Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: The 16 Personality Types (2023)

Have you ever heard someone describe themselves as an INTJ or an ESTP and wondered what those cryptic-sounding letters could mean? What these people are referring to is their personality type based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is a self-report inventory designed to identify a person's personality type, strengths, and preferences. The questionnaire was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs based on their work with Carl Jung's theory of personality types. Today, the MBTI inventory is one of the world's most widely used psychological instruments.

This article discusses how the Myers-Briggs types were created, what the 16 different MBTI types are, and how this personality typing system works.

The Development of the Myers-Briggs Test

Both Myers and Briggs were fascinated by Jung's theory of psychological types and recognized that the theory could have real-world applications. During World War II, they began researching and developing an indicator that could be utilized to help understand individual differences.

By helping people understand themselves, Myers and Briggs believed that they could help people select occupations that were best suited to their personality types and lead healthier, happier lives.

Myers created the first pen-and-pencil version of the inventory during the 1940s, and the two women began testing the assessment on friends and family. They continued to fully develop the instrument over the next two decades.

(Video) Myers Briggs Personalities [Fully Explained]

An Overview of the Test

Based on the answers to the questions on the inventory, people are identified as having one of 16 personality types. The goal of the MBTI is to allow respondents to further explore and understand their own personalities including their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, possible career preferences, and compatibility with other people.

No one personality type is "best" or "better" than another. It isn't a tool designed to look for dysfunction or abnormality. Instead, its goal is simply to help you learn more about yourself. Thequestionnaire itself is made up of four different scales.

Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)

The extraversion-introversion dichotomy was first explored by Jung in his theory of personality types as a way to describe how people respond and interact with the world around them. While these terms are familiar to most people, the way in which they are used in the MBTI differs somewhat from their popular usage.

Extraverts (also often spelled extroverts) are "outward-turning" and tend to be action-oriented, enjoy more frequent social interaction, and feel energized after spending time with other people. Introverts are "inward-turning" and tend to be thought-oriented, enjoy deep and meaningful social interactions, and feel recharged after spending time alone.

We all exhibit extraversion and introversion to some degree, but most of us tend to have an overall preference for one or the other.

Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)

This scale involves looking at how people gather information from the world around them. Just like with extraversion and introversion, all people spend some time sensing and intuiting depending on the situation. According to the MBTI, people tend to be dominant in one area or the other.

(Video) Myers-Briggs Explained in Less than 5 Minutes - 16 Personalities

People who prefer sensing tend to pay a great deal of attention to reality, particularly to what they can learn from their own senses. They tend to focus on facts and details and enjoy getting hands-on experience. Those who prefer intuition pay more attention to things like patterns and impressions. They enjoy thinking about possibilities, imagining the future, and abstract theories.

Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)

This scale focuses on how people make decisions based on the information that they gathered from their sensing or intuition functions. People who prefer thinking place a greater emphasis on facts and objective data.

They tend to be consistent, logical, and impersonal when weighing a decision. Those who prefer feeling are more likely to consider people and emotions when arriving at a conclusion.

Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)

The final scale involves how people tend to deal with the outside world. Those who lean toward judging prefer structure and firm decisions. People who lean toward perceiving are more open, flexible, and adaptable. These two tendencies interact with the other scales.

Remember, all people at least spend some time engaged in extraverted activities. The judging-perceiving scale helps describe whether you behave like an extravert when you are taking in new information (sensing and intuiting) or when you are making decisions (thinking and feeling).

The Myers Briggs Types

Each type is then listed by its four-letter code:

  • ISTJ - The Inspector: Reserved and practical, they tend to be loyal, orderly, and traditional.
  • ISTP - The Crafter: Highly independent, they enjoy new experiences that provide first-hand learning.
  • ISFJ - The Protector: Warm-hearted and dedicated, they are always ready to protect the people they care about.
  • ISFP - The Artist: Easy-going and flexible, they tend to be reserved and artistic.
  • INFJ - The Advocate: Creative and analytical, they are considered one of the rarest Myers-Briggs types.
  • INFP - The Mediator: Idealistic with high values, they strive to make the world a better place.
  • INTJ - The Architect: High logical, they are both very creative and analytical.
  • INTP - The Thinker: Quiet and introverted, they are known for having a rich inner world.
  • ESTP - The Persuader: Out-going and dramatic, they enjoy spending time with others and focusing on the here-and-now.
  • ESTJ - The Director: Assertive and rule-oriented, they have high principles and a tendency to take charge.
  • ESFP - The Performer: Outgoing and spontaneous, they enjoy taking center stage.
  • ESFJ - The Caregiver: Soft-hearted and outgoing, they tend to believe the best about other people.
  • ENFP - The Champion: Charismatic and energetic, they enjoy situations where they can put their creativity to work.
  • ENFJ - The Giver: Loyal and sensitive, they are known for being understanding and generous.
  • ENTP - The Debater: Highly inventive, they love being surrounded by ideas and tend to start many projects (but may struggle to finish them).
  • ENTJ - The Commander: Outspoken and confident, they are great at making plans and organizing projects.

Taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can provide a lot of insight into your personality, which is probably why the instrument has become so popular. Even without taking the formal questionnaire, you can probably immediately recognize some of these tendencies in yourself.


According to the Myers & Briggs Foundation, it is important to remember that all types are equal and that every type has value.

When working in group situations in school or at work, for example, recognizing your own strengths and understanding the strengths of others can be very helpful. When you are working toward completing a project with other members of a group, you might realize that certain members of the group are skilled and talented at performing particular actions. By recognizing these differences, the group can better assign tasks and work together on achieving their goals.

How MBTI Differs From Other Instruments

The MBTI is just one approach to personality typing. Personality typing refers to systems that categorize people based on their traits, tendencies, and other characteristics. Other popular types of personality tests include:

  • The Enneagram
  • The Five Love Languages
  • The Big Five Personality Assessment
  • The Workplace DISC Test
  • Cattell's 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire

However, the Myers-Briggs types differ in some important ways. First, the MBTI is not really a "test." There are no right or wrong answers, and one type is not better than any other type. The purpose of the indicator is not to evaluate mental health or offer any type of diagnosis.

Also, unlike many other psychological evaluations, your results are not compared against any norms. Instead of looking at your score in comparison to other people's results, the instrument's goal is to simply offer further information about your unique personality.

Reliability and Validity

According to the Myers & Briggs Foundation, the MBTI meets accepted standards of reliability and validity. The official website for the test suggests that it has a 90% accuracy and test-retest reliability rating. One study found that while the scale showed strong internal consistency and test-retest reliability, variations were observed.

Other studies indicate that the reliability and validity of the instrument have not been adequately demonstrated. For example, some research suggests that around many people get differing results when they later retake the test and the test is not a good predictor of success in different careers.

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While the MBTI remains a popular assessment, there is not enough evidence for its scientific validity to recommend using it as a personality or career guidance tool.

The MBTI Today

Because the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is relatively easy to use, it has become one of the most popular psychological instruments currently in use today. Approximately two million U.S. adults complete the inventory each year.

While there are many versions of the MBTI available online, it should be noted that any of the informal questionnaires that you may find on the Internet are only approximations of the real thing.

(Video) Intro To Myers Briggs Personality Types

The real MBTI must be administered by a trained and qualified practitioner that includes a follow-up of the results. Today, the questionnaire can be administered online via the instrument publisher, CPP, Inc., and includes receiving a professional interpretation of your results.

The current version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator includes 93 forced-choice questions in the North American versionand 88 forced-choice questions in the European version. For each question, there are two different options from which the respondent must choose.


Is the 16 personalities test the same as Myers Briggs? ›

One of the most enduring of these personality determinants is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), sometimes referred to as the “ Meyers-Briggs 16 personalities test.” For more than half a century, this test has been used by millions of individuals and organizations worldwide to explore the self, to better ...

How many questions are in the 16 personalities test? ›

The test consists of 130 questions and takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.

How is the 16 personalities test scored? ›

The percentages are based on your answers, alone, as an individual. The two opposing poles of each of the five scales represent endorsing 100% of the statements for each trait. For example, using the Mind scale, one end would be “100% Introverted” and, at the other end, “100% Extraverted.”

Is the 16 personalities quiz accurate? ›

The 16personalities test website is based on the framework of Myers Briggs 16 Personalities framework. The original Myers Briggs test is one of the most famed personality tests in the world with a 90% accuracy rating. But, the test on Www 16personalities Com is not so reliable.

What's the most common personality type? ›

Overall, the most common personality type is ISFJ

ISFJ stands for Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Judging. This combination of traits means that people with the ISFJ personality type tend to be compassionate, caring and conventional.

What is the most accurate MBTI test? ›

According to users on Reddit, the most accurate MBTI test is the test offered by Keys 2 Cognition. The reason why it's the most accurate is that their test is not dichotomy-based. If the result is strong it is usually correct. Even weaker results can be useful for at least narrowing down the likely types.

