Humans have always been interested about how to understand themselves and people around them better. The schematics of how a person processes their thought, reacts to certain events, make decisions, and other things that delve into the complexity of a person’s personality has always been a subject of interest for human civilization. However, understanding one’s personality is not the ultimate answer to knowing an individual fully. This compare and contrast essay will tackle the 16 personality types along with the five psychological scales used to determine a person’s personality type.
What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Personality Test is one of the psychological tests widely used by companies to assess what job an employee best fits in. The MBTI Personality Test can also be used for personal purposes such as understanding more about oneself, improving in specific areas of the personality, and influencing personal growth.
The MBTI Personality Test was developed by the mother and daughter tandem Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers as they were inspired by the thought that there would be less conflict in the world if people better understood one another. The first MBTI Personality Test was published in 1962. The two did not have any prior exposure nor education to psychology and is the reason why some psychologists deem the personality type test meaningless.
However, Briggs and Myers did take the time to incorporate the psychological types the father of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung, has found. Among his key discoveries are the concepts of introversion and extraversion and the cognitive functions of judging and perceiving. Briggs, having huge interest in personality typing, stumbled upon Jung’s work and polished her work using it.
These findings and theories of Jung were completely untested and stayed as they are – theories. Jung even took the time to share that his findings in relation to the personality types were just rough tendencies and far from being ready to be used as classifications for an individual’s personality. This is exactly why some psychologists largely disregard the MBTI Personality test as they deem it both ineffective and unreliable.
Even so, some universities find it a must for students to include their personality type in their admission essay or for human resources officers to ask for a prospective employee’s personality type to find out which job is a good fit. But with over two million people taking the MBTI Personality Test each year, would it not be interesting and mind-opening to learn about the personality types and how it is classified into 16 categories?
Five Psychological Scales
In the MBTI Personality Test, there are originally four psychological scales used to determine one’s personality type. However, in the NERIS Explorer Personality Type Tests taken today, an extra letter is added to take into consideration the confidence of a person in their decisions and abilities. The NERIS Explorer Personality Type Test is very much like the MBTI Personality Test except that it has an extra letter at the end. Here are the five personality aspects used to define an individual’s personality type in the MBTI or NERIS Explorer Personality Type Test.
This aspect of the personality is focused on determining how a person interacts with their environment. This reveals if a person is Extraverted (E) or Introverted (I). An extraverted individual is inclined to interacting with other people and gets energized in situations where there are social interactions and group activities. An introverted person, on the other hand, prefers being alone and easily gets tired of being in a social scene.
This personality aspect shows how a person processes information and how that person deals with the same information. It reveals if a person relies more on Sensing (S) or Intuition (N). It shows where a person would direct their mental energy: on what is sure or what is possible. A sensing person is the one who tends to focus on what has already happened in the past or what is currently happening while a person relying on intuition is more curious and prefers the unconventional, unsure circumstances, and what can possibly happen in the future.
Nature reveals how a person processes information and makes decisions on it and how they cope with their emotions at any point of the day. This personality aspect shows if a person values Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) especially when faced with tough situations. Thinking individuals are more objective, rational, and make logical decisions while feeling individuals are sensitive, emotional, and empathic.
This personality trait reflects a person’s habits in relation to working, planning, and decision-making. It reveals if a person is more of a Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) type. A judging type of person makes more thorough and well-organized decisions and they prefer highly predictable things or making a list of pros and cons before acting. On the contrary, a perceiving type of person tends to be more spontaneous and relaxed and prefer to be on the lookout for opportunities.
This personality trait shows just how confident an individual is in making decisions and their abilities. It also supports the four previous personality aspects of the individual. It shows whether a person is Assertive (A) or Turbulent (T). An assertive person is more sure of themselves, is not easily stressed, in control of the situation, refuses to worry too much, and does not pressure themselves to reach a goal. While turbulent individuals are more prone to stress, are conscious about the repercussions of their decisions, are more inclined to pursue success, perfectionists, and always seeking for improvement.
