Have you ever heard mention of an ‘ENFP or ISTJ’? These acronyms represent personality types in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test. For example, ENFP types are ‘activists’ and ISTJ are considered ‘logical’. References to MBTI often appear in mass media, especially SNS such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, because it has become the latest trend for those in their 20s and 30s. Many people are now using the personality types to judge the potential for success of friendships or even marital compatibility. For instance, ESFJ and ISTJ types would be the least compatible among the options. Many people love learning more about the characteristics of the 16 different ‘MBTI’ personality types but others still have not jumped on the bandwagon. The Dankook Herald looked into this phenomenon to find out more about the MBTI, and how it works. We also looked into ways to assess your MBTI types and whether or not we could count on the results to help us in our daily lives.
So what is the MBTI? Cook and Isabel Briggs Myers developed the personality test to better understand the people around them. Through this self-reported measure indicator, users can determine their personality type and seek out those who compliment them and to avoid those who do not. You can also learn how your characteristics affect your daily life. The test includes 60 questions and takes approximately 12 minutes to complete. While there are plenty of free sites offering up the test, many people misunderstand their results. A more formal setting for the MBTI test such as a youth counselling center, social welfare organization, college counselling center, or a licensed practitioner could costs around 10,000won, but the on-site experts would offer a more in depth understanding of your personality and how to make the most of your characteristics.
There are four main measures in the MBTI, Extraversion - Introversion, Sensing - Intuition, Thinking - Feeling, and Judging – Perceiving. They are expressed using the first letters only (E, I, S, N, T, F, J, P.) For example, a person determined to have the ESTJ personality shows signs of extraversion, sensing, thinking, and judging. This type is summarized as ‘The Commander’. According to the MBTI type concord, ISFP, ESFP, ISTP, ESTP, ISFJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, and ESTJ have the worst concord with a score of 62 out of 256.
Now let’s look at how we can effectively use the information we have about the 16 different personality types in real life. We scanned social media for ideas and came across this meme. When you want to be a nice guy, just talk to your friends as follows. The NFs: Compliment their thoughts or ideas and affirm your friendships and how much they mean to you. The NTs: Compliment their intelligence and creations and respect their unique logic and rationality. The SPs: Compliment the things they make and do-be it art, friendships, hobbies, etc. The SJs: Compliment their abilities or talents and be specific with experiences of memories. As the meme shows, if you want to leave a good impression, you should consider your friend’s MBTI type and address their specific needs. For instance, if your friend’s MBTI type is NFs, you should know that they focus on ideas and dreams and often put others first.
|▲ The meme shows how the 16 different personality types react in real life. (Photo from Twitter)|
Professor Kim Soo-im in the counseling department said the test is popular these days because economic growth and a change in perception towards mental health have increased people’s self-interests. That plus the MBTI test is simple to take and understand among all the psychological tests. In addition, the test’s approach when explaining the results is positive, and does not burden participants by making any one personality type superior to the others. She also noted that “even in difficult times, such as the coronavirus pandemic, humans have a basic desire to be socially attached. Therefore, the act of taking an MBTI test and sharing the results on social media can link people." Professor Kim believes the test helps people better understand themselves and recommends trying it out at least once. However, humans tend to be easily influenced by complex factors, so it is overly simplistic to conclude your own characteristic using the MBTI test. If you want a more accurate analysis of your result, it is better to discuss them with an expert.
People react to situations differently from one another. In order to better understand the basis for these difference, one’s MBTI results could provide the necessary insight, or at least they can help you better understand yourself. So take the test, for fun! Share your results with your friends and use it to get to know each other better. What have you got to lose?
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