16 Personality Types
According to Carl G. Jung's theory of psychological types [Jung, 1971], people can be characterized by their preference of general attitude:
- Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I),
their preference of one of the two functions of perception:
- Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N),
and their preference of one of the two functions of judging:
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
The three areas of preferences introduced by Jung are dichotomies (i.e. bipolar dimensions where each pole represents a different preference). Jung also proposed that in a person one of the four functions above is dominant – either a function of perception or a function of judging. Isabel Briggs Myers, a researcher and practitioner of Jung’s theory, proposed to see the judging-perceiving relationship as a fourth dichotomy influencing personality type [Briggs Myers, 1980]:
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
The first criterion, Extraversion – Introversion, signifies the source and direction of a person’s energy expression. An extravert’s source and direction of energy expression is mainly in the external world, while an introvert has a source of energy mainly in their own internal world.
The second criterion, Sensing – Intuition, represents the method by which someone perceives information. Sensing means that a person mainly believes information he or she receives directly from the external world. Intuition means that a person believes mainly information he or she receives from the internal or imaginative world.
The third criterion, Thinking – Feeling, represents how a person processes information. Thinking means that a person makes a decision mainly through logic. Feeling means that, as a rule, he or she makes a decision based on emotion, i.e. based on what they feel they should do.
The fourth criterion, Judging – Perceiving, reflects how a person implements the information he or she has processed. Judging means that a person organizes all of his life events and, as a rule, sticks to his plans. Perceiving means that he or she is inclined to improvise and explore alternative options.
All possible permutations of preferences in the 4 dichotomies above yield 16 different combinations, or personality types, representing which of the two poles in each of the four dichotomies dominates in a person, thus defining 16 different personality types. Each personality type can be assigned a 4 letter acronym of corresponding combination of preferences:
The 16 personality types
The first letter in the personality type acronym corresponds to the first letter of the preference of general attitude - “E” for extraversion and “I” for introversion.
The second letter in the personality type acronym corresponds to the preference within the sensing-intuition dimension: “S” stands for sensing and “N” stands for intuition.
The third letter in the personality type acronym corresponds to preference within the thinking-feeling pair: “T” stands for thinking and “F” stands for feeling.
The forth letter in the personality type acronym corresponds a person’s preference within the judging-perceiving pair: “J” for judging and “P” for perception.
- ISTJ stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
- ENFP stands for Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving