Personality test results, Part 1

The Personality Test Report, Part 1: The Background and Results!


About 4 weeks ago we asked you to participate in an experiment. This experiment was designed to see if there was a prevalent “raider personality”—a personality type based on the Myers-Briggs system of identifying personalities. We did not want to prove anything, nor did we expect this test to provide a revolutionary insight into who we are, but we did think it would be an interesting exercise AND between you and me, getting so many of us (almost 800!) to take the test and respond was probably (from my perspective) the biggest success of the experiment.


I want to preface the report by stating that these personality tests are an inexact science. Many psychologists are not convinced this is an accurate way of identifying people. Some would say it’s too restrictive and also too limited in its scope. In fact, when I mentioned our experiment to a fellow postgraduate who is doing MMO research from a psychological perspective, his position against relying on these tests in research was clear: “[Carl] Jung himself denied the value and usefulness of personality inventories, and explicitly argued against the use of them in psychological assessment and research. Jung's whole point is that the personality (persona, self) cannot be understood in any other way than through interpersonal contact/speech.” He also pointed to the cultural limitations of personality tests, “Personality tests like the MBTI are made to provide character typologies that explicitly *deny* the relevance of cultural context/meaning.” And if we are honest about ourselves, we are too global to allow for the exclusion of a cultural context in understanding ourselves.


So naturally these are good points. We should not rely on these tests to dictate who we are or what we should be doing and I’d never suggest that we rely on this kind of test as any sort of accurate gauge of a person (or raider) or as a way of discriminating against someone (as a justification to exclude a raider). But it is an interesting way of seeing IF there is a predominant type (even if our type is determined by how we answered a few leading questions) among us.


But a predominant personality need not be an assurance or requirement of success in raiding. Take Paragon as an example. While there was a predominant personality type among them, there was still variation (8 different personality types, to be exact). And if the entire guild took the test (only 21 of them did), I’m sure we’d find even more variation.


Let’s move on to our joint experience of taking the test. I’d say that for those of you who did participate and made comments, it seemed quite well received, with some of you finding the results quite accurate. At the least, I think some of us found it fun. I have been jokingly calling this a “self-determined horoscope”—and far more accurate, especially if we’re honest in the responses. But there were also some valid criticisms along the way. One of you on another site made a valid statement by saying this whole experiment seemed like taking a soft science and trying to turn it into a hard science. And quite a few of you (myself included) found the fact that we had to choose between two feasible choices challenging. Like this one: “The process of searching for solution is more important to you than the solution itself.” I’d say that’s a yes or no depending on the situation. But of course, we had to choose. I also know that for some of us, that may have made the difference between an E and I or an F or T.


Another area that came up a few times, which was very interesting to me, was the fact that some find that if they take the test as a raider versus their “normal” persona, the results are different. I have encountered this before. And I’m sure you have, too. A number of friends who raid talk about how they are more aggressive, outspoken, demanding when they raid (or raid lead) and find they are quite the opposite in their regular life. I don’t know if that means we have multiple personalities or if it just means that some aspects of our character come out more regularly while we raid. It’s a pretty competitive activity, after all, and if you aren’t engaged in a lot of competitive activity in your “real” life, maybe you find yourself surprised by how you are while raiding. I think this could also be attributable to the relative anonymity that comes with any online activity, including raiding. We are not judged on our looks or regular lives during a raid, after all, we are judged on our performance. And perhaps if you are shy in real life, the barriers we have while online may give you more confidence to let more aspects of our character out.


So now let’s talk about the results! Some of this may surprise you, some of this may not. And if you were following the posted results closely, you may have already drawn a few conclusions.


First, I’d like to focus in on the overall results and then speak about some of the specific breakdowns within the results. And to finish, because I’m sure you will find it interesting, we’ll look at Paragon’s posted results so we can see if there are any differences between all of us versus an elite raiding guild.


We had a total of 793 posted responses.



Basic demographic information


The following highlights some basic demographic information:


Gender make-up:

Male respondents: 76.54%

Female respondents: 15.26%

Gender not identified: 8.20%


Primary language of server played on:

English: 86.45%

German:  3.87%

Other (Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, etc): 9.68%


Guild type of respondents:

Elite: 9.46%

Hardcore: 30.39%

Casual: 34.93%

Hybrid*: 17.78%

Did not respond: 7.44%


*Hybrid refers to other types of raiding guilds as defined by respondents. Examples include “hardcore/social”, “semi-hardcore”, “casual hardcore.”


Server location:

EU: 44.14%

US: 49.05%

TW: .13%

Did not respond: 6.68%


Classes responding:

Death knight: 7.06%

Druid: 10.72%

Hunter: 5.42%

Mage: 6.18%

Paladin: 20.55%

Priest: 12.86%

Rogue: 6.18%

Shaman: 10.34%

Warlock: 7.69%

Warrior: 6.81%

Did not respond: 6.18%


Faction response:

Alliance: 42.55%

Horde: 47.10%

Did not respond: 10.35%


Server type:

PVE: 43.36%

PVP: 39.19%

RP: 7.46%

RPPVP: 2.78%

Did not identify: 7.21%


Personality types


All respondents (n.793):

 Personality with %

INTJ    23.26%

ENTJ   12.77%

ISTJ     9.61%

INTP   8.47%

ENFJ   6.70%

INFJ    5.82%

ISTP    5.18%

ESFJ    4.05%

ENTP  4.05%

ISFJ     3.92%

ESTJ    3.79%

INFP   3.67%

ENFP  3.29%

ISFP    2.28%

ESFP   1.77%

ESTP   1.39%


Personality types by region:


EU server respondents (n.350):

Personality with %

INTJ    22.00%

ENTJ   12.57%

INTP   8.29%

ISTJ     8.00%

ENFJ   7.43%

ISTP    6.00%

ESFJ    5.71%

ESTJ    5.14%

INFJ    4.86%

ISFJ     4.57%

ENTP  3.43%

INFP   2.86%

ISFP    2.57%

ENFP  2.29%

ESFP   2.29%

ESTP   2.00%



US server respondents (n.389):

Personality with %

INTJ    23.65%

ENTJ   13.37%

ISTJ     10.54%

INTP   7.97%

INFJ    7.20%

ENFJ   6.17%

INFP   4.88%

ISTP    4.88%

ENFP  4.12%

ENTP  4.11%

ISFJ     3.60%

ESFJ    3.08%

ESTJ    2.83%

ISFP    2.06%

ESFP   0.77%

ESTP   0.77%

ENFP  0.26%


The top five most common personality types among….



INFJ      17.35%

ISFJ      14.04%

INTJ     12.40%

ISTJ      11.57%

ENTJ    7.43%



INTJ     24.96%

ENTJ    13.39%

ISTJ      9.09%

INTP     8.59%

ENFJ     7.27%


Horde faction raiders:


INTJ     23.32%

ENTJ    11.80%

ISTJ      9.38%

INTP     8.04%

ENFJ     6.97%


Alliancefaction raiders:


INTJ     21.66%

ENTJ    14.84%

ISTP     9.20%

INTP     8.31%

ENFJ     6.82%


PVE servers (n.343):

INTJ     22.45%

ENTJ    13.70%

ISTJ      10.20%

INFJ      9.33%

INTP     9.33%


PVP servers (n.310):

INTJ     22.90%

ENTJ    13.55%

ISTJ      8.71%

ENFJ     7.42%

INTP     5.80%


RP servers (n.59)

INTJ     30.50%

INTP     10.17%

ISTJ      8.47%

INFP     8.47%

ENTJ    6.78%

ENFJ     6.78%

ISTP     6.78%

ISFJ      6.78%


RPPVP (n.22)

INTP     18.18%

INTJ     13.64%

ISTJ      13.64%

ENFJ     13.64%

INFP     9.09%


Guild types:


Elite (n.75):

INTJ     30.67%

ENTJ    18.67%

INTP     6.67%

ENTP    6.67%

ISTP     6.67%


Hardcore (n.240):

INTJ     22.92%

ENTJ    15.83%

ISTJ      8.75%

INTP     6.67%

INFJ      6.25%


Casual/social (n.276):

INTJ     22.46%

ENTJ    10.50%

ISTJ      10.50%

INFJ      8.33%

INTP     7.61%



Most prevalent personality types among….


Death knights:

INTJ     23.21%

ESFJ     12.50%

ESTJ     12.50%

INFP     8.93%



INTJ     22.35%

ISTJ      15.29%

INFP     8.24%

ENFJ     8.24%



INTJ     20.93%

ENTJ    13.95%

ENFJ     11.63%

INTP     11.63%



INTJ     22.45%

ENTJ    14.29%

ENFJ     10.20%

ENTP    10.20%



INTJ     22.09%

ENTJ    14.11%

ISTJ      11.04%

INTP     8.59%



INTJ     27.45%

INFJ      10.78%

INTP     9.80%

ENTJ    7.84%



INTJ     26.53%

ENTJ    18.37%

ENFJ     10.20%

INTP     8.16%

ISTJ      8.16%



INTJ     23.17%

ENTJ    15.85%

ISTP     8.54%

ISTJ      7.32%



INTJ     18.03%

ENTJ    13.11%

ISTJ      13.11%

ISTP     9.84%

INTP     9.84%



INTJ     20.37%

ENTJ    20.37%

ISFP      7.41%

ISTJ      7.41%

ENFJ     7.41% 



Personality types of Paragon guild respondents (n.21)


INTJ     47.83%

INTP     9.52%

ISTJ      9.52%

ESTJ     9.52%

ESFJ     4.76%

ENTP    4.76%

ENTJ    4.76%

ISFP      4.76%




So, lots of data to consider here! Part 2 will include some analysis and reflection on these, along with some additional data that I did not want to overwhelm you with just yet. Please feel free to comment.


