Pop Psych

Mariner often cites his father as a treasure trove of shorthand descriptions of personality, tendencies and interpersonal behavior. Most frequently mariner borrows one his father’s favorites: the difference between why, how and what people. In short, why people must know why something exists before any further comprehension can be learned and often may not need any further detail; how people are great problem solvers but need information from why and what people in order to have a problem to solve in the first place; what people don’t care why or how and see no problems if a step-by-step procedure works.

When mariner was a preacher, he had a story about how we can be blinded by our own tendencies. He told the story of a woman preparing a ham for dinner. She cut off one end of the ham as she always did. Her daughter, watching, asked why her mother cut off the end of the ham. The mother replied that she simply cooks the ham the same way her mother did it.

Later, the daughter asked grandma why she cut the ham. “Because it wouldn’t fit in the pot”, she said.

Many confrontations occur for no other reason than the different priorities of these three thought processes.

Another set of descriptors is the difference between extroverts and introverts. Extroverts need human interaction as an element of progress; introverts make progress without any need for dialogue. Mariner once had the experience of wanting to talk with a coworker about an issue. “Leave me alone,” the coworker said; “I have work to do.”

Here is a pop psych test that’s been around for a long time: Without skipping below the figures, which of these objects seems most comfortable to you:







If you prefer the circle, you may enjoy moments of harmony and stability.

If you prefer the square, you tend to organize things and dislike loose ends.

If you prefer the triangle, you may enjoy challenges and like to achieve.

If you prefer the squiggly, you may enjoy being creative and free spirited.

Pop psychology tests are enjoyable and vague enough to toy with as long as it remembered that no one is a purebred; most of us are a mix of two with perhaps one type a tiny bit stronger than the other.

Pop psych was overrun by the Meyers-Briggs test – a compilation of 16 different personalities with variations within each one. Myers-Briggs became popular to the point that everyone walked around bragging they were an INTJ or an ESTP. Still, because no one is a purebred, these four-character IDs must be taken with a grain of salt and a conscious restraint to avoid condescension.

Another personality test used frequently is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). It is used most often to determine a person’s criminal tendencies.

If you want to have a finer understanding of yourself, type ‘pop psychology tests’ in your search engine. There’s a test for everything – even how fast and accurate your fingers are.

Ancient Mariner

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