The MBTI® is a personality questionnaire designed to measure and describe four preferences: what energises you, how you like to get information, make decisions, and orient your lives.
Where is your primary source of energy?
If it is from the outer world of people and external events, it is called Extraversion, denoted by the letter E. If it is from the inner world of thoughts, ideas and inner experience it is called Introversion, denoted by the letter I.
Those preferring Extraversion are usually sociable, gregarious, and friendly. They are often outgoing, even in new situations or with strangers, share information about themselves with others readily, ad solicit information from others. They tend to be expressive of their thoughts and feelings, both verbally and non-verbally, and are enthusiastic and energetic in their conversations. They usually want to process their perceptions and thoughts out loud in interactions with others and may find it difficult to clarify their thinking without such interactions. They are drawn to "try things out" quickly, to get into action, and to move things along.
Those preferring Introversion, on the other hand, may be friendly toward those around them but usually have a small circle whom they count as their real friends. Only with those trusted few will reveal their innermost thoughts and feelings. They tend to be reserved in most of their communications, and may not give much external clue - verbally or non-verbally - of what is going on inside them. Their conversational style tends to be calmer, quieter, and more careful than that of the enthusiastic Extravert. They typically think their ideas through internally, before they communicate them to others or act on them. When they share ideas with others, it is as a finished product, a conclusion, something that has been carefully considered and decided upon.
The Major Difference Between Extraversion and Introversion
The following table lists words and expressions that are often associated with Extraversion and Introversion preferences:
How do you prefer to take in information, find out about things?
If it is in the form of facts or details, it is called Sensing, denoted by the letter S. If it is in the form of the big picture and relationships, it is called Intuition, denoted by the letter N (N is used to avoid confusion with Introversion). The term Sensing is used because information is taken in primarily by way of the senses. The term Intuition is used because information is perceived primarily in an intuitive fashion.
The preference for Sensing or Intuition indicates the kinds of information people tend to notice, the kinds of information people give weight to, how people typically take in information, and how they normally give information to others.
Those who prefer Sensing perception tend to focus on immediate reality, notice events in the order in which they occur, and give information in the same way. Because they are attuned to what is actual in the present, people preferring Sensing are typically the ones who ask of any new idea: What steps will we need to follow? How much time will it take? How much will it cost? They rely on their experience and want information that will allow the to use it.
Those who prefer to perceive primarily through Intuition are attuned to connections and meaning in whatever information they take in. They look at the big picture to get an overall impression of what is happening and often make "leaps", both in noticing things and in giving information. They prefer to be abstract and imaginative rather than practical and are more excited about future possibilities than present realities. They are typically the ones who react to any new idea by wanting to brainstorm all the available options, becoming excited and energised by expanding on the potential benefits of doing things in a new way.
Sensing people tend to communicate in direct ways, whilst Intuition people prefer to communicate in creative ways.
The Major Differences Between Sensing and Intuition
The following table shows words that are normally associated with each of these two preferences.
How do you prefer to make decisions and judgements?
If it is on the basis of logical consequences, it is called Thinking, denoted by the letter T. If it is on the basis of personal values, it is called Feeling, denoted by the letter F.
Those who prefer to use Thinking in decision making use logic, cause-and-effect reasoning, and impersonal analysis to come up with principles that will guide their decisions in most cases. Those who prefer to use Feeling make decisions through a process of valuing. Their filter is their personal values and empathy for others, which they use to assess the impact of options on people. Because of this difference, Thinking types step back from situations to get a more detached view, while Feeling types put themselves into situations in order to understand the impact a decision will have on everyone involved.
Major Differences Between Thinking and Feeling
The following table lists words often associated with each of the two preferences.
How do you prefer to organise your life?
If it is in a planned, structured way, then the preference is called Judging. If it is in a flexible way, spontaneous way - this preference is called Perceiving.
Those preferring Judging set a course of action and run their lives accordingly. They like matters settled and will make decisions based on their goals and objectives. They often characterise themselves as organised. Those preferring Perceiving like to adapt and move with the flow of life, and they prefer a tentative approach to it. They enjoy gathering information and staying open to the potential life has in store. They often characterise themselves as flexible.
Someone whose preference is Judging prefers, in their lifestyle, to make decisions. This means that they prefer to make decisions about what to do, where to go, what to say, and so on. As a result of these decisions, their lifestyle appears organised. That is, someone whose preference is Judging, prefers to make decisions in the world of actions and spoken words, and therefore appears organised.
Someone whose preference is Perceiving prefers, in their lifestyle, to learn or experience new things. This means that they prefer to find out more, rather than making decisions, and are more comfortable when they keep their options open. As a result of this openness, they can appear flexible. That is, someone whose preference is Perceiving, prefers to perceive new things in the world of actions and spoken words, and therefore appears flexible.
The Major Differences Between Judging and Perceiving
The following table lists words often associated with each of the two preferences.
Working out your own preference
Everyone's personality reflects all aspects of the Myers Briggs model. You use Extraversion as well as Introversion, Sensing as well as Intuition, Thinking as well as Feeling, and Judging as well as Perceiving.
However, the Myers Briggs model implies that each person naturally tends to choose, where the opportunity allows, one of each of the four preferences, though the strength of that preference may vary. The letters that represent your preferences are combined to produced your Myers Briggs Type, such as ENTJ. An ENTJ prefers Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judgement. The ENTJ is likely to feel energised by having lots of things going on (E). S/He will tend to interpret events by seeing patterns or overviews (N). S/He will tend to make decisions on the basis of logic (T). And s/he organises life on a logical basis (J).
Look at the lists of attributes and of words for each preference above, and think about your preference (not just the way you behave in, say, your work or social roles). List the letters in the four letter form outlined above.
As you might of guessed there are 16 different types in the Myers-Briggs personality model. You may wish browse a brief description of the 16 types.
® MBTI and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trade marks of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. OPP Limited is licensed to use the trade marks in Europe.
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