Personality Tests Are Changing The World
Personality testing is narcissistic in nature. We love to learn about ourselves through test results, especially when the tests are based on psychological research. Moreover, we even take tests regardless of their statistical integrity (validity and/or reliability). In fact, the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal was powered by one such online personality test developed by Aleksander Kogan. Thousands of self-obsessed Facebook users voluntarily took the test, not knowing that their personal information, along with that of all their contacts, would later be sold. That information was consequently used to profile voters in the 2016 Election.
A Personality Test For World Peace
Not all personality tests used today were developed with self-interest in mind. In the 1940s, following the Second World War, Isabel Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, developed a test that targeted world peace. They believed that if everyone understood their own personality type, and the language of the test’s paradigm, difference between them and others would be understood as strength. It takes a village!
After creating their own research institute, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was developed. The MBTI is a personality inventory with 144 items measuring preference along four continuums with dichotomous elements. A detailed description of the test and potential results are further down the page.
The Theory of Type (Carl Jung) and MBTI
The original theory of, “Type,” was conceptualized by Carl Jung in the 1920s. Jung believed that behaviour was the result of differences in the way people preferred to engage in the world. Jung noticed that in conversation, people either tended to continually take in information (perceiving), or organize available information to draw conclusions. This conceptualization in turn became one of the four dichotomies seen in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
Understanding MBTI Preferences
After taking the MBTI, your results will indicate your preference on each continuum. You will either be noted as preferring, “Extraversion, ” or “Introversion,” etc. In order to create the letters of your time, you would take the first letter of your preference for each of the four continuums, with the exception of “Intuition“. The “I” is replaced with an “N” since it is already used for “Introversion.”
The MBTI Type Breakdown
To recap, the MBTI test classifies your preferences based on the dichotomous elements revealed in the test results. In the end, you are classified as one or the other for each (I vs. E; S vs. N; T vs. F; J vs. P). Thus, there are a total of sixteen possible outcomes. Test results also indicate the strength of each continuum element.
However, what if your test shows no clear preference? It is possible to sit directly in the middle (e.g.; You show no preference for introversion or extroversion). However, this is considered quite rare. In that case, you would read the descriptions of the opposing versions and choose the best match.
The following matrix shows all possible combinations of each dichotomous preference:
A Short Description of your Type
The following is a breakdown of the sixteen (16) types with a brief description of each. If you want an in-depth review of each type, including a comprehensive description of each “shadow type,” visit the TypeLogic Project.
- ISTJ: The ISTJ has a firm understanding of what is right and wrong, both within themselves, and the world. Their devotion is unstoppable, and they shy away from anything lacking facts. They seek consistency in others and have a propensity for clearly stated honesty with everyone they encounter.
- ISTP: The ISTP has a keen interest in production and performance, especially when it comes to, “fixing” all things technical. They have a strong need for personal space and generally express themselves non-verbally. Rote-abstract classroom learning environments are not suited for the ISTP, seen in their skepticism that the information has practice value.
- ISFJ: There is no other type more devoted to serving others. They have often been described as, “needing to be needed.” They are reliable and loyal to a fault. ISFJs are drawn to teaching, social work, nursing, and medicine.
- ISFP: While often seen as eccentric, the ISFP is known for setting the trend. Compared to the INFP, they are more in touch with the realities around them. They oscillate between being charming and aloof with others. They are adept at experimental learning.
- INFJ: The INFJ is the voice of the marginalized. They are adept at connecting with those most in need and are often ardent defenders. They have a particularly suspicious nature and are selective about who they choose to have in their life. INFJs are adept at non-verbal communication.
- INFP: With an ability to switch between a rich inner life, and reality, the INFP might keep others wondering what exactly they are asking about. The INFP sees life through rose-coloured glasses and sees beauty in everything around them. They have an extreme depth of feeling that often goes hidden. They are lovers of the “Hero’s Journey”.
- INTJ: There is no greater perfectionist. INTJs seek to improve on anything that peaks their interest. They are talented system builders, supported by their imaginativeness and reliability. Their structured logic is known to cause communication problems in personal relationships.
- INTP: The INTP’s ability to venture deeply into thought is both their talent and curse. They are sometimes seen as quite detached in discussions with others, and are well known for considering everything around them before making a decision. They are lovers of logical and correctness.
- ESTP: Know a sensation seeker? They might be an ESTP. This type is spontaneous, active, and love acting on impulse. ESTPs are known for loving shock value.
- ESTJ: A lover of tradition, the ESTJ seeks order and continuity. They enjoy organizing others and leading the pack. From their perspective, decisions should be dictated by tradition or handed down from above.
- ESFP: The ESFP is all about having fun. They are adept at “speaking to think,” even more than their other extraverted type counterparts. Talking about others is common practice of the ESTP, but should not be categorized as gossip.
- ESFJ: Being an outwardly giving soul, the ESFJ loves to bring others together every chance they get. They enjoy being in charge of planning events and are good delegators. However, the ESFJ is also easily wounded, seen in their extraverted feelings.
- ENFP: Need to explore ideas and grand possibilities? Then you should hire the ENFP. This type is good with people and sees the good in everything around them. At the same time, they often have strong viewpoints informed by their values.
- ENFJ: Others are drawn to the ENFJ’s charisma and nurturing style. They have honed interpersonal skills and believe in their ability to help others. ENFJs have been known to neglect themselves and believe that it is a natural part of the helping process.
- ENTP: Known for their quick verbal skills and wit, the ENTP is great in the university classroom. With good humour, they also like to show off their debating skills. The ENTP is a clear optimist but quietly feels setbacks when they occurs.
- ENTJ: Being born leaders, the ENTJ is passionate about their personal and work projects. They are decisive and quickly see tasks that need to be done. They can also be argumentative when others go against the plan.
Taking The MBTI
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is protected by copyright. In order to take the MBTI, you must see a professional that has been certified to administer the inventory. There are several online resources that approximate the official items on the original MBTI. However, it is important to note that any resource other than the original lacks reliability.
You may not have access to someone who can give you the MBTI. The following is a list of online approximations:
Through learning about ourselves, we have the power to gain a deeper undressing of those around us. This is particularly helpful in the workplace where there are many personalties to master throughout the day. How we choose to engage should be informed by our guess at the other person’s type. The most powerful lesson we learn by approaching people in this fashion, is that challenging interactions are rarely personal. Our response should honour our own preference without reacting negatively to the other.
Direct Application At Work
Want to know how to apply personality typology directly in the world of work? Check-out our article describing how to manage difficult relationships in the office. We provide examples from the MBTI, and four other personalty theories, sure to contribute to an optimal solution.
Take your understanding of the MBTI, and the psycho-social impact the test continues to have in our relationships, schools, and place of works, to the next level with this informative work by Kroeger & Thuesen.