Thoughtful Thursday: Where the Weird Things Are

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThis week I bring to you the results of our MBTI-type survey from two weeks ago. The results are in: our readers are not normal! (Haha, statistics joke.) If you don’t like stats, jump down past the chart. For those of you who like stats, look at this:


MBTI Type (based on population stats)
Observed % Expected % Residual
INTJ 28 2.2 25.8
INFJ 16 1.6 14.4
ISTJ 11 12.1 -1.1
INFP 9 4.5 4.5
INTP 8 3.4 4.6
ENFJ 7 2.5 4.5
ISFJ 5 14.4 -9.4
ENFP 3 8.5 -5.5
ENTJ 3 1.9 1.1
ENTP 3 3.3 -0.3
ESFJ 2 12.8 -10.8
ISFP 2 9.2 -7.2
ESFP 1 8.9 -7.9
ESTJ 1 9.1 -8.1
ISTP 1 5.6 -4.6
Total 100

That’s a statistically significant difference (Chi-square value (df=14)=498.761, p<.oo1) between the readers who took the poll and the general population. While we recognize that we’re violating some of the assumptions of the statistical test, I think it’s safe to say that we are atypical.

If you don’t like stats, start reading again here!

Four out of the top five categories are IN types and six of the top seven are introverts. That works out to 80% of those who took the survey are introverts and 77% are iNtuition. That means that angelshimmery wins the drawing for the contest. She predicted that IN and T would predominate, and was the only one to correctly predict three out of the four letters correctly. Contact Justin to claim your prize. Congratulations!

The least frequently occurring type in the general population, INFJ at 1.6% was the second most commonly occurring type among our readers, at 16%. The most commonly occurring type in the general population ISFJ at 14.4% was only 5% of our readers.

The most commonly occurring type among our readers, INTJ at 28%, is only 2% of the general population. The least occurring type among our readers, ESTP at 0%, is 4.3% of the general population.

The two most commonly occurring types among our readers are the 1st and 3rd most rare in the general population.

Among the reviewers, we have four INFJ, two INTJ, two INFP and two ISTJ. We’re a judgmental lot – no wonder we like being reviewers. And then we have three extroverts, an ESFP, an ENFP and an ENTJ. Not surprisingly, Stephen(US) and Amanda(UK), our two reviewers who we recruited to head up the blogging and author outreach arm of FanLit are two of our extroverts.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsWe had a ton of fun getting to know more about our readers. We had 100 people take the poll (thanks for making the percentages so easy to figure out), which is the biggest response we’ve ever had to a Thoughtful Thursday column. So, I’m asking you, dear readers: What other ways do you think the average fantasy reader is different than the general population? We’ll see if we can work up so more surveys in future columns. Let us know what you think in a comment, and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win the book of your choice from our stacks.

FOLLOW:  Facebooktwitterrsstumblr  SHARE:  Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmail

RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

View all posts by


  1. Wow I really didn’t expect us all to be quite so different from the norm, but it turned out to be a good thing for me. Thanks.

  2. I also am surprised, not at the way we were different, but jut the MAGNITUDE of the difference! I’m an INTJ and I just don’t know a lot of people like me, so it’s super cool that here I am hanging out with a bunch of other INTJs!

    Ruth, thanks for doing the stats for us!!

  3. Wow that’s a lot of responses. I think fantasy readers are more involved in the books they read and the charaters in them. Hundreds of fantasy fans will hang out at a bookstore for hours to get the latest release at midnight. When’s the last time you saw people do that the latest mystery or novel?

  4. We have an imagination that allows us to see the normal world differently. I think we also tend to lean more towards wanting life to be different through magical means, gaining powers, rather then through technological means. Although there is nothing wrong with technology I would prefer being an elf in another world than play video games while waiting for the next big cybertronic creation to be make.

    Then again that is just me.

  5. This INTP isn’t surprised at all. It’s always been obvious to everyone around me that my world view is a little bit different. I’ve taken the full blown test multiple times, and the only area where I am ever borderline is P vs J. The stats geek in me just wishes that it was a larger non-self selected sample.

  6. Trish is right that there may be something different about those of us who chose to participate. But still, 100 responses is pretty good and I think most people are interested in knowing about their personalities — Not just INs. Not perfect, but about as well as we could do here.

  7. Our lucky winner is …TrishB

    Please contact Justin within 5 days after contest ends.

    To Choose from the Stacks


  1. Fantasy Literature's Fantasy Book and Audiobook Reviews - [...] none of the rest of us gets out as much as Amanda does… we’re all introverts. We just kind…

Review this book and/or Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published.