristics.pdf

#89: Kristen Coolman (kristen) on May 7, 2011
I ingerited Asperger's from my dad, and I seem to have passed it along to my son. I never drink, and we each developed in very different locations. In my case, I was never diagnosed (nor was my dad), and we merely passed as shy, nerdy people. I think if you look at "absent-minded professors" or many people who think "outside the box," you'll find a whole lot more of undiagnosed aspies. I can't speak for autistics, but aspies tend to be above-average in intelligence and are able to develop coping mechanisms for their oddness.

#90: bugaboo (bugaboo) on May 7, 2011
interesting link fasstar (overlapping symptoms)
#91: Teresa K (fasstar) on May 7, 2011
There are two symptoms that can differentiate Asperger's from what we see in people with prenatal alcohol exposure: 1) People with Asperger's tend to be very good at math, while people with prenatal alcohol effects (FASD) tend to have a lot of trouble with math, not being able to manage money or time very well; and 2) the inappropriate social interactions with FASD tend to be manifest in outgoing, overly sociable, ultra friendly behavior, compared to the withdrawn and introverted traits seen in Asperger's.
#92: Gator (Gator) on May 7, 2011
Kristen -
I was/am not diagnosed with Asperger's, but it seems like a possibility based on what I have read and after taking the test. My mom also does not drink. Shy and nerdy describes me very accurately.

My coping mechanism - avoiding social situations as much as possible. Avoidance is much more preferable than dealing with the overwhelming anxiety. When I do HAVE to participate in social things, I just try to survive it, but it is exhausting.

I do not think my kids have inherited this from me though from what I can tell, but they do show (less pronounced) shyness and above-average intelligence. And I did not inherit this from my parents as they do not display these kinds of behaviors. Is it genetic? Is it environmental? Is it random chance (my sisters are not like this)?
#93: Kristen Coolman (kristen) on May 8, 2011
It's mainly thought to be hereditary. I included a link to the Wikipedia article in comment #66, and it has a lot of good information. Here's a question: besides being uncomfortable in social situations, are you also highly sensitive to certain sounds, smells, or unexpected physical touch? Are you extra clumsy, like you can't really tell where your body parts end? Those are secondary symptoms of AS, that stem from the way our brains process information differently.

Aspies also tend to take things literally, and speak in a pedantic manner (which means, you sound like you're teaching all the time, which can be mistaken for being snobby or a know-it-all). Children with AS are often called Little Professors, and their behavior can be described as "active but odd." My son tries desperately to make friends, but because he's missing subtle clues in body language, he's often not accepted by his peers. He does much better around adults.

#94: Gator (Gator) on May 8, 2011
Sounds, smells, physical touch, clumsy - no.
Take things literally - yes.
Speak in a pedantic manner - quite often.

I often have trouble with identifying intended meanings of what people are trying to say. It's like I go through all the permutations on what they could be saying, but I will often not get that right. I cannot deal with people that talk vaguely about things as it is almost impossible for me to comprehend what they are saying. I will often ask people to give specific examples and to break down their gross generalizations into details.
#95: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on May 8, 2011
I do not think the overall rate is really increasing by much. A study published in 2009 in England found the rate of ASD in adults to be 1%. The rate in adults was 1.8% of males and 0.2% of females. So 1/56 of men and 1/500 women.

These rates are actually higher than Jan's and ones in public service ads I've seen. (I've actually seen ads that scream that "1 in 150 babies are autistic!!!" -- that's only 0.6%.) But broadly speaking, it's about the same as children's rates today.


The study is 'Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England 2007' and an article about it is at http://www.physorg.com/news172845617.html

~~

I think that there are a couple of reasons for the hype over autism. One is the natural concern of parents that their child will be able to cope with the world in the best way possible. The other is a need on the part of scientists for intense public interest in order to secure funding. Unfortunately, I see scientists in a bit of a villainous role here. There is a lot of misleading numbers and language that stirs up fears and leads to fuzzy thinking about the whole matter. A good example is the last paragraph on the first page of the Scientific American article linked above:

==Many parent groups believe that childhood vaccines are responsible because they contained thimerosal, a mercury compound used as a preservative. But thimerosal was removed from most vaccines in 1999, and autism rates are still rising.==

While technically correct -- many parent groups *are* concerned -- it is also wholly inaccurate. The whole vaccination-autism link has been disproven. (The original "research" was done by a self-interested individual who made up data wholesale. As of 2010, Andrew Wakefield was banned from practising medicine in Great Britain as a result of this debacle.) This is never mentioned in the article, and thus the link is implicitly left.

