So many of you responded positively to part 1 (thank you!) that I couldn't put off part 2 any longer. As promised, let's explore what personality type each of us is. First, the theory in a nutshell. If you're not the type (pun intended) that gets into theory discussions, scroll down to the links for online tests. I'm focusing my discussion on the most widely used theory-- the Myers-Briggs Types.
Carl Jung developed a personality typology to classify the way people deal with the world. He first defined the distinction between introversion and extraversion. Then he theorized that there are four functions or ways to process our world: sensing, intuiting, feeling, and thinking. We all can use these "tools", but we tend to prefer one or two over the others.
In 1962, Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) based on Jung's typology. They placed Jung's four functions into two dichotomies: sensing vs. intuiting and feeling vs. thinking, included Jung's introversion vs. extraversion observation, and they added a new dichotomy: judging vs. perceiving. Each function is represented by a letter.
introversion(I) vs. extraversion (E) : preference for how and where you get your energy
These functions refer to the way a person is energized. An Extravert draws energy from outside themselves, from people, activities, and things. They tend to be action-oriented and their energy declines when they are inactive. An Introvert draws energy from an inner world of ideas, emotions, and impressions. They tend to be thought-oriented and need time to reflect to renew their energy.
intuiting (N) vs. sensing (S) : preference for what you pay attention to when you are gathering information
These are the information gathering functions. A person who prefers Sensing focuses on what actually exists, paying attention to their five senses. They like concrete facts and details, and find meaning in the data. A person who prefers iNtuiting gathers information from internal sources such as insights or a sixth sense, and they focus on future possibilities. They like information that is abstract or theoretical. And they derive meaning from how information relates to a pattern or theory.
feeling (F) vs. thinking (T) : preference for what system you use to make decisions
The decision-making functions are both used to make rational decisions based on information gathered in their preferred way (iNtuiting or Sensing). Those who prefer Thinking use a logical, objective approach. They decide things from a detached viewpoint, using reason, logic, and sets of rules. A person who prefers the Feeling function makes decisions based on emotions and value systems. They make associations, consider the needs of others, and empathize with a situation to achieve balance, harmony, and consensus.
judging (J) vs. perceiving (P) : preference for lifestyle
These functions refer to how you relate to the outside world. Judging types like a planned, organized life. They show the world their 3rd function (Feeling or Thinking). So TJ types appear logical, while FJs appear empathetic. Perceiving types, on the other hand, prefer to live in a more spontaneous and flexible way. They show the world their 2nd function (iNtuiting or Sensing). So SP types appear concrete, while NP types appear abstract.
That's the basics. When you take a personality test, your preference for each of the functions is determined and your type is determined by the four-letter code (ESFJ, INTP, etc…)
TIPS FOR TAKING A PERSONALITY TEST
The MBTI must be administered by a trained tester. However, there are several free tests online that I have found to be reliable. Before you start a test, here are a few tips:
- Choose the answer that reflects your most comfortable response or first instinct. Sometimes it's helpful to think about how you would have answered the question when you were 20 years old (our personality type is most pure during young adulthood). As we age we strengthen our weaknesses, so we may not choose to act in our preferred, natural way.
- Take several tests to see if you get the same type consistently
- When you get your results, read several descriptions of your type and read several descriptions of types that are one letter off. In most cases, when you find the one that fits, you'll know it.
Here's a few online tests:
1. HumanMetrics test
2. Skeletus test
3. Similar Minds test
Oh, and I promised some predictions. I expect the majority of you will be "IN" types. Let's see if my "inner eye" has clarity...
(on to part 3)
(back to part 1)