I have spoken a lot about survival groups as of late. I have discussed the advantages [link] and disadvantages [link] of forming and being in a survival group after the SHTF, as well as considering what jobs and skills will make a member of the group to be a good one.
One of the big disadvantages I always raise is the issue of how do you know who you should allow into your group and who should you avoid at all costs?
There are a number of personality tests that can be relatively easily used to determine the type of personality someone possesses. Once you know what a stranger’s personality is – hopefully you will be in a much stronger position to decide whether they would make a successful addition to you group.
Here are some personality tests that may be useful:
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
These personality tests categorize people by their general attitude. The results are given as a four letter acronym. The personality types given are
•Extroverted (E) vs. Introverted (I)
•Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
•Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
•Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
There are a potential of 16 personality types that are “discovered” in this test. The results will also show the percentage of how far into that trait you fall. This does not mean that all individuals will fall strictly into one category or another.
If someone has a high percentage of being extroverted, that does not mean that they don’t also behave as an introvert sometimes. Everyone behaves in each of the personality traits, but they tend to always fall back into their main trait. This is where they will perform to the best of their abilities and feel most comfortable.
For instance, a person with an ENTJ personality type is likely to be a very good leader in a survival situation. At the other end of the spectrum, a ISFP personality type would be great for child care, nursing or hospice.
No personality type is better than another, and all types would be necessary for the various jobs required in a survival group. A given group would likely fail if it were made up of all leaders, or all nurses.
The Big Five Personality Traits
In psychology, the Big Five personality traits are five words that are used to describe the personality of people – this is often referred to as the Five-Factor Model (FFM). The five factors in the model are openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
These factors then have secondary traits that further categorize an individual’s personality. An example of this is that beneath extroversion are traits such as excitement seeking, assertiveness, etc.
As neuroticism is when someone has a tendency to experience negative emotions like anger, depression, etc., these types of people will likely be a very difficult member of the group to work with. They are likely to need lots of reassurance that everything will be OK and close monitoring to ensure they do not have angry outbursts at other group members. Agreeableness would be a good trait for new group members as they are likely to join in with the group’s tasks without causing too much difficulty.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter
This personality test categorizes people into four temperaments. These four are Artisan, Guardian, Idealist and Rational. Keirsey divided the four temperaments into two categories (roles), each with two types (role variants). The resulting 16 types relate to the 16 personality types described by Myers-Briggs.
One of the main differences in this test is that it focuses on peoples behaviors and actions as opposed to their thoughts and feelings like Myers-Briggs does. This makes it a particularly useful way of finding out a new group member’s personality, because you should be able to get a rough idea of how they behave simply by watching them as they interact with the group members.
I would prefer to have people with rational temperament in my group as they are much more likely to stay calm and think about rational solutions rather than getting into a panic and potentially placing the group in danger.