“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.
The 16 personalities that may be formed from a combination of the above scales:
|S.No.||Personality Type||Features||Some ideal career choices|
|1.||ISTJ||Introvert- Sensing- Thinking- Judging
2. Computer 3. Programmer
8. Police Officer or
10. Military Leader
|2.||ISTP||Introvert- Sensing- Thinking- Perceiving
||1. Forensic science
4. Computer programming
6. Law enforcement
7. Software engineer
8. Video game designer
|3.||ISFJ||Introvert- Sensing- Feeling- Judging
||1. Social worker
6. Child care provider
7. Office Manager
|4||ISFP||Introvert- Sensing- Feeling- Perceiving
2. Composer or musician
5. Forest ranger
10. Social worker
|5.||INFJ||Introvert- Intuition- Feeling- Judging
||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
4. Religious worker
|6.||INFP||Introvert- Intuition- Feeling- Perceiving
||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.
3. Graphic Designer
6. Physical Therapist
7. Social Worker
|7.||INTJ||Introvert- Intuition- Thinking- Judging
||1. Excellent scientists and mathematicians.
2. Fields that require efficiency and the ability to interpret complex information such as engineering, academia, law, and research.
|8.||INTP||Introvert- Intuition- Thinking- Perceiving
3. Computer programmer
4. Forensic scientist
8. Software developer
|9.||ESTP||Extravert- Sensing- Thinking- Perceiving
||Jobs that involve working with others. Strongly dislike routine and monotony, so fast-paced jobs are ideal.
1. Sales agent
|10.||ESTJ||Extravert- Sensing- Thinking- Judging
||1. Police officer
5. School administrator
6. Business manager
|11.||ESFP||Extravert- Sensing- Feeling- Perceiving
4. Social Worker
5. Athletic coach
6. Child care provider
9. Human resources specialist
10. Fashion designer
|12.||ESFJ||Extravert- Sensing- Feeling- Judging
4. Social work
9. Office manager
|13.||ENFP||Extravert- Intuition- Feeling- Perceiving
4. TV 5. Anchor/Reporter
8. Social Worker
|14.||ENFJ||Extravert- Intuition- Feeling- Judging
4. Social worker
5. Human resources manager
6. Sales representative
|15.||ENTP||Extravert- Intuition- Thinking- Perceiving
|16.||ENTJ||Extravert- Intuition- Thinking- Judging
||1. Human resources manager
2. Company CEO or manager
5. Software developer
6. Business analyst
8. University professor
Some online platforms that provide free access to these tests
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.”