Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is a self-report inventory designed to identify a person’s personality type, strengths, and preferences. The questionnaire was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs based on their work with Carl Jung’s theory of personality types.
According to Jung as supplemented by Myers, personality type is based on four pairs of opposing preferences. This means, personality can be typed into four dimensions.
Four Pairs of Opposing Preference
Extraversion – Introversion (E/I):
- Extraversion: A preference of engagement with the outer world and initiating contact with people.
- Introversion: A preference for the inner world, contemplation, responding to contact from others.
Sensing – iNtuiting (S/N)
- Sensing: A preference for perceiving the world through facts, evidence, data and details.
- iNuiting: A preference for perceiving the world through concepts, theories and abstractions.
Thinking – Feeling (T/F)
- Thinking: The capacity to decide objectively based on the evidence and applicable principles.
- Feeling: A preference for making decisions based on values and effects on people rather than logic.
Judging – Perceiving (J/P)
- Judging: A preference for living a planned and organized life in the external world.
- Perceiving: A preference for living spontaneously, with many options, in the external world.
Eight Mental Functions in Attitude
After Jung came up with four dimensions for personality types, Jung observed that Perceiving and Judging function were always used hand-in-hand with attitudes of Extraversion and Introversion.
Rest of the four functions (Sensing, iNtuition, Thinking, and Feeling) combine with two attitudes (Extraversion and Introversion) to form eight mental Functions-in-Attitude. These eight mental functions were called his Eight Types by Jung. These eight mental functions-in-attitude are the functions that we use to adapt to the world, and these functions are the core of Jung’s theory of psychological types.
|Introverted – iNtuition||Refers to means, patterns, symbols and insight in the subjective world, which is acquired unconsciously.|
|Introverted – Sensing||Refers to storing factual historical data and gathering sensory experiences from the subjective world.|
|Introverted – Thinking||Refers to seeking understanding through logical principles in the subjective world.|
|Introverted – Feeling||Refers to seeking harmony and alignment of personal behavior with deeply felt values and evaluation of such phenomenon with respect to those values.|
|Extroverted – iNtuition||Refers to possibilities, patterns and meanings in the objective world.|
|Extroverted – Sensing||Refers to gathering sensory experiences and factual data from the objective world.|
|Extroverted – Thinking||Refers to application of logical order through structure building, decision making and organization in the objective world.|
|Extroverted – Feeling||Refers to building and seeking harmony and alignment with others through openly expressed values in the objective world.|
The Development of the Myers – Briggs Test
Both Myers and Briggs were fascinated by Jung’s theory of psychological types and recognized that the theory could have real-world applications. During World War II, they began researching and developing an indicator that could be utilized to help understand individual differences.
Myers created the first pen-and-pencil version of the inventory during the 1940s. Based on the answers to the questions on the inventory, people are identified as having one of 16 personality types. The goal of the MBTI is to allow respondents to further explore and understand their own personalities including:
- Possible career
- Preferences, and
- Compatibility in relationship.
The MBTI Types
Each type is then listed by its four-letter code:
- ISTJ – The Inspector
- Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
- ISTP – The Crafter
- Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving
- ISFJ – The Protector
- Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging
- ISFP – The Artist
- Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving
- INFJ – The Advocate
- Introverted, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging
- INFP – The Mediator
- Introverted, iNtuition, Feeling, Perceiving
- INTJ – The Architect
- Introverted, iNtuition, Thinking, Judging
- INTP – The Thinker
- Introverted, iNtuition, Thinking, Perceiving
- ESTP – The Persuader
- Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving
- ESTJ – The Director
- Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
- ESFP – The Performer
- Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving
- ESFJ – The Caregiver
- Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging
- ENFP – The Champion
- Extroverted, iNtuition, Feeling, Perceiving
- ENFJ – The Giver
- Extroverted, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging
- ENTP – The Debater
- Extroverted, iNtuition, Thinking, Perceiving
- ENTJ – The Commander
- Extroverted, iNtuition, Thinking, Judging
Taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can provide a lot of insight into your personality, which is probably why the instrument has become so enormously popular. Even without taking the formal questionnaire, you can probably immediately recognize some of these tendencies in yourself.
Here are the links for you to take the test yourself: 16personalities.