The 16 Personality Types of the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)By: Stephanie Small
Published: January 3, 2013
Information according to The Meyer-Briggs Foundation Web Site
The MBTI sorts psychological preferences into four pairs, or “dichotomies”:
Each individual gravitates towards one quality in each of the pairs, which results in a total of sixteen possible personality types. A brief description of common traits of each personality type is listed below:
ISTJ (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)
ISTJs comprise 11-14% of the population. Typically, they are reserved, sensible traditionalists, who keep their lives orderly. They prefer logic and facts to emotions.
ISTJs may find themselves drawn to careers within established companies or organizations. Their jobs of choice will involve reason, realism and responsibility,
ISFJ (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)
ISFJs comprise 9-14% of the population. Loyal, with rich inner worlds, ISFJs gain great satisfaction from helping others. They tend to shy away from praise and recognition, and thrive doing concrete, methodical work in small groups or in a one-on-one setting.
ISFJs may find themselves drawn to careers in which they can serve - from social work to nursing to clerical or religious work.
INFJ (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging)
INFJs comprise 1-3% of the population. INFJs seek self-understanding and meaning in relationships, and have vivid imaginations. They are conscientious and hard workers who tend to develop relationships slowly, and offer sensitive, quiet leadership. They are also highly intuitive.
Drawn to activist roles, INFJs may find themselves working in nonprofit and social justice settings. They are also quite artistic, and some are happy as writers or visual artists.
INTJ (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging)
INTJs account for 1-4% of the population. They are independent thinkers and autonomous, usually solitary, workers. Highly analytical, they choose others who hold similar ideals as their companions. They are not naturally highly emotional; this combined with their independence can make them appear distant.
INTJs may become systems builders at an early age and because of this often gravitate towards the sciences and engineering, but they have the potential to flourish in other arenas that require a systems perspective, such as management.
ISTP (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)
ISTPs comprise 4-6% of the population. Masters at using tools of any kind; they are mavericks with quick minds. While they are introverts, ISTPs tend to have powerful and influential interactions with others.
ISTPs have the potential to thrive in any setting allowing them to live by their own set of rules and perform their work “their own way”; self-employment may be a supportive choice for these creative thrill-seekers. They may enjoy jobs ranging from pilot to detective to engineer to entrepreneur.
ISFP (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)
It’s estimated 5-9% of the population are ISFPs. They tend to be quiet, reserved, and caring of others. Highly sensitive to their environment, they are attuned to their five senses, harmony, and balance. As a result, they may be drawn to work environments providing experiences of beauty, whether visual, auditory, gustatory, tactile, or olfactory.
An ISFP who does not end up working as some sort of artist or chef or perfumier will at minimum need to create a harmonious work space.
INFP (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving)
INFPs comprise 4-5% of the population. Quiet and reserved in appearance, INFPs are governed by strong morals, ethics, and emotions. They seek to help others and have a “live and let live” approach unless their values are threatened. They tend to be meticulous perfectionists, but are sometimes bored by structure. They have vivid inner worlds and are drawn to symbolism and metaphor.
Because INFPs are service-oriented, they may purse careers in which they feel purposeful and implement their values, such as counseling or teaching. They also may gravitate towards artistic fields such as writing.
INTP (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving)
1-3% of the population is believed to be INTPs. INTPs prefer to spend long periods of time on their own, working through problems. With little patience for traditions, social customs, and authority, they instead accept ideas and practices based on merit. They are caring, but can appear aloof, and are not particularly comfortable in the “caring professions”.
INTPs are frequently drawn to fields that allow them to engage their thirst for knowledge and passion for theory, such as science, mathematics, university-level teaching, computer programming, and law.
ESTP (Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perception)
Approximately 4-5% of the population is ESTP. Spontaneous, energetic, with an affinity for the practical and a disdain for the abstract, the ESTP-type thrives on interaction with others and excels at troubleshooting. They like to see immediate results for their work and prefer to initiate things rather than finish them.
It is no surprise that ESTPs often find themselves as salespeople, promoters, paramedics and entrepreneurs.
ESFP (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)
Anywhere from 4-9% of the population can be classified as ESFPs. These individuals tend to be warm, social, spontaneous and present-oriented. They learn by doing rather than studying, and prefer the concrete to the abstract. They often don’t do well with structure and routine.
ESFPs ideal careers involve lots of socializing and flexibility. Those with a creative bent might enjoy the performing arts, while those seeking to capitalize on their interpersonal skills might be drawn to counseling, child care, or sales.
ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving)
6-8% of the population is believed to be ENFPs. These individuals are usually well-rounded, with a wide range of skills. They’re great in social situations. They are natural leaders in both service and project-oriented roles. They have an easy grasp of both the practical and theoretical.
ENFPs often become bored with routine, and they sometimes have trouble completing projects. While a wide range of jobs may be suitable to them, they should consider selecting ones that will allow some degree of flexibility and spontaneity.
ENTP (Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving)
ENTPs comprise anywhere from 2-5% of the population. Clever, competent and attuned to systems thinking, ENTPs are skilled at seeing the relationships between people and things. Interpersonally, they are enthusiastic and loyal. They often devise creative solutions to problems that have others scratching their heads in bewilderment.
ENTPs have the potential to thrive in work environments that will enable them to engage their tremendously creative problem-solving skills.
ESTJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)
8-12% of the population is thought to be ESTJs. Typical ESTJs are organized leaders with wholesome demeanors. Dependable, straightforward and honest, they can be counted on to fulfill their duties. These qualities may potentially translate well into a number of careers.
ESTJs may be drawn to jobs in which their work ethic, loyalty and morals play an important role. Examples may include judges, military personnel, and police officers.
ESFJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)
ESFJs are estimated to make up 9-13% of the population. They are typically loyal, warm, somewhat thin-skinned and concerned with the well-being of others. They have the potential to thrive in organized environments and team settings. They have an orientation towards the practical and the present, rather than the theoretical and the future.
ESFJs are often drawn to jobs blending their need for structure with their enjoyment of serving others. If they are medically minded, they may find work as doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants or other similar positions. Those with a talent for numbers may enjoy bookkeeping, accounting, or financial advising, and those seeking to maximize their connection with others may find themselves working as counselors, teachers, or clergy.
ENFJ (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging)
Approximately 2-5% of the population is thought to be ENFJs. ENFJs gain satisfaction from helping others. They are also loyal and creative. They excel at organizing, particularly groups of people, and are good motivators. They are especially sensitive to criticism and discord.
With their great social and organizational abilities, ENFJs have quite a bit of flexibility when choosing careers. Wherever they land, it’s important for them to find the right blend of interpersonal support, challenge, and creativity.
ENTJ (Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging)
"The Field Marshal"
ENTJs are estimated to represent 2-5% of the population. Highly goal-directed, ENTJs naturally direct their focus on the most efficient way to perform a task. They tend to be quite confident and thick-skinned, and sometimes put personal needs aside until “the job is done”. This, along with their highly rational and linear thought process, can make them appear unemotional at times.
ENTJs are well suited to lead and often have strong desires to do so; they are not particularly happy as followers. As such, ENTJs may want to consider jobs that have clear paths to management roles. Ultimately, many ENTJs will aspire to positions such as CEO, President, Administrator or Founder of an organization.