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Instinctual Variants and Stackings: What and How?

Popular personality inventories such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram have received a multitude of responses from experts and hobbyists, ranging from high praise to utter disbelief. However, a relatively new typing system has recently emerged, slowly growing interest in typology forums such as Personality Cafe. A quick version of the test can be found at http://similarminds.com/cgi-bin/variant.pl.

The Three Building Blocks

Each individual consists of unique blend of the three blocks, as each can be thought of as a continuum as opposed to a cut and dried, hard label.

1) SO: Social 

The social variant connects to the elements of fresh wind and sunlight. The open and easygoing attitude of SO manifests in everyday gestures and words.
2) SX: Sexual

The sexual variant links to the elements of water, fire, ice, and electricity. The energy, unpredicability and instability of SX are all dominant characteristics.
3) SP: Self-Preserving

Grounded and stable, the self-preserving variant adheres to the matters of the earth; the terrain. The nonchalance and patience of SP are significant features.

What Types Bring Up In Conversation

The quickest and often most easily identifiable variant indicator is what each person brings forth to the table in conversation. The social variant naturally gravitates towards topics such as politics, power, and the concept of popularity — all to fulfill the role of an active member in society. Parties of the sexual variant, in contrast, focus upon interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. This leads to conversations about their ever-changing experiences, feelings, and desires. Whether it be a special someone, a passion, or an aspiration, they are constantly voicing their thoughts on self-improvement or the implementation of goals. Those with the dominant self-preserving trait seek stability and shelter, bringing upon matters such as food, clothing, or interior design. They are detail-oriented and are inclined to discuss topics like material quality or sales.

Personality Facial Expressions

SO/SX: Cheerful, sanguine, outward smile.

SO/SP: Calm, collected, peaceful expression.

SX/SO: Charismatic, bold, outward grin.

SX/SP: Intense, self-absorbed, contemplating look.

SP/SX: Wistful, magic-in-head, yearning gaze.

SP/SO: Monotone, emotionless, composed expression.

In terms of personality analysis, instinctual variants are a meaningful and useful extension in the understanding of communication and relationship styles.

One Comment

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  1. I was unable to find the Variant Personality Test on the website that your linked to. But I ended up taking their AllInOne test and felt it was pretty accurate. IT was able to agree with other Meyers-Briggs style tests in that I came out as an INFJ, and the other results were very close if not spot on as well. Thanks for sharing! But I do wish I could have found the personality test you were specifically referring to…maybe a newer link?

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Written by Lily Li

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Lily is an aspiring environmentalist, thrift enthusiast, and personality junkie - above all. Her love of psychology has sprung from the days of Klutz quiz books, and she is now studying Higher Level courses in the subject. She is most interested in the sector of industrial-organizational psychology. One day, her handwriting may become a web font.

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Instinctual Variants and Stackings: What and How?