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What's your Myers-Briggs type?

December 19, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
I've always gotten a kick out of psychological tests. I got an A in Introduction to Psychology by volunteering as a guinea pig for all of the graduate students who were doing psychological research. I think it was in that class that I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which sorts people into 16 possible psychological type. A person supposedly has a preference for extraversion or introversion; sensing or intuition; thinking or feeling; and judging or perceiving. At the time I scored as an INTJ (Introvert, Intuitive, Thinker, Judger); when I took the test years later I scored as an INTP (Introvert, Intuitive, Thinker, Perceiver). I suppose personalities change over time.

Myers-Briggs seems to be a fairly popular tool for businesses or team-building activities. I suppose knowing what "type" your co-workers are might help people work together more effectively.

There are other similar tests. A Russian developed a personality type theory called Socionics back in the 1960s, which is somewhat similar to Myers-Briggs but a bit less popular. Someone on Facebook provided a link to a socionics test. I took it and discovered that on that test I am an ILI (an intuitive logical introvert) or that test's equivalent of an INTP. It was similar enough to the results of the Myers-Briggs test to make me think they both were fairly accurate.

If businesses are using these tests, I wonder if someone should require that Congress sit down and take them too. Maybe it would help them communicate better with each other if they knew that one guy is an ESTJ, an extrovert who likes things to be concrete and makes judgments based on logic, while the guy sitting next to him is a sensitive INFP, a quiet introvert who makes decisions based on feelings. I think we need people who think both ways in government, but their personalities may make it as hard for them to see each others' point of view as their different political parties.

There are free online quizzes at various sites for both the Myers-Briggs and Socionics if you are interested in seeing what your type is.


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