PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes Main Interests of the Personality Types Inventive Type

Idiosyncratic Personality Type

The Idiosyncratic Personality Type believe that your interests lie in (Oldham, pg. 252):

  • not being like anyone else
  • marching to your own beat
  • being unconventional
  • being original
  • standing out from the crowd

Main Interests of the Idiosyncratic Personality Type

  1. being tuned in to and sustained by your own feelings and belief system

  2. being self-directed and independent; requiring few close relationships

  3. ignoring convention; creating an interesting, unusual, and eccentric lifestyle

  4. being open to anything; being interested in the occult, the extrasensory, and the supernatural

  5. engaging in abstract and speculative thinking

  6. being inner-directed; following your own heart and mind; being a keen observer of others; being sensitive to how other people react to you.

Characteristic Traits and Behaviors

Dr. John M. Oldham has defined the Idiosyncratic personality style. The following six characteristic traits and behaviors are listed in his The New Personality Self-Portrait.

  1. Inner life. Idiosyncratic individuals are tuned in to and sustained by their own feelings and belief systems, whether or not others accept or understand their particular worldview or approach to life.

  2. Own world. They are self-directed and independent, requiring few close relationships.

  3. Own thing. Oblivious to convention, Idiosyncratic individuals create interesting, unusual, often eccentric lifestyles.

  4. Expanded reality. Open to anything, they are interested in the occult, the extrasensory, and the supernatural.

  5. Metaphysics. They are drawn to abstract and speculative thinking.

  6. Outward view. Though they are inner-directed and follow their own hearts and minds, Idiosyncratic men and women are keen observers of others, particularly sensitive to how other people react to them.

Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.

Idealized Image

I did conceive of "character strengths and virtues" in a positive way as Martin Seligman does in his Positive Psychology, but now see them as images of perfection that inflate the idealized self theorized by Karen Horney.

Character Strengths and Virtues (what the Schizotypal type is proud of)

The "Character Strengths and Virtues" are attributes of the idealized self, or ego ideal. As "conditions of worth" they are idols.

  1. Originality, integrity, bravery, confidence.
  2. Independence, purposefulness.
  3. Creativity, artistry.
  4. Openness to experience, curiosity, spirituality.
  5. Open-mindedness.
  6. Alertness, sensitivity.

Unconventional (Oldham 252), self-directed, independent (252), openmindedness (254), inner-directed, inner strength (258), focused ("intense concentration" 262), creative, freethinking, emotional intensity, self-contained (264), indifferent (264), creativity, curiosity, openness (265), uniqueness (266), spiritual (266), interesting, original, spiritual, creative, gifted (267), self-intense (268).

Signature Strengths*

"Creativity [originality, ingenuity]: Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it

"Curiosity [interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]: Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering

"Open-mindedness [judgment, critical thinking]: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; Not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one's mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly "

"Bravery [valor]: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what is right even if there is opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical bravery but is not limited to it"

"Appreciation of beauty and excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]: Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience"

"Spirituality [religiousness, faith, purpose]: Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort" (Peterson & Seligman, 29, 30).

* Selected from Christopher Peterson and Martin E. P. Seligman, (2004). Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. Oxford: Oxford UP.


Idiosyncrasy: "1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group. 2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity." (AHD)

Synonyms: "eccentricity"

"eccentricity, idiosyncrasy are not always clearly distinguished when they denote an act, a practice, or a characteristic that impresses the observer as strange or singular. Eccentricity ... emphasizes the idea or divergence from the usual or customary; Idiosyncrasy implies a following of one's peculiar temperament or bent especially in trait, trick , or habit; the former often suggests mental aberration, the latter, strong individuality and independence of action ..."

Analogous: "peculiarity, individuality, distinctiveness or distinction, characteristicness or characteristic: manner, way, method, mode: mannerism, affectation, pose" (MW, 412)



The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1981, c.1969). William Morris, Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Merriam-Webster (1984). Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms: A Dictionary of Discriminated Synonyms with Antonyms and Analogous and Contrasted Words. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Careers and Jobs for the Idiosyncratic type

Google Answers: selecting the right career for me

This list represents careers and jobs people of the Idiosyncratic type tend to enjoy doing.

management consultant
computer programmer
environmental planner
new business developer
curriculum designer
biomedical researcher
strategic planner
civil engineer
intellectual properties attorney
editor/art director
financial planner

Source: U.S. Department of Interior, Career Manager - INTJ.

Noteworthy examples of the Idiosyncratic personality type

Many people (and not just those of the Idiosyncratic personality type) have idiosyncratic traits or behave in a idiosyncratic manner. But the traits and behaviors of the Idiosyncratic personality type are not so inflexible and maladaptive or the cause of such significant subjective distress or functional impairment as to constitute

Schizotypal personality disorder
The noteworthy examples of the Idiosyncratic personality type are examples of a *type*, not of a disorder. It is my opinion that the ideal type which is described above is best characterized as idiosyncratic, and that the Idiosyncratic personality type represents the pervasive and enduring pattern of the personalities of the people listed below better than any other type.

Famous persons on this list may serve as ego ideals, idealized images, and idols for individuals of the Idiosyncratic type.

