Have you ever felt like learning more about yourself? You’re not alone! If you’ve been active on social media platforms, it’s highly likely that you have come across a profile that includes four-letter words such as ISTP, INFP, ENTJ and so on. These abbreviations indicate the personality types of individuals.

Many people love to learn about their personality as it helps improve self-knowledge, increasing self-reflection. While some critics have dismissed personality types theory, calling it “mythical”, others have pointed out how these can even help people make the correct career choices. Want to know more about the different personality types? Let’s dig in!

  1. Understanding The Personality Types Theory

  2. Development Of The Myers Briggs Test

  3. Usefulness Of Types Of Personality In The World Of Work

Understanding The Personality Types Theory

Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist and psychoanalyst,  is best known for his work on psychological types. Jung was an early supporter of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis who introduced the concepts of conscious, unconscious and subconscious to the world. Jung’s model of personality and the classifications were shaped by the conscious and unconscious aspects of the mind.

According to Jung, there are:

  1. Two personality attitudes: extroversion and introversion

  2. Four functions: thinking, sensation, intuition and feeling

In Jung’s view, introversion (state of being primarily interested in one’s own mental self) and extroversion (state of enjoying human interactions) don’t exist in isolation. They must be associated with one of the four functions. Therefore, there are eight variations:

  • Extroverted thinking

  • Introverted thinking

  • Extroverted sensation

  • Introverted sensation

  • Extroverted intuition

  • Introverted intuition

  • Extroverted feeling

  • Introverted feeling

By exploring the combination of two attitudes and four functions, Jung highlighted the complex psychologies of human beings. His theory and research became the foundation of what we know as the Myers Briggs personality types today.

Development Of The Myers Briggs Test

In the early 20th century, two American writers, Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, proposed the Myers Briggs test, popularly known as Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The mother-daughter duo was fascinated by Jung’s theory of psychological types. They began researching and developing an assessment tool or indicator that could help identify the individual differences among various personalities.

While Jung proposed the groundbreaking theory that revolved around the personality types, it was the Myers Briggs duo who translated it into a practical assessment tool. The MTBI is simply an introspective questionnaire that indicates different psychological preferences. The test attempts to understand how people perceive the world and make decisions. Reports suggest that over 20 million individuals take the Myers Briggs test every year as it continues to gain popularity.

The questionnaire is made of four different scales:

  1. Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)

This bifurcation was first proposed by Jung in his personality types theory. It describes how an individual interacts and engages with the world around them. Extraverts (also called extroverts) are outward-turning. In other words, they enjoy frequent social interactions and feel good in social settings or spending time with others. Introverts are inward-turning, that is, they enjoy deep and meaningful relationships or social interactions and seek comfort in spending time alone.

  1. Sensing (S) – Intuition (I)

It refers to how people gather information around them. People who prefer sensing pay attention to reality. They tend to focus on facts and enjoy hands-on or real-time experiences. They learn from their senses. On the other hand, people who prefer intuition like to engage in abstract theories and pay attention to patterns and impressions. They enjoy thinking about possibilities that the future can hold.

  1. Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)

This scale refers to how people make decisions based on information they have gathered through sensing or intuition. Those of us who place greater emphasis on facts and objective data prefer thinking. It helps us be logical, consistent and impersonal when making a decision. Those of us who are considerate of others and emotions prefer feeling when arriving at a conclusion.

  1. Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)

This scale shows how people deal with the outside world. Individuals leaning toward judging prioritize structure and firm decisions. Those who lean toward perceiving are more flexible, open and adaptable.

Each scale interacts with others that inform various types of personality. The goal of MBTI is to help people understand various interrelated factors driving their personality, such as strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, preferences and so on.

Usefulness Of Types Of Personality In The World Of Work

The primary goal of the MBTI is to help individuals learn about themselves but its usefulness was discovered in making decisions about one’s career as well. In short, the Myers Briggs personality types can help you gauge what type of job is best suited for you. As it helps you identify your preferences, strengths and methods of decision-making, you get a clearer picture of your needs and expectations. It can even help you figure out what type of work environment is best suited to your personality.

