Saturday, October 9, 2010

What are personality types anyways? Part 1

Well first let's delve into the basics:

We can assess our personalities though the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Personality typing is a tool with many uses. It's especially notable for it's helpfulness in the areas of growth and self-development. Learning and applying the theories of personality type can be a powerful and rewarding experience, if it is used as a tool for discovery, rather than as a method for putting people into boxes, or as an excuse for behavior.

The sixteen personality types which we use in our assessment are based on the well-known research of Carl Jung, Katharine C. Briggs, and Isabel Briggs Myers. Carl Jung first developed the theory that individuals each had a psychological type. He believed that there were two basic kinds of "functions" which humans used in their lives: how we take in information (how we "perceive" things), and how we make decisions. He believed that within these two categories, there were two opposite ways of functioning. We can perceive information via 1) our senses, or 2) our intuition. We can make decisions based on 1) objective logic, or 2) subjective feelings. Jung believed that we all use these four functions in our lives, but that each individual uses the different functions with a varying amount of success and frequency. He believed that we could identify an order of preference for these functions within individuals. The function which someone uses most frequently is their "dominant" function. The dominant function is supported by an auxiliary (2nd) function, tertiary (3rd) function, and inferior (4th) function. He asserted that individuals either "extraverted" or "introverted" their dominant function. He felt that the dominant function was so important, that it overshadowed all of the other functions in terms of defining personality type. Therefore, Jung defined eight personality types:
Extraverted Sensing (modern types: ESFP, ESTP)
Introverted Sensing (modern types: ISTJ, ISFJ)
Extraverted Intuition (modern types: ENFP, ENTP)
Introverted Intuition (modern types: INFJ, INTJ)
Extraverted Thinking (modern types: ESTJ, ENTJ)
Introverted Thinking (modern types: ISTP, INTP)
Extraverted Feeling (modern types: ESFJ, ENFJ)
Introverted Feeling (modern types: INFP, ISFP)

C. G. Jung died in 1961, without ever having presented a systematic summary of his psychology. For the past thirty years his ideas have been explained, explored and amplified by thousands of others, with varying results.

Uses for this information include:
Inter-personal Relationships How can we improve our awareness of another individual's Personality Type, and therefore increase our understanding of their reactions to situations, and know how to best communicate with them on a level which they will understand?

Education How can we develop different teaching methods to effectively educate different types of people?

Counselling How we can help individuals understand themselves better, and become better able to deal with their strengths and weaknesses?


OneFourSeven said...

This is one of the most informative things I've read in a long time. I read a little bit about Jungian psychology when I was into Tool in high school, but didn't know he was kinda the forefather of modern typing.

Good post. Lol.

Post a Comment