The Myers-Briggs personality test is a personality assessment that consists of 16 different personality types. Some are more common than others, but every single personality is unique. The test was originally created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers who based their research on the theories of Carl Gustav Jung (Psychological Types, 1921).
The outcome of this assessment is based on four dichotomies (explained in the section below):
- Extraversion vs Introversion
- Sensing vs Intuition
- Thinking vs Feeling
- Judging vs Perceiving
The Myers-Briggs personality test is universally known and has been around for a while. But did you know that about 88% of Fortune 500 companies use the Myers-Briggs test to enhance their teams and organization?
First of all, we have the difference between people who turn inwards (Introverts) and people who turn outwards (Extroverts) when facing a social situation. This dichotomy is also called “Attitudes”. People who prefer extraversion tend to draw energy from an action. They are focused on the outside world, prefer oral communication and are often sociable and expressive.
On the other hand, there are people who prefer introversion. They are focused on their own perceptions and tend to think for themselves. Furthermore, they prefer written communication and will only take initiative when something is important for them.
Secondly, this pair has a perceiving or information-gathering function. It describes how we interpret information. We can either gather information by observation (sensing) or by trusting our intuition.
People who prefer sensing are focused on facts while making detailed and careful decisions. They are not affected by hunches at any possible moment because they only trust information that is based on experiences or wisdom from their past.
People who prefer intuition tend to draw conclusions quickly based on their hunch. They are most likely to have more imagination and are often verbally creative.
Thirdly, this pair has a decision-making function. By collecting data from the information-gathering functions (sensing or intuition), people are able to make rational decisions. These rational decisions are the result of either of these two preferences:
The preference for thinking means that you tend to be more analytical than others. You make decisions as reasonable and as logical as possible and are therefore relentless. Problems are there to be solved, but thinking people resolve problems logically with none to little feelings involved.
By contrast, those who prefer feeling look at situations from the inside rather than the outside. They are compassionate and feel a lot of sympathy for others. Their way of working is to weigh down different possibilities in order to find perfect harmony and to achieve a consensus.
Last but not least, we have two lifestyle preferences: judging or perceptive. This pair goes hand-in-hand with all other three dichotomies. We could have the preference for using the judging function (thinking or feeling) or for using the perceiving function (sensing or intuition). Both preferences are situated in the outside world (extraversion).
People who prefer the judging function are more structured and organized. They tend to reduce stress levels using a systematic way of working and applying deadlines.
People who prefer the perceiving function are more spontaneous and flexible. They tend to get energy from time pressure and are often open for changes of any kind.