Myers-Briggs Type Indicators

16th November 2007 at 02:25:54 am

Carl Jung was a great psychologist who was good buddies with Freud.

He’s the guy who is credited with the idea of Introversion vs. Extroversion, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was based off his ideas.

It was only recently that I discovered Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and I find it extremely fascinating. (At least as much as the Color Code for personality types, if not more so!)

From Wikipedia:

Fundamental to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the concept of Psychological Type.

In a similar way to left- or right- handedness, the principle is that individuals also find certain ways of thinking and acting easier than others. The MBTI endeavours to sort some of these psychological opposites into four opposite pairs, or dichotomies, with a resulting sixteen possible combinations. None of these combinations is ‘better’ or ‘worse’, however Briggs and Myers recognised that everyone has an overall combination which is most comfortable for them: in the same way as writing with the left hand is hard work for a right-hander, so people tend to find using their opposite psychological preference more difficult, even if they can become more proficient (and therefore behaviourally flexible) with practice and development.

The basic idea is that there are four pairs of preferences or dichotomies that determine what type of person you are. Also note that “the MBTI does not measure aptitude, either: it simply sorts for one preference over another. So someone reporting a high score for Extraversion over Introversion on the MBTI cannot be correctly described as ‘more’ or ‘strongly’ Extraverted: they simply have a clear preference.” (still from wikipedia)

The four dichotomies are:
Extraversion vs. Introversion
Sensing vs. iNtuition
Thinking vs. Feeling
Judging vs. Perceiving

I am fairly constantly an INTP: Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, Perceiving.

Knowing this helps me understand myself and how I think, which is something I’m always trying to do. Reading about this stuff has made me realize just how much I analyze things.
It’s also interesting to note that only about 3.3% of the world population is INTP. Don’t I feel special! :)

The only real downside to all this is the sad fact that it’s not the most valid or reliable theory ever, so (as always) YMMV.

Here’s a linky to an online test, if you feel so inclined. Of course, remember that it’s like all online tests: don’t take it too seriously. If you don’t like the answer it gives, that’s fine! You’re a person, and a machine can’t tell you what you are or aren’t. :)

UPDATE: just realized I never did paste that “linky”. Got side-tracked somehow. :)

I prefer taking this test:
But the results pages for this one:

Go figure.

Author Bio: Tianon Gravi

Tianon is a programmer for a respectable software company.

Actions: Trackback

5 comments :D

  • 1) PixelFish commented 17th November 2007 at 07:32:07 pm:

    I think I’ve been something different every time I’ve taken this. I’ve stopped keeping track of my last score. I think it’s because I wax or wane on their major traits depending on situation. In some situations I can be extremely extroverted and friendly, and in others, I disappear. I got through super social periods, and super I-hate-the-world periods. I’m too much of a logician to get away with being all “I feel this way” all the time, but I really like my emotions too.

    But then when I took the colour test, I came out almost equally Blue and Yellow…with a fair spattering of white and red. Whee.

  • 2) Tianon commented 17th November 2007 at 08:00:36 pm:

    So you love people and partying? :D

  • 3) PixelFish commented 19th November 2007 at 09:49:27 pm:

    Yes, I am a flaky social butterfly (yellow) who longs for a deep emotional commitment (blue). Occasionally I analyse everything to death (white), while maintaining a death grip on everything I can possibly control. (red) I’m a rainbow of neuroses!

  • 4) Tianon commented 19th November 2007 at 09:57:06 pm:

    Wow, sounds like a real blast! You always seemed pretty sane to me… :)

  • 5) PixelFish commented 21st November 2007 at 09:48:15 pm:

    Being older confers an aura of respectability.