July 19

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What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and What Does it Tell You About Your Personality?


The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a popular personality assessment tool that was developed by two people, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myer. The tool is based on the psychological theories proposed by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, and it enables people to understand more about their unique personality types, strength, skills, and traits.

The MBTI categorizes individuals into one of 16 different personality types that are based on four pairs of opposing preferences: extraversion (E) vs. introversion (I), sensing (S) vs. intuition (N), thinking (T) vs. feeling (F), and judging (J) vs. perceiving (P). Each preference represents a different way of perceiving information, processing it, taking actions, and interacting with the world.

Extroverts vs. Introverts

Everybody falls somewhere on the introversion-extraversion continuum, with most people being somewhere in the middle of the two and fewer people falling into the extremes.

Generally, introverts prefer to spend time alone or in smaller groups. They tend to display shyness, are deep thinkers and enjoy introspection. They choose activities that enable them to practice self-expression and creativity, and gain energy by spending time on their own.

Extroverts are the opposite of introverts. They thrive in social environments and feel re-energized when they are in larger groups of people. They enjoy teamwork, collaboration, and group projects, and are often described as outgoing and social.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Types

There are 16 different personality types specified by the MBTI, each depicted by a four-letter code using the following letters:

  • E for Extraversion and I for Introversion (the way an individual evaluates and interacts with the world around them, and where they focus their attention)
  • N for Intuition and S for Sensing (the way a person observes the world around them and evaluates the information they are receiving)
  • T for Thinking and F for Feeling (the way an individual makes decisions)
  • J for Judging and P for Perceiving (how an individual manages various situations and deals with the world around them)

The 16 MBTI personality types are as follows:

ISTJ – The Inspector

ISTP – The Crafter

ISFJ – The Protector

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    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 rarest Myers-Briggs personalities include the INFJ (comprising just 1.5% of the US population), ENTJ (making up 1.8% of the population in the US), and INTJ (2.1% of the population). Conversely, the most common category is ISFJ. This is interesting since INFJ is just one letter away this ISFJ, yet they are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to rarity.

    It’s thought that INFJ is the rarest personality type because modern-day culture focuses on the importance of teamwork. In education and work settings, teamwork, brainstorming, and group projects are often prioritized over individual work projects, and this leads to a shift towards extroversion, sensing, thinking, and perceiving.