Myers-Briggs personality types: an introduction

Since I talk a lot about my Myers-Briggs type, I want to explain more about it for people who aren’t familiar with Myers-Briggs. Learning about Myers-Briggs helped me gain self-knowledge and become happier with myself; it helped me decide on my goals and what kind of person I want to become; and it helps me understand other people and navigate relationships. It’s hard to find concise information about MBTI in one place, so I decided to write up a summary of what I consider to be the most important basics, as well as some interesting facts on the prevalence of different types.

The basics:

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one of many different ways of categorizing personalities. According to the MBTI, anyone’s personality can be described using four dimensions:

How you get energy: Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E)

E’s are energized by action and spending time with others. I’s are energized by quiet time and reflection.

What kind of information you value: Sensing (S) or Intuition (N) [These are the “perceiving functions”]

S’s spend most of their time thinking or talking about things that can be perceived with the five senses: observable facts, events, people, places, etc. N’s spend most of their time focusing on things that can’t be perceived with the five senses: concepts, ideas, relationships, meanings, etc.

How you make decisions: Feeling (F) or Thinking (T) [These are the “judging functions”]

T’s make decisions based on logic, weighing all options impartially and methodically. F’s make decisions based on empathy and values, with primary concern for the feelings of everyone involved.

How you organize and interact with the outside world: Judging (J) or Perception (P)

In dealing with the outside world, P’s primarily use their S or N function to remain open to new information. J’s primarily use their T or F function to organize information and make decision. P’s prefer to remain flexible, spontaneous, and are able to adapt quickly to new information, while J’s prefer advance planning, structure, and organization. Continue reading “Myers-Briggs personality types: an introduction”