What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) Personality Test?

Anyone who has heard another person toss four seemingly-unrelated letters together when describing their personality may have been struck with confusion. Chances are good that the person in question was referring to their personality test results through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. The MBTI personality test has been around since 1944, and it is largely based on the work of Carl Jung, the famous psychiatrist from Switzerland. 

The MBTI seeks to categorize people’s personalities through four pillars and assigning a letter from each one to yield a four-letter combination. This results in 16 different possible personality combinations, and each come with their own detailed description. Read on to learn more about each personality pillar within the MBTI and the benefits of taking it on your own and with those around you. 

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1. Favorite World

Those who tend to be more extroverted focus on the outside world and pay attention to what occurs in their surroundings. Introverts, on the other hand, focus on the inner world and pay attention to what goes on inside their heads and how they are feeling. Of course, most people are a mix of the two, but the letter you earn in this category, E for extrovert, I for introvert, shows which world you prefer in most circumstances. 

2. Information

The two letters assigned to this category are S for sensing and N for intuition, and these are based on how you tend to interpret information. Those who receive an S here rely on their senses, like taste, hear, smell, sight, and touch, and they focus on the facts when presented with information. People who receive an N for intuition focus less on the details and rely more on their interpretation of information. In other words, Ns look at the big picture over individual facts. 

3. Decisions

When it comes to decision-making, the MBTI divides people based on whether they tend to use thinking, denoted with a T, or feeling, marked as an F. Those who get a T want to be fair, and value consistent logic. They often use pros and cons to make decisions, and they notice inconsistencies easily. Feelers in this category make their decisions by looking at everyone’s point of view and attempting to maintain harmony within a group. They value compassion. 

4. Structure

The last category deals with how an individual prefers the structure of their surrounding world to be. If you like a more structured lifestyle, you will likely receive a J for judging, but if you prefer a more flexible one, you’ll probably be assigned a P for perceiving. J’s tend to appear well-organized and scheduled, and they generally like to use to-do lists to get tasks done in a timely manner. P’s like to keep things loose and casual, and they usually work when energy and inspiration strike. 

Although the MBTI’s results appear to yield a black-and-white assessment, keep in mind that everyone can be a mixture of each letter. For example, getting a T in the decisions category doesn’t mean a person is without compassion in decision-making, just as getting an F does not mean you never use logic. Each letter that you receive simply means that your questionnaire found you prefer one style over the other. 

What are the Benefits of Taking This Assessment?

The main benefit of you taking this assessment yourself is to learn a bit more about your preferences and attributes, and it can be enlightening. Some people hold onto their Myers-Briggs personality type with an iron grip, feeling like it totally represents who they are, and others feel like it doesn’t match them at all. 

The MBTI is best conducted in terms of workforce teams, where you have everyone take the test, and then you all talk about your results and preferences. This can alert others about a person’s introverted/extroverted tendencies, so that other team members can alter their communication styles as appropriate, as well as shining a light on how others make decisions and perceive the outside world. The test results shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but they can help get a group of people to talk about their personalities and find common ground in shared letters. 

We are always looking for talented individuals to join our team. Check out our open positions and apply today. 


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