Have you ever felt like there is no one in the world who understands you, who see what you see and think the way you do? Were you ever confused about who you were? Let me tell you this, we’ve all been there.

When people tell you that you are one in a million, please, do NOT believe them. Because, scientifically speaking, you are just one in sixteen. Sorry if that was demoralising, but it’s true.

How? Read on…

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Katharine Cook Briggs, who had a daughter- Isabel Briggs in 1897. During Isabel’s childhood, Briggs developed theories upon theories about how to properly raise a child. See Briggs had brains, she decided that her daughter wouldn’t learn much at school, so she decided to home-school her daughter.

All through Isabel’s childhood, she went on building these theories, but kept them all to herself. Things changed when Isabel’s to-be-husband came into the picture. Katharine observed distinct differences between him and the rest of her family members.

This encouraged Briggs to read biographies and she subsequently concluded a typology, where she proposed that people had four temperaments- meditative, spontaneous, executive and social.

It was around this time, that Carl Jung, a psychologist published a book titled ‘Psychological Types’, which held theories similar to Briggs’ conclusions, only, they had gone a little deeper. (Coincidence? Hell yeah!)

Briggs and her daughter, who was now Myers, studied Jung’s work extensively and decided to channel all their efforts into studying human personalities. But, there was a problem. Neither Briggs nor Myers was formally educated in psychology, so, they were short of credentials for psychometric testing.

Still, these ladies did not give up. Myers joined a large Philadelphia bank as an apprentice to a personnel manager there, who went on to start one of the most successful personnel consulting firms in the USA.

With the knowledge gained during her apprenticeship, Myers and Briggs started to build a type indicator, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), during the World War II, thinking that personality preferences would help women, who were entering the shop floors for the first time in history, to know which war-time job would suit them better. They published the MBTI Handbook in 1944.

Owing to its accuracy and huge success, MBTI process received support and funds from various institutions, across USA.

Basically, the type indicator consists of four cognitive learning abilities, namely extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, judging/ perception.

  • The extraversion (E)/introversion (I) refers to how people learn- by talking to others (extraverted) or by reflecting quietly and privately (introverted).
  • The sensing (S)/intuition (N) refer to what people focus their attention on.
  • The thinking (T) /feeling (F) factor reflects the decisiveness of a person. Are the decisions they take based on logic or on how they feel?
  • The judging (J)/perceiving (P) factor determines how a person views complexity.

Based on these four qualities, there are sixteen different types of personalities- ENFP, ESTJ, INTP, ISFJ and the rest follow.

Seems unbelievable, doesn’t it? A population of one billion in the world and just 16 acronyms to define them all.

I took the 16 personalities test a few months ago and my results were overwhelming. The description of my personality type was spot on and I felt like it was written just for me.

To know your type, take the test.


Share this on: