|Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Introduction | Four polar dimensions: E/I, S/N, T/F, J/P | Four basic temperaments: SJ, SP, NT, NF | The sixteen types
QuickTyping | At work | Criticisms | Further reading
The Myers-Briggs test describes four basic areas of personality:
- Extraversion vs. Introversion (E vs. I) describes how a person gets energized
- Sensing vs. Intuition (S vs. N) describes how a person takes in information
- Thinking vs. Feeling (T vs. F) describes the means a person uses to make decisions
- Judging vs. Perceiving (J vs. P) describes the speed with which a person makes decisions
- Extroverts appear outgoing and are energized by people, and are very effective in pursuits that involve other people. Extroverts tend to be sensation-seeking, spontaneous, and gregarious. They enjoy crowds, noise, and stimulation. Extroverts also tend to have more sexual partners in the course of their life than Introverts, though this isn't to say that all Extroverts are more promiscuous than all Introverts.
- Introverts are rested and energized by solitude, and are very effective in solitary pursuits. An introvert is a person who prefers to process thoughts internally. Introverts tend to think before they speak. The word is also used informally to refer to somebody who prefers solitary activities to social ones, which is more of a behavioural than cognitive definition. Introverts tend to be seen as quiet and reserved, which is often confused with a lack of confidence by louder, more extroverted people. They often perform well in analytical roles that require intelligence or logic, but place less emphasis on social interactions and "people skills". Introverts are usually a minority in the general population, and they can often be sidelined by culture or society, which in many cases favours the more common extroverted style of behaviour.
- Sensors want, trust, and remember facts, and usually describe themselves as "practical". For a Sensor, intuition is untrustworthy and might seem like mental static. Sensation as a perceiving mode of consciousness focuses on heightening reality. Guardians share the combination SJ, while Artisans share the combination SP.
- Intuitives prefer metaphor, analogy, and logic, and tend to reason from first principles and hunches. While Sensors pride themselves on living in the real world, Intuitives pride themselves on seeing possibilities. This can cause conflict. Intuition as a perceiving mode of consciousness filters experience through the unconscious mind. Intuition focuses on possibilities rather than realities. Idealists share the combination NF, while Rationals share the combination NT.
- Thinkers use impersonal means of reasoning: logic and verifiable experience.
- Feelers prefer personal reasoning: value judgements and emotions. Thinkers often find Feelers muddle-headed. Feelers often find Thinkers cold and inhuman.
- Judgers prefer to come to decisions, and move on. They may feel betrayed if a decision is "reopened". They are prone to hastiness, but get things done.
- Perceivers prefer to leave their options open to perceive new possibilities and processes as long as possible. They tend to mourn opportunities lost to premature decisions. They are prone to analysis paralysis, but rarely make permanent mistakes.
It is important to keep in mind that each dimension reveals a person's inborn preference with how he or she is most comfortable operating, and does not say that any person will always retain his preferred dimension.