www.whyville.net Jan 25, 2009 Weekly Issue

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What Type Are You?

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So about a year ago I discovered this wonderful thing known to me as typology. It is a system of categorization used on people's brains. Fun stuff, huh?

Now, usually I'm skeptical about things like this. Psychology, its tests and whatnot are usually about as accurate as psychic predictions, and not to mention more expensive.

But this one surprised me.

It's the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, developed by Myers and Briggs about fifty years ago, and I shall hereby describe to you how it works.

Each type consists of four 'slots:' XXXX

Each slot can be filled by one of two letters: E or I, S or N, F or T, J or P. You can have up to sixteen combinations of these, resulting in things like ESTP, INFP, ISFJ, and so on and so forth.

The First Slot: I vs. E

I stands for Introversion, E for Extraversion. And, as the names say, it describes whether you are introverted or extraverted.

Introversion is characterized by the tendency to gain energy, or feel replenished, when you are alone. You are fine with exploring your own mind; you find the world inside more interesting than the world outside. Large groups drain you, and you usually have a few good friends rather than a wide variety of more casual friends.

Extraversion is characterized by the tendency to gain energy, or feel replenished, when you are with other people. You love exploring the world outside your mind, rather than the world inside your mind. You love lots of people, lots of social interaction, and you usually find it easy to talk to people and find yourself with many friends.

The Second Slot: S. vs. N

S stands for Sensing, N for iNtuition. This describes the way you gather information.

Sensing is characterized by the tendency to gather information through the concrete world. You trust things you can see, touch, physical objects, objects with weight. You like practical things, things that are real; whether it be fixing cars, painting, sculpting, crafting, you enjoy working with your hands and dealing with things on the physical level. You pay attention to details, and believe that that you must "live for the present."

iNtuition is characterized by the tendency to gather information through the abstract world. You tend to have a wild imagination; you enjoy abstract concepts, theories, the "big picture." You enjoy unrealistic things, and tend to be idealistic and impractical. Whereas Sensors have their feet on the ground, you have your head in the clouds. You tend to forget or ignore little details and tend to be future-oriented.

The Third Slot: T vs. F

T stands for Thinking, F stands for Feeling. This describes what you use to make decisions.

Thinking is characterized by the tendency to make decisions based on logic and rationality. You believe that things are best observed from an objective viewpoint and that you should not give one side more consideration or value due to loyalty or emotion. Things are usually black and white.

Feeling is characterized by the tendency to make decisions based on emotion and impulse. You think that things should be weighed with values and feelings in mind, and that things like loyalty and partiality are important. While a Thinker would tell a friend she looks horrible in that shirt, you would lie just in order to spare her feelings.

The Fourth Slot: J vs. P

J stands for Judging, P for Perceiving. This describes your relationship to the environment.

Judging is characterized by the need for order. You like to have things relatively organized; you like things to be planned and decisions to be made. You like the destination more than the journey. You tend to like things "just so," you like everything in its place. You are dependable and (usually) responsible.

Perceiving is characterized by the need for flexibility. You like to take things as they come; you don't mind surprises and can handle unexpected changes in schedule. You tend to be messy and disorganized; you like the journey more than the destination. You don't like making decisions; you'd rather keep your options open.

Keep in mind that usually people have only a tendency towards one type or the other. You might have only a slight preference for J over P (which, by the way, would be indicated with a lowercase 'j'), or your S might be ridiculously strong and totally overpower any vague hint of N you might have. But everyone has a tendency, be it even slight.

If you're not sure what your type is after reading through, there are also tests to help you out. Note that it's usually easy for people to determine what they are 95% of the time, while the other 5% are exceptions who find it difficult to determine their type for one reason or another, be it childhood experience or various personality quirks.

After you determine your type, there are a plethora of online articles that describe the details of your type. This is the most fun part . . . make sure you read up on your type!

These are the basics. Now I will go into the more complicated aspects of typology, but admittedly the coolest!

The second and third slots are special; they are the two that happen inside the head. The second slot, N vs. S, is the gathering of data. The third slot is what you do with the data . . . the decisions you make.

In the fourth slot, Perceiving means you tend to GATHER data, while Judging means you USE the data.

The second slot, then, as the slot that determines how you gather data, can also be considered the Perceiving slot. The third slot, as the slot that determines what is done with data, can also be considered the Judging slot.

Now, the Perceiving and Judging slots are different from the other two. They have a secondary description - EI or IE. This is determined by the letter in the fourth slot. If the letter is J, then it is organized IE. If the letter is P, it is EI.

Meaning, if your type is xxxP, then the Perceiving Slot will have the secondary description of E, and the Judging Slot will have the secondary description of I. This means that whatever is in your Perceiving Slot will be used on the External universe, while the Judging Slot will be used on the Internal universe.

If your type is xxxJ, then the Perceiving Slot will have the secondary description of I, and the Judging Slot will have the secondary description of E. This means that whatever is in your Perceiving Slot will be used on the Internal universe, while whatever is in your Judging Slot will be used on the External universe.

Now let's take, for example, the type ENFJ.

Since it's a J, the Perceiving Slot (N) will be used on the internal world, while the Judging Slot (F) will be used on the outside.

But let's throw in an additional element. The ENFJ has an E in the first slot, which means that your dominant function will be the Judging Slot, or the F.

So your most prominent function will be Fe (extraverted feeling)

Your secondary function will be Ni (introverted intuition)

Your third function will be Te (extraverted thinking. The third function is basically the opposite of the first function, but with the same secondary description . . . in this case, the e)

Your fourth function will be Si (introverted sensing, which is the opposite of the second function)

This means that the main thing you will use is directed outward, and it is feeling. You pay attention to how you feel about the environment, and your emotional responses to it often guide you.

The second thing you use is directed inward, and it is intuition, meaning you use instinct to reason inside your own mind.

And so on and so forth.

Confusing? Yes, probably . . . it took me forever to understand this much, so don't worry if you don't get it right away. Just have fun reading your types, comparing types, and learning how to make type jokes. xD

My type? INTP. Famous for being oblivious, socially inept nerds! My boyfriend is an ENFJ, my best friend a ESFJ, although most of the people I get along with tend to be INTPs or INTJs.

Anyhow, here are some links to help you further study your type:




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