MBTI

In the Beginning

“Know Thyself”

Learning what makes me and others unique individuals has always interested me. My local public high school did not offer a class in psychology. As a result, I participated in National Science Foundation summer program in psychology at Western Michigan University between my junior and senior years. Aside from determining that behavioral psychology and operant conditioning were not for me, I did not settle on a particular field of interest until I had completed my undergraduate education and embarked on a doctoral program. At that time I was introduced to Carl Jung (not personally, of course) and his Psychological Types.

Focusing My Fascination

In the early 1970s Dr. Morrel Clute, one of my professors in the College of Education at Wayne State University, introduced us to the Jungian model of perception-judgment styles and speculated on how each might respond to various teaching styles. At that time, I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and learned that I was an ENFP. I was so intrigued with the idea of matching teaching methods to students’ perception-judgment styles that I designed the experiment for my doctoral dissertation on this foundation.

Initial Application

When I began my teaching career, I administered the MBTI to my high school students and did my best to develop instructional activities that I believed would best suit their personality types. I had only limited success with this method and eventually abandoned it. It was only after many years that I would discover the reason for the failure of both my doctoral experiment and my efforts to apply typology to teaching to yield the results I expected.

Haunted by Carl Jung

Revival

I am not exactly sure what prompted the intense revival of my interest in Jung’s personality styles earlier this year. I began to search for online tests and found a number of websites which offered them. The first was the infamous 16Personalities. I was surprised to learn that nearly all of the ones I took typed me as an INFJ (although the preference strengths varied from test to test).

Seeking further information about myself, I also looked for online cognitive function tests on the web. One that I found was the “Jungian Functions Test” at SimilarMinds.com. The results of the test are presented below. Apparently they were so strange that my “type” could not be determined from them. I was not sure what to make of this!

NeExtraverted Intuition50%
NiIntroverted Intuition85%
SeExtraverted Sensing5%
SiIntroverted Sensing50%
TeExtraverted Thinking30%
TiIntroverted Thinking35%
FeExtraverted Feeling55%
FiIntroverted Feeling85%

I found a number of other tests on the SimilarMinds site. One was called a “Jung Word Test,” and its results were consistent with those I got on other sites.

INFJ – “Author.” Strong drive and enjoyment to help others. Complex personality. 1.5% of total population.

~ Jung Word Test

I found a site called Personality Max, which offered testing that provided information not only on my personality type and cognitive functions, but also on my temperament, types of intelligence, learning style, and brain hemisphere preference. The results were quite detailed, as one can see by clicking on the image below.

PersonalityMax

Retest

I finally decided to invest in a retake of the (updated since the 70s) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which indicated that I am an INFJ; and then the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Level II, which labeled me an “Emergent INFJ.” The Level II was interesting because it broke down the dichotomies into components, revealing both typical-of-type and atypical traits. Result summaries are shown below:

MBTI II Overview
MBTI II Interpreter's Summary

I began to find MBTI aficionados on Twitter and Facebook, and followed many of them. One of them even designed a 29-question personality test that I found interesting…and accurate. Take the “Find Your Personality Type” quiz at psychologyjunkie.com.

My search for self-understanding continues.

Structure in Typology

Exploring Thomson’s Typology Structure

Structure in typology began to interest me back in January when I was reading the book Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual by Lenore Thomson. Of particular interest to me was the chapter “Personality Types Are Also Brain Types.” In it Ms. Thomson stated that PET scans placed each cognitive function in a specific area of the brain:

  • Front of Left Brain: Extraverted Thinking, Extraverted Feeling
  • Back of Left Brain: Introverted Sensation, Introverted Intuition
  • Front of Right Brain: Extraverted Intuition, Extraverted Sensation
  • Back of Right Brain: Introverted Feeling, Introverted Thinking

Also surprising to me was that Ms. Thomson identified the Tertiary and Inferior functions as the weakest of all eight cognitive functions. After the Dominant and Secondary functions, she places two “alternatives” that reside on the same side of the brain. Following those are two “double agents” located on the other side of the brain, where the Tertiary and Inferior functions are located. For me, as an INFJ in the MBTI system, Thomson identified the following as my “type lasagna”:

  • Dominant: Introverted Intuition (Left Brain)
  • Secondary: Extraverted Feeling (Left Brain)
  • Left-Brain Alternatives: Introverted Sensation, Extraverted Thinking
  • Right-Brain Double Agents: Introverted Feeling, Extraverted Intuition
  • Tertiary: Introverted Thinking (Right Brain)
  • Inferior: Extraverted Sensation (Right Brain)

Contrasting C. S. Joseph’s Typology Structure

In contrast to Thomson’s model was one with which I was somewhat more familiar at that time. This was C. S. Joseph’s “four sides of the mind.” Although I am not an expert in his typology, I have viewed a number of his YouTube videos. He assigns a different personality type to each side of the mind. For an INFJ like me, these sides of the mind are:

  • Ego: INFJ = Ni Fe Ti Se (see Dominant + Secondary above)
  • Unconscious: ENFP = Ne Fi Te Si (see Right-Brain Double Agents above)
  • Subconscious: ESTP = Se Ti Fe Ni (see Inferior + Tertiary above)
  • Superego: ISTJ = Si Te Fi Ne (see Left-Brain Alternatives above)

Remembering Something about MBTI Typology Structure

While pondering these discrepancies, I was struck by a sudden memory of something I had noticed when skimming through a portion of the MBTI Manual (3rd ed.). In that system, the Secondary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions all have the opposite orientation to the Dominant. Therefore, an INFJ would have:

  • Dominant: Introverted Intuition
  • Auxiliary (Secondary): Extraverted Feeling
  • Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking
  • Inferior: Extraverted Sensation

Because this differed from other MBTI-related systems I had encountered, I started to wonder: how are different typologies structured? I should note that my focus was solely on typology structure. As a result, I did not consider the various ways in which cognitive functions or information metabolism elements are defined.

Developing My Structural Analysis

Recently I became quite interested in Socionics. Consequently, I decided to start my analysis with Model A. In that system, my type is EII (Ethical Intuitive Integrator). In addition to the systems I have already mentioned, I also looked at Beebe‘s and Socionics Model J. After working on my diagram for a couple of weeks, I ended up with this:

EII Structure

To download this chart, click here.