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Myers-Briggs: The 16 Personality Types

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You might have heard somebody mention that they are an INTJ or ESTP but have no idea what they're talking about. This article is going to break down these terms and tell you everything you need to know about the 16 different personality types.

These two terms come from the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI), which is a self-report inventory that you can use to identify your personality type.

This test was invented by two individuals, Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs, who were inspired by the work of Carl Jung. It is now used worldwide in a range of psychological applications.

What Does the Test Involve?

The test uses a series of questions that you answer to determine which type of personality you have. After completing the test, you can explore your personality in more detail and discover your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences.

The questions consist of four different scales that combine to give you a personality type.

Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)

The first scale is concerned with extraversion and introversion. It was key to Carl Jung’s theory of personality types, where he described the way that people respond differently to their environments.

Everybody possesses a degree of extraversion and introversion, but most people deviate to one side more than the other.

You’ve probably heard the terms ‘extravert’ and ‘introvert’ before. Extraverts are those who are confident and outgoing. They love socializing and they feel energized when they interact with other people.

On the other hand, introverts prefer more meaningful, one-on-one social interactions and often need some alone time to recharge their ‘social batteries’.

Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)

The next scale focuses on how you gather and interpret information from your environment. As with the E-I scale, you are likely to experience both sides of the S-N scale, but you will resonate more closely with one side of the scale over the other.

If you tip slightly more towards the sensing side of this scale, you pay attention to the world around you. You are very aware of the information being fed to your senses and you focus on facts over speculation.

If you’re more on the intuition side of the scale, you consider every possibility in a situation and you are open to abstract, imaginative theories and ideas.

Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)

The thinking-feeling scale is exactly what it sounds like. A thinking person focuses on the facts of a situation and takes a more objective stance. They’re logical and practical.

Those who lie on the feeling side of the T-F scale take other people’s emotions and considerations into account before making a final decision about something.

Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)

The final of the four scales is the judging-perceiving scale. Leaning towards the judging side means you often make firm decisions and make quick, practical judgments about things.

If you’re more perceiving, you may more flexible in your decisions. You’re more adaptable to change and you can get influenced by other people’s input.

The 16 Personality Types

Since there are two different answers for each of the four scales, and you can get any combination of answers when you take the MBTI, there are 16 potential outcomes. These outcomes represent the 16 personality types, as specified by Myers and Briggs.

  • ISTJ – The Inspector
  • ISTP – The Crafter
  • ISFJ – The Protector
  • ISFP – The Artist
  • INFJ – The Advocate
  • INFP – The Mediator
  • INTJ – The Architect
  • INTP – The Thinker
  • ESTP – The Persuader
  • ESTJ – The Director
  • ESFP – The Performer
  • ESFJ – The Caregiver
  • ENFP – The Champion
  • ENFJ – The Giver
  • ENTP – The Debater
  • ENTJ – The Commander

The answer you get can provide a great deal of insight into who you are as a person. It helps you to recognize how you perceive the world around you and the ways in which you react to various stimuli.

Understanding the ESTP or INFJ meaning enables you to adjust your lifestyle to suit your personality type. You can start to take action that will improve your life. You can find people and things that align with who you truly are and what you truly want.

The MBTI Today

Today, the MBTI is used in both professional and personal settings. There are versions of the MBTI available online that you can complete for free to find out your personality type.

The test is also used in the workplace by professional psychologists and medical practitioners as part of therapy and rehabilitation programs. The results of the test can provide insight into how a patient thinks, and this can be used to tailor their treatment program according to their individual needs.

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