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Personality-Profile Analysis: Myers & Briggs Type Indicator

Updated on October 15, 2012

Personality Profile Analysis: Myers & Briggs Type Indicator

Abstract

This paper reflects on the accuracy and applicability of the Myers & Briggs Type Indicator test. A personal analysis of the author is presented to show reference to accuracy in the tests assessments of personality particulars along with suggestions for adaptation and applicability across multiple venues.


The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test was developed as a means of understanding the different influences our perceptions have on our behavior through identification of preferences given in the four dichotomies presented by Carl Jung and the 16 subsequent personality types resulting from the combination of these preferences. The basic preferences of each dichotomy are presented as follows.

1. Favorite World: Introversion or Extraversion

2. Information: Sensing or Intuition

3. Decisions: Thinking or Feeling

4. Structure: Judging or Perceiving

Using this test one of 16 combinations of letters is used to representing a personality type. The author’s four letter combination received from the test is that of ISTJ (introversion, sensing, thinking and judging). These results were given by the Myers-Briggs web site at http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/.

By these letters the previously stated preferences make up a set of tendency parameters that describe the likely perceptions and conclusions of the subjected individual. In the case of the author the first characteristic is that of Introversion. Introversion is a preference toward internally driven stimulation from creativity, experiences and self-reflection. This preference tends to be more reflective and evaluative before and after activities at the risk of detachment from the “outside world”. Synergistically introversion displays a preference towards isolation or restriction of friends to a small well trusted group. The converse of this being a need for social interaction and energy derived from social experiences is called extraversion. In short introversion is to internally motivate as extraversion is to externally motivate.

The description of the author as introverted in accurate as he has a few select and well trusted friends and is highly preferential to internal reflection and drive created from personal experience and ideas. The author does not necessarily shy away from large crowds but does however prefer limited company with quality interaction over quantity of people and limited quality of interaction (Helgoe, L. Ph.D, 2010). For example; it is the preference of the author to have guests over for dinner and drinks rather than go out to a restaurant and bar. The author’s introversion even takes shape when doing social activities in that if there are too many people present he will prefer not to attend.

The second preference is describes as either sensing or intuition. This preference describes how we take in information in relation to perspective taking. With sensing the individual shows a preference towards recording information or experiences through their senses. This preference tends to exhibit fact based sensory perception in that images are recorded as actual events with high detail given to particulars resulting well forms sense of “the big picture”. However, due to this rigidity of thinking new possibilities can be overlooked. For example; when in a relationship often behavior expectations of the partner to the introvert will be pre-determined, not only based the current partner but based on past partners and the experiences with them as well even though there has been a small change in behavior. This has been my battle as an introvert. As the author tends to build the big picture from the facts of the experience, it is found very hard at times to see a change in the smallest of details if all I can see is the bigger picture. Interestingly enough, if pragmatism has provided an answer and/or solution yet the problem remains, intuition is then used to re-evaluate the issue for a possibly more suitable solution. This is possibly attributed to his existential belief system in that it tends to create a more intuitive style of perceiving the environment (Francis, L, J., Village, A., Robbins, M., & Ineson, K., 2007). Intuition is the preference towards ascribing hidden meaning to information for the purposes of maintaining adaptive reasoning. People that exhibit this type of preference tend to be outgoing and empathetic.

The third dichotomy is how we make decisions, the preference towards thinking or feeling being the drive behind them. The author is characterized by using thinking as a means of decision making. A “thinking” preference dictates a tendency to very analytical and logical. The “person” is generally not taken into account, as a result the person can often be seen as “uncaring or indifferent” (Myers-Briggs.com, 2012). In regards to the author this is his preferential way of making decisions. Perhaps his life in childhood created an aversion or fear towards emotional based decision making, resulting in his future detachment and pragmatism. The concept of emotional driven decisions seems to be fraught with bias and unpredictability and is therefore potentially destructive in the author’s opinion. The converse of this tendency is that of receiving information through feeling. This type of parameter is simply stated, an empathetically based interaction with the world. The inclusion of personal details and the importance of an individual’s feeling are of greater consequence than the actual facts in a situation. As an example and individual may react out of fear and commit a crime. Thinking would ignore the motivations while focusing on the consequence, whereas feeling would attempt to understand the motivations and intentions of the individual. Both of these elements are crucial yet one or the other tends to take precedence.

