A Guide to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

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In this article, you’ll learn about the Myers-Briggs type indicator and the 16 personality types that are included in the MBTI inventory.  

The Definition of Personality 

Human beings are unique in the animal kingdom. We have a bipedal physicality, a distinct compositional language system, a capacity to reason, and an ability to make critical decisions. But it’s our complex behavioral patterns, commonly referred to as our “personality,” that sets us apart from other animals.  

While family structures and socio-cultural backgrounds contribute to how we think, feel, and behave, our personality is primarily determined by the brain’s cognitive functions 

From childhood to adulthood, personality has a profound impact on our daily lives and strongly influences how we interact with others. 


Why It’s Important to Know Your Personality Type

Myers-Briggs Personality
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With over 8 billion people on the planet, it’s becoming even more important to know your personality type. We live, work, and play with a wide range of people, so you may wonder why you think or act the way you do. You may be curious as to why your behavior is so different from family members, friends, college buddies, and colleagues.  

Delving deeper into your psychology will help you to find answers to those persistent questions such as ‘Why do I think or react the way I do?’ You’ll also be able to understand others better so that you can function more effectively in the world.  

An extremely important thing to know about personality typing is that it’s not designed to pigeonhole a person or to show that one personality is better than another personality.  

Personality typing is an empowering personal development tool that provides you with many benefits such as:    

  • Understanding your thoughts, feelings, motivations, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and wants. 
  • Identifying relevant opportunities relating to a job. 
  • Accessing the right type of education and career information. 
  • Planning and making wise decisions relating to a career. 
  • Presenting yourself effectively to gain access to courses or jobs. 
  • Networking and building better business relationships. 
  • Being more confident in a job interview. 
  • Thriving in the workplace.  
  • Building better relationships with family and friends.  


Personality Typing and the MBTI 

Personality typing
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Human psychology is extremely complicated. For this reason, ancient and modern scholars, scientists, and medical professionals have endeavored to unlock the mysteries of the psyche. 

Well-known psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung have conducted extensive research and formulated their theories on psychology and personality typing. 

It was not until the mother-daughter duo Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs began to develop the MBTI during the 1940s and 1950s, that personality typing took pride of place in the field of modern psychology.  

Inspired by Carl Jung’s work on psychological types, Myers and Briggs wanted to make Jung’s work easier to understand and use in the real world. Their ground-breaking personality type inventory was published in 1962, and the MBTI continues to be used by individuals, employers, and life coaches, all around the world. 


How Does the MBTI Work? 

You may have heard of different ways to classify and describe different personality types such as the Classical Greeks’ Four Basic Temperaments, or The Big Five. But no personality classification system is as comprehensive as the MBTI. 

The MBTI lists 16 distinctive personality types according to Carl Jung’s four dichotomies. Introversion/extroversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving.  

  1. Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E). How you expand energy. Do you prefer to draw your energy from your internal world or the external world? People who are introverts prefer to spend time with a small group of people while extroverts prefer to socialize with lots of different people. 
  2. Sensing (S) or Intuition (N). How you receive information. Do you prefer to use your senses to receive information from your surroundings, or intuition to interpret and add your meaning? 
  3. Thinking (T) or Feeling (F). How you make decisions. Do you take a logical approach, or prefer to look at people and circumstances before deciding? 
  4. Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): How you interact with the outside world. Do you prefer to have things decided and organized or like to remain open to new information and options? 

Combining these letters makes up a four-letter acronym for each preference of each of the 16 personality types 

This simple coding system shows you how each of the four preferences interact, and which one you tend to use first. For example, if your preferences are Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), and Judging (J), your personality type is ISFJ.  

How you use these preferences can change over time and some of these preferences may be used more often than others. 

The MBTI 16 Personality Types 

The MBTI splits the 16 personality types into two groups. Introverts and Extroverts.  

Introverts are described as being quiet and reserved, but they enjoy meaningful social interactions with one or two close friends. People who are introverts may often say they need time alone to recharge their energy levels.  

Extroverts prefer to spend time with lots of people and they love to be the life of the party. These people are easy to spot, they are loud, outgoing, friendly, talkative, confident, and they’re never lost for words.


The Introverts 

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ISTJ (introversion, sensing, thinking, judging) 

People who have the ISTJ personality tend to be practical, dependable, efficient, logical, and incredibly loyal. They’re highly in tune with their environment which makes them extremely detail-orientated.  


