Have you heard of the Myers Briggs personality test? It is a test indicator designed to help people identify their unique personality type, preference, strength, and weakness.
Designed by a mother and daughter, Isabel Myers (daughter) and Katherine Briggs (mother). The test had become a standard for personality evaluation.
Background Of Myers Briggs
Myers Briggs test is highly influenced by Carl Jung’s Personality Types Theory. The authors were fascinated with what Carl Jung espoused in his work about the different personalities of people, so they used it as a foundation for building their test. Also known as MBTI, the test has become the standard for psychological evaluation.
Myers and Briggs believed that standard personality trait tests could be used in the real world to explain why people behaved the way they did. So during the height of the Second World War, they set about researching and developing a standardized test to differentiate and explain the different personalities.
Myers and Briggs believed that if people could understand why they acted the way they did, it would help them make the right decision when choosing career paths best suited for them. By picking the right career, the authors concluded that people would end up leading happier lives.
During the 1940s, Myers created the first ever pencil and pen version of the test, and later on, mother and daughter started testing their assessments on family and friends. The assessment continued got the next two decades as a fine tuned it.
The Goal Of MBTI
The MBTI’s main goal is to help respondents explore their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, career preference, and compatibility with others, among other metrics. The test identified 16 personality types, and no single personality type was adjudged the best or above others.
Furthermore, Myers Briggs is not designed to evaluate abnormality or dysfunctionality but more as a self-assessment tool. This is why the test is set up as a questionnaire to cover different areas or scales.
Extraversion/Introversion – €/I
The extraversion/introversion scale was the original work of Carl Jung, describing how people responded and interacted with the world around them. Extraverts (Extroverts) are outdoor lovers who prefer to spend more time outside than indoors. They are more action-oriented and value social interaction more than isolation. Introverts are those who are more thought-oriented and prefer to stay indoors. They feel more energized when they are alone than when they find themselves in a group.
Sensing/Intuition – S/N
This second scale focuses on how people gather and retain information. People react to information differently. Some sense it, while others use their intuition depending on the situation. The Myers Briggs personality types test opines that people use one more than the other. Those who sense more are more interested in observing reality and learning by sensory perception. Concepts like facts and details appeal to them greatly.
Those who are intuitive prefer patterns and impressions. They imagine the future and delve into abstract theories more than facts to make sense of anything. Intuitive people like to think a lot; that is why they are mostly introverted.
Thinking/Feeling – T/F
The Thinking/ Feeling Scale focuses on how people make decisions based on available information. People who place much emphasis on thinking are more attracted to facts and data, while intuitive people place more emphasis on their feelings. Thinking people are more impersonal and logical when making decisions. Feeling people are heavily influenced by their emotions when making decisions.
Judging/Perceiving – J/P
The last scale is the judging and perceiving scale. Those who judge lean on the outside world prefer to interact with structures when making decisions about the outside world. They are rigid and more streamlined in their thoughts.
People who perceive are more adaptable, flexible, and more open to interactions with others. This scale is greatly influenced by the extrovert-introvert dichotomy. So this judging and perceiving scale can also help you determine whether you like making decisions on sensing/thinking or intuition/feeling.
Myers Briggs Personality Types
To conclude this article, let’s give you a quick rundown of the different types of personality types as identified by Myers Briggs
- ISTJ (Inspector) – Practical, Reserved, loyal and orderly
- ISTP (Crafter) – Highly independent and enjoys new experiences
- ISFJ (Protector) – Warm hearted, dedicated, and willing to help and protect others. Very caring.
- ISFP (Artist) – Easy going, reserved and artistic
- INFJ (Advocate) – Analytical and creative, and an extremely rare personality
- INFP (Mediator) – Idealistic with a high moral compass. Value oriented
- INTJ (Architect) – Very logical and quite creative and analytical
- INTP (Thinker) – Introverted and extremely quiet with a rich mind
- ESTP (Persuader) – Dramatic and Outgoing. Enjoys spending time with others
- ESTJ (Director) – Assertive and rule oriented with high principles: Bossy personality
- ESFP (Performer) – Spontaneous and Outgoing. Like to be the life of the party
- ESFJ (Caregiver) – Outgoing and soft hearted. Improves others
- ENFP (Champion) – Energetic and Charismatic. Derives great satisfaction from their work.
- ENFJ (Giver) – Sensitive and loyal. Generous unto others
- ENTP (Debater) – Highly inventive and a lover of ideas. Starts projects quickly but struggle to finish
- ENTJ (Commander) – Confident and outspoken. Very good at organizing projects
All these personality types and unique and equal in their own right, so no personality is better than the others. Knowing your personality type can provide a lot of insight into how your mind works and your preferences and dislikes.
What to do with the results?
Having awareness of your MBTI type can help you with both professional as well as interpersonal growth.
Many people like to use their MBTI definition for:
- self-reflection / self-development
- working on stress impulses and how they affect everyday life
- career choices or development
- interpersonal work relationships
- conflict resolutions
these are just a few scenarios where the MBTI can help with.
Take a professional meeting as an example.
Extraverted individuals (e.g. ESTJs) will often prefer an open communication to express thoughts, ideas and frameworks as they come to mind, whereas introverted individuals (e.g. INTPs) will asses the situation quietly, reflection on possible ways to convey their message before they start communicating. Obviously, this can lead to clashes in meetings.
Knowing your MBTI can help you reflect on this situation and find a common path.
Obviously, there are virtually endless situations where knowing your MBTI type can help you to approach a situation differently.
The Myer Briggs test is a great tool to help individuals understand their inherent personality. It identifies 16 distinct personality types that are the result of individual preferences on an interpersonal level. Do you know your MBTI personality type?