Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Overview

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The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is a report of your psychological preferences in how you make decisions and perceive the world around you.

The MBTI was created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. It is based on Carl Jung’s theory that humans experience the world using four basic psychological functions – sensing, intuiting, feeling, and thinking.

Jung believed that seemingly random variations in behavior were more consistent than they appeared, being due to simple differences in the ways that individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.

The MBTI was a way for Briggs and Myers to make Jung’s theory understandable and useful in people’s lives.

In the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, there are four pairs of preferences:

  • Extraversion or “E” (people and things) vs. Introversion or “I” (ideas and information)
  • Sensing or “S” (facts and reality) vs. Intuition or “N” (possibilities and potential)
  • Thinking or “T” (logic and truth) vs. Feeling or “F” (values and relationships)
  • Judgment or “J” (well-structured lifestyle) vs. Perception or “P” (“go with the flow” lifestyle)

For each pair, you prefer one style more than the other. Put your four preferences together to get the code for your personality type. For example, having preferences for I, N, F and P gives a personality type of INFP. There are sixteen total personality types:

ISTJ

ISFJ

INFJ

INTJ

ISTP

ISFP INFP

INTP

ESTP

ESFP ENFP

ENTP

ESTJ ESFJ ENFJ

ENTJ

Source of Energy (Extraversion “E” and Introversion “I”)

The first pair of styles considers your energy. Do you prefer to use your energy on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).

If you prefer to focus on people, things, and situations, you are an extrovert. Extroverts are energized by interacting with other people, participating in events, and are known to act quickly.

If you prefer to focus on ideas, information, explanations, and beliefs, you are an introvert. Introverts are energized by ideas, reflection and working alone. They tend to analyze and reflect before taking action.

Processing of Information (Sensing “S” and Intuition “N”)

The second pair of styles considers the type of information that you process. Do you prefer to deal with basic information or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

If you prefer to focus on facts and have clarity, or to describe what you see, then your preference is for Sensing. Sensors are pragmatic realists who focus on facts and their own real-world experiences.

If you prefer to focus on ideas and generate new possibilities, or to anticipate future outcomes, then your preference is for Intuition. Intuitives focus on patterns, future possibilities and enjoy abstract thinking.

Approach to Decision-Making (Thinking “T” and Feeling “F”)

The third pair of styles considers your style of decision-making. When making decisions, do you prefer to consider logic or special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

If you make decisions on the basis of logic, using an analytic approach, then your preference is for Thinking. When making decisions, Thinkers are logical, highly analytical and evaluate the facts.

If you make decisions on the basis of values, of what or who you think is important, then your preference is for Feeling. When making decisions, Feelers are careful to consider people, feelings, and various points of view.

Need for Structure (Judgment “J” and Perception “P”)

The final pair of styles considers the type of lifestyle you adopt. Do you prefer to get everything decided right away or do you remain open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

If you prefer your life to be structured and planned out, then you prefer Judging. Judgers like to make plans and lists, follow schedules, and are highly organized. It’s important to note that this is not the same thing as “judgmental.”

If you maintain flexibility, go with the flow, and respond to things as they come up, then your preference is for Perception. Perceivers are spontaneous, flexible, and highly adaptable to their outside environment.

To complete the official MBTI assessment and discover your type, visit https://www.capt.org.

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