Personality Types and the MBTI
Carl Jung’s research and experience in personalities led to his writing the book Psychological Types based on the theories of cognitive functions he developed through his clinical observations. From Jung’s work in this book, others developed various personality assessment tools. One in particular that has gained popularity is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs. The MBTI is a series of questions designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. First published in 1962, the MBTI focuses on normal populations and focuses on the value of naturally occurring differences. Today it is the most widely used and recognized personality inventory.
Jung’s model regards psychological type as similar to left or right handedness: individuals are either born with, or develop, certain preferred ways of thinking and acting. The MBTI basically sorts some of these psychological differences into four opposite pairs, or dichotomies, resulting in 16 possible psychological types. The result is a four letter designation as follows:
(E) Extraversion or (I) Introversion
(S) Sensing or (N) Intuition
(T) Thinking or (F) Feeling
(J) Judging or (P) Perception
So the results of the assessment yield a personality type such as “INFP” or “ESFJ”. Here is an interpretation of the dichotomies, borrowed from a forum at typologycentral.com:
E/I — Extraversion/Introversion. Extraverts are the cool, social people who go to all the parties, and impress people. Introverts are the misunderstood nerds who sit at home reading and surfing the Internet all day. As you may have guessed, most of us are Introverts.
S/N — Sensing/Intuition. Sensing types are practical, no-nonsense people when it comes to dealing with things. They are well attuned to the world around them, and know how to deal with it. Intuitive types are creative, insightful people who have an advantage in Science, Philosophy, Psychology, and Poetry. In pretty much everything else and everyday life, however, Sensors excel and surpass Intuitives.
T/F — Thinking/Feeling. Feeling types are compassionate, sensitive people who put the happiness of people first. Thinking type are very logical, independent, accomplished, and know how to do things. However, you could also say Thinking types are heartless, arrogant jerks who treat people like machines, and Feeling types are insipid, dependent, conflict-avoiding basket cases.
J/P — Judging/Perceiving. Judging types don’t always carry gavels. If you’re a Judging type, that means you’re diligent, focused, organized, driven, and anal-retentive. If you’re a Perceiving type, that means you’re probably disorganized, unmotivated, indecisive, and happy-go-lucky. Those with strong Judging preferences were never really youthful, and those with strong Perceiving preferences never really grow up.
Knowing your personality type opens a wealth of information about who you are and why you make the choices you make. If you are interested in working with a Baton Rouge therapist to discover more about your personality, contact us. To read more about this, see the Wikipedia page on MBTI. You may also find a short/public version of the questionnaire here. Or, check out the following videos to learn more about the MBTI and personality types:
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Baton Rouge CounselingTODD ATKINS, LCSW
MARY CUNNINGHAM, MA, PLPC
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