Sixteen Personality Types
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator system is a way of describing people by focusing on how they view the world and their strategies for setting priorities. It classifies personality types into 16 different styles along the four different characteristic continuums: Introvert/Extrovert, Sensing/iNtuitive, Thinking/Feeling and Perceiving/Judging. A person’s specific MBTI type is referred to as a series of four letters, for example, ISTP or ENFJ.
The MBTI system is used often in business as a way for employees to improve working relationships by forming better understanding of themselves and others.
The definitive way to discover your Myers-Briggs personality type is to take the MBTI, which is a carefully-designed instrument. Like an extensive personality test, the MBTI instrument has been created to identify a person’s preferences along the four measurement scales.
As you learn more about the MBTI system, you will improve you ability to characterize yourself and others along the four fundamental characteristic sets. However, since each of these characteristics is not either/or but rather a matter of degree, individuals will vary based on how high they “score” on each of the different characteristics.
The Four Attitudes
The Attitudes are defined as the combination of Extrovert/Introvert and Judging/Perceiving. This combination indicates how often individuals will want to be with others and the way they act in everyday life. These are the features that are easiest to guess about another person.
The first trait, Extrovert/Introvert, deals with how people become energized. If they enjoy talking and being with people all the time, they are probably Extroverts. If they find being with people often tiring and are renewed by being alone, then they are probably Introverts.
The second characteristic, Judging/Perceiving, addresses how a person chooses to live each day. If they like it to be planned, ordered, and controlled, and if they intellectualize their experiences they are probably Judgers. If they prefer to contact reality directly and want the day to be flexible, spontaneous, and adaptable, they are probably Perceivers.
The Four Perspectives
The four Perspectives relate to internal ways of seeing the world and are more difficult for an outside observer to ascertain. They are defined as the combination of Sensing/iNtuitive and Thinking/Feeling. They deal with how a person gathers information and, once that information is in place, how he or she makes decisions based on it.
The first characteristic set, Sensing/iNtuitive, deals with how a person learns. Some prefer to learn by seeing concrete examples, while others understand better by investigating theoretical frameworks. Those who are literal, practical, and realistic with a preference for experience and hands-on proof are probably Sensors. Those who look for theories, processes, relationships, and unifying patterns, as well as appreciate the figurative, approximate, and random, are probably iNtuitives.
The second set of traits, Thinking/Feeling, considers whether a person makes decisions based on objective facts or whether they are greatly influenced by feelings. A logical, analytical, and detached approach is the strategy used by a Thinker. Those who are interested in having the decision reflect mercy, harmony, and friendship, perhaps in addition to making logical sense, are probably in the Feeling group.