“Personality can be defined as individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. The study of personality can be classified in two broad areas based on its focus: First is understanding individual differences in particular personality characteristics, such as sociability or irritability etc. The other is understanding how various differing parts of a person come together as a whole individual.”
– American Psychological Association
The Myers Briggs Personality Test Type Indicator among other psychometric personality tests is an inventory where you evaluate yourself based on generalized, structured statements that help to identify a person’s characteristic differences, strengths, and preferences.
The questions were designed, developed and validated by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types.
There is no right or wrong, no personality type is “best” or “better” than the others. MBTI is not appropriate to look for dysfunction or abnormality.
The aim of the MBTI is only to help people to understand, judge and analyze their own personalities including their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, possible career preferences, and compatibility with people they care for.
The questionnaire itself is made of four different scales:
Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)
This scale focuses on the way We respond and interact with the world around us. Extroversion and Introversion here have a different sense then their conventional meaning. The literal meaning of Extraversion is “outward-turning” and introversion, “inward-turning”.
The preferences for extraversion and introversion are characteristic of our “attitudes”.
Extraverts draw their motivation and energy from action: they tend to act first, then reflect, then act further. A decrease in activity can, thus, lead to a decrease in motivation and energy. To re-energize or Self- Motivate, extraverts need breaks from time spent in analysis and reflection.
Conversely, Introverts “expend” energy through engaging in activities: they prefer to reflect first, then act, then reflect again. To re-energize, introverts need to spend some quiet time alone, away from action.
An extravert’s locus of control is based outward toward other people and objects, whereas that of an introvert is inward toward concepts and ideas.
Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)
The preferences for sensing and intuition are characteristic of our “perceiving functions”.
Sensing and intuition are the scales help identify how information is gathered, understood and interpreted by us.
People who are classified as Sensing are more likely to trust information that can be understood by the five senses (i.e. can be seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled). They tend to distrust intuitions, etc. and look for details and facts.
On the other hand, those Intuitive tend to trust information that can be associated with other information (either remembered from the past experience or other existing resources) or a hunch. They seem to be more interested in future possibilities and what can be.
Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)
The preferences for thinking and feeling are characteristic of our “judging functions”.
Based on the data received from their information-gathering functions (sensing or intuition), people can be seen to make decisions using these classifications.
Thinkers tend to decide things less from an attached and more from a detached standpoint, measuring and analysing the decision based on what seems reasonable, logical, causal, consistent, and matching a given set of rules. Thinkers tend to be very direct in terms of their feedbacks.
Feelers tend to come to decisions by attaching, associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it ‘from the inside’ and work towards achieving balance. They look for the decision with the greatest harmony, considering the needs and desires, wishes of the people involved.
Although, Thinkers may find it difficult to interact with people who they feel are inconsistent or illogical as per their standards, people who prefer thinking do not consequentially nor necessarily, “think better” than the Feelers, and vice-versa. In a common sense; the opposite preference is considered an equally rational way of coming to decisions.
Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)
This final scale, characteristic of lifestyle preferences, involves how people prefer to deal with the outside world. People who prefer judging tend to prefer structure, strong set of beliefs and firm decisions.
People who prefer perceiving are more open, flexible, and adaptable. They also have their own beliefs that are not absolutely set in concrete and can be modified with evidence.
None of these scales deal in absolutes. It is not either-or kind of a difference, but a scale where one has both the characteristics- 1 is just more dominant than the other, one may be seen as leaning towards say extraversion but finds it very comfortable to sit alone for months.
Myers Briggs Personality Test : The 16 personalities that may be formed from a combination of the above scales:
Some ideal career choices
Introvert- Sensing- Thinking- Judging More focused on details and facts, Realistically oriented, Interested more in the present than the future. Observant, yet slightly subjective. They are seen to be interested in the internal world. Logical, reasonable and practical. Orderly, structured and organized
1. Accountant 2. Computer 3. Programmer 4. Dentist 5. Doctor 6. Librarian 7. Lawyer 8. Police Officer or 9. Detective 10. Military Leader
Introvert- Sensing- Thinking- Perceiving Highly logical. Enjoys learning by experience. Action-oriented. Very realistic and practical. Likes excitement and new experiences Self-confident and easy-going.
