Myers-Briggs Personality Index

Psychologists Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Myers have devised a well-tested model of human behaviour and decision making that categorizes people according to their tendencies in each of four behavioural characteristics. Each characteristic is identified in terms of the two opposite values each may take.

  1. Introversion(I)/Extraversion(E). This characteristic, or preference, is defined by the degree to which an individual understands their environment through careful consideration (I) versus understanding through externalizing and reacting. (E).

  2. Sensing(S)/Intuition(N). This preference is defined by the way in which an individual perceives information. A sensor (S) determines information through careful observation. An intuitive (N) acquires information through relationships with people, patterns, and intuition.

  3. Thinking(T)/Feeling(F). This preference defines an individual's usual process of forming a judgment. The thinking end of the spectrum (T) indicates someone who is logical and deliberate in his or her decision making, relying on provable facts, whereas the feeling end of the spectrum represents someone who relies mosey on how a decision will affect others when exercising judgment.

  4. Judgment(J)/Perception(P). People who fall in the Judgment side of the spectrum are more comfortable living a life that is organized and manageable. They meet deadlines and don't always deal well with unexpected change. People who fall in the Perception side of the spectrum are uncomfortable with too much structure in their lives. They do not like living to deadlines. They are often more adaptable than Js.

Everyone can categorize themselves as a combination of four letters according to which letter they most closely identify which from each characteristic described above. A person's 4-letter combination is an interesting indicator of how he or she processes information, what information sources are most relevant to that person, and what kind of information that person is most likely to use to make decisions. No combination is better or worse, but brings different approaches and different qualities to work and decision making.

The following descriptions of the 16 personality profiles is taken from Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. Remember that these are only guidelines, and may not be accurate for everyone. If the description seems very unlike you, you may want to reassess your 4-letter combination. If one or more of your characteristics is very close to the midpoint between the two letter that describe that characteristic, perhaps you really belong on the other side of the midpoint for that characteristic. Take a look at the description for the 4-letter combination using the letter on the other side of that midpoint; it might be a better fit.

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Last modified September 1998