By Eryk Jan Grzeszkowiak
Do you sometimes feel unsure about your future? Not able to choose the right career path while the clock is constantly ticking? Maybe you sometimes feel different from the rest of the group or find it difficult to understand why your friends behave the way they do? This is because we are all different. According to the MBTI (which stands for Myers-Briggs Test Indicator), everybody falls into one of 16 personality types. And that includes you as well.
How it all started
It started with a nosy mother-in-law. When Katharine Cook Briggs met her future son-in-law for the first time, she quickly noticed his personality differed significantly from hers and that of her relatives. Although she had earned her college degree in agriculture, she quickly became interested in psychology and started grouping people she knew into different personality types. Mrs Briggs discovered her model was similar to the one proposed by Jung. Shortly after, her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, joined the research and together they developed one of the most popular personality tests ever – MBTI.
What is it all about?
The MBTI can help you identify your preferences for each of the four dichotomies that determine how you see the world and interact with it. This gives the overall number of 16 personality types – some of them more common than the others. The preferences measured by the test are:
• Favourite world (E/I) – Do you prefer to concentrate on your inner world or the outside world? If you tend to focus on the inner world, you are an introvert. You tend to be less outgoing than extraverted people who are interested in the outer world and get energy from meeting other people.
• Information (S/N) – What do you do with the information you have and how do you obtain it? Sensing people focus on cold, hard facts, information they get from their senses. They are very practical. Intuitive people, however, easily notice patterns, enjoy trying out new things and often contemplate the possible future events.
• Decisions (T/F) – How do you make decisions? Thinking people are primarily interested in making logical decisions while feeling people are more concerned with the people and their situation. They want to know what emotional implications their decision will have.
• Structure (J/P) – How do you live your outer life? If you are judging (not judgmental!), you tend to be a very task-oriented person and have your life under control. If you are perceiving, others see you as someone very flexible who is able to adapt to the world easily and is always open to new experiences.
So how can it help me?
Identifying your personality can help you find the right job. Some types do very well in certain professions but feel restricted in others. You will also discover your strengths and weaknesses that you might have never thought of. And on top of that, you will get some useful tips on how to learn effectively and interact with other people. It can really be a great source of information about yourself – so why not give it a go?
Want to learn more?
Here are some useful links:
http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp#mb – a free test that will help you identify your preferences
http://www.16personalities.com/ - descriptions of all the personality types
http://www.myersbriggs.org/ - The Myers & Briggs Foundation