Collecting Cards and Personality Types

Lately, I’ve been trying to learn more about myself on a personal note. It’s a great exercise and something really interesting to get to know yourself better. As someone who majored in Criminology and had to take a large number of psychology courses, all this stuff interests me. Why you think what you think, why you do things a certain way, all that fun stuff. So I started last night with a simple and popular personality test based on the Jung and Briggs Myers typologies.

My personality test showed me as a somewhat rare “INTJ” personality type, or The Mastermind. The acronym stands for Introvert, Intuition, Thinking, Judgment. After reading about The Mastermind, it fits me perfectly. Actually, this type of post fits that personality type as well, surprise.

But then I wonder, what personality types are card collectors?

Introverted – From my experience, I think the easiest one to decipher is that most card collectors start with I. I would argue that a lot of collectors that I have met are introverted. Just the idea of sitting around and collecting something is an independent activity that introverts would enjoy more than extroverts. I’m not saying there are no extroverted collectors, but I think introverts are more drawn to collecting things.

Sensing – I think a lot of the hardcore collectors would fit into S as their second letter. The main difference between INTJ and ISTJ is that the sensing area is more utilized. They like facts and are less of the theoretical type like the INTJ’s are. Collecting cards is generally accepting things as facts. I guess I’m in a dream world most of the time. :)

Thinking – Thinkers are more on the objective side and look at the finer details in things. Hardcore card collectors are the same way. Nothing can get by a lot of collectors when it comes to the finer details of trading cards in design or condition.

Judgment – This is an interesting one as it could fall either way. Judgment refers to planning and liking predictable outcomes. Card collecting is kind of a predictable hobby, however, the rush of unpredictability when busting boxes is pretty high for some people (like myself). Maybe that high when opening boxes is your mind liking the unpredictability because you like predictability?

So I wonder if my thoughts on the personality types of collectors are generally the same. I invite you to take a personality test here to find out your personality type and share it here. I would do a poll but there are 16 different personality types. You can be anonymous with your post if you wish, I’m just curious what types of people other collectors may be.

I’m an INTJ. What are you?

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23 Responses to Collecting Cards and Personality Types

  1. Rj says:

    I like eyepopping cards. Multicolor logo patches, autos, cuts, and Philadelphia cards… Set building only gets me if I really really like sets, but usually I pick out patches, or patch autos.

  2. Csprings says:

    INTP, I like the idea of owning a piece of history and trying to predict who will make impact on their sport.

    • Me too, but I’m not huge into the prospecting part. And that’s just not history in sports either as I’m really into the origins of Space and some world history as well.

  3. night owl says:

    ISTJ as well.

    I’ve taken this test before. I pretty much knew that I’d end up as you described.

  4. Paulie3jobs says:

    Freaky, that’s 3 of us. ISTJ as well. Thanks for the link.

  5. Khendra says:

    The 16 type system, as it popularly stands in Myers-Briggs “personality test” form, lacks falsifiability. Statistically, a large percentage of people who re-take the test later in life come out a different type, and there is no real scientific way to “prove” you are one type or another (although this might be changing in the future – I’ll get to that in a bit).

    I myself first came out INTJ, too, the first time I took it in 1998 or 1999, but after reading personality descriptors in the MBTI books and web sites, I became convinced for awhile that I was INFJ. On the other hand, some friends and relatives are/were quite divided about my type, thinking I could be a number of other ones. (For the record, I no longer consider myself an INFJ – more on that in a bit, too.)

    Are any of you familiar with the sports “brain doctor,” Jonathan Niednagel? He is the guy who predicted that Ryan Leaf would be a bust and that Peyton Manning would be a surfire star in the 1998 NFL draft (no one else reputable thought this at the time, thinking that Leaf and Manning had equal potential). He’s worked with many pro teams in multiple sports over the last few decades. I bring him up because he uses the 16 type system, albeit in a very different way. Rather than type people through conventional personality questionnaires, he thinks there is a motor skill link among the 16 types (video evidence highly suggests, though does not outright prove, his theories, so there is at least a greater falsifiability element to them relative to the more ethereal and untestable elements of the Myers-Briggs), and he has worked with some neuroscientists over the years to establish a genetic basis for the types (this is ongoing and not complete, so again, it does not yet *prove* the types).

    A lot of people find this creepy/insane and dismiss it outright, but there is at least one neuroscientific pilot study that lends some scientific respectability to his theory (along with several neuroscientists who think he is at least on the right track to something potentially consequential), and my own observations have convinced me there is some kind of genotype/phenotype basis to people’s motor skills (there also seem to be some links to types and cognitive functions and predilections, but these are less predictive, especially given gender, upbringing, and other genetic/environmental factors).