Lastly the area of how we live our external life is defined as either judging of perceiving. Although most people do both, the MBTI only refers to the preference that is extroverted by the individual. Judging is the preference of an orderly life with structure. Having thinks resolved is also very important for the judging persons comfort level. For example a person that experiences anxiety when the events of the day are undetermined would have a preference toward extroverted judging. Perceiving is different than judging in that it is a highly adaptive trait and functions best under pressure and change. There is a higher tendency to see and accept what is rather than try to control the surrounding environment.

With regards to the author both aspects seem to be present dependent on the situation. In a chaotic situation where there is nothing that can be done and no control can be gained it is the tendency of the author to take a perceiving attitude, yet when faced with a situation that he has or can exert control over judging becomes his preference. It would however be safe to assert that his overall preference would be that of judging and that the use of perceiving is done as an attempt to alleviate anxiety by altering perspectives.

The results of the MBTI for the author were a toss-up between ISTJ and ISTP. The test results compiled a basic personality profile based on the 4 letter code revealed by answering the tests questions. The results are as follows, quoted directly from the Myers-Briggs test site online.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test Results

ISTJ

“Quiet, serious, earns success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty” (MyersBriggs.org, 2012).

ISTP

“Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency” (MyersBriggs.org, 2012).

It is my opinion that both sets of criteria have a presence in the author and as with most people are a fluctuating force subject to many factors that can augment the results. The tendency to sway one way more than another is also evident. This factor can be made useful in determining life choices if the subject is aware of it. For example; when applying for a job a candidate who is introverted may not be the right person to work as a sales representative where as an extroverted personality would. Parallel to this an extraverted person would not enjoy and therefore most likely not be successful at a job with little or no social interaction or adaptation need. This alone can help an employer determine if the candidate will be successful if hired. The other aspects such as thinking and judging could defiantly be beneficial when hiring for clerical position yet the aspects of feeling and perceiving may be more beneficial to human relations and sales. The author for example prefers to hire others to interact with the public on his behalf for his business and to direct operations from a close knit group of individuals, reserving his personal attention for more important issues such as maintaining client relations post contract.

In regards to a clinical application of this test it would seem very beneficial in that it can help create a type of guideline for the therapist to use interactively with the client to establish rapport and help guide the client towards desired results. Knowing that a client is introverted rather than extroverted alone can determine different methods of treatment. For example; a client suffering from low-self-esteem and self-trust issues would greatly benefit from positively reinforcing social interaction, if they are extroverted. However an introverted individual is more likely to benefit from cognitive self-reflection and support from a small group that is close to the individual. Knowing that a client prefers order and structure in their lives allows for the practitioner to offer ways in which the client may increase these levels for themselves.

In summation the benefit of knowing your personality indicator type are clear. Through this awareness not only can an individual reflect and perhaps realign their life and behavior but be better able to understand and others. Although the assertions of the test where accurate they are also only roughly accurate as there are fluctuations if exhibited personality parameters and based on that it seems illogical to base a hypothesis on inconsistencies unless they are inclusive of them. Clinically the benefit seems would be astounding. Having such a basis to work from regardless of variants gives the clinician a major advantage in determining the appropriate approach and structure for therapy.

References

Francis, L, J., Village, A., Robbins, M., & Ineson, K., (2007). Mystical Orientation and Psychological Type: An Empirical Study among Guests staying at a Benedictine Abbey, Studies in Spirituality, Vol. 17, p. 207.

Helgoe, L. Ph.D,(2010). Revenge of the Introvert, Psychology Today, psychologytoday.com, Sussex Publishers LLC. Retrieved on Oct 2nd 2012 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201008/revenge-the-introvert

Myers-Briggs, (2012). MBTI Basics, My MBTI Personality Type, Myers-Briggs Foundation. Retrieved Oct. 2nd 2012 from http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/


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