Can your MBTI change? ›

Can Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type Change Over Time? According to Myers-Briggs theory, your personality type is inborn, and it doesn't change. However, the way you exhibit your type WILL change (and should) as you go through life.

What is the rarest MBTI type? ›

INFJ is the rarest personality type across the population, occurring in just 2% of the population. It is also the rarest personality type among men. INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging. This unique combination is hard to find in most people.

Are Infp rare? ›

INFP stands for introverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceiving. As such, this personality type often results in a quieter, more reserved person, with a significant emotional world but a "go-with-the-flow" kind of attitude. INFPs are among the rarest types, at around 1% of the population, according to Dario Nardi, Ph.

Can I have 2 personality types? ›

Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder) A mental health condition, people with dissociative identity disorder (DID) have two or more separate personalities. These identities control a person's behavior at different times. DID can cause gaps in memory and other problems.

Can you be 2 personality types? ›

No you can't be multiple types. Your type is determined by the cognitive functions and every type use both thinking, feeling, intuition, and sensing. For INTJs, they are Ni-Te-Fi-Se while INFJs are Ni-Fe-Ti-Se.

Which is the best personality type? ›

Best personality types for business (and how to use Myers-Briggs to find your PERFECT match)
  • INTJ – The Scientist. Source: CNBC. ...
  • INTP – The Professor. Source: CNBC. ...
  • ENTJ – The Boss. Source: CNBC. ...
  • ENTP – The Debater. Source: Snopes. ...
  • INFJ – The Coach. Source: Ashoka. ...
  • INFP – The Optimist. ...
  • ENFJ – The Hero. ...
  • ENFP – The Speaker.
20 Oct 2018

Why is MBTI so accurate? ›

This is mostly because of the fact that the research supporting the MBTI's validity has been produced by the Centre for Applications of Psychological Type, an organization run by the Myers-Briggs Foundation themselves, and published in the Centre's own journal, the Journal of Psychological Type.

Is MBTI scientifically proven? ›

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been widely used by businesses, universities, the military and other organizations for decades to assess personality. But there is very little, if any, science behind it.

How do I check my MBTI accurately? ›

The easiest way is to take a test. Some of them are available online for free: the most accurate ones are John's Personality Test and the MBTI and Cognitive Functions Test. If you just want a quick way of finding your type, try taking these tests and seeing if there's overlap or agreement!

Which personality type is smartest? ›

According to Comen, both INTJs and INTPs are among the smartest, adding that thinking is actually "the primary life goal" for INTPs, as opposed to the key tool. These people are most likely to be engineers and mathematicians, Robledo says.

What was Jesus's personality type? ›

If the conclusions I've drawn are correct, Jesus had preferences for INFJ or perhaps INTJ, INFP or INTP. This might explain why he stood out so much from the crowd, aside from the fact that, for those who believe in him, he was the son of God.

What is the 4 rarest personality type? ›

The INTJ – Fourth Rarest MBTI Type.

Which female personality type is the most attractive? ›

The Most Charming Myers-Briggs Personality Types, Experts Say
  • ENFJ. One personality type that you might find yourself easily influenced by is ENFJ. ...
  • ESFP. Extroverted, sensing, feeling, and perceiving types are also on the list of the most charming. ...
  • ISFJ. ...
  • ENFP.
7 Jul 2022

What is the most widely used personality test? ›

1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI Test) The most widely used test, the MBTI Test groups users into 16 personality types. Based on their answers, employees are assigned letters related to four traits: introverted versus extroverted, sensing versus intuitive, thinking versus feeling and judging versus perceiving.

What does the 16 personalities test best reveal? ›

The 16 Personality Test is a way to process information about each candidate. Their decision-making process, strengths, weaknesses, and other details will all be uncovered. This test will not only help you understand a candidate better but make you a better interviewer too.

Are you born with your MBTI type? ›

The short answer: Yes. According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) assessment, each person is born with an innate personality type. Let's take a closer look at how we know that your Myers-Briggs® Personality is innate.

Do personality types change with age? ›

Research now shows that personality traits continue to change in adulthood and often into old age, and that these changes may be quite substantial and consequential.

Can you retake 16 personality test? ›

Q: Can I retake the personality test? A: Yes! And if you do, your result history will show how your answers have changed over time. Check it out:…

Which MBTI type has the hardest life? ›

The INFP may be the toughest personality type of all for others to understand. They are seemingly easy-going and carefree, but when it comes to their values, they can become suddenly uncompromising. They're friendly to a fault, but they frequently find others hard to be around.

