Know Thyself: The Myers-Briggs Personality Test

It’s become a fad in recent years to perceive and understand oneself through a series of personality tests. While some personality tests can be useful in comprehending your own behavioral patterns and tendencies, others stand the chance of being poorly made and utterly hopeless. The latter is not the case with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which identifies personality types through four letters, such as INTJ or ESFP, and which can serve as an outstanding way to look into your inner self a bit more closely.

 

The MBTI

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was developed in the 1940s by mother-daughter duo Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs. Their goal was to make the theory of psychological types as prescribed by Carl Gustav Jung accessible and useful to average people’s everyday lives. Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded the field of analytical psychology. He died in 1961 but the ramifications of his work have rippled throughout the decades on into the present day.

 

The Letters

Personality types, as dictated by the MBTI, are indicated by four individual letters as a code. Each letter stands for your preference in a given area, and there are 16 total possible types. The letters and their areas are:

  • Do you focus on your outer world or your inner world? (E)xtraversion versus (I)ntroversion.
  • Do you focus on basic information or do you interpret and add meaning to it? (S)ensing versus I(N)tuition.
  • Do you make decisions through logic or through circumstances? (T)hinking versus (F)eeling.
  • Do you prefer decided things or things that are new? (J)udging versus (P)erceiving.

Therefore if you are someone who is more outgoing, you’re likely to end up with Extraversion and an E as the first part of your four-letter code. Conversely, if you’re more withdrawn, you’ll end up with Introversion and an I.

 

The Test

The Myers-Briggs personality test consists of a multiple-choice questionnaire that is designed to tease out the minute details of your personality so as to best assign you to your type. Many online websites had developed their own tests based on the original which you can take for free. You may find that your type is strikingly accurate and reveals certain facets of yourself to you which you yourself only subconsciously knew. Based on powerful analytical psychology developed by C.G. Jung, the MBTI is a useful tool in coming to know yourself in a healthy and fulfilling way.

 

Take a free online version of the test here.

One Comment

  1. Monred

    Hi Taryn! This is a great article! I’ve been studying MBTI and JCF for quite a while now, but have been doing more in-depth exploration for almost a year now. and I want to share some of the knowledge that I’ve gained. Many tests are based on dichotomy perspective (E vs. I, N vs. S, F vs. T, and J vs. P.), but your actual type should be determined by the cognitive functions (Fe, Fi, Se, Si, Ne, Ni, Te, Ti). At least, doing it that way is much more reliable and accurate. Also, a common misconception is that your type changes, when it in fact does not. The only thing that really changes is your development of these functions. (There are thousands of possibilities for each combination of the cognitive functions, so it isn’t really “putting you into a box”.) Your personality type generally solidifies around age 13. With that said, I like 16personalities.com for their dichotomy perspective to get an idea of what you are. You can confirm that by taking a test based on cognitive functions like http://www.keys2cognition.com/explore.htm. It’s really accurate from what I’ve heard from those who have been studying MBTI much, much longer than I have. But I definitely recommend learning about the functions to confirm what’s the best fit for you. Also, I’ve seen that a lot of people idealize themselves but it’s best to just be honest. Each type is great in their own ways, and no one type is better than the other. Plus, MBTI is not a what, it’s a why.

    Oh! And I’m an INFJ. Hope to see more psychology posts soon! Happy MBTI-ing! 🙂

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