The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a psychological questionnaire designed to determine how one interprets and interacts with the world around them.
This personality test was developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers in the 20th century. Despite them utilizing analytical research based on Carl Jung’s theories on personality, the validity and reliability of the MBTI test are speculated to be pseudoscientific, mainly due to the fact that this test is introspective and self-assessed by the individual themself.
Regardless, the MBTI test is a fun way to find and categorize one’s personality type and learn ways to utilize these functions for professional development!
MBTI personality types are communicated in 4 letter codes, (INFP, ENTP, ESTJ, etc.) with each dichotomy corresponding to two possibilities for how someone could interact with society.
The first letter of the code indicates how someone is socially focused: either E or extraversion or I for introversion. An extroverted person would greatly benefit from engaging with others to look for inspiration or direction, while an introverted person feels more comfortable in fully understanding themselves and their capabilities when working on projects. While an extravert might be able to take on any subject with the help of others, an introvert values their individuality while working and creating.
The second letter of the code indicates how someone takes in information: either S for sensing or N for intuition. A sensing individual sees things as they are, taking into account the smallest details for practical purposes. They would be described as more literal and matter-of-fact when taking in information, while an intuitive person tries to see the bigger picture. An intuitive individual would rather see how everything connects in the grand scheme of things in a more poetic manner for how they could be. A sensing person might be better suited for working with analytical data, whereas an intuitive person might be better at working with abstract ideas.
The third letter indicates how someone makes decisions: either T for thinking or F for feeling. A thinking individual uses logical and fair reasoning and might see arguments as pleasant debates. A feeling individual values harmony and their own personal values when making decisions. Where a thinking person is more reasonable and practical, a feeling person is more empathetic and sees the best in people. Thus, a feeling individual is more likely to be considerate of other people’s feelings and comfort levels in a professional setting where a thinking individual is more rational and systematic when communicating with others.
Finally, the fourth letter indicates how someone lives their lifestyle: either P for perceiving or J for judging. A perceiving person is more flexible/spontaneous and is able to improvise as time goes on whereas a judging person needs a set of rules to follow and an understanding of what is going on around them. In the workplace, the perceiver is more adaptable and able to switch tasks, skills, or schedules on the fly while a judger is more organized, decisive, and fastidious in their work.
The specific combination of the 4 letter codes could also be analyzed more deeply in how each dichotomy corresponds with one another called cognitive function stacking, which can determine a person’s most natural or challenging function.
While the MBTI personality test is not the most scientific, it sure is fun to take and can give incredible insight into one’s personality, similar to the popular resurgence of astrology and zodiac signs. I pride myself in being INFP and have found that the many celebrities and fictional characters that deeply resonate with me are predicted to also be INFP. Truity.com is a great website to accurately test your MBTI type or any other popular personality questionnaire.
This blog post was written by Arlene Isardat, TSG Representative.