Tag Archives: Psychology

The Meyers-Briggs Personality Test

-Brianna Huber

I’m an INFJ. What are you?

No idea what I’m talking about? No problem. Just head on over to the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

The MBTI is a personality test developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter, author Isabel Briggs Myers. The test uses theories developed by psychologist Carl Jung to classify people’s personality ‘type’ using a series of four dichotomies: extroversion (E) vs. introversion (I), sensing (S) vs. intuition (N), thinking (T) vs. feeling (F), and judging (J) vs. perception (P). The meanings of these terms in relation to the MBTI differ from their meanings in everyday use.

Introversion vs. Exroversion

Introverts are more inwardly focused on thoughts and ideas while extroverts are outwardly focused on people and objects. Introverts seek depth in their experiences, while extroverts seek breadth–e.g. an extrovert wants to learn many things, while an introvert wants to gain a thorough understanding of a particular topic. Extroverts gain energy from interaction with other people, while introverts need time alone to recharge.

Sensing vs. Intuition

These are two information-gathering (perceiving) functions. Individuals who fall into the “sensing” category tend to prefer solid facts and information that can be perceived with the five senses. People in the “intuition” side of the scale are more trusting of abstract and theoretical information that can be used to connect pieces of a bigger picture. “Sensing” folks are rooted in the present, while those who lean toward “intuition” are more likely to be looking toward the future and how current events might play out.

Thinking vs. Feeling

This is a dichotomy of decision-making (judging) functions. These functions are used to make decisions based on information gathered by a person’s “perceiving” function(s). “Thinking” individuals tend to use logic and look at a situation from a distance and come to a decision through detached rationality. “Feeling” individuals are more empathetic and want to experience a situation firsthand before making a decision about it. Thinkers operate based on rules and what makes sense, while feelers operate based on how pieces of a system fit together and what decision is likely to produce the most harmonious outcome.

Judging vs. Perceiving

According to the theories behind the MBTI, people have a preference toward either the sensing/intuition dichotomy or the thinking/feeling dichotomy when relating to the outside world. From what I understand, this dichotomy shows whether a person prefers to remain open and flexible to new information, or prefers to make clear decisions based on the information they obtain.

Based on the above information, if I am a INFJ type, that means I am inwardly focused and need to be alone to recharge rather than thrown into a social situation when low on energy (Introversion). I am comfortable with abstract concepts and making connections between events and bits of information (iNtuitive). I sympathize with others and prefer to experience a situation up close or firsthand before making decisions about it (Feeling), and I like to actively process and make decisions about information rather than take it in passively (Judging).

The two sides of any one dichotomy aren’t mutually exclusive. I also prefer to have concrete facts when I make decisions, and I try to remain open-minded and fairly objective when faced with new information if the situation calls for it, but the MBTI simply classifies me based on which side of the dichotomy I lean toward, even if it’s only slightly. On a more specific level, the version of the test linked at the beginning of this post rated me as having a 33 percent preference for introversion, a 25 percent preference toward intuition, a 50 percent lean toward feeling, and a 44 percent lean toward judging – in other words, I’m more strongly polarized on the latter two dichotomies than I am on the first two.

Once you have a Myers-Briggs type determined for yourself (I suggest taking several different tests to see which result you receive most consistently since the results can vary slightly) you can use it to determine what kind of job you might be happiest doing, who else you’re likely to be romantically compatible with based on their type, and it can also come in handy when explaining your personal modus operandi to others.

I think the test is really interesting and it’s fun to encounter people with my same type. Now that you’ve read what the MBTI is all about, go take the test yourself and come post your result in the comments.

Sweet Dreams: Interpreting Your Nighttime Journeys

-Marissa Tomko

Have you ever had a dream that you just can’t get out of your head? Maybe it was scary, too real, or just plain weird. I usually don’t remember my dreams, but when I do, I tend to think about them for a couple of days and wonder where they came from.

In a piece he wrote for The New York Times, psychology and neuroscience writer Jonah Lehrer says that dreams are “actually careful distillations of experience, a regurgitation of all the new ideas and insights we encounter during the day.” By this logic, we should be able to connect our nighttime visions with our day-to-day lives and figure out what it all means. I researched the ten most common dream symbols and what the stand for. So read on, and follow those dreams!

Being Chased

If you’re dreaming about being chased by someone or something, it means that you are running away from a menacing or scary presence in your life.