Acknowledgements: I wanted to extend a special THANK YOU to Nils (Niroth) and Freddy (teh) who helped design the data collection tool and crunch the numbers (Freddy) and entered the data (Nils). If was doing this on my own it would have taken at least another couple weeks (or more since Cataclysm is here)!


And a big "shout out" to Xenophics, Synti, and the rest of Paragon for being the originators of this idea and for supporting academic research. When I explain all of this (the fact that a "big name" guild supported it and that raiders participated on such a high level) to other academics in my department they are truly astonished.


Interesting that judging came out so strongly as a quality. I would expect this to lead to a rather "poisonous" raid environment, if people truly act out this tendency. Perhaps that's also a reason why there's a good bit of turn-over in good guilds? Simply the strains of such interaction would tend to burn out people. Then again, perhaps that's why many true top guilds emphasize the fact that they don't spend much time on the game outside of progression, as it works to push people during progress, but would be too taxing if kept up continuously?

Regardless, an interesting result, even though *NT* dominance was expected.

(INTP/ENTP myself)

Its funny that virtually every category is topped by INTJ, known as the asshole personality.

Very interesting. Never really sat down and thought about this :)

Where can i find the personality type alias explanations?

To put this out there, wouldn't the average player who'd join this study generally be more introverted and logical, as they would be the ones searching the web about WoW(presumably to increase performance or out of boredom), rather than talking to RL mates or WoW friends ingame?

(I, myself, am an ISTJ druid)

Thanks for the comments so far, guys! Really interesting insights that I'm writing into Part 2--which should be done as soon as I finish this other non-WoW related deadline (sigh...). And Kirvana, thanks for linking the personality descriptions.

Another thing that came to mind, is that it would perhaps have been more interesting to see what the distribution of types between those who play a given role is, rather than class. I'll assume the data doesn't provide an answer to this (wasn't aware of the survey myself until afterwards, so I don't actually know what was asked), however you might still get an inclination by contrasting pures, hybrid tanks and hybrid healers. I would expect the different position these roles occupy in a group dynamic to show greater differentiation than, for example, mage/ele shaman.

I bookmarked this already dude great work

Very interesting article. Definately going to save this to show to my friend. Thanks for the great research!

this was a great idea. kudos!

i would like to offer my meta analysis for the provided data. it's not advisable to draw primary analysis from the results (such as, 'intj's love wow') because we cannot be certain that our results set is random enough. it is possible that intjs receive a high representation due to the fact that NT's are more likely to participate in scientific surveys. thus, the kind of knowledge that can be safely gleaned is from meta analysis (comparing your results against itself and noting trends within it).

owing to the fact that any given population will not distribute evenly over the 16 types, i think every category of interest (guild type, faction, class) should have been displayed alongside the gathered baseline distribution (mbti type breakdown for all 800 entrants), and appreciated according to the respective deltas.

otherwise, as per most of the results presented, xNTJ would almost always come up top on any category, which could be a very misleading presentation of result (eg. statistically it would be insignificant if the percentage xNTJ for any particular category is same as the percentage in the baseline distribution).

however, because of the large deltas from their respective baselines, i could confidently say that

1) intj's would on average, prefer priest/rogue in that order. we cannot safely infer anything useful for the other classes though...

2) istj's, if given a choice, are very likely to choose to play horde over alliance. istj's are described as rule-abiding and traditionalist. this result made me smile because i had all along held the perception that the more non-conformist type would go for horde.

3) xNTJ on average are most successful at achieving or most likely to want an elite gaming position. this also then supported very strongly by the paragon guild breakdown statistic.

4) ENTJ definitively do not prefer druid/priest. but in fact love warrior. i postulate that because of the general entj description, they tend to prefer being in a position of command or center of control (read: main tank, not healer). ENTJs tend to dislike DKs too.

well it was fun extracting this from the survey results. thanks for conducting it...

Ive taken many personality tests and MBTI in college twice, as well as when choosing brokerages to go with in the financial world. I have also read Keirsey's "Please Understand Me II" so I have a grasp on managing and identifying these temperament types. I come out as an INTJ and fit the competitive, what-works, efficient model in my play style. I play many classes and Paladin is my preferred choice. I would assume most INTJs would play classes that are the best at a given role and would find playing a class that wasn't, highly irritating. INTJs are probably the most vocal about their opinions but in effort to solve problems they see are obvious. Where as INTJs seem favored here clearly (ironic because the breakdown of an INTJ by population should be only <1%, not 22% shown in the data set), they can be the most temperamental and require the highest level of leadership to manage. This would make sense due to Paragon's WoW World status and therefore would attract INTJs who desire perfection. If the subjects were taken from the guild roster, this makes sense.