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Jungian personality type overview

16 Personality Types

Overview of 16 personality types and the Myers Briggs®

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Learn about the Myers Briggs® types and take our free personality test: the Jungian Subtype Type Indicator (JSTI) to discover your detailed personality type.

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This page gives a synopsis of the 16 types reported by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator®. If you are looking for the official Myers Briggs® test we recommend you explore their website too.


Jungian Personality Model and the Myers Briggs® Personality Test

Carl Jung and the origins of the Myers Briggs® Personality Type Indicator

Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung initially proposed the existence of four broad cognitive functions which underpin human character and temperament. In his book Psychological Types he posited that people experience the world using four principal psychological functions: sensation; intuition; feeling; and thinking. Katharine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Myers, expanded upon Jung's work, hypothesising the existence of four broad dichotomies, which include:

  • Extraversion vs Introversion
  • Sensing vs Intuition
  • Thinking vs Feeling
  • Judgement vs Perception
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For over 100 years, the writings of Carl Jung have influenced personality test theory and practice.

These dichotomies form 16 possible combinations, which are commonly known as the Myers Briggs® types. A wide range of assessments have been designed to identify an individual's Myers Briggs® type, most notably the Myers Briggs Type Indicator®. What all of these tests have in common however, is they all measure personality in line with the original Jungian model, and provide test takers with information regarding their most likely personality type. This arms individuals with significant knowledge regarding their own character and temperament, aiding personal development and self-reflection.

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Carl Gustav Jung first published his book "Psychologische Typen" or "Psychological Types" in 1921, and was subsequently published in the English language in 1923.


INFP Type

The Mediator

An INFP is often an introspective quiet soul, that can be seen as deep in thought. INFPs have a beautiful sensitivity that lends themselves perfectly to artistic pursuits. INFPs make fantastic writers, poets and artists as they can create highly emotional and touching art. It's key for INFPs to follow their heart and pursue things of meaning.

INFPs are creative optimists who dream of a better world for everyone. They often express themselves artistically and demonstrate a deep understanding of how people think, feel, and interact.

Read more about INFP types.

ESFJ Type

The Consul

ESFJs are highly attuned to the needs of others, eager to fulfil their responsibilities to helping others where they feel they can. They readily perceive the feelings of others and how others view them, and naturally navigate within their emotional environment. Likewise, ESFJs agree with cooperation and harmony, and tend to identify strongly with those qualities. ESFJs are dutiful and loyal, readily giving time to their friends and family when they feel that they are in need of it. They tend also to readily give their time to others, and can place the problems of others on their shoulders, burdening themselves with the responsibility, attempting as they do to resolve them best they can.

Also known as the Consul personality type, ESFJs are happiest when serving others, connecting with old friends, and fulfilling obligations. They identify strongly with the groups they belong to, the traditions they uphold, and the rules they follow. They strive to make important contributions, and it’s important that their accomplishments are valued.

Read more about ESFJ types.

INFJ Type

The Advocate

An INFJ is idealistic, seeing the positives in the world and other people, they believe that they can create a happier, more harmonious environment. Their tendency for altruism has them care deeply for other people's feelings and value their friendships strongly. An INFJ has a strong moral code that they rarely break, this personal integrity is important for an INFJ.

People with the INFJ personality type have a strong sense of personal integrity with an innate desire to nurture others. Fueled by creativity and dedication, an INFJ has a natural talent to present unique solutions to overcome hurdles. Referred to as the 'Advocate,' the INFJ is among the rarest and often misunderstood MBTI personality types.

Read more about INFJ types.

ESFP Type

The Entertainer

ESFPs are extraverted and observant, making them great entertainers who eagerly charms and engages with others. They tend to be responsive to the world around them, readily participating in activities, spontaneous, enjoyable to be around, and they appreciate their surrounding pleasures such as people, food and gifts. ESFPs tend to be highly talkative and engaging in conversation with the zest they show in their lives. ESFPs live in the moment, and make sure they are often the center of attention by being open to different people, employing humor and a playful attitude to help get on with most other personality types and ensure they have a good time with them.

People with ESFP personalities are known for their generosity, lively spirit, and strong intersubjective skills (also known as emotional intelligence). They enjoy life without reservation and are committed optimists - sometimes overly so. Rather than calculating their actions, they value spontaneity, oftentimes at the expense of structure. ESFPs are abundant, and so is the joy and warmth they bring into the world.

Read more about ESFP types.

ENFJ Type

The Protagonist

ENFJs are drawn to callings that are greater than themselves. Full of idealism, ENFJs strive to impact the world and those around them in a positive way. They tend to relish the opportunity to do good, even if doing so is difficult. ENFJs are natural leaders, and forward thinkers. Their natural charisma and passion for doing good can helps inspire others. It is no surprise that many successful politicians and teachers are ENFJs. The joy it can give them to coach and help others and loved ones is their catalyst to reach self-actualisation.

Those with the ENFJ personality are natural-born leaders, supporters, and communicators. They can sense the motivations of others and gain fulfillment by helping others live to their full potential. Often, they occupy positions of power not because they crave leadership, but because they genuinely want the world to be a better place, and they are not comfortable sitting idly while no progress is made. ENFJs live with a solid moral compass that guides their decision-making, even when it isn't easy. The primary driver for the ENFJ personality is a sense of duty to what is best for the community.

Read more about ENFJ types.

ISFJ Type

The Defender

ISFJ are natural helpers, bound to assist others whenever they can they are extremely valued by their friends and family for their desire to take on board problems and offer solutions. Humbling and practical are traits heavily carried by ISFJs standing them apart from other personality types. An ISFJs quiet passion will burn brightly for whoever is lucky to make a close friendship or relationship and see the depth of compassion in an ISFJ.

Known as ‘The Defender,’ ISFJ personalities are defined as introverted, sensing, feeling, and judging. Hard-working, patient, and imaginative, ISFJs make excellent friends, partners, and parents. They are known for their eagerness to help others, as well as their value towards traditions and family. They can sometimes procrastinate, but not out of laziness; ISFJs are known perfectionists. While starting the job may be difficult, the ISFJ will always complete their responsibilities on time, and often exceed expectations in the process. That being said, ISFJs are often modest about their accomplishments, sometimes to their own detriment. Learning how to stand up for themselves is a vital part of the ISFJ’s journey.

Read more about ISFJ types.

ENFP Type

The Campaigner

ENFPs are warm and passionate, readily helping other people express and explore their own creativity. They are people focused, and they tend to enjoy the enthusiasm of content creation, generating new ideas and engaging in activities with others. ENFPs are typically expressive in quick-witted in their communication, readily employing their humor to great effect. With their original imagination, ENFPs will likely have a strong creativity focus and artistic core. Art’s ability to express and create is appealing to the ENFP, who likely imagine with it in one form or another.

People within the ENFP personality type are often enthusiastic, charming, charismatic, and visionary. These people tend to have excellent communication skills, high empathy, and a genuine interest in others. The ENFP personality type describes dreamers who can imagine anything except living in a routine and rigid structure. Craving freedom and variety, this personality type yearns to explore their world creatively.

Read more about ENFP types.

ISFP Type

The Adventurer

ISFPs are peaceful, caring and open individuals. They stand on their own two feet and will carve their own path in the world, being entirely happy with living by their own set of rules and ideals, and not just content with following what people have done before. An ISFP's hidden creativity will take many people by surprise as they are modest in their quiet achievements and will harness their imaginative creativity as an expressive outlet. ISFPs are in touch with other people's feeling as much as they are with their own, instinctually seeing what lies just beneath the surface in their friends and family.

Playful and observant, referred to as 'the Adventurer', ISFPs are independent and creative. Ther demeanour is often so serene that others may be surprised to learn, upon getting to know them, that they have rich inner lives.

Read more about ISFP types.

INTJ Type

The Architect

People with INTJ type personality (sometimes referred to as 'strategists') see the world around them as one big complex puzzle they can solve. They tend to be ambitious and enjoy strategizing using logic. They think big and strive towards their goals, but prefer to keep their visionary plans to themselves.

People with INTJ personality type calculate the world around them, and believe they can achieve anything if they just get the strategy right. They use vision and analysis to build the world they want. They often keep things private, and work things through in their mind rather than share them openly.

Read more about INTJ types.

ESTJ Type

The Executive

ESTJs are traditional and orderly, readily using their organisational focus to spearhead projects and people and to charge them on a course to what the ESTJ feels is right or wrong. ESTJs like to bring communities together, and they tend to embrace traditional values of honesty, industry, and conscientious dignity. They tend to have clear rules on how best to navigate oneself through the world, in a systematic, methodical way, following established processes. ESTJs are good at taking charge, and people tend to appreciate their role in organising for the communities and working hard to conserve traditional values.

