The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Geekdom Personality Types

Very often we question ourselves by comparing us to others. Usually this ends up in some kind of classification of different types of individuals. One of the most well known works on personality types has been done by Carl G. Jung who published Psychological Types in 1921.

Based on his works several other classifications have been developed and are nowadays used for a diversity of personality tests. I did try some of these tests establishing my “personal profile” finding them to be entertaining and a learning experience. To me one of the most interesting aspects of establishing profiles is that it tells me something about other individuals making it much easier to understand someone else’s behaviour and reactions.

As an example for personality type classification I’m using here a Venn diagram displaying different types of nerds. This diagram has been whizzing around the web in the last years. Being an IT person myself, it makes me smile.

Through this diagram you’ll have a good guideline to distinguish between dorks, dweebs, geeks and nerds. Don’t worry if you didn’t know these personality types.

The classification of the four types is done by the following criteria.

  • Intelligence is an umbrella term describing a property of the mind including related abilities, such as the capacities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning from experience, planning, and problem solving. Or in short: how smart a person is.
  • social skill is any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others. In this diagram a more restrictive criteria “social ineptitude” pertains to limited social and communication skills. It is often perceived as being bad even if it must not necessarily be so.
  • Obsession is the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc. In our context it can be specified as an extreme passion for intellectual activities.

Now that the classification criteria are all set, it will be up to you to find the measurement to be applied to each of these criteria. To be in the diagram verify if you possess at least two of the given traits. Using you measurement determine the type you think to correspond best for you.

Now read the description for our personality types to find out if they correspond to your evaluation

  • A dweeb combines social ineptitude with intelligence and is somehow mysterious. You don’t see him study or mingle often but he gets high grades. Others will often find him to be boring.
  • A dork will combine social ineptitude with obsessions; he is the kid at the corner, buried in his books and out of touch with contemporary trends. He lacks the intelligence of a nerd or geek.
  • A geek is someone combining obsession with intelligence and is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things. He is always on the pursuit of knowledge and has the brains for it. He learns quickly and gets the things done.
  • A nerd avidly pursues intellectual activities, technical or scientific endeavours, esoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests, rather than engaging in more social or conventional activities. He is a smart, talented person and may be awkward, shy and unattractive. His obsession to learn more leaves him no time to socialize or for physical activity.

Successful personality test?

The ability to define a combination of criteria and their measurement applicable to everyone is one of the success factors for every personality test. The essential factor for its usability is the capacity to set up a set of questions allowing assimilating questions with criteria and measurement. The success factor when commercializing such a test is the ability to describe the personality types in such a way that the participants find the results an appropriate description of him or her.


[Original publication via, Jul 11, 2010]

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