Myers Briggs Personality Indicator: How is your personality?
How would you describe your personality? Do you surround yourself with other people or do you prefer solitude? Are you organized, spontaneous, or quick to make decisions? The Myers Briggs Personality Indicator is a personality test that easily categorizes personalities to explain why we act in the ways that we do.
What is the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator?
The Myers Briggs Personality Indicator is a self-report personality test comprised of 16 total personality types. When taking the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator, people are asked to answer a series of questions regarding their strengths, weaknesses, and psychological preferences. Its purpose is to assist in everyday life. Results of the test lend insight into behavior and communication by proving people share similar personality characteristics. This understanding is significant because it settles interpersonal disputes that arise from varying personality patterns. The Myers Briggs Personality Indicator is used to the benefit of academics, occupational success, and relationships.
History of the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator
The Myers Briggs Personality Indicator was created in 1962 by mother and daughter Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. However, their research began as early as 1942. Both women were inspired by the theories of psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jung’s theory of psychological types proposed that people have attitudes and functions of consciousness that are opposite. According to Jung, the dominating function controls the conscious mind and its opposite function the unconscious. The four functions include Sensing and Intuition, which are non-rational functions, as well as Thinking and Feeling which are rational functions.
Myers Briggs Personality Indicator Categories
The Myers Briggs Personality Indicator is divided into four categories: Extraversion or Introversion, Sensing or Intuition, Thinking or Feeling, and Judging or Perceiving. These categories explain how people interact with others and the environment.
Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)
Extraversion describes people who enjoy social interaction. They are social butterflies. Spending time around others provides them with a sense of energy. Extraverts are also said to be “out-going.” Their energy is directed outward towards people and engaging activities.
Introversion, however, is the complete opposite. Introverts direct their energy inward toward themselves. They are viewed as pensive and reflective. While they do enjoy socializing, they prefer to do so with one or two close friends who know them well. Introverts require alone time to become re-energized.
Sensing (S) – Intuition (I)
Sensing and intuition are how someone obtains information from their environment. Those who are realists rely primarily on sensing and thrive through personal, first-hand experience. They focus on present facts and details while making decisions.
Contrarily, people who are intuitive consider the future of possibilities. Their attention is on various patterns as they process information. They are known as the abstract thinkers with big ideas.
Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)
Once information is gathered through sensing or intuition, it is applied to decision making through thinking or feeling. Thinking people depend on facts. They depend on objective data and do not allow emotions to interfere with their choices. Decisions are logical, and sometimes detached.
People who process information through feeling are driven by emotion. They are very empathic and care less about objective facts. Instead, they “think with their heart.”
Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)
Judging and perceiving are how people interact with the outside world. Judging people are decisive, structured, and organized. They are competent—taking great satisfaction when they finish a job. They are committed their decisions and projects.
Perceiving people are not as rigid. They have the tendency to be spontaneous and adapt well despite change. While perceiving people can succeed in all that they accomplish, they often procrastinate and neglect making firm decisions keep their options open.
The Myers Briggs Personality Types: Introverted
The Myers Briggs Personality types are further divided into 8 introverted types.
ISTJ – The Inspector
ISTJ means Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. ISTJ personality types are introverted. They are revitalized by spending time alone. They are factual and objective, making their decisions based on objective information. Above all, ISTJs are referred to as “the inspector” because of their keen attention to detail and organization. They excel in jobs that require structure like a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or police officer. Most ISTJs surround themselves with two to three best friends, but struggle to express their feelings to those they are closest to. 12 percent of the population are of the ISTJ personality type.
ISTP – The Crafter
The acronym ISTP stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving. ISTPs are described as practical, logical, resourceful, and independent. As introverts, they pay attention to how things work, and their personality type is nicknamed “the crafter” because they are experts in operating tools and machinery. In relationships, an ISTP may seem emotionally unattached. Expressing emotions makes them uncomfortable due to their quiet, reserved demeanor. When connecting with others, they bond over accomplishing a common goal (i.e. hobbies, problem-solving). The ISTP personality type is not rare. Men are more likely than women to be the 5 percent of the population that is an ISTP.
ISFJ – The Protector
ISFJ is Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. An ISFJ is kind, honest, and considerate. Although they are energized by spending time alone, they focus on “protecting” and caring for friends and family. Getting along with others is their main priority both in their personal relationships, as well as at work. A key trait is their efficient memory is an asset to their serious and hardworking personality. When accomplishing tasks, they prefer to follow traditions. Even in their successes, they remain humble—not wishing to draw attention to themselves. 14 percent of the population has an ISFJ personality.
ISFP – The Artist
ISFP stands for Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving. It is in the top four personality types in the general population. An ISFP is very perceptive to their environment. They are artists at heart—skilled in what is aesthetically pleasing and taking in all of the details of their surroundings. As artists, they are spontaneous. ISFPs prefer flexibility over structured organization. Despite their quietness, an ISFP cares deeply about people and desires to help them in practical, low-key ways. They enjoy artistic hobbies such as painting, dancing, nature, and independent sports.
INFJ – The Advocate
INFJ means Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. Someone with an INFJ personality type is proficient in advocating or counseling others because of their sensitivity, compassion, and idealism. INFJs are introverted but are still very much a people person in their desire to help others with personal hardships. They transcend in their ability to read people. Those with an INFJ personality are intensely motivated to think towards the future. They are happy to create a better future. An INFJ easily gets along with others but is selective in who they choose to share their inner selves with. This is the rarest personality type/.
