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The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is a psychological assessment tool used to compartmentalize the varieties of human personality into 16 different types. The test was developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. Although neither woman was a psychologist, Katherine Briggs did work as a school teacher at a time when it was commonly believed that too much education was harmful to a woman’s reproductive health.

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

– Carl Jung

The Myers Briggs test is based on the work of Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. It uses a four factor model system featuring 4 slots or ‘functions’ arranged in order of importance; the Dominant function, Auxiliary function, tertiary function and inferior function, respectively. The first slot indicates attitude preference: extroversion (E)/introversion (I). The second slot indicates how we take in and perceive information: intuitive (N)/sensing (S). The third slot indicates how we process and judge information: thinking (T)/feeling (F). The fourth slot indicates how we apply action: perceiving (P)/ judging (J).

There are  8 different cognitive functions forming 16 different personality combinations. How the function stacks work together differs depending on the cognitive theory used. The most common model assigns an alternating sequence of extroversion and introversion across the function stack where if the dominant and tertiary are extroverted, then the auxiliary and inferior functions will be introverted.

Cognitive theory dictates how the functions are paired and ordered in the stack. IxxP types for example, while being perceivers, have a judging trait (thinking or Feeling which sit in the 3rd slot) as their dominant function. The dominant function would be either introverted thinking or introverted feeling which means that this function serves as the primary and strongest developed cognitive characteristic of that personality type. In the case of a IxxJ type, then the dominant function will be formed by a perceiving trait (sensing or intuition).

The Rationals

INTP – Architect
INTJ – Mastermind
ENTP – Inventor
ENTJ – Visionary

The Diplomats

INFP – Poet
INFJ – Counselor
ENFP – Campaigner
ENFJ – Captain

The Guardians

ISTJ – Pragmatist
ISFJ – Defender
ESTJ – Director
ESFJ – Caregiver

The Artisans

ISTP – Craftsman
ISFP – Artist
ESTP – Pioneer
ESFP – Performer

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