Personality Types
A guide to personality types used in online quizes and tests.
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A guide to personality types used in online quizes and tests.

ESFJ, INTJ, ENFP– what exactly do these letters mean? They are abbreviations for personality types, of course! If you have taken any personality-based online quizes or tests, you probably recognize these abbreviations. But did you know that the personality types used in many online quizes and tests are based on the very famous and respected Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality assessment test?

Created by Katherine Biggs and Isabel Briggs-Myers and based on the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, the MBTI attempts to categorize people into 16 different personality types using four general traits. Most online quizes and personality tests measure your personality using these four traits.

The four traits that determine personality types in MBTI-type online quizes and tests are:

  • extroversion/introversion
  • sensing/intuition
  • thinking/feeling
  • judging/perceiving

Extroversion/introversion separates people into personality types based on how they express themselves. If online quizes and tests define you as an extrovert, it means you are probably more comfortable expressing yourself toward other people and outside of yourself. On the other hand, if the assessment says introvert, it probably means you like to be more quiet and private.

Sensing/intuition refers to your method of noticing and thinking about new information. Personality types in online quizes and tests that are defined as sensing often focus on details and specifics whereas intuitive personalities focus on the “big picture.” Most sensors like to follow step-by-step directions and trust their past experiences. Intuitives would rather figure things out for themselves and trust their gut instincts.

Thinking/feeling splits people into different personality types based on their decision-making styles. Online quizes and test will classify people as thinkers if they like to make decisions based on facts and logic. Conversely, a personality inventory, survey or quiz will classify people as feelers if they like to decide things based on their values and feelings.

Judging/perceiving defines personality types based on how they like to live their lives. Judgers are most comfortable in a structured and organized environment according to MBTI-based online quizes and tests, while perceivers like to keep their options open and live a little more freely.

Assessments like the MBTI use these four criteria to classify personality types. So if online quizes and tests say you are an ESFJ, it means you have an extrovert/sensing/feeling/judging personality. Knowing how personality tests classify your personality should help you understand their results, and yourself, a little better.

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