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Your Personality Influences Your Reading Choices

Over at InterGalactic Medicine Show, Carol Pinchefsky examines the ways personality influences reading choices:

Why do I read science fiction and fantasy?

It turns out the answer may be in my psychological makeup. Paul Allen, a reader of science fiction and a practicing clinical psychotherapist for 22 years, says my temperament predisposes me to a love of science fiction.

Each of us has a temperament, that is, a part of our personality that may or may not be genetically based. A quick Myers-Briggs test has informed me that I’m a Thinking iNtuitive (NT), that is, a “Rational.” According to the Keirsey Temperament website, “Rationals are very scarce, comprising as little as 5 to 7 percent of the population.”

Allen says, “NTs are non-conformist critical thinkers. The NTs idolize the science fiction writer as the real architects of change. They can see the cleverness and competency in science fiction. Back in the day, when you could sell a book with a rocketship on the cover, you were selling to the NT.”

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

6 Comments on Your Personality Influences Your Reading Choices

  1. Very interesting. I’ve often noticed and wondered at an interesting correspondence between interest in science fiction and skepticism in regards to religion (I am a deconvert from christianity to agnosticism myself—the only one in my family and also the only science fiction reader).

    I suspect the writer of this article may have stumbled onto the connecting link about which I have wondered for so many years.

    Certainly worth thinking about.

    Oh, and John C. Wright has a recent blog entry on religious skepticism and interest in science fiction that might be worth checking out:

    http://johncwright.livejournal.com/110567.html#cutid1

    I rarely agree with him (more in this case than most others) but he often brings up interesting topics for discussion.

  2. I took that same personality test awhile ago and came back a “rational” as well. Interesting.

  3. While it may be true that NT composes few of the overall population, I can tell you from many experiences with Myers-Briggs that ENTJ and INTJ are the most common engineering types of the software developers I have worked with.

  4. joshua corning // August 8, 2007 at 8:20 pm //

    The NTs idolize the science fiction writer as the real architects of change.

    Any idiot who thinks a Sci Fi writer can change anything is far from being rational….or is this a gen X irony thing…calling someone the exact opposite of what they are.

  5. Wow. That’s interesting. NT…

    My husband and I both took the test years ago (man, is that a Loooooong test!) and, to my surprise, we’re both INTJs.

    He’s an engineer. Yes, an electrical engineering degree from RPI, and he’s a software engineer. HAH.

    I was accepted to the Bronx High School of Science way back when I thought I wanted to be an astrophysicist, but ended up sidetracked way away from science and math. I ended up an English major. (Although I do have another bachelor’s degree that’s a B.S. and required many science courses.)

    I’m the only one big on fiction. He prefers to read non-fiction when he reads–although the novels I have seen him read, the very few, were SF. We’re both super religious. Yep. Bible thumpers!

    But, hey, maybe that’s why we rarely fight and have been so well-matched for 25 years. We’re the same personality type!

    Mir the Rational…heh

  6. :):D;-)

    thanks for the info….! i got some data for my research paper…! your article is a good one…

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