Nudity

If you find yourself scantily clad in dreamland, it means that you are in a vulnerable state. Maybe you feel like you over-shared in real life, or that you fear having to expose a lesser-known part of yourself.

Losing Teeth

Your smile is one of the first things the rest of the world sees, making it an important factor in your physical appearance. If you dream about losing your teeth, you might be feeling insecure about how you look lately.

Falling

If you experience a free-fall in your slumber, you might feel like you have lost control of a situation, and don’t know where to turn to get it back. You also might be feeling a lack of comfort and support in your life.

Death

Dreaming about death means that you fear something coming to an end. This could mean you are coming upon a major life change, or that you are feeling emotional about a tumultuous relationship.

School

If you are taking tests in your dreams, you are seeking accomplishment in your life. Your academic performance in your sleep is most likely linked to how prepared you feel about your upcoming hurdle.

Water

Water is indicative of your conscience. The type of water in your dream is symbolic of your current mindset—a placid lake means you are calm, while rafting waters represent excitement or uncertainty.

Flying

Quite often, flying occurs in lucid dreaming. This means that you are able to control your actions in your dream, and are aware that you are doing so. The ease with which you are able to take flight is representative of the power and knowledge you have in certain circumstances in your life.

You’re Lost

If you find yourself struggling to find direction in your dream, that is probably exactly what is happening to you during the daylight. You have reached a fork in the road, and don’t know which way you should go.

Tardiness

If you’re running late to your dream function, you are likely feeling some apprehension about a decision you have to make. You might feel like you need more time to figure things out.

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Image by Hans Splinter from http://www.flickr.com/photos/archeon/490828167

Living In A World Built Upon Extroverts

-Emily Fraysse

I can’t leave. I’m surrounded.

I hear the one-minute knock on the door and the President hushes for us to be quiet. They’re almost here and I have to do it all over again. To me, this is a fancier version of a holding cell, but with 150 other girls who look like carbon copies of one another.

The freshmen file into the sorority house in a snake-like fashion, and I am going straight into the mouth full of venom for the third time that night.

I make a beeline for the grand staircase in great haste as my friends look at me in a terribly confused manner.

What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I able to talk to the potential new members for the third night during the six-day recruitment process like the other girls in my sorority?

As it turns out, nothing is wrong with me. My name is Emily, and I am an introvert. Chances are if you’ve experienced something similar to me, you may be one too.

Introversion is oftentimes mistaken for shyness or social phobia. In actuality, it is the feeling of getting drained or overwhelmed during social encounters. The best way for an introvert to refuel is by being in quiet environments or by themselves. Extroversion is just the opposite, finding energy by socializing with others.

Because introverts typically spend more time processing ideas and thoughts more in their head, they digest whatever situation they may be in before acting upon it. An article from Psychologytoday.com explains that, “As American life becomes increasingly competitive and aggressive, to say nothing of blindingly fast, the pressures to produce on demand, be a team player, and make snap decisions cut introverts off from their inner power source, leaving them stressed and depleted.”

Extroverts feed off of other people, while introverts find comfort by themselves. Extroverts love to ask questions and talk, while introverts tend to do the listening. Extroverts feel at ease with thinking as they speak, while introverts think first, then respond.

While there are people who sit on the extreme sides of the scale, most people in the world lie somewhere in the middle with traits from both sides. It is uncertain how many introverts there are due to the fact that extroverts usually hog the spotlight and, therefore, are overestimated.

But don’t get me wrong—the world needs people on both sides of the scale in order to function properly. Extroverts act upon the ideas that have been mulled over in an introvert’s brain.

For years I felt like I was an outsider in my own culture and that the world was not built for people like me. Now, I look at being an introvert as a privilege and the upside in whatever I peruse.

But don’t get me wrong—the world needs people on both sides of the scale in order to function properly. Extroverts are needed to act upon the ideas that have been mulled over in an introvert’s brain.

For years I felt like I was an outsider in my own culture and that the world was not built for people like me. Leaders and people of social hierarchy tend to be the extroverts, the doers, the ones with a voice. But President Obama would be nowhere near as powerful as he is today if he did not have the introverts on his team. They are the ones who are not always acknowledged, but are the brainpower, the source of creative thinking behind Obama’s actions.

Today, I look at being an introvert as a privilege. I may have to plan out my days ahead of schedule to make sure I have some time by myself, and I may get overwhelmed sometimes in social situations, but living the slower-paced, out-of-the-spotlight life full of creative ideas and thought-out answers is why I call myself a lucky one.

Image from http://www.cannibalisticnerd.com/