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What are the 16 Personality Types?

Heather Lyons, Ph.D.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) is a self-report questionnaire designed by Isabel Briggs-Myers and Katherine Briggs to identify an individual’s personality type, strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Based on Jung’s theory of personality, the MBTI is one of the most commonly used personality tests in the world today.

Finding out your own personality type can help you dive deeper into your personality, gain a greater sense of your strengths, and learn how to navigate the world around you. It’s important to keep in mind that no personality is “better” than another—instead, it highlights individual differences to help you learn more about your own personality type. So, what are the 16 personality types that the MBTI can identify?

understanding the 16 personality types

Analysts

Architect (INTJ-A/INTJ-T)

As one of the rarest and most capable personality types, Architects (INTJs) are rational, sharp, and perceptive. As a result, Architects often struggle to find others who can keep up with their nonstop analysis of the world around them.

Architects strongly believe that, through willpower and intelligence, they can achieve their goals. As the main sources of their self-esteem, Architects place a high value on knowledge and mental acuity.

Logician (INTP-A/INTP-T)

The Logician personality type is relatively rare, accounting for only 3% of the population. Logicians embrace their inventiveness, creativity, unique personality, and sharp intellect. As a common personality type among philosophers, architects, and professors, Logicians have been responsible for many key discoveries throughout history.

Logicians typically aren’t interested in practical day-to-day routines, but when they find themselves in a creative environment, there’s no limit to the energy they’ll devote to developing an insightful solution.

Commander (ENTJ-A/ENTJ-T)

Commanders are full of charisma and confidence, projecting authority in a way that draws people together to work toward a common goal. Making up only 3% of the population, Commanders are responsible for many of the businesses and institutions in place today.

Commanders love a good challenge, and they strongly believe that given enough time and resources, they can overcome any challenge. This quality enables Commanders to become great entrepreneurs, and their ability to think strategically with a long-term focus makes them powerful business leaders. 

Debater (ENTP-A/ENTP-T)

Debaters are the ultimate visionaries, and negotiating gives them the opportunity to exercise their quick wit, knowledge, and capacity for stringing together ideas to prove their points. People with this personality type thrive on arguments and challenging the beliefs of others. Debaters don’t always do this to achieve some strategic goal—sometimes it’s just for fun. 

Playing the devil’s advocate not only helps ENTPs develop a greater sense of others’ reasoning techniques, but also a better understanding of new ideas and opposing explanations. Despite their strong intellect and free-form vision, Debaters have a longer road than most in harnessing their natural abilities. ENTPs often find that the most complex challenge is to adopt a more sentimental point of view and to argue compromise alongside logic.

Diplomats

Advocate (INTJ-A/INTJ-T)

As the rarest personality type, Advocates hold a deep sense of idealism and integrity. Instead of daydreaming, Advocates rely on their intuition, forming an action plan to realize their goals and make a long-term impact on the people around them.

With a unique combination of personality traits, Advocates are complex and versatile personality types. For example, INTJs have the ability to speak with passion and conviction, especially when standing up for a cause they believe in. At other times, they may choose to be soft-spoken in an effort to keep the peace.

Mediator (INFP-A/INFP-T)

Mediators often appear quiet or shy on the outside. However, they often have vibrant and passionate personalities. Because INFPs make up a small percentage of the population, many people with this personality type feel misunderstood or out of place. Fortunately, their caring nature can help them foster deeper relationships with those around them.

Because of their strengths and openness, Mediators often crave opportunities to express their creativity. As true introverts, many Mediators are writers, poets, and actors. In creative positions, Mediators can openly practice self-expression, dreaming up all kinds of stories and possibilities.

Protagonist (ENFJ-A/ENFJ-T)

Full of passion and charisma, Protagonist personality types are natural leaders. Accounting for approximately 2% of the population, many are politicians, coaches, and teachers, inspiring others to achieve their goals and to do good in the world. With a high degree of confidence that overwhelms influence, Protagonists take great pride in bringing others together to improve the world around them.

Protagonists naturally radiate authenticity, altruism, and integrity, unafraid to speak up when something needs to be said. ENTJs find it easy to communicate with others, and they’re capable of reaching every mind, whether through facts, logic, or emotion.

Campaigner (ENFP-A/ENFP-T)

As the life of the party, campaigners are free spirits. They’re more interested in forming social relationships with others than enjoying the excitement of the moment. Making up 7% of the population, ENFP personality types are charming, energetic, and independent.

Campaigners are more than sociable people-pleasers—they have the tendency to see life as a complex puzzle where everything is connected. Unlike Analyst personality types, Campaigners see life through a prism of mysticism and emotion, and they’re always searching for a deeper meaning.

Sentinels

Logistician (ISTJ-A/ISTJ-T)

As the most popular personality type, Logisticians make up approximately 13% of the population. With their strong sense of integrity, practical logic, and dedication to duty, Logisticians play an important role in families and rule-based organizations such as law offices.