1. Forensic science 2. Engineering 3. Mechanics 4. Computer programming 5. Carpentry 6. Law enforcement 7. Software engineer 8. Video game designer 9. Electrician 10. Scientist 11. Pilot 12. Firefighter
Introvert- Sensing- Feeling- Judging Reliable, stable and down-to-earth. Enjoys order and structure. Dislikes conflict and confrontation. Kind, warm-hearted and considerate, Practical-minded. Likes concrete information. Very aware of other people’s feelings. Has a great memory for detail.
Introvert- Sensing- Feeling- Perceiving A strong awareness of their environment. Prefers concrete, practical information. Dislikes abstract, theoretical information. Reserved and quiet. Enjoys hands-on learning. Strong need for personal space. Loyal to values and beliefs. Dislikes arguments and conflict.
1. Artist 2. Composer or musician 3. Chef 4. Designer 5. Forest ranger 6. Nurse 7. Naturalist 8. Pediatrician 9. Psychologist 10. Social worker 11. Teacher 12. Veterinarian
Introvert- Intuition- Feeling- Judging Soft-spoken and empathetic, Deeply held beliefs and an ability to act decisively in order to get what they want. Introverted yet able to form strong, meaningful connections with others. Enjoy helping others, but also need time and space to recharge. Place a greater emphasis on personal concerns than objective facts when making decisions. Sensitive to the needs of others. Reserved. Highly creative and artistic. Focused on the future. Enjoy thinking about the meaning of life, Idealistic. Sometimes difficult to get to know. Can have overly high expectations. Stubborn. Dislikes confrontation.
Often best suited in careers that mix their need for creativity with their desire to make meaningful changes in the world. Jobs that don’t require a great deal of routine or adherence to strict rules. 1. Artist 2. Actor 3. Entrepreneur 4. Religious worker 5. Musician 6. Librarian 7. Counselor 8. Psychologist 9. Writer 10. Teacher 11. Photographer
Introvert- Intuition- Feeling- Perceiving Introverted, quiet, and reserved. Being in social situations tends to drain their energy. Work well alone. Emphasis on personal feelings and their decisions are more influenced by these concerns rather than by objective information. Like to keep their options open and often delay making important decisions just in case something about the situation changes. Loyal and devoted. Sensitive to feelings. Caring and interested in others. Values close relationships. Good at seeing “the big picture”. Can be overly idealistic. Tends to take everything personally. Difficult to get to know. Sometimes loses sight of the little things. Overlooks details.
Careers where they can express their creativity and vision.
Creative, artistic, and spiritual. Prefer to express their thoughts and feelings through writing rather than speaking.
1. Artist 2. Counselor 3. Graphic Designer 4. Librarian 5. Psychologist 6. Physical Therapist 7. Social Worker 8. Writer
Introvert- Intuition- Thinking- Judging Introverted and prefer to work alone. Look at the big picture and focus on abstract information rather than concrete details. Emphasis on logic and objective information rather than subjective emotions. Make plans well in advance. Enjoys theoretical and abstract concepts. High expectations. Good at listening. Takes criticism well. Self-confident and hard-working. Can be overly analytical and judgmental. Very perfectionistic. Dislikes talking about emotions. Sometimes seems callous or insensitive
Excellent scientists and mathematicians. Fields that require efficiency and the ability to interpret complex information such as engineering, academia, law, and research. 1. Scientist 2. Mathematician 3. Engineer 4. Dentist 5. Doctor 6. Teacher 7. Judge 8. Lawyer
Introvert- Intuition- Thinking- Perceiving Quiet, reserved, and thoughtful. Small group of close friends. Value intellect over emotion. Logical and objective. Tends to be flexible and good at thinking “outside of the box.” Focus on the big picture rather than focusing on every tiny detail. Like to keep their options open and feel limited by structure and planning. Struggles to follow rules. Abstract thinker. Independent. Loyal and affectionate with loved ones. Difficult to get to know, has trouble expressing feelings. Can be insensitive. Prone to self-doubt.
Extravert- Sensing- Thinking- Perceiving Gregarious, Funny, Competitive. Good at influencing others. Action-oriented. Lives in the present. Impulsive. Adaptable and resourceful. Strong interpersonal skills. Observant with a strong memory for details. Can be dramatic at times. Energetic.
