“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 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 the 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- JudgingMore focused on details and factsRealistically orientedInterested more in the present than the futureObservant, yet slightly subjectiveThey are seen to be interested in the internal worldLogical, reasonable and practicalOrderly, 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- PerceivingHighly logicalEnjoys learning by experienceAction-orientedVery realistic and practicalLikes excitement and new experiencesSelf-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- JudgingReliable, stable and down-to-earthEnjoys order and structureDislikes conflict and confrontationKind, warm-hearted and consideratePractical-mindedLikes concrete informationVery aware of other people’s feelingsHas a great memory for detail
Introvert- Sensing- Feeling- PerceivingA strong awareness of their environmentPrefers concrete, practical informationDislikes abstract, theoretical informationReserved and quietEnjoys hands-on learningStrong need for personal spaceLoyal to values and beliefsDislikes 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- JudgingSoft-spoken and empatheticDeeply 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 othersReservedHighly creative and artisticFocused on the futureEnjoy thinking about the meaning of lifeIdealisticSometimes difficult to get to knowCan have overly high expectationsStubbornDislikes confrontation
1. Often best suited in careers that mix their need for creativity with their desire to make meaningful changes in the world. 2. 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- PerceivingIntroverted, 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 devotedSensitive to feelingsCaring and interested in othersValues close relationshipsGood at seeing “the big picture”Can be overly idealisticTends to take everything personallyDifficult to get to knowSometimes loses sight of the little thingsOverlooks 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- JudgingIntroverted 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 conceptsHigh expectationsGood at listeningTakes criticism wellSelf-confident and hard-workingCan be overly analytical and judgmentalVery perfectionisticDislikes talking about emotionsSometimes seems callous or insensitive
1. Excellent scientists and mathematicians.2. Fields that require efficiency and the ability to interpret complex information such as engineering, academia, law, and research.
Introvert- Intuition- Thinking- PerceivingQuiet, reserved, and thoughtfulSmall group of close friendsValue intellect over emotion.Logical and objectiveTends 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 rulesAbstract thinkerIndependentLoyal and affectionate with loved onesDifficult to get to know, has trouble expressing feelingsCan be insensitiveProne to self-doubt
Extravert- Sensing- Thinking- PerceivingGregariousFunnyCompetitiveGood at influencing othersAction-orientedLives in the presentImpulsiveAdaptable and resourcefulStrong interpersonal skillsObservant with a strong memory for detailsCan be dramatic at timesEnergetic
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- JudgingPractical and realisticDependableSelf-confidenceHard-workingTraditionalEnjoys leadingVery structured and organizedSticks to their standardsStrongly dislikes inefficiency and disorganizationSeeks 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- PerceivingOptimisticPracticalSeeks out new experiencesSpontaneous and sometimes impulsiveLike facts and concrete informationDislikes theories and abstract informationGregariousEnjoys people and socializingFocused on the presentLike 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- JudgingKind and sympathetic to othersFun and outgoingHighly organizedPracticalLoyalEnjoys helping othersSelf-sacrificingDependableApproval-seeking
1. Childcare 2. Nursing 3. Teaching 4. Social work 5. Counseling 6. Physician 7. Receptionist 8. Bookkeeper 9. Office manager
Extravert- Intuition- Feeling- PerceivingExcellent people skillsEnthusiasticGenuinely care about othersEmpatheticZealous, charismatic, and creativeGreat leadersStrongly dislike routinePrefer to focus on the futureSometimes procrastinateDreaming up ideas but not seeing them through to completion is a common problemEasily distractedFlexibleLike to keep their options openSpontaneousHighly 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- JudgingGreat people skillsWarm, affectionate and supportiveGreat at encouraging other people, helpfulToo 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.EmpatheticWide social circleOrganizedApproval-seekingOverly sensitiveIndecisiveSelf-sacrificing
1. Counselor 2. Teacher 3. Psychologist 4. Social worker 5. Human resources manager 6. Sales representative Manager
Extravert- Intuition- Thinking- PerceivingMore focused on the future rather than on immediate details. May start projects and never finish themTend to reserve judgment. Instead of making a decision or committing to a course of action, they would prefer to wait and see what happensConstantly absorbing new information and ideas and quickly arriving at conclusions.InnovativeCreativeGreat conversationalistEnjoys debatingValues knowledgeCan be argumentativeDislikes routines and schedulesDoes not like to be controlledUnfocusedInsensitive
Extravert- Intuition- Thinking- JudgingPrefer to think about the future rather than focus on the here-and-nowFind abstract and theoretical information more interesting than concrete details.PlannersHighly 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 skillsSelf-assuredWell-organizedGood at making decisionsAssertive and outspokenStrong communication skillsImpatientStubbornInsensitiveAggressiveIntolerant
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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