Reading my new Twitter feed (in the process of setting up my own -- http://twitter.com/Chemjobber), I see that David Kroll of Terra Sigillata is talking about Myers-Briggs personality types. I'm not much of a believer in psychology, but I've had a long-running arm's-length fascination with the Myers-Briggs test. You can take a quick five or ten minute version of the test here.
Basically, the test measures you on 4 variables -- whether you are an Introvert or an Extrovert, whether you are iNtuitive or Sensing, Thinking or Feeling and Judging or Perceiving. The questions are always a bit difficult to answer: "It's difficult to get you excited - Yes or No?" Well, it depends -- are we talking football or NMR results? I've tested as either an INTJ ("The Scientist") or a ISTJ ("The Inspector") with occasional results as a "E", if I'm in an expansive mood.*
I suspect that, within chemistry, there are a wide variety of personality types with a moderate bias towards introversion. (If you have time, Jonathan Rauch's essay on the care and feeding of introverts is a classic.) Chemistry, in the end, is a solitary pursuit. With the exception of the most complex machinery, most chemistry operations are done by one person, even if everyone is working as a team. Two people can't perform an extraction (one person holds the sep funnel, another shakes?) and a HPLC is too small to have two people standing in front of it for very long. Folks who need constant human interaction, I suspect, have a difficult time with life in the lab. (Was your favorite time in the lab when you can be alone? It is/was for me...)
Other than introversion, I doubt there's other signficant personality biases. It's also the introversion that makes group meetings such a joy. (That's a whole 'nother post.) What's your Myers-Briggs personality type? Leave it in the comments, if you dare...
*Those personality profiles always strike me as just a little bogus, sort of like Facebook quiz results. How Awesome Are You? You're Super Awesome! Where's the MBTI that's "The Sociopath"?