Another good example is using "disconnected numbers" to hype. Jan posted above that he heard that 1 in 58 boys are diagnosed now. That sounds like a horrible rise compared to the 1-in-150 to 1-in-100 children that has been the accepted rate for the past few years. However, since the syndrome is principally male, (1.8% vs 0.2%) it actually works out to the same.

Still a third is the blanket statement that 1/100 children are autistic. When people think of autism, they think of full-blown autism, not aspergers and certainly not mild aspergers. That rate of full-blown autism would be truly a terrible thing, but it's just not true. They are a small minority. The number of individuals gets larger the farther you get towards the mild end of the scale. (See my "natural range" discussion below.)

Many scientists excuse the fear-mongering because "it is in a good cause" - securing more attention (and thus funding) for something that needs studying. I, however deplore it as it muddies the waters and promotes fuzzy thinking.

~~~

I see ASD as a spectrum that goes far beyond the official diagnoses. In fact, I see much of it as a normal range for humanity. The idea that it is a "disease" is in some ways misplaced. The presence of individuals in the more-functional ASD range has helped humanity progress. And they still have useful skills in today's world. They make excellent engineers, science professionals and software writers, for example. The fact that full-blown autism is not beneficial to humanity is not an indictment of the whole spectrum. It is just an extreme of natural variation.

As a spectrum, it ranges from non-existent to full-blown autism. The distribution along a curve would (to my mind - I don't have research to back this part up) look rather like half a bell curve. The non-ASD population would be at the tall part and as the severity of the symptoms increase, the incidence decreases rapidly. Full-blown autism would be at the tail end, while near the top it would blend seamlessly into "normal".



Kristen: I am self diagnosed as aspergers (the above might be a telling bit of Little Professorship). I have heightened sensitivity to smell, taste, sound and light. In the past ten years, my sense of taste and smell have fallen off hugely due to allergies, but I still can discern tiny amounts of spices in large recipes. The flicker of fluorescent lights gives me headaches. I'm clumsy with my feet, but not my hands.

I also am shy and nerdy. My parents had qualities of aspergers, but would never have fitted into a diagnosis thereof. My adult daughter is currently undergoing neuro-psych testing to that effect. (Her maternal grandfather and great grandfathers were both engineers and would both have handily fit in to an aspergers diagnosis.)

Try to let your son hang out with interesting adults. I loved that as a child. Also maybe find a group of like-minded kids like a Lego group. (Often full of aspies.)
#96: Kristen Coolman (kristen) on May 8, 2011
Women often go undiagnosed, for various reasons: mainly that a quiet girl is perfectly acceptable, and girls seem to better at mimicking social behavior.
#97: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on May 8, 2011
I agree that generally females are under "voluntarily-diagnosed", but this study was done by randomized sample of the whole population, not by current diagnosis. So, presuming that the diagnosing portion of the study is accurate, the statistics should be accurate for the entire population, not just those who've gone to the doctor about it.

(Design of the sample is on pages 27-28 of the study at http://www.ic.nhs.uk/webfiles/publications/mental%20health/mental%20health%20surveys/APMS_Autism_report_standard_20_OCT_09.pdf )
#98: Linda Martin (ilovethispuzzle123) on May 9, 2011
intj: i 89% n 12% t 38% j 56%

this would explain why i never quite "got it" when it came to people.
#99: Lilly Johns (LJohns315) on Jun 30, 2011
I'm an INTJ.
I 33%
N 38%
T 12%
J 44%
I got an ISTJ on Gator's link and a 19 on AQ. It's very interesting reading about everyone's results.
#100: NiGHTS (NiGHTS) on Jun 30, 2011
I am doing this test on request from Teresa K.

For your information Teresa, this test is highly flawed.

>> "You are almost never late for your appointments"

"Almost" is a relative word which can be cup half empty/cup half full. And this variable works against another variable in the question which is "cause". Some people get in accidents, have emergencies, things of that nature. To answer truthfully may yield results that do not accurately depict personality traits, since the test taker may simply be very unlucky.

>> "You feel involved when watching TV soaps"

This does not apply to everyone, including myself. It is also illogical, since you would only be watching TV soaps if you were involved to some degree, especially since they are hard to find these days -- therefore I can only choose "Yes".

>> "You are usually the first to react to a sudden event"

How can one know this to be true? A reaction to the telephone ringing can be the turn of a head or just the sudden jump from the loud sound it made. Does the test giver expect all people to know whether your reaction time to the event was faster than others around you, qualifying you to be "first"? This question is unanswerable, it has no "best answer". So I will randomly choose "Yes".

>> "It's difficult to get you excited "