The 16 MBTI Personality Types
From those five psychological scales, 32 personalities can be derived using the NERIS Explorer Personality Type Test. But, if the MBTI Personality Test is used, only the first four psychological scales will be considered and therefore will only add up to 16 personalities. Those 16 personalities are well known by many people as it has been required in many universities and workplaces.
1. ISTJ - The Inspector
People with this personality type are found to be practical and fact-minded. They are often the ones relied upon when it comes to working towards a goal as their decisions are rarely doubted by the people around them. They are very logical people and they always take the time to gather information and analyze the situation before making a move. 13% of the population got this personality type which means that it makes up the majority of the population. Anthony Hopkins and Geralt of Rivia of The Witcher are included in the ISTJ.
2. ISTP - The Crafter
They are known to try new things and would go beyond boundaries to satisfy their curiosity. Because of the endless time they spend on experimenting, they become quite handy in many tools. They are very rational and are driven by boundless energy fueled by curiosity. They are quite skilled in building and creating. The Crafters, like Michael Jordan and John McClane of Die Hard, are known to be free-spirited.
3. ISFJ - The Protector
ISFJ individuals are known to be very protective and warm. It is one of the most unique yet robust personality types and makes up of individuals who have excellent analytical skills and are open to new ideas. Even if they are reserved, they usually have a healthy social life. Even if they tend to be procrastinators, they can also be relied upon like the Inspectors. Famous Protectors include Queen Elizabeth II and Dr. Watson from Sherlock Holmes.
4. ISFP - The Artist
These people are known to be quite the adventurers as they are always ready to explore and try something new. They are always looking forward to pushing the limits of the conventional and love flexibility and aesthetics. They are like the Crafter when it comes to being free-spirited but the Artist exhibits more charm than the prior. They always find ways to rekindle and find new passions. Lana del Rey and Jesse Pinkman of Breaking Bad are known Artists.
5. INFJ - The Advocate
Even though they are quiet and reserved, Advocates are very inspiring individuals who are sure to make a move to achieve their goals. Their drive to reach their goals is almost as great as the Inspector’s. Advocates can be soft-spoken but they can also choose to invoke great conviction when they are making a statement and would want to be heard. They are very creative and imaginative individuals like The Crafter. Known Advocates are Martin Luther King and Tom Kirkman of Netflix Series The Designated Survivor.
6. INFP - The Mediator
Mediators can be more reserved than Protectors and are known to spend time daydreaming and imagining all sorts of situations and objects. They are very sensitive and are inclined to the arts. Because they are very empathetic people, they have the ability to keep meaningful relationships and fight for a good cause like the Advocates. William Shakespeare and Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings are Mediators.
7. INTJ - The Architect
INTJ individuals are highly imaginative and strategic. In fact, they plan more than Inspectors. They have a back-up plan for the back-up plan for the back-up plan. They make very calculated moves and are sure to secure a victory in whatever they got themselves into. They dare to dream and find out how to achieve it using sheer willpower and intelligence in strategizing but tend to look down on people for not being as smart as them. This is one of the rarest personality types out there. Well known Architects are Elon Musk and Petyr Baelish from The Game of Thrones.
8. INTP - The Thinker
People with the INTP personality type have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and innovation. They often lose themselves deep in thought but they are able to provide unique perspectives and showcase a unique kind of creativity and inventiveness. The Thinkers’ minds are always active thinking with thought ranging from random musings to philosophical questions. Unlike the Architects, Thinkers are not uptight as they enjoy discussing their thoughts with another person. Albert Einstein and Bruce Banner of The Avengers are examples of Thinkers.