Noteworthy examples of the Idiosyncratic personality type are: Index of noteworthy examples
Hannah Arendt | Clive Barker | Jeff Bezos | Tim Burton | John Cage | Italo Calvino | Kurt Cobain | Elvis Costello | Stephen Dedalus | Rene Descartes | Joan Didion | Umberto Eco | Maurits Cornelis Escher | Oriana Fallaci | Glenn Gould | Werner Heisenberg | James Joyce | Franz Kafka | Buster Keaton | Stephen King | Stanley Kubrick | R.D. Laing | Vladimir Nabokov | Rand Paul | Gregor Samsa | Hunter S. Thompson |

"To some extent, sanity is a form of conformity" - John Nash.

  "Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been: namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir" - Friedrich Nietzsche.

I hypothesize that the personality theories of personality theorists best describe themselves and those of their own type. See also Introduction.

James Joyce

I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning. ― James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  • IQ Infinity: The Unknown James Joyce - The Robot Wisdom pages, by Jorn Barger.
  • 'Lucia Day' aims to heighten awareness of schizophrenia - Irish Times.

  • Joyce, James. Ulysses. New York : Random House, 1961.

    Stuck on the pane two flies buzzed, stuck.

    Glowing wine on his palate lingered swallowed. Crushing in the winepress grapes of Burgundy. Sun's heat it is. Seems to a secret touch telling me memory. Touched his sense moistened remembered. Hidden under wild ferns on Howth. Below us bay sleeping sky. No sound. The sky. The bay purple by the Lion's head. Green by Drumleck. Yellowgreen towards Sutton. Fields of undersea, the lines faint brown in grass, buried cities. Pillowed on my coat she had her hair, earwigs in the heather scrub my hand under her nape, you'll toss me all. O wonder! Coolsoft with ointments her hand touched me, caressed: her eyes upon me did not turn away. Ravished over her I lay, full lips full open, kissed her mouth. Yum. Softly she gave me in my mouth the seedcake warm and chewed. Mawkish pulp her mouth had mumbled sweet and sour with spittle. Joy: I ate it: joy. Young life, her lips that gave me pouting. Soft, warm, sticky grumjelly lips. Flowers her eyes were, take me, willing eyes. Pebbles fell. She lay still. A goat. No-one. High on Ben Howth rhododendrons a nannygoat walking surefooted, dropping currants. Screened under ferns she laughed warmfolded. Wildly I lay on her, kissed her; eyes, her lips, her stretched neck, beating, woman's breasts full in her blouse of nun's veiling, fat nipples upright. Hot I tongued her. She kissed me. I was kissed. All yielding she tossed my hair. Kissed, she kissed me.

    Me. And me now.

    Stuck, the flies buzzed (173-4).

Love of Novelties

Vainglory: Seeking the Praise of Men

"According to Aquinas, vainglory is a capital vice, meaning that it is a weakness that gives birth to many other vices. When our hearts are set on gaining the praise of men, we are likely to develop several other faults along the way. For example, we may seek to win people's attention through self promotion in our words. In conversation, we might drop certain people's names, point out our achievements, or exaggerate our successes with the hopes of having others esteem us highly ("He must be important"). Aquinas calls this vice boasting. We also might tend to throw ourselves into the center of attention through eccentric behavior, or by being "in the know" about the latest news or gossip, or by having the latest technology. Aquinas calls this fruit of vainglory love of novelties."


Eccentrics Aren't Mad, Bad or Dangerous, and They Don't Mind If the World Finds Them Weird

"How does an eccentric's curiosity differ from that of a normal person?

"An eccentric's curiosity knows no limits. If an ordinary person wants to know about electricity he simply reads a book on the subject. The eccentric might also call the local public utility and go look at a power generator to see how it works. Then he might knock on some professor's door and ask him about it. One man I read about became so immersed in the study of Robin Hood that he legally adopted the name. He wears a green Sherwood Forest costume, carries a longbow and lives in the forest when he's not installing bank security equipment."

On Being Eccentric

"Closely allied to creativity is the eccentric’s intense curiosity. Most eccentrics told us that they first became aware that they were different from everyone else when they were children, because they were constantly searching for underlying answers. When they asked their parents “Why?” they were never content with “Just because,” and even less happy with “Because I said so.”"

Curiosity: A Cultural History of Early Modern Inquiry - Book by Barbara M. Benedict

"Curiosity is the mark of discontent, the sign of a pursuit of something beyond what you have. In ancient literary culture, curiosity betrays the desire to know and therefore to be more than you are."

Curiosity and Creativity - PsychCentral.

"Kashdan also thinks curiosity “appears to be a fundamental motive in facilitating industry and creativity. Writers, artists, inventors, scientists, and others engaged in the creative process often refer to curiosity to describe the compelling psychological need to work at their craft.”"

M.C. Escher

  • M.C. Escher - Loose associations - Brenda's homepage.
  • M.C. Esher - Post to Jan's Enneagram & Movie Board.



Stanley Kubrick


Friedrich Nietzsche

Rock Star

Classical Musician


Fictional Character

Paranormal Phenomena


How to be a Game Designer

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