From who's point of view? If a car is on a collision course to my body, I will get excited very quickly. If I am very hungry the thought of eating a big juicy steak gets me quite excited. People who know me know what excites me and doesn't, so they won't bother involving me in things that won't excite me. Therefore, this question is disgustingly unspecific. Since in my life I am lucky to be surrounded by people who know me and know what I like and don't like, I have no choice but to answer "YES" -- but this was not a personality question, just a question of luck.

>> "You often think about humankind and its destiny"

I have no objection with this question. I just giggled after reading it. I'd be interested to know how many people think about humankind and its destiny as obsessively as I do.

>> "You are a person somewhat reserved and distant in communication"

This question sounds dated. The definition of "Communication" has changed significantly in the past 10 years. People who communicate online can be quite different than people who communicate face to face. Different levels of psychology come into play in those two scenario's. I will assume "in person" communication.

>> "You know how to put every minute of your
time to good purpose"

Trick question. No one can know as fact that they are using their time to the best they can. This is more a question about "know" than a question of "time to good purpose". Since there are two perspectives at work here, it's hard to tell which one they are really gauging. I will interpret this question as "You believe you put every minute of your time to good purpose", which I can only answer "I try", so the closest thing to that is "YES".

>> "You value justice higher than mercy"

This is a difficult question, not because its a decision between law and ethics, but because its so generic. Justice can have many meanings to many people, with the line between fair and unfair very blurred. To some, the justice of "an eye for an eye" is fair, and to others its insane. Justice can also be too relaxed, or too tough for something minor. The levels and directions that define justice goes much deeper than my criticisms can even begin to touch on, so this context sensitive just makes this test that much harder to complete.

>> "You usually place yourself nearer to the side
than in the center of the room"

"The room".... What room? My room? A room that is not my own with people in it? Are they talking about a grocery store (Who wouldn't place themselves in the center of the line?) Are they talking about "placing yourself" with how you arrange your furniture? Do they know the type of furniture and space around the room? What about sides.. what if the sides are full of boxes or stuff... Are they talking about sitting or standing, because that's important. Normally people sit where there are seats, and those seats can be anywhere in "the room". Bleh! There is no logical way to answer that question.

-------------
Results:

INTJ
Introverted: 39%
Intuitive: 62%
Thinking: 44%
Judging: 67%

moderately expressed introvert
distinctively expressed intuitive personality
moderately expressed thinking personality
distinctively expressed judging personality
#101: David Bouldin (dbouldin) on Jul 2, 2011
...perhaps HOW someone takes the test says as much about them as the numerical results?

ok, here's mine for Teresa's data set:

E - 11%
N - 50%
T - 25%
P - 44%
#102: Teresa K (fasstar) on Jul 3, 2011
David, you are our first "Mad Scientist" - congratulations! :-D
#103: David Bouldin (dbouldin) on Jul 3, 2011
**takes a bow...with a mischievous grin**
#104: firefly (firefly) on Jul 9, 2012
So where are all the other INTPs? :)
#105: firefly (firefly) on Jul 9, 2012
(and for completeness: 29 on the AQ, 9 on the EQ.)
#106: K Shively (kes57) on Feb 25, 2014
Hi - just found this question. For what it's worth my results are:

I 89%
N 62%
F 12%
J 67%

Other more extensive tests have shown me to be INTJ though, and I think it describes me better. It's so interesting that we are so strongly represented here!
#107: Aurelian Ginkgo (AurelianGinkgo) on Apr 11, 2017
You've got to add another ISFP, because that's what I am. I like these puzzles because I am logically minded, although that's not too characteristic of my personality type, (There are always exceptions that manifest but still do not change your type.)but more than anything, I like a good solve that yields a puzzle that is visually pleasing. I feel that if the prize (end result) is not appealing, it was not worth creating.
#108: Aurelian Ginkgo (AurelianGinkgo) on Apr 11, 2017
The funniest thing is, both of my sisters, who are intuitives, have solved puzzles on this site and neither of them are anywhere near as into it as I am. Go figure. But yeah, I took the test on Myers-Briggs' actual site awhile ago and read the description. It fits me so well.

By the way, do I possibly come off as a crackpot to anyone? lol (I'm not offended.) But I prefer to be stereotyped as an obsessive geek. Of course, that is not to be confused with a similar word, nerd, for they mean different things. A nerd is someone who knows a lot about a lot of things. A geek is someone who knows a lot about specialized topics and gets excited about them. I have heard a character on a tv show sum it up very well when he said, "There is a difference between a geek and a nerd. The fact that you don't know it means that you are neither."
#109: Teresa K (fasstar) on Apr 11, 2017
Aurelian, you are one of many introverts here, but you are the FIRST to be typed as ISFP!

No you don't seem like a crackpot, but maybe some other traits match? Solve the puzzle that goes with your type:
http://webpbn.com/6436

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