The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is probably the most widely known inventory or model of personality type. It describes a person’s preferences in 4 life areas:
- Extraverting (E) vs Introverting (I) – a continuum that refers to how we focus our attention and how we renew our energy.
- Sensing (S) vs iNtuiting (N) – how we prefer to take in information
- Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F) – how we generally evaluate situations and make decisions
- Judging (J) vs Perceiving (P) - our lifestyle preferences
I’ll cover each of these pairs in detail in later posts.
Your ‘MBTI Type’ will be a four letter code: I’m an INTJ. (Well, mostly I’m an INTJ. I score reliably right in the middle between the T and F. In any given situation I might be INTJ or INFJ.)
Think of these pairs as preferences, sort of like handedness. If you try to use your toothbrush in your non-preferred hand, it’s awkward and difficult, but you can do it. And you can get better with practice.
The MBTI indicates your preference in much the same way. I am highly Introverting, but I definitely can go out to noisy, exciting places with lots of rowdy people and have a good time! But reading a good book is preferable to going clubbing. For me. You might have a different preference.
The MBTI is a registered trademark of Consulting Psychologist Press, Inc. There are many books on MBTI, and one that I really like is What Type Am I? by Renee Baron (ISBN 014026941X).