9. ESTP - The Persuader
They are known to be energetic people who know how to get the attention of a crowd and be the life of the party. They are very smart and perceptive people who have the ability to keep a conversation going. Very much unlike the Architect, Persuaders do not take the time to calculate their decisions and instead go for highly spontaneous ones as they enjoy living life on the edge. They are bound to make mistakes but they opt to fix their mistakes as they go about each day. Famous Persuaders are Ernest Hemingway and Lincoln Burrows of Prison Break.
10. ESTJ - The Director
The Directors use very conventional methods in keeping things in order, figuring out what’s socially acceptable, and pretty much everything else. Like the Inspectors, they are very reliable and are capable leaders as they act like the glue in their family and community. They are excellent in managing people especially in democratic political environments. Frank Sinatra and Dwight Schrute from The Office are people with ESTJ personality types.
11. ESFP - The Performer
ESFP people are highly spontaneous like the Persuader and energetic unlike the Protector. They are very enthusiastic people and have the same abilities as the Persuader in capturing the attention of people and hyping them up. They love to be in the spotlight but tend to be narcissistic and would not want anyone to steal their thunder. Unlike the Architects, Performers detest analyzing and doing repetitive tasks. Marilyn Monroe and Dandelion from The Witcher are known Performers.
12. ESFJ - The Caregiver
Caregivers show extraordinary capability and passion for caring for others. For that, they gain many friends and are popular even to strangers. They are always eager to help like the Advocates and love to organize social gatherings. They are concerned with their appearance and aesthetics and will do everything in their power to do the right thing. They prioritize the needs of their loved ones over their own but they also want their efforts to be recognized and appreciated. Taylor Swift and Monica Geller of Friends are popular Caregivers.
13. ENFP - The Campaigner
Individuals with the ENFP personality type like the Crafters are known to be enthusiastic and free-spirited. They have a positive outlook on life and are rarely found without a smile. Unlike the Thinker who loves being the center of attention, the Campaigner enjoys the connections they make in social gatherings. They are very independent, charming, and compassionate people. Robert Downey. Jr. and Spiderman are examples of Campaigners.
14. ENFJ - The Protagonist
Like the Directors, Protagonists are natural-born leaders but unlike the Directors they do not limit themselves to conventional ways of thinking and doing things. They are very charismatic leaders who inspire the people who follow them to also make a move to support their cause. They are very confident and influential and love to work to better the community they belong to. They stand up for what they believe in and would not budge for anything. Known Protagonists are Barack Obama and Daenerys Targaryen of Game of Thrones.
15. ENTP - The Debater
These people love to be challenged intellectually and would not back down from learning new things. Debaters are very curious individuals who have a thirst for exercising their knowledge and capacity to prove their beliefs and points. Because of this, they find it fun in proving others wrong but for them, the silver lining of their actions is that the other party gets to learn new things and find ways to improve their reasoning skills. Thomas Edison and The Joker from Batman are Debaters.
16. ENTJ - The Commander
ENTJ individuals are also natural-born leaders like the Directors and the Protagonists. Their difference from the two is that they are able to lead people because they exude charisma and confidence. They are highly rational, determined, and smart individuals who never fail to get the job done. They love taking on a challenge as this can be an avenue for them to think up new ways on how to get past a problem. Examples of Commanders are Steve Jobs and Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada.
The MBTI personality types may not be very reliable because its makers lack the training in psychology that is needed to come up with such complex personality tests. But it cannot be denied that it presents some information that is quite accurate or fitting for the personality of the person taking the test. Some people may be surprised as they read through their results while some may just be confirming something they are already aware about.
Whatever the case is, it is undeniable that the above personality types describe a person’s personality well enough for universities and companies to use it as a gauge to figure out where an individual will be at his best position. But then, because it is still deemed unreliable, individuals taking the MBTI or NERIS Explorer Personality Type Test should refrain from taking the results as a gospel and basing important life decisions on it.
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NERIS Analytics Limited. (2013, October 17). Core Theory: Our Framework. https://www.16personalities.com/articles/our-theory.