“It is up to each person to recognize their own true preference and personality.”
Carl Jung, arguably the most important figure in all of modern psychology, believed that people could be classified into “personality types.” Specifically, Jung hypothesized that there exist four psychological functions in how people perceive the world – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking – with most people having a dominant psychological preference for most of their lives.
In around 1943, two psychologists – Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs (mother and daughter) – created the Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator (or MBTI). The MBTI was developed in conjunction with other prominent psychologists, with the final product released after 30 years of research. Numerous organizations – both public sector and private – utilize the MBTI for various purposes.
Learning Your Personality Type
It’s beyond the scope of this article to delve too deeply into the methodology and philosophy behind this instrument, so we think to best to give a succinct reason on why this test was created. According to the Myers-Briggs website, the MBTI was created to: “Help people realize their “best fit type,” the personality type that will help them succeed most in life.”
The instrument’s premise is that individuals have a preference in four main areas:
(1) Extraversion or Introversion: how someone directs their attention and gathers energy – either from the outside or inside world.
(2) Sensing or Intuition: how a person processes information – through focusing on facts or through added interpretation.
(3) Thinking or Feeling: how someone makes decisions – with logic and facts, or with an element of subjectivity.
(4) Judging or Perceiving: how an individual interacts with the outside world – with a structured and decided outlook or with an adaptable lifestyle.
For each personality type, we’re going to include its nickname, MBTI initials (for example: “E” stands for extraversion and “I” stands for introversion – this is done for all four preference areas), and the type’s predominant characteristics.
A Better Understanding of Each Personality Type
Let’s take a look at each of the 16 different personality types – do you identify with one? In no particular order, here they are:
Type #1: The “Architect” (INTJ)
Making up just around 2% of the population, Architects are the 3rd rarest personality type. They are generally classified as intellectuals by many of their peers, and often find solace in the pages of books. Characteristics: innovative, independent, strategic, logical, insightful.
Type #2: The “Logician” (INTP)
Making up just around 3% of the population, Logicians are another rare personality type. Of all types, Logicians might just be the most rational (hence the name) and will articulate insightful theories while practicing fierce logic. Characteristics: intellectual, logical, precise, reserved, imaginative.
Type #3: The “Commander” (ENTJ)
Commanders are the people that others look to for direction. Considered natural-born leaders, Commanders make up about 2% of the population. They demonstrate fierce rationality while projecting immense confidence. Commanders are very driven, smart and have insatiable ambition. Characteristics: strategic, logical, efficient, outgoing, independent.
Type #4: The “Debater” (ENTP)
Using their intense logic, Debaters are well known for picking apart arguments and seeking the truth. Around 3% of the population, Debaters are incredibly honest and straightforward. They are comfortable with conflict, as Debaters see it as a natural producer of truth. Characteristics: inventive, inquisitive, strategic, enthusiastic, enterprising.
Type #5: The “Advocate” (INFJ)
Advocates are the rarest personality type in the world. However, for such a sparse group of individuals, Advocates are known for making a tremendous impact on the world. In addition to being the rarest type, they may just have the strongest sense of idealism and morality (think Martin Luther King Jr., a possible Advocate). Characteristics: warm, considerate, responsible, gentle, pragmatic.
Type #6: The “Mediator” (INFP)
Although they make up just around 4% of us, Mediators are intensely passionate and capable people. They love beauty, always seek the good in people and are amazing creators. Many writers, actors, and poets are Mediators. More than any other trait, they are led by their principles and ideals. Characteristics: creative, sensitive, idealistic, perceptive, caring.
Type #7: The “Protagonist” (ENFJ)
This group makes its presence felt in the political arena and among our coaches and teachers. This is because Protagonists are leaders with an immense talent to captivate people and rally them around a common cause. Very caring and genuine, this type creates personal connections that most others cannot. Characteristics: enthusiastic, idealistic, organized, caring, diplomatic.
Type #8: The “Campaigner” (ENFP)
Making up around 7% of us, campaigners truly enjoy being with other people. These individuals live for devising creative solutions to common problems. Some of the best actors and performers in the world are considered to be Campaigners. Characteristics: enthusiastic, creative, optimistic, spontaneous, playful.
Type #9: The “Logistician” (ISTJ)
Dedication to duty is the hallmark of the Logistician (not to be confused with logician). Comprising around 12% of the populace, Logisticians are perhaps the most responsible and meticulous group. These folks respect facts, evidence and straightforward truth; which is why we’ll often see them in courtrooms as lawyers and judges. Characteristics: sincere, analytical, reserved, realistic, responsible.
Type #10: The “Defender” (ISFJ)
Defenders have earned their nickname by relentlessly protecting their fellow human beings. While very analytical and commonsensical, they possess immense empathy and compassion. Combine a meticulous and responsible nature with a desire to give back, and we get many of our fellow doctors, teachers and counselors from this group. Characteristics: considerate, warm, responsible, thorough, gentle.
Type #11: The “Executive” (ESTJ)
Upholding traditional values with a rigorous and intense nature, Executives will gladly safeguard our communities. While many others are tentative to speak their mind, this group embraces the opportunity to speak up for what’s right and fair. Executives earn this name for good reason. In fact, some say that many of our Presidents are from this category. Characteristics: outgoing, analytical, dependable, realistic, efficient.