ISTP (introversion, sensing, thinking, and perceiving)  

ISTPs are logical people but they’re also highly creative. They like to build and fix things. One of their main characteristics is their adaptability and spontaneous approach to life.  


ISFJ (introversion, intuitive, feeling, judging) 

Even though ISFJs are classed as introverts, they’re more people-oriented than other introverted personalities. They’re warm-hearted, compassionate, caring, friendly, and loyal, and they enjoy helping others.


ISFP (introversion, sensing, feeling, perceiving)  

ISFPs are creative, curious, and free-spirited. They know how to enjoy life to the full, but as they’re introverts, they’re aloof at first, but once you get to know them, they make great friends. 


INFJ (introversion, intuitive, feeling, judging) 

INFJs are logical and analytical but also compassionate and they enjoy helping people. They excel at forming long-lasting and meaningful connections with others. 

INFP (introversion, intuitive, feeling, perceiving) 

People who have the INFP personality tend to be idealistic, highly principled, optimistic, and sensitive to people’s needs. They’re gifted-problems solvers who prefer to use their skills and talents to make the world a better place.  


INTJ (introversion, intuitive, thinking, judging) 

INTJs are analytical and logical, but they’re also imaginative and creative. They want to bring out the best in others. Although they can be distant at first, they’re very friendly once you get to know them. 


INTP (introversion, intuitive, thinking, perceiving) 

INTPs are unusual people. They like order but can adapt to change. Even though they’re logical thinkers, they’re known for their creativity and clever problem-solving solutions.  


The Extroverts 

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ESTJ (extroversion, sensing, thinking, judging) 

ESTJs have strong leadership skills. They’re confident, practical, diligent, and dependable. They know what they want, put their plans into action, and achieve their goals. 


ESTP (extroversion, sensing, thinking, perceiving) 

Gregarious, energetic, witty, influential, and persuasive, ESTPs get things done. While they’re fun-loving, they’re also sensitive to their environment and are highly skilled at picking up on details others miss.  


ESFP (extraversion, sensing, feeling, perceiving) 

A person who has the ESFP personality type is outgoing, spontaneous, fun, entertaining, warm, kind, and optimistic.  

ESFPs like to motivate and keep everyone happy, which makes them popular and well-liked by others. They’re good people to be around in a crisis. 


ESFJ (extraversion, sensing, feeling, judging) 

People that have the ESFJ personality type tend to be outgoing, gregarious, caring, loyal, and organized, and they build strong, long-lasting friendships. 

They like to focus on the good in people and will often put the needs of others above their own.  

ENFP (extraversion, intuitive, feeling, perceiving) 

Charismatic, enthusiastic, caring, and empathetic, the ENFP personality is the epitome of a people-person personality type.  

ENFPs make good leaders as they possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They can easily generate innovative ideas and find it easy to adapt to changing circumstances.  


ENFJ (extraversion, intuitive, feeling, judging) 

ENFJs are extremely gregarious. They’re warm-hearted and are committed to helping others.

They do well in leadership positions as they’re confident, charismatic, and optimistic about the future. 

ENTP (extraversion, intuitive, thinking, perceiving) 

The ENTP personality is a master conversationalist who loves to engage in a hearty debate with a wide range of people on varied topics. 

They’re curious about the world around them, and have an ability to understand complex information, ideas, and concepts quickly.


ENTJ (extraversion, intuitive, thinking, judging) 

The ENTJ personality is a natural leader. People follow ENTJs because they’re smart, charismatic, assertive, confident, logical, and well-organized.  

They’re not deterred by challenges. The bigger the challenge, the more they shine.  



If your imagination has been captured by the MBTI 16 personalities, you can learn more about these personality types on our website.  

We offer a 16 Personality Types Complete Guide and a wide range of articles on each of the personality types which describe their characteristics, strengths, and weakness in greater detail.  

Once you have identified what type of MBTI personality you have, you’ll find it easier to make sense of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. You’ll be empowered to live your best life, make smarter career choices, and live more harmoniously with others. 

16 Personality Types Test Using Artificial Intelligence

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Based in Sydney, Diana has worked as a freelance writer for over 5 years. She is passionate about writing and helping people reach their full potential and to live a more successful life.