Which MBTI is the most introverted? ›

INTP stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving, and this personality type is the most introverted of the Introvert Club. An INTP lives inside their head.

Which MBTI types go well together? ›

Other research also shows that, based on similar interests and patterns of behaviors, these are some of the most highly compatible matches:
  • ENFJ and INFP.
  • ENTJ and INFP.
  • INFJ and ENFP.
  • INTJ and ENFP.
  • ENTP and INFJ.
  • ISFP and ENFJ.
  • ENTP and INTJ.
  • INTP and ENTJ.
13 Oct 2021

Are INFP smart? ›

INFPs are sensitive and emotionally intelligent, committed to following their core values and motivations in everything they do. This means they're likely to value intra-personal intelligence highly.

Which celebrity is INFP? ›

Famous INFPs include Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Rogers, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Tori Amos, Morrissey, Chloe Sevigny, William Shakespeare, Bill Watterson, A.A. Milne, Helen Keller, Carl Rogers, and Isabel Briggs Myers (creator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator).

Are INFP attractive? ›

Are INFPs Attractive? Regardless of their appearance, INFPs have a whole heap of attractive qualities like depth, independence, and optimism. Although INFPs struggle recognizing their great qualities, in the perspective of other people, they actually are charming and magnetizing.

What type of personality test is Briggs Myers? ›

In personality typology, the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

Is the Myers Briggs personality test valid? ›

The truth is that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is no less valid or reliable than other personality tests. Nonetheless, rumors persist that the test is wholly unreliable and is not based on research. Unfortunately, the propagation of such falsehoods is particularly rampant among my fellow academics.

Is there an official MBTI test? ›

Take the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® instrument

The MBTI assessment is administered either online or with paper and pencil, most often through a certified individual who has met certain professional requirements for interpreting the results of the instrument.

What is the major problem with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator? ›

Answer and Explanation: What is the major problem with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a measure of personality? B - It forces a person to be categorized as either one type or another.

How can I pass my personality test? ›

Top 10 Tips To Pass A Personality Test
  1. 1) Answer honestly but from a professional perspective. ...
  2. 2) Review the instructions carefully. ...
  3. 3) Don't pick too many (or too few) extreme responses. ...
  4. 4) Keep the job role in mind as you go. ...
  5. 5) Don't try to game the test. ...
  6. 6) Be consistent in your responses. ...
  7. 7) Take your time.
5 Jan 2021

What is the most rare personality type? ›

INFJ is the rarest personality type across the population, occurring in just 2% of the population. It is also the rarest personality type among men. INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging.

Can I take the Myers Briggs test online for free? ›

The most popular personality test that draws heavily from Jungian psychology is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test. While the official, MBTI-branded version of the test is paid, there is a free version available that many people find to be just as helpful: the 16 Personality Types test.

Why is Myers Briggs useful? ›

It is most often used by organizations to help individuals develop and build self-awareness and to help teams work better together. For example, the MBTI assessment can help in conflict resolution, leadership development, career coaching, team development, managing change, improving communication, and decision making.

How does the Myers Briggs test work? ›

6.6 Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Personality preference is measured along four dichotomies: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. Combinations of these scales produce a four-letter acronym that reflects the dominant score on each factor.

What personality type is best suited for psychology? ›

The Personality Type Best Suited for a Counseling Career

Research has shown that effective counselors fit one specific personality type: Introvertive, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging (INFJ). This research concluded that counselors tend to be quiet and reserved and enjoy learning through observation.

How rare is INTP? ›

Is INTP a Rare Personality Type? According to psychologist David Keirsey, creator of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, approximately 1% to 5% of people have an INTP personality type.

Are Infp rare? ›

INFP stands for introverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceiving. As such, this personality type often results in a quieter, more reserved person, with a significant emotional world but a "go-with-the-flow" kind of attitude. INFPs are among the rarest types, at around 1% of the population, according to Dario Nardi, Ph.


1. 15 Signs You're An INFJ - The World's Rarest Personality Type
2. Myers Briggs Personality Types Explained - Which One Are You?
4. Myers Briggs (MBTI) Explained - Personality Quiz
(Practical Psychology)
5. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) | Is it a Valid Personality Test?
(Dr. Todd Grande)
6. What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Personality Assessment?
(The Myers-Briggs Company)
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