Jobs that involve working with others. Strongly dislike routine and monotony, so fast-paced jobs are ideal. 1. Sales agent 2. Marketer 3. Entrepreneur 4. Police officers 5. Detectives 6. Computer support technician 7. Paramedic
Extravert- Sensing- Thinking- Judging Practical and realistic Dependable Self-confidence Hard-working. Traditional. Enjoys leading. Very structured and organized. Sticks to their standards. Strongly dislikes inefficiency and disorganization. Seeks out like-minded individuals.
1. Police officer 2. Military 3. Judge 4. Teacher 5. School administrator 6. Business manager 7. Accountant 8. Banker
Extravert- Sensing- Feeling- Perceiving Optimistic. Practical. Seeks out new experiences. Spontaneous and sometimes impulsive. Like facts and concrete information. Dislikes theories and abstract information. Gregarious. Enjoys people and socializing. Focused on the present. Like variety, dislikes monotony.
1. Artist 2. Actor 3. Counselor 4. Social Worker 5. Athletic coach 6. Child care provider 7. Musician 8. Psychologist 9. Human resources specialist 10. Fashion designer
Extravert- Sensing- Feeling- Judging Kind and sympathetic to others. Fun and outgoing. Highly organized. Practical. Loyal. Enjoys helping others. Self-sacrificing. Dependable. Approval-seeking
1. Childcare 2. Nursing 3. Teaching 4. Social work 5. Counseling 6. Physician 7. Receptionist 8. Bookkeeper 9. Office manager
Extravert- Intuition- Feeling- Perceiving Excellent people skills. Enthusiastic. Genuinely care about others. Empathetic. Zealous, charismatic, and creative. Great leaders. Strongly dislike routine. Prefer to focus on the future. Sometimes procrastinate. Dreaming up ideas but not seeing them through to completion is a common problem. Easily distracted. Flexible. Like to keep their options open. Spontaneous. Highly adaptable to change.
1. Psychologist 2. Journalist 3. Actor 4. TV 5. Anchor/Reporter 6. Nutritionist 7. Nurse 8. Social Worker 9. Politician 10. Counselor
Extravert- Intuition- Feeling- Judging Great people skills. Warm, affectionate and supportive. Great at encouraging other people, helpful. Too hard on themselves, blaming themselves for when things go wrong and not giving themselves enough credit when things go right. Need time alone in order to assimilate and organize their thoughts. Empathetic. Wide social circle. Organized. Approval-seeking. Overly sensitive. Indecisive. Self-sacrificing.
1. Counselor 2. Teacher 3. Psychologist 4. Social worker 5. Human resources manager 6. Sales representative Manager
Extravert- Intuition- Thinking- Perceiving More focused on the future rather than on immediate details. May start projects and never finish them. Tend to reserve judgment. Instead of making a decision or committing to a course of action, they would prefer to wait and see what happens. Constantly absorbing new information and ideas and quickly arriving at conclusions. Innovative. Creative. Great conversationalist. Enjoys debating. Values knowledge. Can be argumentative. Dislikes routines and schedules. Does not like to be controlled. Unfocused Insensitive.
Extravert- Intuition- Thinking- Judging Prefer to think about the future rather than focus on the here-and-now. Find abstract and theoretical information more interesting than concrete details. Planners. Highly rational, good at spotting problems, and excel at taking charge. Focused on efficiently solving problems. Prone to hiding their own emotions and sentimentality, viewing it as a weakness that should not be made known to others. Strong leadership skills. Self-assured. Well-organized. Good at making decisions. Assertive and outspoken. Strong communication skills. Impatient. Stubborn. Insensitive. Aggressive. Intolerant
1. Human resources manager 2. Company CEO or manager 3. Lawyer 4. Scientist 5. Software developer 6. Business analyst 7. Entrepreneur 8. University professor
Some other common personality tests include Bem Sex-Role Inventory (Gender identification), Big Five personality traits, California Psychological Inventory (Self-report inventory), DISC assessment (Dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Hare Psychopathy Checklist, Inwald Personality Inventory, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Rorschach inkblot test, Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire or 16PF Questionnaire, Thematic Apperception Test.
“Today, the Myers Briggs Personality Test/MBTI inventory is one of the most widely used psychological instruments in the world.”
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