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Gestalt
11th April 2010, 04:21
What is it?: "The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions."(~Wikipedia) In essence it is a way of determining your personality based on archetypes developed by Carl Jung. It is used extensively across the business world and has proven to be quite accurate. (Scary accurate sometimes....)

It is a great tool for personal self-discovery as well and a great method for understanding how other people perceive the world and how they make decisions. While not overtly spiritual in nature, it does help oneself to understand the mechanisms at work behind the psyche. As well it is a good tool in that it helps you become more self-aware, and potentially improve your relationships with those around you.

Take the Test:
Click on the following link and take the test in order to determine your personality type:
http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp
After click on this link and read up on your 4-letter personality type description:
http://www.personalitypage.com/high-level.html

4 letter Personality Type - Definitions
The test asks you a series of questions, and based on your answers categorizes you into 4 of 8 broad sub categories. Each category exists on a dichotomy continuum. The test gives you your result in a 4 letter acronym of 16 possible combinations, which represents the following categories.

Where do you prefer to focus your attention? Where do you get energy? E-I Dichotomy
Extroversion (E) - Extroverts are outwardly oriented people. They tend to be quite talkative and are typically energized by being around other people and social situations.

Introversion (I) - Introverts are usually more quiet, private and contained. Large groups of people and social situations drain them, and they usually require quiet alone time to recharge their batteries.

How do you prefer to take in Information? S-N Dichotomy
Sensing (S) - Sensors are (micro) detail oriented people that prefer to focus on facts and concrete data. They are keen to observe and remember specifics quite well. They like to see the hard numbers.

Intuition (N) - Intuitive's (as per the MBTI definition) are big picture (macro) orientated people. These people are highly imaginative and focus on patterns and the meaning of data. They understand data better in how it relates to other data.

How do you make decisions? T-F Dichotomy
Thinking (T) - These are the analytical logic type people. They ten to use cause-an-effect reasoning when making decisions.

Feeling (F) - These people are more empathetic and base their decisions more around feelings based on values rather than cold hard logic as the thinkers do.

How do you deal with the outer world? J-P Dichotomy
Judging (J) - The judger's (MBTI definition) are people who are methodical, scheduled and tend to be highly organized. They tend to make extensive use of lists and calenders. As well they prefer to get things done way ahead of time.

Perceiving (P) - This type of person is more spontaneous and flexible. They have a more open-ended approach to plans and tend to be the ones that get things done at the last minute.


Understanding your 4 letter Personality Type
It is important to understand that virtually no one fits into any of the categories perfectly. The categories are generalizations or approximations at best, a way of describing a general tendency. The unique combination of categories however paints an interesting picture of your personality archetype. Each dichotomy exists on a continuum. For example a good way of visualizing the E-I spectrum is as follows:

Fully Introverted<--------------------|------------------->Fully Extroverted

Some people might be very near the ends, while others closer to the middle. Their is a high degree of variance. We all know people that are extremely extroverted that can yak your ear off and others who are extremely introverted that barely say a word. However most people are somewhere closer to the middle having a tendency to one end or the other. And this holds true for all the dichotomy's in the MBTI system.

There are obviously many other factors that contribute to the shaping of your personality. Environmental, genetic, astrological, experiential, modes of learning (auditory, visual, kinesthetic), cultural and many more. It is also possible your personality may change as you age. The MBTI system does not address these, however it can still prove to be useful.

In terms of relationships it is often said "Opposites attract". And this is true of personality types to some degree as well. Two individuals who have exactly the same personality type, while they may have fantastic mutual understanding may also quickly get bored of one another and would be somewhat out of balance. Extroverts balance out Introverts, and Thinkers balance out Feelers and so on. Where one person has their weakness's another may have their strengths. Well balanced teams can utilize this to their advantage if used constructively.

However differences can also be a source of tension and conflict if those differences are not properly understood. It is important to understand how people make their decisions and process information, as this can be vastly different from one person to the next. A thinker may become too rational, when making a decision, being accused of being cold, and a feeler may get too feely, being accused of being too emotional. It is easy to see how personality tendencies can quickly exacerbate conflict when disagreements across a dichotomy occur. However this knowledge can also be useful in that simply stating that you understand where a person is coming from even though you may not share their disposition, can help in preventing further alienation. Compassionate empathetic understanding is the goal here. It is important to embrace diversity for its creative constructive qualities.

Another interesting link, that shows clothing style and some of the physical characteristic correlations.
http://www.socionics.com/prof/prof.htm


Note: Cultural and environmental factors can create artifacts skewing test results. The most difficult thing is being honest with yourself. Case in point. Both my parents are introverts. My mother would take me to the mall when I was a baby, where I would observe my surroundings with much curiosity enjoying myself thoroughly. However when it was time to leave the large shopping mall, I would begin to cry vigorously. She interpreted this as me having been so over-stimulated by the big mall and all the people that it was difficult for me to handle, and that perhaps I need to be alone more and not be around so many people. In actual fact, I wanted to stay at the mall because I enjoyed being around so many people and was sad to leave hence the crying. However as my mother is an introvert she projected her introverted perspective onto me, as that is the lens she peers through into the world. This led her to do her best and try and isolate me from people as much as possible, and she constantly called me an introvert as well reinforced her impressions on me throughout my childhood. As a result my natural extroverted tendencies were fairly undeveloped until I was much older. Not until I took the MBTI test did I find out that I was an extrovert not an introvert as I had been led to believe.