Myers-Briggs Type Indicator 


Understand other people and improve your life

What is MBTI?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality test result that indicates some very significant personal preferences. Try the test, and you will be amazed, how much information there is about you on the web.

Please note, that the test is based on 4 parameters (I/E, S/N, F/T, P/J), and that it assumes that everybody falls in one of two categories for each parameter. However, there is a chance that your test result falls in the middle between two results in one or more of the parameters, in which case the profile descriptions will not be as precise. Don't let that stop you - there is plenty of information here that will help you understand other people a lot better.

Also, if you want to use MBTI on people with mental or psychological problems, be careful. In some cases, MBTI can explain something that some people may regard as a mental problem, but trying to solve real mental problems using MBTI can be damaging.

There are many reasons to know more about MBTI:

  • Improve your ability to work together with other people, especially those you may currently have problems with
  • Understand if and why you have stress
  • Find out what you do best
  • Understand better how other people perceive you 
  • Get help choosing a career 
  • Improve your relationships
  • Be better at explaining to others why your abilities are valuable 
  • Learn skills you didn't even know existed
  • Help other people getting along
  • If you're a male, you may even start to understand women.

There are lots of tests and documentation about MBTI that costs money. The URLs below try to focus on the best information out there that doesn't cost money.

The results

In all the ISTJ URLs below, you can replace "ISTJ" in the URL with your letters, in order to get a page that matches your profile.

Personalitypage.com

This website probably has the most detailed descriptions of the personalities. This is the webpage you should read first after taking the test.

The relationships page is a must-see - it can really improve your relationship with your loved one.

Teamtechnology.co.uk 

For teamwork in business and outside business, the teamtechnology homepage is very good at giving explanations for how MBTI influences teamwork. It also gives an idea at how stress and MBTI is related.

DisoverYourPersonality.com 

This page has interesting facts about various MBTIs. Please note, that these results have few source references and are probably all based on U.S. numbers, which are probably not representative for the rest of the world. 

Socionics.com

I really don't know how serious this website is, but their descriptions of MBTI personalities are so much different than all the other descriptions, that they deserve to be linked to from this page:

Keirsey.com

If you want to know what an ENTJ and an INTP have in common, this may be useful. It describes the types NT (Rational), NF (Idealist), SJ (Guardian) and SP (Artisan).

Murrey State University

If you're going to start studying at a University, the Murrey State University guide for specific MBTI types might be useful for you: 

Functional preferences

There are 8 different functional preferences according to Jung:

EN ES ET EF
IN IS IT IF

Very short, these letter combinations can be described as:

ET: Planner. Wanting to plan and organize, charts, tables. Asking: "How does this work?", "Why?"
IT: Systematic. Knowing what is essential. Seeing things black and white. Asking: "What caused this?"
EF: Polite. Try to connect emotionally. Asking: "How do I relate to this?"
IF: Gut feeling (not people-related). Knowing things without being able to explain why. Saying: "I know this is the right thing to do, but I cannot explain why." Asking: "What if that would be me?"
ES: Impulsive. Likes to act immediately based on details in the physical world. Asking: "What can I do with this?"
IS: Traditional. Observing details. Knowing how things are usually done. Saying "This food is more salty than yesterday" or asking: "Where does this belong?"
EN: Psychological. Likes seeing patterns in what others do. Saying "He always looks funny when I ask him questions about XYZ" or asking "What does this mean?"
IN: Strategist. Likes seeing patterns in systems. Saying "This lasagna recipe is just like the skiing instructions I got last winter" or asking "What has been left out?"

Read more here from cognitiveprocesses.com:

Click around on their site - it's full of useful information.