ESTJs are masters of their own worlds. They are confident in their analysis of the world and derive comfort from their conviction of what’s right and wrong. They appear self-confident because they stick to their principles of honesty, dignity, and order. ESTJs are natural decision-makers and have a well-developed executive function. Of the 16 MBTI types, they are the most conventionally masculine.

Read more about ESTJ types.

ENTJ Type

The Commander

ENTJs are leaders by their very nature. They tend to have a charismatic and confident personality and are able to bring people together in facing a singular, shared goal. Of course, this can mean that ENTJs have the capacity to be remorselessly rational, setting themselves to complete a task with a dogged determination and drive that can result in some marginalisation. Their overwhelming nature can smother the more timid and sensitive personalities, and they can clash as a result. Nevertheless, ENTJs are likely to be great achievers in business or public institutions, and they tend to assert their presence into anything to which they set their mind, heart, and soul.

People with the ENTJ personality type are often leaders, organizers, and logical decision-makers. ENTJs tend to be excellent planners, abstract thinkers, and problem solvers with a propensity for leading the charge for action. Their enthusiasm and motivation for great achievement fuel their professional career. The ENTJ is characteristically direct, and while they may not show much emotion themselves, they are aware of others' feelings and can navigate them with practice. They are among the rarest of personality types.

Read more about ENTJ types.

ESTP Type

The Entrepreneur

The ESTP is the soul of the party and loves to be center of attention. An ESTP will live life in the moment and revel in an action-packed life, full of adventure and obstacles. Their courage helps them sieze opportunities and push the boundaries of life. Many people gravitate towards ESTPs due to their charisma and social skills.

The ESTP, also called the Entrepreneur, is known for being one of the most outgoing personality types on the Myers Briggs scale. They are extremely enthusiastic, observant, easily adaptable, and they love to make work fun. ESTPs apply their own experiences to situations to help find solutions, and are known for being exceptionally resourceful. However, with their outgoing demeanor they can have difficulty managing their time, and tend to lose interest in long-term, complex projects. With their extraverted personality, ESTPs are action-oriented and love to use logical thinking in all things they do, even though they are also known for being quite dramatic at times.

Read more about ESTP types.

ENTP Type

The Debater

ENTPs are natural dreamers and debaters, relishing any chance they get to exercise their effortlessly quick wit, wide base of knowledge and ability to prove an effective point. As a result, ENTPs likewise tend to be natural polemics, readily playing the role of devil's advocate in order to push and test arguments to their limits – not just for the thrill of the exercise, but to prove themselves and others that they have the capacity to do this. There doesn't have to be a great reason to debate either – it can be just for the sake of debate itself. While this can clash with some other, more conflict averse personality types, their charisma, conversational nature, and ability to deconstruct the obvious, is sought after in business as well as general problem-solving.

The ENTP is a dreamer, a visionary, appearing a bit scatterbrained at times, a conversationalist, and a rational creator. ENTPs love to be the ones to synthesize the data of others, point to the vision of the future, and let others work to execute on that vision. As conversationalists, they are known to play the devil's advocate. This conversational stance may rub others the wrong way, but it's how the ENTP evaluates an idea. What's a more effective way to understand a point than trying to argue against it?

Read more about ENTP types.

ISTJ Type

The Logistician

ISTJs are a respectful and serious personality type. It is no surprise that ISTJs are sometimes referred to as Logisticians for they enjoy a rhythm to their lives and this helps them to feel most comfortable with a definite preference for following a particular pattern to completing tasks.

People with the ISTJ personality type come across as pleasant and serious-minded. With a no-frills aesthetic and a no-nonsense approach to life, they don't often stand out in a crowd, but they don't shy away from the spotlight either. They respect the authority of others and prefer to follow the rules rather than make them, but they are not averse to taking charge to ensure sure tasks are completed the right way.

Read more about ISTJ types.

INTP Type

The Logician

An INTP is highly introspective and will, more often than not, be deep in thought solving countless problems and puzzles in their mind. Highly analytical, an INTP will analyze every little thing they come across in a Sherlock Holmes-esque manner. Even after events, the INTP will think over past events and over-analyze things people said or how they temselves acted. This constant thinking can sometimes turn negative and leave the INTP feeling dissatisfied with their actions or life.

