"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Friday, November 4, 2011

MBTI Personality Type Tests and Quiz

For a few months now I have been examining the four letter personality sorter called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). My INTJ friend from work got me into it. At first it is quite interesting, and even a little creepy how accurate it is. Then came the phase where it actually started to change my life in small ways. I don't want to get too sentimental (although I am an INFP, and we do sentimental better than anyone ;-) but understanding the 16 different types and how they see the world and relate to it and each other was simply mind blowing to me.

Here is a brief primer on the MBTI:

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) is a self-report questionnaire designed to make Jung's theory of psychological types understandable and useful in everyday life. MBTI results describe valuable difference between normal, healthy people-difference that can be the source of much misunderstanding and miscommunication. The MBTI will help you identify your strengths and unique gifts. You can use the information to better understand yourself, your motivations, your strengths, and potential areas for growth. It will also help you to better understand and appreciate those who differ from you. Understanding MBTI type is self-affirming and enhances cooperation and productivity, plus it can be fun !!!
How we:

Get and use energy: Extraversion / Introversion (E/I - scale)
Gather & take in information: Sensing / iNtuition (S/N - scale)
Make decisions: Thinking / Feeling (T/F - scale)
Organize our lives: Judging / Perceiving (J/P - scale)

From Wikipedia:
The 16 types are typically referred to by an abbreviation of four letters—the initial letters of each of their four type preferences (except in the case of intuition, which uses the abbreviation N to distinguish it from Introversion). For instance:

ISTJ: introversion (I), sensing (S), thinking (T), judgment (J)
ENFP: extraversion (E), intuition (N), feeling (F), perception (P)

And so on for all 16 possible type combinations.

At first, when I took the test and my result came up as INFP, and when I read the description, I was a bit doubtful. Sometimes the descriptions can sound a bit like horoscopes, it is true. BUT, when all the horoscopey stuff is filtered, and you get down to what really distinguishes the type from the others, you will blush, laugh, and shake your head. When I read the following about my type, I blushed, my wife laughed, and I knew this system of determining personality types was spot on accurate. My emphasis:
INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause. When an INFP has adopted a project or job which they're interested in, it usually becomes a "cause" for them. Although they are not detail-oriented individuals, they will cover every possible detail with determination and vigor when working for their "cause".

The difference between sensing and intuition (S and N respectively) is enough to make anyone laugh. If you are and S, a "sensor", you will say to yourself "so that's why there have been these weird people in the shadows around me all these years." If you are an N, an Intuitive, you will say to yourself (with 25% of the population that are also Intuitives) "Thank God I am not insane! There are people like me out there!"

Before I say to much and possibly skew your results, take the test for yourself! Then you can examine the different types objectively.

Below, I will give free places on line to take the test. I recommend taking it from a couple sources if the percentages of your score are low. What I mean is this: When I score I-N-F-P, each letter receives a % of its intensity. For me, they are always above 60%, and on most of the tests they are in  the 80% range. So whenever I take the test the result is always a very solid INFP. If you score a low % on a letter or two, That is not bad, it just means you should take a few different tests and average them out to find to most accurate result.

Take the MBTI personality test!

I have sorted through lots of options for you. All the tests listed here are good, and free, but I will give you my preferred order.

  1. Very short (1 min.) 24 word identification test from similarminds.com. This test is great because it is short and easy. Not much racking your brain or soul searching to find the answer, and it is super quick and accurate. Choose from a four point scale between two words such as “Tangible **** Conceptual”. Having taken all the MBTI tests on the site, I found the percentage results of this one to be surprisingly similar to the longer tests on the same website. Perhaps take this test first, then take a longer one later to compare the results.
  2.  Normal length (6-12 min) yes or no test from humanmetrics.com. A statement such as “You are strongly touched by the stories about people's troubles.” With a YES or NO option. This test gives me slightly different percentages than the humanmetrics.com tests referenced above. The F and P in my type (INFP) are in the ~60% range instead of the low 80% range on similarminds.com. Overall I like this test the best because it forces a binary choice and is long enough to get a lot of questions in.
  3. Short (3-5 min.) scaled word test from similarminds.com. A single word such as “Talkative” is given and you then choose from a 5 point scale from “very inaccurate” to “very accurate” with the middle point being “50% accurate”.
  4. Normal length (5-10 min.) ~50 question test from similarminds.com. A statement such as “I am far more casual than orderly” is given and you then choose from a 5 point scale from “very inaccurate” to “very accurate” with the middle point being “50% accurate”.
  5. Rate 40 questions 1-20, a & b) from 1 to 5, with a and b not totaling more than 5. From The Ancona Family.Havent taken this one yet. Looks a bit "NT" for my taste though. But the site is a good resource other than Keirsey.com. Also this site has great statistics (My charts use the data from this site).

Good links for further study:


Keirsey.com has lots of articles specific to each type. It can be a bit too horoscope-ey at times, and is obviously made more for a business environment, but the info is interesting. I like how they group the types into 4 named subgroups also... SJ, SP, NF, NT.

The Ancona Family.
I am liking this site a lot. Great info, and a bit less horoscope-ey.

Once you get your type and read the description and have a laugh, and read a few articles on Keirsey about love life or family relations, you should look up some info on youtube about your type or someone you knows type. Here is a video of motivational posters of my type. My wife and I were rolling on the floor laughing at these videos. (She is an ISTJ, so we have lots of differences to enjoy!... vive la difference!)

Just google your four letter type and you will have a blast.

Stay tuned for another post with some nice graphics and charts with some very interesting stats on the types.

Nearly HALF of the population are SJ's! That's right, of the 16 possible types, only FOUR of the types make up half of the population! This means you are probably ARE an SJ, and if you are not, you are surrounded by them. When you are done with the test, don't forget to take this poll!



  1. I, too, took the full test a couple years ago and came out INFP.

  2. No way! Cool dude. We are MBTI brothers.

  3. I tend to want to do a lot of things on my own. Pretty soft spoken, and even in arguments, I will listen to the other side and may come across as agreeing with that person when in reality, I'm trying to understand his position. But yes, I fight tooth and nail for core values and you've seen it in my departure from this reformed church.

  4. Funny. I took the MBTI last week. I am an INFJ as is my wife. She did not believe it at first because I "seem" very extroverted. Plus it is one of the more rare personality types.

    Good to see you blogging again, David! I missed reading your thoughts.

    1. INFJ is apparently the most extroverted of the introverted types. -- A fellow INFJ