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What is the Myers-Briggs Test?
What is the Myers-Briggs Test?

In 1943, Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, developed the first version of the Myers-Briggs test. Students of psychology, they built their ideas on the theories of Carl Jung. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - or MBTI as it would become known - was created in order to provide people with insight into how people think and behave.

Today it is the most widely used personality test, and often gets called the 16 personalities test, named for its 16 possible outcomes. The easiest way to find your MBTI is to answer four questions - these will all give you insight into the way that your personality behaves and interacts with others.

01

What is the Myers-Briggs Test?

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Also known as the MBTI, the test itself breaks down personality traits into preferences. These then enjoy a four-letter code which groups personality types together by the way they prefer to interact with the world. The MBTI sorts you by type. It operates on the fundamental assumption that you will answer questions by preferring one thing over another.

  • How do you get your energy?
  • How do you see the world & gather information?
  • How do you make your decisions?
  • How much do you like to plan ahead?
02

How do You Get Your Energy?

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When it comes to the ways in which you get your energy, there are two possible options. Extraverts are usually sociable people. They like to start conversations and think their way through talking. Extraverts also find that they get energy from spending time with other people, and will often have many friends, and many interests. Typically, an extravert is focused on what’s going on in the outside world.

03

Not an Extravert?

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Then maybe you’ll find yourself more of an introvert. Introverts, in general, are focused more on their interior worlds. They recharge their batteries by spending time alone and take their time when it comes to talking. They’ll typically have fewer, but very deep and meaningful friendships, and a refined set of interests. Slower to take action, introverts like to weigh up all the options. If you think of yourself as an extravert, your first letter is E. If you’re more of an introvert, it is an I.

04

How Do You See the World and Gather Information?

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The next question is about how you get around in the world.

Sensors like to think in practical, concrete terms. Their priorities are focused on what is real and true, and what can be measured or observed. Typically, they prefer to do things in a way that has already been established and can be verified by the five senses. In general, their focus is on the details that make a moment.

05

Perhaps You’re More Intuitive?

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Diametrically opposed to sensors are the intuitives. With a flair for the imaginative and creative, intuitives prefer to think in terms of the bigger picture. They are looking for new ways of thinking, and delight in abstract theoreticals. Often they may prefer to depend on their gut instinct, trusting their sixth sense to steer them right. If you’re a sensor, your second letter is an S. Intuitives, your second letter is an N.

06

How Do You Make Your Decisions?

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The decision-making process is a huge part of anybody’s disposition.

In the Myers-Briggs test, if you’re a logical and scientific decision maker, you’re considered a Thinker. Thinkers tend to be predisposed to consider the power of things and ideas. What’s important to a thinker is fairness, and treating everybody the same. Thinkers align themselves more with their head than their hearts.

07

Do You Like to Feel Your Way?

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The opposite of a Thinker, as far as the MBTI is concerned, is a Feeler. Feelers are empathic and believe in the power of compassion. They’re far more interested in people and emotions and would connect with their heart and their gut more than ice-cold logic. Feelers typically base decisions on their value systems and see the world as less of a logical decision and more of a poetic structure. If you consider yourself to be a Thinker, then the third letter of your Myers-Briggs code will be a T. If you consider yourself to be a Feeler, your letter will be an F.

08

How Much Do You Like to Plan Ahead?

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Your final opinion comes from how it is that you like to plan ahead and live your life. If you are organized and structured, then you can elect to be more of a Judger. Typically this is an organized, decisive type of person who likes to make plans in advance and then stick to the plan once it’s made. Control is very important, and a Judger will typically want to decide there and then the decisions that they want.

09

Go with the flow?

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And the opposite of a Judger? These are Perceivers, who are far more likely to go with the flow, and take a relaxed and casual approach to plans. They can readily change and adapt to plans and would like to find out more information, which may convince them to change their plans. If you’re a Judger, your final letter is a J. If you are a Perceiver, you’re a P.

10

From ESTJ to INFP

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Your MBTI code, which highlights your preferences and personality, will then be a combination of four letters.

  • Extravert or Introvert.
  • Sensor or iNtuitive.
  • Thinker or Feeler.
  • Judger or Perceiver.

When it comes to the MBTI, it’s quick to note that one option isn’t preferable over another. It simply has to do with the way that you choose to engage with the world. The different personality types are a hugely popular tool in everything from team building to business. Not only do you get insight into yourself, but it encourages you to consider the alternative perspectives, to make sure that you’re aware there is another way of seeing the world than just the way you do.

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