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The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was developed by Isabel Myers-Briggs and her mother, Katharine Briggs, to present the personality theories developed by Carl Jung in a practical, useful way. The theory suggests people fall into one of 16 personality types. The personality characteristics of these types offer an explanation for behavior related to the way individuals use perception and judgment. Depending on MBTI type, individuals react with a preference for managing and processing various information and stimuli.
This is a useful tool when applied to relationship dynamics and has been utilized in the workplace to aid managers and peers to better understand one another. Armed with an acknowledgment and understanding of operating preferences allows a group to more effectively approach projects and develop a symbiotic team. The types are determined by four preferences. These are introversion (I)/extroversion (E), intuition (N)/sensing (S), feeling (F)/thinking (T), and perceiving (P)/judging (J).
For example, one of the personality types is the INFP personality. This indicates a person who prefers introversion, intuition, feeling, and perceiving. A common misconception is to assume introversion refers to a person who abhors social interaction, but in the case of MBTI traits, a preference for introversion indicates the individuals preference for processing information, and is not necessarily a social preference. True, introverts generally like more alone time, but in this context, introversion means an individual prefers to ponder silently and share when an idea is fully developed. Those with a preference for extroversion think more clearly and develop ideas while in the process of speaking.
The INFP personality also indicates a preference for intuition over sensing. This means they make interpretations based on hunches and recognize and rely on patterns and relationships not discernible in a physical sense. Sensors prefer to use the five senses to recognize facts, details, and that which can be measured and proven.
The third preference, feeling, indicates an INFP personality's preference for making decisions. Feelers are concerned about how they and others feel, and don't necessarily care why or how something came about; they just want it fixed so that they don't feel bad. Thinkers make objective decisions. Facts, justice, and logic rule their views, and they aren't concerned with human reactions to decisions. They concern themselves with whether or not the result was achieved.
The fourth position, "P," indicates a preference for perceiving. The INFP personality prefers spontaneity, flexibility, and doing things a different way. They like opening doors. Those with a judging preference adhere tightly to deadlines, don't like to switch routes in the middle, and seek closure.
The way the four preferences play together results in a personality suited to certain situations and tasks. Because of the combination of INFP, an individual with this personality will likely enjoy working alone, initiating rather than finalizing projects, working on tasks that require reflection and a focus on the "big picture," trying new and innovative methods, and making decisions based on values rather than facts. The introverted reflection paired with a feeling preference makes those with the INFP personality natural writers. A good number of the best writers and notable humanitarians are believed to have the INFP personality.