Much has been written about the Myers Briggs personality test (MBTI), either incomprehensibly or incomprehensibly. And even though the test for its definition is often criticized, it remains an important key to understanding the characteristics of personality. Generally speaking, it determines how people perceive the world and make decisions. Many Western companies require the Myers-Briggs test for employment. Also, according to Wikipedia authors, about 70% of American graduates are tested to learn their strengths and choose their future profession.Myers Briggs

Brief History

The origins of typology can be traced back to the work of Carl Jung, who, in his 1921 book Psychological Types, suggested that four basic psychological functions help us perceive the world. These are thinking, feeling, intuition and sensation. This work was much more fundamental than the ideas of the American Katherine Briggs, who was simply interested in the differences in the characters of different people. But after becoming acquainted with Jung’s typology, she, supported by her daughter Isabel Myers Briggs, began to study the subject in detail and even published a couple of scientific articles. She also distinguished four types and based, by her admission, on Jung’s works. But later, the theory was significantly expanded by her daughter, giving it the outlines of a modern one.

This happened during the Second World War. It was then that the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI – typology proper, the term “socionics” is also often used) appeared. It was not a “naked” theory – the researchers relied on original tests composed by themselves. The aim of the research was the noblest: to determine individual personality preferences at work through testing and to select occupations for women who were to replace men who had gone into the army, where they would be able to demonstrate their talents at their true worth. Even later, in the 50s and 60s, prominent scientists spoke positively about the typology, and new experiments were conducted to refine the methodology. But besides followers, the MBTI has several critics, who point out that the Myers-Briggs typology almost duplicates K. Jung’s research in its theoretical part and does not always reveal its validity in practice.

4 descriptors

The essence of the MBTI psychological testing system is that by measuring unique combinations of a person’s personality factors, it is possible to predict their propensity for a certain type of activity, their style of action, the nature of their decisions, and other features that allow them to feel comfortable and confident. For this purpose, 4 scales (descriptors) were invented, according to which the personality is examined:

orientation of consciousness (introversion-extroversion),
orientation in the situation (common sense – intuition)
basis of decision making (logos – pathos)
the way decisions are prepared (rationality – irrationality)

Let’s consider each scale in more detail:

EI scale: orientation of consciousness

Introverts (I-type) are not necessarily closed-minded and uncommunicative as often portrayed in “yellow” publications. They can be sociable and companionable, but they draw their energy and work better alone. Such people prioritize thought over the word, so they always think before they say something.

In contrast to the extroverts (E-type), which communicativeness borders on talkativeness. For them for the happiness to be and work with other people. They solve problems not alone behind closed doors, and by discussion, which allows you to find a compromise. But such situations arise more often as well – the nature of human communication, and even in excess, makes itself felt.

In simple terms, the EI scale tells us about the general orientation of consciousness:

E (extrovert) – orientation to external objects;
I (introvert) – orientation inward, toward oneself.

SN Scale: Situation Orientation

The translation of the word “sensing” as “common sense” is not entirely accurate. People belonging to the S-type, when assessing a situation, take into account all the details that can be understood and felt thanks to “sensors”-seeing, smelling, touching. They rely on external, already known data and are consistent in their decisions, which they carefully consider and weigh. They are always accurate, guesses that are not confirmed by facts do not matter to them, and only what is happening here and now is of paramount importance.

The N-type is more inclined to rely on intuition. They are often people with a developed imagination, for whom the world is a concentration of possibilities. They are more careless about the facts but can see the picture globally, predicting a variety of paths of events.

In simple words, the SN scale is a reflection of the chosen way of orientation in a situation:

S (sensorics) – orientation on facts and gain experience;
N (intuition) – orientation to premonitions, general information.

TF Scale: the basis for decision-making

Decision-making is based on the well-known dichotomy: emotions and intelligence (IQ vs EQ). T-types are people for whom logic comes first. They follow the voice of reason and make decisions only after having carefully thought everything through. Representatives of this type analyze information well and are also fair and objective.

F-type is the person from whom you will not cheat on a physics problem, but you will be the first to go to him to share your joy or misfortune. They are empaths for whom the nature of human feelings is almost always more important than anything else. They are people with developed emotional intelligence, and it is this, not logic, that often guides their actions.

In simple terms, the TF scale is how a person makes decisions:

T (thinking, logic) – the ability to rationally weigh the pros and cons;
F (feeling, ethics) – decisions are made emotionally.

JP Scale: A Way to Prepare Decisions

Those who belong to the P-type are not capable of comprehensive control and planning, but they can perceive a lot of information through several channels at once. They are multitaskers, cope well with a tight deadlines, and do not panic when something goes wrong. Such people are given changes very easily, because of the ability to adapt – their strong side.

J-type, on the contrary, is single-tasked and tends to be planning and algorithmic. Stability is important for them in the first place, they try to eliminate chaos and approach any problem fully armed, having thought everything through in advance. Such people can set goals, prioritize and achieve results well.

In simple terms, the JP scale is how a solution is prepared:

J (judgment and rationality) – planning and order;
P (perception and irrationality) – seeking to navigate by circumstances, the ability to adapt.