What is MBTI and the personality types

Myers Briggs Test: What Personality Type Are You?

The Myers Briggs test divides us into a total of 16 temperament types. How we make decisions, how we act, how willing we are to compromise and how charismatic we are. What exactly is behind it? We explain to you which types there are, where the test is often used and what the letter combinations are all about.

What is the Myers Briggs test?

The psychological type theory originally goes back to Carl Gustav Jung and was taken up by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Myers. They brought out the MBTI Temperament Test together and made it commercially available.

The test was later further developed by the American psychologist David West Keirsey and made available free of charge. Today, the Myers Briggs test in the USA is often used in human resources, for example when it comes to job interviews, teamwork, coaching and job criteria.

How does the MBTI test work?

There are a number of questions to be answered for the test. The result is a four-digit combination of letters. These letters are made up of the following four categories, each with two opposing characteristics, by which one is judged.

The 4 categories:

Introvert vs. Extrovert (I / E) = introverted vs. extroverted
A distinction is made between extroverted, i.e. open, sociable, team-oriented, and introverted, i.e. closed, sensitive and more of a solo player type.

Intuition vs. Sensing (N / S) = intuition vs. sensitive perception
The category indicates: Is someone intuitive, so he relies more on his gut feeling, or sensing, so more realistic and detail-oriented?

Feeling vs. Thinking (F / T) = Feeling vs. Thinking
This category shows how someone makes decisions. Feeling suits someone who is more subjective and emotional. Thinking describes the thinker who acts more logically and rationally.

Judging vs. Perceiving (J / P) = Judging vs. Perceiving
This category is about strategies. How flexible and willing to compromise is someone? Judging describes someone who makes decisions quickly and who sticks to his decision. Perceiving describes someone who is more flexible and also willing to change his mind when he has new information.

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The 16 possible combinations:

So in each category one is classified into one of the two characteristics. The eight letters representing the properties (I / E, N / S, F / T and J / P) can be combined with one another in completely different ways. This then results in the following 16 temperament types:

1. Idealists:
ENFJ: charming, rousing and inspiring
INFJ: rather calm, but still very idealistic and inspiring, but more focused
INFP: friendly, helpful, sensitive and selfless
ENFP: confident, positive, enthusiastic, creative

2. Artist:
ESTP: smart, energetic, adventurous
ISTP: direct, open, considered, practical
ESFP: spontaneous, enthusiastic, energetic
ISFP: warm-hearted, personable, attentive, willing to compromise

3. Rationalists:
ENTJ: organized, efficient, idiosyncratic, imaginative
INTJ: smart, planning, strategic, perfectionist
ENTP: brave, clever, creative, enthusiastic
INTP: Thirsty for knowledge, independent, very good problem solver

4. Guardian:
ESTJ: realistic, clear, decisive, clear
ISTJ: practical, fact-oriented, reliable, ambitious
ESFJ: helpful, caring, popular
ISFJ: devoted, warm, humble, focused

Keirsey's 4 categories:

David West Keirsey divided the 16 types - as seen above - into four categories: artists, guardians, idealists and rationalists.

  • Idealists: freedom-loving, need their opportunities to develop
  • Artist: busy, free-thinking
  • Rationalists: grounded, rational and reliable
  • Guardian: need fixed rules and structures

Also read: Building Charisma & Confidence: What We Can Learn From Assholes

What does the test say?

All eight properties are more or less present in each of us in some form. The test shows which dominates and which is less pronounced.

All personality types are to be understood without judgment, so there is no better or worse, but simply different approaches in life. For example: How do you deal with problems and decisions? Are you more of a team player or do you prefer to work alone? How communicative are you, how creative and individual in approaching solutions?
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Incidentally, most women are ESFJ types (12 to 17 percent), most men are ISTJ types (14 to 19 percent).

Test yourself

Curious? For example, you can take the test here for free: https://www.16personalities.com/de/kostenloser-personlichkeitstest

Sibling types: This is how the family constellation shapes your character

Video by Esther Pistorius
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