You may have seen charts that classify people or even pop culture characters according to four letter codes, such as ENTJ and ISFP. Let me explain what they mean.
The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung explored, among other fields, the range of human personalities. He saw personalities as a set of spectra of differing values or tendencies. Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a mother-daughter team of American psychologists, developed Jung’s model and created a psychometric test that could place people within their model of personalities. This test is called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and their model is the Myers-Briggs typology.
The first function compares introversion (I) and extroversion (E) tendencies. If long social encounters tend to leave you feeling drained, then you may demonstrate the introverted attitude. If, however, you feel energized, then you may exhibit the extroverted attitude.
The second set of functions express a dichotomy in how people process information. If your values and gut feelings are dominant, then you may express the (N) intuiting function. If your senses—that is, objective data—dominate your perception of the world, then you may have a dominant (S) sensing function.
The third set addresses how you make decisions about the world. If you are driven by logic, then you may display the (T) thinking function. If your emotions and the emotions of others are given priority, then you may tend toward the (F) feeling function.
The final set of functions address the relative importance of order or change in your life. If being carefully organized is important to you, then you may display the (J) judging attribute. If you’re flexible about when that meeting is supposed to start or what is supposed to happen in the future, then you may exhibit the (P) perceiving function.
So the four-letter codes on the typology charts represent:
(I) Introversion vs. (E) Extroversion
(N) Intuiting vs. (S) Sensing
(T) Thinking vs. (F) Feeling
(J) Judging vs. (P) Perceiving
Lately, I score as INFJ. That means: introversion, intuiting, feeling and judging. Or, according to the above My Little Pony chart by Meredith Miles, I’m Zecora the zebra.
Ms. Miles didn’t include the names of the featured ponies, so I will:
ISTJ: Big McIntosh
ISFJ: Sweetie Belle
INTP: Twilight Sparkle (I disagree: Twilight is obviously a hardcore J)
ESTP: Rainbow Dash
ENFP: Pinkie Pie
ENTP: Apple Bloom
This online test is a reasonably good approximation of the proper (and copyrighted) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Which pony are you?
P.S. Please, high school student Googling up this post: do not cite this post in a research paper. I am not a psychologist of any kind.