Here’s a list of 16 types of personalities developed by the Myers Briggs duo. As you can see, it adds to Jung’s eight personality types. The following list can help you gauge your ideal career move. Let’s look at the types in greater detail:

  1. ISTJ

People with this combination are usually reserved, calm and upright. They believe in values and like to play by the rules. They are known for their reliability and often appear serious and formal. They are detail-oriented and like to engage in critical thought.

  1. INFJ

Such people have a profound way of looking at the world. They don’t accept things as they are; instead, they like to dig deeper. They are often overflowing with ideas and like to engage in creative activities. They are often insightful, caring and honest.

  1. INTJ

People with this personality type are usually quiet and comfortable being alone. They like to analyze or question things. They are often interested in theories and ideas in addition to planning and strategizing. They dislike uncertainty and finding answers or making connections in their head is their strongest quality.

  1. ENFJ

They are idealistic and extroverted. They rely on their feelings and know how to connect with others. They’re often empathetic to the needs of others and possess great leadership qualities. They feel compelled to make the world a better place to live in.

  1. ISTP

Such people are typically rational about things but can also be spontaneous. Their personality traits can’t be easily recognized as they are often unpredictable. It isn’t easy to gauge their reactions and they often hide their traits from others. They are quick in problem-solving and can be great at collaborative work whenever needed.

  1. ESFJ

Such people thrive in social settings and enjoy working on their interpersonal relationships. They like bringing people together through social events or gatherings. They pay attention to others’ needs and are excellent at reading social cues. They seek out cooperation in any setting.

  1. INFP

People with this personality type tend to keep to themselves. They like to engage in deep thinking and analysis. In professional settings, they tend to be enthusiastic about projects and bring intensity to the table. They enjoy engaging in imagination but find it challenging to sustain their enthusiasm.

  1. ESFP

They are warm, lively and fun. They enjoy the company of others and love to learn, share and grow with others. They particularly revel in socializing activities and tend to be sympathetic toward others.

  1. ENFP

This personality type is highly individualistic. They have a strong intuitive nature and don’t want to be confined in a box. They continuously work toward their looks, habits, ideas and actions. They are highly perceptive and often motivated by their goals. They thrive in casual work environments.

  1. ESTP

They are logical thinkers who have a strong need for social interaction. They are passionate about their pursuits and often seek out new opportunities for growth. They like to keep up with challenges and excel at being innovative and diligent.

  1. ESTJ

They are honest, organized, dedicated and believe that what they do is right and acceptable. They are hardworking and are good at guiding others. They often take the role of the leader because they feel responsible.

  1. ENTJ

They enjoy being in charge and new challenges or opportunities push them. They are good at decision-making and have strong leadership qualities. They value goal-setting, planning and organizing.

  1. INTP

They are the most logical of all the different personality types. They are great problem-solvers and often come up with unbiased solutions. They are quick to recognize risks or challenges and come up with appropriate solutions.

  1. ISFJ

They value harmony and empathy and love to give back. They are dedicated and have strong work ethics. They strive to maintain orderly environments and are often conscientious and methodical.

  1. ENTP

They usually prefer to focus on the big picture. They are rational and objective and don’t like to engage in repetitive tasks. They enjoy problem-solving and are knowledgeable about their subjects. They find working within hierarchies difficult.

  1. ISFP

They are introverts who don’t appear so. They are warm and approachable but enjoy working independently. They often avoid confrontation and like to keep to themselves. However, they can be fun and spontaneous.

Several studies indicate that the Myers Briggs personality types test can help determine the right career path. While this is true to a great extent, there are several theorists who have called the test invalid and limited. No matter which side you’re on, everyone should understand themselves better to perform well in the workplace.

Try Harappa’s Interpreting Self course to discover your strengths and accomplish professional goals. This engaging self-knowledge course, with a world-renowned diagnostic survey, will help you identify your strong points and define your aspirations. Join this self-knowledge course today to discover your best possible self!


Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as Personality DevelopmentExtrovert PersonalityIntrovert Personality and Ambivert Personality that will help organizations tap into employee potential.

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