Most people know that Carl Jung is credited with being the “father” of modern psychology. He described human nature as falling within groupings of traits that describe how we interact with the world and each other, our different ways of being.
There are four basic scales, and within each we show a preference for one trait more than another.
Two modern researchers took Jung’s research a bit further. Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs developed what is now known as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to make Jung’s personality traits more relevant and understandable.
- The first aspect of these personality types is how we interact with the world, the direction of our energy flow. We are Extroverted (externally based) or Introverted (mostly internal).
- The second aspect is the scale of Sensing vs. Intuition. The Sensor generally believes information he or she receives from the external world. The Intuitive believes information received from the internal, intuitive world.
- The third aspect is Thinking vs. Feeling, describing whether we make decisions based on intellect and logic or on emotion.
- The last aspect is that of Judging vs. Perceiving. We generally either judge the information we receive and organize and plan accordingly, or we improvise and “go with the flow” based on what we perceive.
Where we fall within these parameters is indicated by a four-letter code. If you are normally introverted, process information based on intuition, make decisions based on feelings, and act based on perception, you would be coded as INFP (N indicating Intuition).
Why is this relevant?
The MBTI has proven to be a valuable tool for understanding human interactions. Similar personality test formats have arisen from Myers Briggs, such as DiSC Personality Testing and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. These tools allow us to improve communication in our personal relationships, within groups, and at the workplace, as well as offering insight into the workings of our own minds.
In the next few posts, we will explore the four groupings described above in more detail.