The myers briggs personality type indicator was created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, they formed the system after studying the work of Carl Jung, specifically his book entitled “Psychological Types”. Their goal was to turn carl jung’s work into a practical and workable method that could aid people when searching for suitable job roles, the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator was the end result.
The myers briggs personality type indicator is about how we prefer to handle to world, how we deal with other people and how we prefer to spend our free time. It is believed that these such preferences are things that we are born with, it’s also believed they develop in later life via life experiences and a number of other factors.
There are four sets of preferences, they’re as follows
How we prefer to spend our time/where we get energy from
Extroverted(E) – Often prefer to be around people, often action oriented, seek knowledge from many subjects, seeks frequent interaction, energized by other people, likes to repeat a learned skill, likes to tackle multiple tasks at once.
Introverted(I) – Often prefer to be alone to recharge their batteries, often thought oriented, think before acting, seek in depth knowledge of fewer subjects, less frequent but more substantial interaction, becomes bored more easily, likes to learn different skills, usually will have fewer friends however they will probably have a greater connection to those friends, usually more private people, prefers to focus on a single task at a time.
How we gain information
Sensing(S) – Lives in the present, pays attention to the details, likes facts and details, relies on information gained from the five senses,(hearing, sight, taste, touch, smell), makes decisions based on experiences, more likely to be down to earth and sensible, usually more practical and looks for real world evidence to support an idea or concept.
Intuition(N) – Lives in their own head, relies on intuition/gut instinct or theories to make decisions, tends to be unobservant, thinks about things which are not in the present, looks at the bigger picture and the future, considers connections and meaning and also implications of things and decisions, more likely to be creative, likes new ideas and concepts even if those ideas are not practical.
Are you a sensor or intuitive.
How we react and prefer to deal with the outside world
Judging(J) – Organised, likes tradition, prefers closure, clear distinction of right and wrong, judges situations and people quickly, makes quick decisions, more close minded, likes to follow rules and regulations, respects authority and likes order, likes to take control of a situation, stronger work ethic, more likely to be managers.
Perception(P) – Keeps options and decisions open, less likely to follow or respect rules and regulations, more likely to dislike authority, keeps an open mind, makes up their own rules, more likely to be late as they don’t like to be restricted by time scales, more likely to choose play over work.
How we make decisions
Thinking(T) – Usually logical thinkers, analytical, likes statistics, the head rules over the heart, decisions are made objectively, can sometimes be insensitive and lack compassion, more truthful and straight talking.
Feeling(F) – Usually led by their emotions, not usually as logical or rational, more likely to follow their values and morals, decisions are made based on how they would effect other peoples feelings, usually shows more compassion, tends to tell more lies to prevent offending someone.
We will all have elements of all four preferences at both ends of the scale in our own personalities, however one will be more dominant than the other, but all preferences are used at different times and in different situations.
The four sets of preferences create a total of 16 different personality types which are outlined below.
The four sets of preferences
- Extroverted (E)
- Introverted (I)
- Sensing (S)
- Intuition (N)
- Judging (J)
- Perception (P)
- Thinking (T)
- Feeling (F)
The sixteen personality types and variations
One of the four sets of preferences is thought to be the most dominate in anyone individual, the next three reduce in influence, the forth less dominate preference is thought to be mostly unnoticeable and only becomes apparent in extreme or stressful situations.
The myers briggs personality type indicated has under gone some criticism because it lacks reliability in some cases. I have personally found it to be a very effective personality judging tool for some individuals, however some people are difficult to categorize using the system with conflicting results.
How you can use this system to your benefit
Understanding the different personality types people have can be of great benefit to you in business and your personal life. It can enable you to treat people accordingly depending on what type of personality they have, it will give you an insight into what makes that person tick, what they want and how they’re likely to react to certain things.
See locus of control for more on personality types and how we deal with the world.
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