MBTI: 4 pairs 16 possibilities

Friday, January 3, 2014

There are four pairs of preferences in MBTI and 16 possibilities of personality traits. 

The principal is followed the analogy of handed-ness. If you are right handed, it does not mean that you never use your left hand, but merely that you prefer the right. You may prefer it strongly or barely at all. Within each pair, there is only one that you decidedly prefer, that you rely upon and to which you more naturally gravitate.

The first pair is extravert versus introvert, among the first personality ever to be identifies and measured. They are polar-opposite qualities that refer to a person’s source of energy, what makes him or her feel alive and activated versus sluggish and exhausted. For instance, in a loud, lively festival, some people will quickly become excited, enthusiastic and find themselves charged up. Others however feel sapped, drained and even emotionally numb. Within the business world, extroversion has long been linked to effective sales ability and has been viewed with favor. It has also been associated with the tendency to give off clear, easily readable facial expressions. In contrast, introverts have generally been criticized as being bookish and self-absorbed and offering meager readability of facial expressions and moods. Most extroverts are in sales and public relations positions. As they enjoy participating in meeting and work teams, and generating ideas in the company of others. Introverts are sometimes regarded as shy or aloof, because they seldom initiate or participate actively in meeting, planning sessions, parties and social occasions. In the workplace, introverts have traditionally been found in the relatively solitary jobs. 

The second pair is sensor versus intuitive which refer to how we gather information about the world. Sensors seek specific answers to specific questions, enjoy practical tasks with tangible results, focus on the present, and prefer working with facts and data rather than with imagination and desire specific instruction. Meanwhile, intuitive enjoys thought experiments, speculation and theory building and they seek generalities rather than specifies. Their preference is for more figurative, random way of gathering information. Intuitive is seen as often having their heads in the clouds and being unable to focus well on practical matters.
The third pair is thinkers versus feelers which refer to how we make decisions once we’ve gathered information. Thinkers pride themselves in logic, analytic ability, objectivity and impersonality and believe it is more important to be right than to be liked and they lend more credence to logic and rationality. Almost all organization favors thinker in managerial and supervisory positions. Feelers seek harmony, tend to overextend themselves to meet the need of others and consider good decision one that takes other’s feeling into account. They prefer subjectivity and interpersonal considerations. 

The last set is judges versus perceivers which refer to how people prefer to orient their lives. Judges prefer decisiveness, planning, punctuality, order, tidiness, organizations and adherence to schedules and control. Perceivers prefer flexibility and spontaneity thus they hate structure and routine. Generally, judges are more likely to be found in hierarchical settings; perceivers are more comfortable in setting their own hours with minimal rules. 

The 16 possibilities becomes psychological shorthand for understanding each person’s basic nature and manner of functioning in variety of situations and settings. However, can MBTI be used in predicting employees’ performance?