    You all may find it interesting that he thinks roughly half the populace is ENTP and only 3% or so ISTJ (he himself claims to be the latter type), a vast difference between percentage estimates in MBTI circles, which claims all intuitive types are rare and that all sensing types are common. Indeed, many people, for example, test out as ISTJ (as self-proclaimed test results here might indicate), but there are numerous reasons why this is probably not true. Some food for thought:

    ISTJs, along with INTJs, are not prone to any of the following –

    * fun, casual behavior (they live to crunch numbers and organize their homes, along with dictating what others close to them do)
    * sociability (such as sharing personal thoughts and opinions readily with strangers on a blog)

    They like/are prone to:

    * dictate/micro-manage what both they and others do (very little time for fun/casual hobbies)
    * otherwise have extremely low energy levels (energy level is how one determines extroversion/introversion via prevalence of dopamine receptors – it’s not about how many friends you have, necessarily)
    * being VERY fastidious/fussy and particular in their appearance and demeanor (they are abstemious in food/drink, for instance, tending to be exceptionally thin and diet/food-conscious)

    Does all of this apply to ANY of you who consider yourself I_TJs? If that doesn’t help, consider what you are like *outside of a work setting*. This is the best way to determine your type (most people *do not* carry the persnickety I_TJ mentality to their everyday lives, the times where we show who we *truly are* without outside input and pressures impacting what we do).

    • Geezus Khendra. lol I see your point as there are a number of different people with different opinions on trying to figure out the human brain and personality.

      I also agree that this is probably not definitive in most people, however, it’s still a fun little exercise. For me, outside the workplace I firmly believe that the test correctly told me my personality type.

      Personalities change over time as well. When I was 10 years old, you could say I was almost completely opposite. So currently, I’m an INTJ. In the future, I might change to an ISTJ or something else.

      As far as sociability goes as you discussed, I would argue many people have different social skills on the internet as opposed to in person. With that in mind, could a new personality type be created for those who are able to express themselves in an outlet which is almost deemed anti-social? I know if we were having this conversation in person, I wouldn’t want to debate about it because I’m just not that type and my mind does not think slow enough to come up with any comprehensible answer. In person, I’m alot different than online.

  6. Khendra says:

    Note not just what they say, but how they appear and how they say it.

  7. ISTJ

    likes to follow crowds, it appears ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. INTJ for me as well

  9. Kevin says:

    Working in higher ed we do these things all the time, funny thing is I can never remember my type. INFP maybe?

    Take a look at Strengths Quest sometimes. It’s a pretty interesting tool in the same vein as Myers briggs.

    By the way I studied Anthropology as an undergrad, social scientists all the way!

  10. 1967ers says:


    It may be that the test results are somewhat malleable (though it does depend on the extent to which these things are inherent and fixed and how much is a matter of circumstance) but in the 20 years I’ve been taking this test and others like it, it has never budged. Is some of that me choosing the answers I “know” to be true because I’ve done so many of them? Could be, but it’s pretty tough to determine.

    I’m a vintage set builder. I will pick up a new set each year, but I find that they don’t grab and hold my attention the way an old set will. I like learning about the old players, the context they played in and basically finding out whatever I can, and then on the blog the cards are generally a launch point to talk about whatever else I’m thinking about at the moment.

    I like objects that were “special” to someone at some point. I also collect old wood case radios because they were specifically designed to be magic. :)

    Probably an archaeologist by temperament.

  11. Jeff Laws says:

    ISFJ for me. I agreed with a lot of it, most was dead on. But some seem to be way off as well.

  12. commishbob says:

    ISTP Interestingly when I clicked the resulting link to identify my career one of those that came up was Sports Coaching which has been my career for over twenty years.

  13. Coach.R says:


    PS: Khendra from SCF?

  14. Coach.R says:

    Hey thanks…
    After taking the Jung Marriage Testโ„ข, me and my wife of 28yrs are filing for divorce(irreconcilable differences/lifes to short)

  15. KV says:

    Well I am really late to this blog but am very fascinated with the topic of why people collect sports cards and if there is a personality connection or not. As well as curious if there is a personality correlation with collectors of sports cards versus commic books or superhero cards. I thoroughly enjoy personality type theory, never really understood collecting memorabilia of any sort it just never drew me. Before reading this blog i would have definitely thought collecting sports cards would have been a Sensors hobby preferance (although i couldn’t have explained why that made sense to me) I am a female INFP.

    Now the reason i am so fascinated with this righHowever, he does have ADD and OCD which I conjecture might be what causes the X’s in his personalitynow is the love of my life is an IXFX. He is quite unique, his introversion is very strong as well as he is more F than even I am (when I was younger I tested out more closely to INTP and became a stronger F as I got older.) But what facinates me about him is he really is equalized within his intuitive vs his sensing and his P and J. It is almost like those cognitive functions are always battling for prominence within him and depending on the circumstances it just depends which function stands out. He can be extremly abstract and creepily INFJ clarivoyant at times and then other times he can be rather S like which can confuse me at times. When it comes to his hobby He doesn’t feel like to many people understand or accept his card collecting and laments to me that his family and friends think he is wasting his money and he feels very alone in his collecting and he can’t talk to anyone about it (except me).

    I notice two big factors that drive his choices of what he chooses to collect. 1. He is very
    sentimental and collects for his favorite teams and players (i am assuming that is his F?). 2. When he chooses which cards he is going to collect of his favorite players he only collects graded cards of PSA 9 or 10 and before he buys he does research in the becket price guide and the PSA population report. He is less concerned with set building and more concerned with the value potential of any given card of his sentimental choice, what do you think? Does that seem more ISF or more INF?

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