Sunday, December 27, 2015

Normal Distributions

According to, these are the normal frequencies of the personality traits on the Myers-Briggs personality test:

65.5% of people are Extroverted
34.5% of people are Introverted

73.5% of people are Sensing (factual, concrete, interested in reality, detail-oriented)
26.5% of people are Intuitive (imaginative, abstract, interested in possibilities, big-picture oriented)

50% of people are Thinking (make choices based on logic)
50% of people are Feeling (make choices based on their feelings)

51% of people are Judging (organized, like structure)
49% of people are Perceiving (not organized, like not having routine or structure)

In a workplace environment, you won't find these distributions because different people are drawn to different fields. I suspect that the distribution of these traits at my office would be very different than the distribution you would find among people working in a hospital or a school.

But when it comes to the students in a public school, I feel like these distributions should be there. If it's not a private or specialized school, if kids are just going there because it happens to be the closest school to them, then I would assume that the distribution of students in the school should roughly follow this pattern (I say roughly because I'm sure there are regional differences among these traits as well).

So when I hear that "all" of the students at a school like working with others, that concerns me. What about the 34.5% of kids that should dislike working with others and want to work alone? Do those kids really not exist at the school? Or are they being forced to go along with something they hate while everyone in charge gets to brag about how into it they are? And what about when I hear that everyone is organized and learning how to get into a routine. What about the HALF of the population that dislikes structure and routine? It really, really concerns me when I hear these things because it doesn't tell me that the school is good - it tells me that the school is awful because all the kids who aren't like that are being oppressed, and that's a really horrible thing to do.

I would only ever trust a public school that said, "Well, about half of our kids sit at their desks while the other half run wild, about two-thirds of our kids work well with others while the other third sit in a corner by themselves and ignore the presence of others..." I would only ever trust a place that claims to have normal distributions, not a place that brags about making everyone into what they want them to be.

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