This Is Your Brain On Architecture

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

An interesting piece in this month’s Architect magazine about architects’ personalities. After giving 100 architects Myers-Briggs tests, business consultant Robert Gaarder discovered that many scored ENTJ, which stands for Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Judging. That combination, said Gaarder, only shows up in about 2 percent of the normal population.

So what does this mean? According to the Myers & Briggs Foundation, it means that architects are “Frank, decisive, and assume leadership readily.” Gaarder elaborates: “They are these grand-scale organizers; they think in terms of systems.”  The bad news, says Gaarder, is these personalities “aren’t good at managing details, at follow through.” Sound familiar? Another drawback: “A go-it-alone attitude—a lack of empathy and impatience with teamwork.”

Uh oh..

6 Responses to “This Is Your Brain On Architecture”

  1. Curtis B. says:

    Well, heck: 2% of the population? – there are only about 500,000 in architectural design (105,000 licensed architects with the remainder of this guestimate being unlicensed) – that’s approximately 0.14 percent of the population. So – either there are a whole lot of similarly-minded – ahem – thinking people out there, or it’s not so very rare an assessment.
    Curtis B Wayne

  2. Edgar Martinez says:

    Where is that 500,000 figure coming from?
    It obviously takes a “similarly minded person” to be in the design field. So this test has to have some sort of mertit. The problem is they didnt administer it every single designer so there’s endless variables we don’t know about.

  3. These 100 architects were ALL either managing partners or other leaders in their mid-sized firms. So it’s not really a good cross section of architects. I’m an architect, a spec writer, and last time I was tested, a very outgoing INTP. (Something like 3% of population, 10% of architects, and detail-oriented.)

  4. Tannet kirchoff says:

    This is way off. The architects that are upper management and more businrss minded and definitely far different than a ‘typical’ architect.

  5. Kam says:

    Suppose Myers-Briggs had a split personality? Can the test be trusted? Does the test describe what percentage of architects have a sense of humor? Do they loose it after licensure?

  6. […] Oh-kay. What about bullshit? How do architects and, more importantly, the people who created the Myers-Briggs test* score on bullshitting ability? […]

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