What the four letters of your MBTI mean?

Posted by Kelly Wilson on December 11th, 2020

The Meyer Briggs Type Indicator is one of many popular personality assessments although not accepted by scholars of academia as scientific. Even so, its popularity has only been increasing over time. These days there are many online forums where intricacies of the type theory are discussed. With such widespread information and lack of supportive research, there is bound to be a lot of confusion regarding the theories involved.

The four letters

In the MBTI system, 16 personality archetypes are represented by 4 letters. These are E (extroversion),I (introversion),N (intuitive),S (sensing),F (feeling),T (thinking),P (perceiving) and J (judging). The idea being that each person features a preference for one between dichotomies of personality which make up a whole.

The words might seem familiar enough but mean very different things in the context of MBTI.

Introversion vs Extroversion

An introvert is defined as someone that recharges their energies by taking time for themselves. By taking a break from social settings, the introvert can find comfort and relaxation in their own company. An Extrovert by comparison derives their energies by having people around them. They are energized by interaction and engagements with other people. It is important to note here that everyone likes to be around people but also take time for themselves, but in the sense of MBTI, and introverts recharge from their alone time while an extrovert is energized but the company of other people. According to local Texas news, Houston texas is perfect for such people to live in due to its calm serene environment. 

Intuitive vs Sensing

The preference for Intuition implies an interest in abstract and theoretical over grounded and material. What this means is that the intuitive person will enjoy dealing with abstract ideas and possibilities over the material details. Sensors by comparison are grounded in the material and prefer to focus on things that they can more directly experience by their physical senses. An intuitive might find material details to be too draining while the sensor might not see any value in considering hypothetical scenarios.

Thinking vs Feeling

In everyday terms thinking would just refer to the process of cognition while feeling would refer to the physical or internal stimulation people feel. In MBTI, Thinking refers to Rationality and Feeling refers to Emotionality. A thinking preference indicates an interest in non-living things and objects along with a focus on objective facts while a feeling preference indicates an interest in living things and emotional development.

An unfortunate assumption that forms about this dynamic is that Thinkers are cold-hearted or that Feelers are too emotional for reason. In reality, the implication is towards the preference of Qualitative (Feeling) vs Quantitative (Thinking) formats of information.

Perceiving vs Judging 

Judging in this context would imply a preference towards structure, organization, and focus on details while someone with a perceiving preference would focus on the bigger picture, diversity of information, and flexibility of structures. Perceivers by their nature will be more open to changes and go with the flow while Judgers prefer to organize things according to relevant details and prefer things to go along a scheduled structure.


Kelly Wilson

About the Author

Kelly Wilson
Joined: May 17th, 2018
Articles Posted: 72

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