INFP – The Mediator
INFP stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. An INFP is strong in idealism. They strive to have a positive impact on the world around them and is why they are called the mediators. However, they possess profound moral integrity they are unwilling to compromise their values. This moral and emotional integrity is potentially a downfall if they refuse to settle on a give-and-take agreement when working through problems. INFPs are spontaneous and have a thirst for knowledge about themselves and the people around them. Their compassion for others is compounded by complete acceptance with an interest in spirituality.
INTJ – The Architect
The acronym INTJ represents Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging. INTJs are “architects” because of their logical, strategic thinking ability. They are goal oriented, applying rationality and competency to everything they do. INTJS spend a great deal of time in their head. They have an insatiable desire to understand the meaning of the world. All of their opinions are objective, and they do not hesitate to inform people that their beliefs are lacking logic. Emotional expression is a challenge. Others may complain about difficulty reading their INTJ friend or family member. INTJS do not show emotion easily and must be careful not to come across as unemphatic.
INTP – The Thinker
INFP stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving. An INTP is analytical in thinking. They wish to objectively understand life’s theories. Outsiders describe INTPs as unconventional. When tackling any task, they are spontaneous and find their own method instead of following the traditional route. Overlooking an important fact is their biggest fear with their perfectionist nature. An INTP acts withdrawn because they are usually thinking about new complex concepts. This hinders their relationships, as they fail to attend to emotional cues. Only 3 percent of the population has an INTP personality.
The Myers Briggs Personality Types: Extroverted
The Myers Briggs Personality types are further divided into 8 extraverted types.
ESTP – The Persuader
The acronym ESTP stands for Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving. An ESTP personality type is characterized by extraversion. ESTPs are energetic, unfiltered, and continually engage in interactions. They thrive on fast paced spontaneity. In a room full of people, the ESTP is the life of the party. They are always moving—excelling in athletics—and engaging with everyone. This tendency can cause their relationships to be shallow is they are not careful to expend the time to fully connect with others. In the workplace, the ESTP is quick to take risks and to contribute ideas. 4 percent of the general population is comprised of ESTP personality types.
ESTJ – The Director
ESTJ is Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. ESTJs are extraverts that structured, methodical extraverts who derive pleasure from finishing projects. ESTJs have the nickname “the director” because they adopt a leadership role in almost any setting. Whether at work, home, or school, they are conscientious and take-charge to ensure a task is done correctly. Their organized, structured attitude is reflected through the need to remain in control and abide by the rules. The ESTJ is confident in their experiences, so much so that they are sometimes described as stubborn or inflexible.
ESFP – The Performer
ESFP stands for Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving. ESFPs are natural performers. They are energetic and find even the basics of life like food, clothes, and nature, thrilling. Their entertainer side is talkative, spontaneous, humorous, and playful. They want everyone around them to have fun. People with an ESFP personality type are connected to their senses, which grounds them to reality. However, conversations with others are rarely serious. An ESFP avoids talking about serious subjects because it distracts from the pleasure of life. In a work setting, the ESFP is aware of when it is appropriate to enter the leading spotlight and when to back down and cooperate with others on a project. This is the third most prevalent personality type.
ESFJ – The Caregiver
ESFJ means Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging. The ESFJ is first and foremost concerned with the wellbeing of their loved ones. They are loyal and attentive. With empathy being a significant personality trait, ESFJs take on the struggles of their friends and family. They make it their goal to help by implementing their refined organizational skills. ESFJs are exceptional leaders in their households, occupations, or volunteer settings. They are also called caregivers because of their responsibility to support others. Those who have an ESFJ personality type are judgment and freely express their opinions.
ENFP – The Champion
The acronym ENFP represents Extraverted, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving. ENFPs are happiest exploring their creativity and helping others do the same. They are energetic, witty, and have a talent for communication. People and emotions are their largest investments. Although they do appreciate facts, they are motivated by expressing individual uniqueness and uncovering subjective meaning. Unlike the ESFJ type, ENFPs are not judgmental. Instead, they focus on sharing their passions and feeling with those they interact with.
ENFJ – The Giver
ENFJ means Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. Those with the ENFJ personality type have a passion for human growth. They deeply value ambition if the outcome has a positive effect on the world. Rather than solely cherishing the emotions of their loved ones, an ENFJ cares about the entire human race. The empathy demonstrated in an ENFJ is widely developed. They are perceptive to emotions. Altruism is their central focus. In many aspects, ENFJs compare to teachers. They guide others toward growth and believe success comes from cooperating with others.
ENTJ – The Commander
ENTJ means Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging. Those with an ENTJ personality are fueled by their ambition. To them, their purpose is to be influential, powerful, and successful. An ENTJ is competent. Characterized by extraversion, ENTJs are friendly. They revel in their interactions with people. Always needing to occupy a leadership role, ENTJs have a clear picture of their end goal. They are blunt—never hesitating to critique others if it will increase productivity. ENTJs make up one of the least common personality types with 2 percent of the population.
Reliability of the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator
Overall, the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator is reliable. In a study confirmed by the Educational and Psychological Measurement (1986), those who take the test multiple times have a 75 to 90 percent chance of receiving the same result. Studies conducted by reveal that after taking the test multiple times, people receive the same personality types between 75 percent to 90 percent of the time. The results are stable regardless of gender or ethnic disparities. On the chance someone does receive a different result from a retest, the result only varies in one of the category pairs. For example, having the function of Judging as a result initially and Perceiving as the result on the retest.
Thompson, B., & Borrello, G. M. (1986). Construct Validity of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 46(3), 745–752. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164486463032
Cheyanne is currently studying psychology at North Greenville University. As an avid patient advocate living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, she is interested in the biological processes that connect physical illness and mental health. In her spare time, she enjoys immersing herself in a good book, creating for her Etsy shop, or writing for her own blog.