16 different people


Proper study of mankind is of man – Alexander Pope

Each is one of us unique. Be original. Be yourself because there only one of you in this universe.

The above dose is part of the daily diet of messages received from our good friends, who wake-up early in the morning (God bless them!) to send to us. They also send us – usually by afternoon – messages like “birds of same feathers flock together” or ” how to find like-minded colleague/soul-mate” etc. What are we? Unique or part of a similar set of people? There are 7.4 billion people on earth. Are there 7.4 billion unique samples or few categories of people?

Carl Jung, Swiss born analytical psychologist stepped out to clear this confusion. He set out identify few unique traits in individuals and categorised them into 3 buckets. Attitude – Extravert (E) or Introvert (I). Perception – Sensing (S) or iNtuition(N) and Judging – Thinking (T) or Feeling (F). These characteristics are functions (dichotomies) that an individual importantly displays or carries about himself in a dominant way. Example: one’s dominant feature is either Extrovert or Introvert but not both.

Mother-daughter duo Myres-Briggs added another dichotomy to the above three- Judging (J) vs Perceiving(P). In total there are 8 dichotomies which are grouped into sets of four that describe a personality. A person who is an Extrovert (E), Sensing (S), Thinking (T) and Perceiving (P) – is an ESTP personality. Various permutations and combinations result in 16 different personality traits – Myers Birggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Each type has been given a word to indicate their personality – eg: ISFP’s are Artists. This does not mean they run around with a paint brush. It is that their style is artistic in dealing with the world – kind, friendly, sensitive and quiet. They can be artists too!

You can take this test at http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp and find out what type of personality you have. There is nothing good or bad of any personality type and like all things in psychology need to be taken seriously only under expert guidance. After all it takes all types of people to make this world.

Over the years these tests have been used by organisations, counsellors and therapists to understand and help people live a better life. DISC personality test (Dominance, Influence, Steady and Complaint)is a four quadrant behavioural model developed by William Marshton which is extensively used by organisations to study better fitment of their employees.

Now that we have arrived at the fact there are 16 different personality types in this world, the question is – what is the frequency of personality type in the population? After extensive studies across the world, a mix of the types of people has been arrived at. ESTJ’s are the highest and INFJ’s are the rarest. Here is the break-up in a graph:

16 personalities

I’m an INFJ . What’s your personality type¬†?



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