For each type, there is a Jungial functional preference order. Here is a complete list of the Dominant, Secondary, Tertiary and the Inferior preferences for each type:

ISTJ: IS ET IF EN
ISFJ: IS EF IT EN
ESTP: ES IT EF IN
ESFP: ES IF ET IN

INFP: IF EN IS ET
ISFP: IF ES IN ET
ENFJ: EF IN  ES IT
ESFJ: EF IS EN IT

INTP: IT EN IS EF
ISTP: IT ES IN EF
ENTJ: ET IN ES IF
ESTJ: ET IS EN IF

INTJ: IN ET IF ES
INFJ: IN EF IT ES
ENTP: EN IT EF IS
ENFP: EN IF ET IS

As you can see, each type only includes 4 of the 8 functions. According to some, the other 4 functions are usually used only in extreme stress situations, and usually in very negative ways. However, information about that is close to be useful only for people with mental problems, and this web page will therefore not cover it.

Good cooperation is often related to having the same letter S/N/F/T in the dominant or secondary functional preference. Cooperation with people that have other functional preferences can be improved by understanding their abilities better.

Natural partners 

People will normally have a natural interest for people with the same dominant functional preference, but opposite E/I. A short summary:

  • ESP and ISJ
  • ENP and INJ
  • EFJ and IFP
  • ETJ and ITP

Many people will discover, that their best friends or their best colleagues have MBTI profiles according to the table above.

Ages

Recent studies seem to indicate, that new born babies are preprogrammed for at least some of their future MBTI, but there is also evidence that the first letter is influenced by the environment, as the percentage of E is growing in certain countries.

Age 0-2 years, nothing conclusive can be said about the child's personality.

Age 2-6 years, some children can be identified on I/E and P/J, giving 4 different personlity types: EP, EJ, IP, IJ. 

Age 6-12 years, it is also possible to identify one more parameter, giving 8 personality types. This provides the dominant preference.

Age 13-20 years, the auxiliary parts (second functional preference) of the personality has developed for most people. This will complete the four letters of the Myers-Briggs type. If this is not fully developed, the person will normally have serious problems in life, because the decision making process is impaired.

At age 20-35, most people have started to use a tertiary function, improving their skills.

At age 35-50, a fourth function (inferior preference) is starting to be used more frequently. This arrival of a fourth function seems to be closely related to the phenomenon named Midlife Crisis.

After age 50, people are often capable of using 4 different functions very well, in a disciplined and differentiated manner. The more years we have spent training each kind of function, the easier it gets. However, people are as different as leaves on a tree, so don't generalize too much.

More info about this is available on personalitypage.com

Neurology

There is some relation between functions and how the brain works. Two opposite functions use brain cells in the opposite parts of the brain. Some studies suggest, that ET and EF mostly use brain cells in the front left part of the brain, and IT/IF mostly use brain cells in the back right part of the brain. These parts of the brain don't communicate well because the Corpus Callosum doesn't allow them to communicate directly, diagonally across the brain. In this same way, EN and ES mostly use brain cells in the front right, and IN/IS mostly use brain cells in the back left. There may be relations between this, and the fact that many skills are lateral: Lexical and grammatical language skills are usually considered to be in the left side side of the brain, just like IS, IN, ET and EF.

According to these studies, an ISTJ profile would have ET EN in the front left and right, and IS IF in the back left and right, and the two most preferred functions IS and ET would both be in the left side of the brain.

However, research shows that the brain is able to use brain parts for other purposes, when needed - this is how brains sometimes repair themselves. Also, specific research in how decisions are made in a living brain is very, very difficult, so it is not possible to state that a specific brain region is responsible for a specific function. Saying that functions are located in a region is often based on observations, that damages to this part of the brain have severe consequences for that function, or on observation of the consequences of breaking the communication to/from a brain part. In both cases, the brain has been damaged and can no longer be considered a normal brain with normal thoughts.

Statistics

Generally across all cultures 

  • STJ profiles are the most common (ET/IS,EN/IF)
  • More males are T, than women
  • People in the same profession often have the same profile

Countries

About the author 

This page has been created entirely by a person who is not a professional brain specialist, but does know about science and statistics. The page is a summary of information gathered from other websites.

Take the test

Take the test here, answer all questions as you would have answered them, when you were 18 years old:

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