Logisticians enjoy taking responsibility for their actions and often take great pride in their work. Instead of making assumptions, Logisticians tend to analyze their environment to arrive at a practical course of action. After making a decision, Logisticians immediately take action, having little tolerance for indecisiveness.

Defender (ISFJ-A/ISFJ-T)

The Defender personality type is unique, as many of their qualities influence their individual traits: though sensitive, they have great analytical abilities; though reserved, they have well-developed social skills; and though they’re generally conversative, they’re receptive to change.

Making up 13% of the population, Defenders are often found in professions with a sense of history behind them, such as academics, social work, and medicine. Defenders are one of the most responsible personality types, going above and beyond to exceed expectations both at work and at home.

Executive (ESTJ-A/ESTJ-T)

As representatives of tradition and order, Executive personality types use their understanding of what’s wrong and right to bring people together. Embracing their honesty, dedication, and dignity, Executives provide advice and guidance, taking on leadership roles such as community organizers.

Executive personality types, which comprise 11% of the population, are aware of their surroundings and live in a world of clear facts. Even in the face of resistance, their sharp intellect enables them to stick to their principle and push an unclouded vision of what is and is not right.

Consul (ESFJ-A/ESFJ-T)

Making up 12% of the population, Consul personality types often take the spotlight and lead their teams forward to success. Consuls are supportive friends and family members, organizing gatherings and doing their best to ensure everyone is happy.

As altruists, Consuls use their responsibility to help others and do the right thing. Unlike other Diplomats, Consuls typically base their moral compass on traditions and laws, upholding authority instead of drawing morality from mysticism. Consuls should keep in mind that people come from many backgrounds, and what may seem right to them isn’t always an absolute truth.

Explorers

Virtuoso (ISTP-A/ISTP-T)

Virtuosos love to analyze their environment with their hands and eyes. As natural makers, ISTPs are constantly shifting from project to project and learning as they go. Because of their love for taking things apart and putting them back together, Virtuosos often choose professions such as engineering and mechanics.

Virtuosos enjoy sharing their experience and helping others. Comprising only 5% of the population, Virtuosos are especially rare. Friendly but private, people with Virtuoso personalities can be challenging to predict, even by their closest friends and family members.

Adventurer (IFSP-A/ISFP-T)

As true artists, Adventurers use aesthetics and design to push the limits of social convention. Adventurers take pride in challenging societal expectations with experiments in beauty and behavior.

Adventurer personality types tend to live in a colorful world, taking inspiration from people and ideas. IFSPs take joy in interpreting their connections and experimenting with themselves and bold new perspectives. Although risky behaviors like gambling are more common among Adventurers, their awareness of their environment allows them to push their passions and connect with others.

Entrepreneur (ESTP-A/ESTP-T)

In social situations, Entrepreneur personalities love being the center of attention. Instead of engaging in abstract conversations about philosophical issues, Entrepreneurs keep their conversations light with a good dose of intelligence. Entrepreneurs fix their mistakes as they go instead of sitting idle, preparing escape clauses and backup plans.

Because ESTPs enjoy drama, passion, and pleasure, they’re one of the likeliest personality types to engage in risky lifestyles. For some Entrepreneurs, it makes more sense to use their own moral compass than to adopt someone else’s perspective. When Entrepreneurs minimize their recklessness, harness their energy, and focus, they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Entertainer (ESFP-A/ESFP-T)

Entrepreneurs are the most generous with their time and energy when it comes to encouraging others. As true extraverts, ESFPs love putting on a show, chatting with others, and soaking up the attention. Entertainers enjoy simple pleasures and spontaneity, and there’s no greater joy for them than spending time with a group of friends.

It might not always seem like it, but Entertainers are observant and sensitive. ESFPs are the first to help someone navigate a challenging problem, providing emotional support and rational advice. While Entertainers love drama and passion, they tend to avoid conflict when their weaknesses are the focus of criticism.

What’s your personality type?

To find out your personality type, take a free personality test online. Even though there are countless versions of the MBTI available online, it’s important to remember that informal questionnaires are only approximations of the real personality test. Counselors, coaches, therapists, clinicians, and other people with training in psychology, human personality, and social interaction may be certified to administer the MBTI instrument.

New research suggests that the MBTI offers an opportunity for those wanting to better understand their personality. For example, for individuals with personality disorders, research links Jung’s self-reported psychological type, the MBTI enneagram, and personality disorders. For example, while obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has no meaningful correlation with extraversion or neuroticism, it has a strong correlation with introversion and intuition.

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a personality disorder or you’re interested in diving deeper into your personality, therapy can help you navigate the world around you, understand your temperament, and foster meaningful social relationships. To schedule an appointment with a qualified mental health professional, reach out to one of the licensed therapists at WithTherapy.

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