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041 - Personality Types

posted Dec 2, 2015, 6:37 AM by Doug Muha

Counselor Notes 41

April 22, 2015

Personality Types 

For this issue, I thought I might bring in something fun for the parents: a personality inventory.   One way psychologists look at personality is along four distinct spectrums.  Knowing an individual’s preference on each of the four spectrums reveals a personality type.

Your personality type is going to have an impact on many aspects of your life including parenting, romantic relations, and leadership.  Different personality types have different ways of interacting with others.  You will likely better understand those whose personality type is most similar to your own.  (As fate would have it, we tend to marry people with the complete opposite personality type.)  Personality types also tend to cluster together in specific occupations.   If you are aware of which type you are, then you can learn the strengths and weakness of that type.  Knowing the type of your friends, spouse/significant, boss, subordinates other can reveal insights into them.  (Children are too young for this inventory.)

Those that want to see what type they are encouraged to try the free 72 question yes/no Jung Typology Test at  http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp    (They call it a test but it would better be termed an inventory or “type indicator” as there is no right/wrong answer, just preferences.)  The inventory is free though they will offer you some more feedback for a small fee.  You need not buy the extra feedback, there are plenty of sites on the internet that will give you free feedback based on your “type.”  Here are a few that I like:



http://keirsey.com/4temps/overview_temperaments.asp (links to the specific types are on the right hand side)

You can find a listing of famous historical figures as well as contemporary celebrities at http://www.celebritytypes.com/istj.php (PLEASE NOTE: this link is for ISTJ’s.  To find the information for your code, you will have to click on the link for that code on the left hand side of the page.)  

A few notes though before anyone starts jumping to broad sweeping conclusions based on their type:

1.   These types of inventories put everyone in one of 16 different categories and things just aren’t that simple.  There are 4 scales and the types are derived from individuals clearly at the ends of the spectrum.  Most people lie somewhere in between the two poles/extremes. The most accurate profiles of type are for people with the most distinct preferences.  Those closer to the middle aren’t going to be as clearly “pegged” by the inventory.   

2.   No profile is better than another, though it will give advantages and disadvantages depending upon the job one is in.

3.   Personality types can change, but for adults major shifts along any of the spectrums is uncommon.  (Though individuals with slight preferences may find that a later administration of the inventory show a slight preference for the opposite type.)

Those who really enjoy this sort of thing and want to play around with it a bit more are encouraged to purchase the book Please Understand Me by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates (1984) or Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey (1998).  I like the first one better than the second, but both are quite enjoyable.  They aren’t expensive either – each is under $20.  (Used copies are even cheaper.)  You can read a lot more about yourself as well as give the personality inventory to others.  Keirsey also has a web site http://www.keirsey.com/ , but I have never tried it.  (There are fees involved.)


Doug Muha Ed.S.
School Counselor
Waverly Elementary School

P.S.  According to Time Magazine http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1176994-1,00.html, 89 out of the Fortune 100 companies use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (essentially a longer version of the humanmetrics inventory) in hiring and promoting.   The article also notes that at least 3 in 10 employers use personality tests in hiring.