INTP stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving. INTP personality types are proud of their intelligent way of looking at the world. They have very often creative minds and thrive in the right academic environments suited to them. They are inquisitive by nature and can enjoy finding creative solutions to problems. INTPs can try to view situations from different perspectives and they are inclined to collect evidence which will help them identify the most logical decision. They are highly practical and are more likely to follow their mind rather than their heart.

Read more about INTP types.

ISTP Type

The Virtuoso

People with ISTP type personality are enthusiastic when it comes to deciphering the physical world. They excel at achieving their goals and are driven by the strong curiosity they possess. ISTPs are inquisitive and this inquisitiveness is shown in their determination to unearth the mysteries in their lives and that they forever seek new adventures and answers. Coupled with their industriousness and the confidence they possess in themselves they are great achievers.

ISTPs are curious to learn how things work and they are driven to find ways to make things work better. They like to learn by doing, so they are happiest when either fixing something up or creating something new. Calm and rational, they have the ability to set their feelings aside and spend long hours working in solitude in order to satisfy their curiosity, learn a new skill, or accomplish a goal. Far more interested in physical reality than philosophical discussions, many famous ISTPs have been scientists, explorers, and inventors.

Read more about ISTP types.

 


The 16 Personality Types

This grid shows the 16 types of personality according to the Myers Briggs® model.

Types with an analytical focus: Types with a resolve focus: Types with a leadership focus: Types with a creative focus:

The Four Letters of the Myers Briggs®

The four dichotomies which comprise your Myers Briggs® Type

This grid shows the 16 types of personality according to the Myers Briggs® model.

Collectively, these four dichotomies will determine your Myers Briggs® type in the traditional four letter format i.e. INTJ, ENTJ, ESTP etc.


Types vs Trait Model of Personality

Types and scales represented distinct approaches to personality theory and individual differences more generally.

Types

Discrete categories

Type based personality theories hold that individuals can be classified into categories based on their character and temperament, these could include:

  • Extravert vs Introvert
  • Type A vs Type B
  • INTJ vs ENTJ

Traits

Continuous dimensions

Trait based personality theories hold that aspects of personality exist on a continuum, and are best represented quantitatively using scores, such as:

  • 50th percentile on Extraversion
  • Sten score of 7 on Introversion
  • Z-score of -0.87 on Agreeableness
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Not all personality theories are exclusively type or trait based, some combine the two approaches to give a more holistic view of human personality.


Working with personality types, as opposed to continuous personality traits, has a number of practical advantages. Personality types offer a far simpler account of human personality, and thus follows the parsimony principle more closely. Many trait based assessments measures 20-40+ personality scales, providing a wealth of information to trained psychologists and psychometricians, but very little to everyday people. A single overall personality type however, can be easily explained and communicated, ensuring that lay people get the most from their personality reports. Moreover, Personality Types do not require specialist knowledge of psychometric scaling i.e. Z-scores, T-scores, Sten scores etc., and thus are far more accessible and interpretable to regular people.

quotation marks The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
Carl Jung, 1933

Perhaps the most common use of personality type based assessment is to facilitate personal and professional development. Often, these assessments are part of a wider personal and professional development plan designed by a coach or T&D professional, helping individuals to structure their personal development. Other times, individuals complete these assessments autonomously, identifying their personality type to help create a development plan themselves. In either case, knowing ones personality type reveals certain strengths, overplayed strengths, and development needs which are unique to that type, providing direction for personal development.

Career selection and person-fit is another major use of personality type based assessments. Research suggests that optimal career choice depends partly on the individual's personality. For example, extraverts are disproportionately likely to seek sales roles, as they are well suited to interpersonal communication. Therefore, identifying ones personality type can help hone decisions regarding work, ensuring congruence between the individual and their chosen career path. Similarly, once already in the workforce, knowing ones personality type helps ensure person-job fit, person-culture fit, and even person-organization fit, crucial elements that determine work engagement.

Overall, personality type based assessments are ideal for summarising key aspects of an individual's personality and communicating real world implications of their behavioral style.

 


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Ellie Simmonds, MSc

University of Bath, Psychology

Ellie Simmonds, MSc in Psychology from University of Bath. Ellie is an associate lecturer on psychometric assessments and has extensive knowledge of the 16-type model.