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Essay on Psychology Types

Psychological type testing assumes that personalities can be categorised into 4 main dimensions or scales. Carl Jung described two basic modes of perception – introversion and extroversion, and from these perceptual modes, are four basic properties of consciousness – thinking or feeling, sensing or intuitive. Myers-Briggs then extended the dimensions to include judging or perceiving.

Combined these scales form the 16 basic styles of consciousness as formed by Myers-Briggs, and what is used to classify people who undertake personality type tests.

This theory developed by Jung, implies there are “various ways of understanding and functioning in the world, and this theory has assimilated into business management.”

Psychological type tests essentially “set out to determine the life pattern of a person” , and assist in helping that person understand why they make certain decisions or how they act.

The basis for determining a personality type lies in the four dimensions tested. Each of the four dimensions contains two opposites, in which a person will usually favour one side. It should be noted here that although people can go both ways of the dimension, a person usually has a preference, and this has determined the structure of the Myers-Briggs and Duniho tests. “This is intent to reflect the habitual choices between rival alternatives.”

As stated, personality testing essentially assumes that ones whole personality can be divided into four independent areas – dimensions.

The following section outlines the 4 dimensions in detail, and distinguishes between the two opposites in each.

The two modes of perception determines how a person is energised (also known as ENERGISING)
Extrovert – Extroverts have a preference for extroversion – they draw energy from the outside world. These include things, people and activities. Generally, they are outgoing and sociable, and freely express their opinions and ideas.

Introvert – Introverts have preference for introversion – they draw their energy from their inner world. That is their ideas and emotions. Introverts like time on their own; interaction with others can drain their energy. They are described as thoughtful, reserved and quiet, and usually need time on their own (need for own private place).

Introverts gain their energy from a subjective world, whereas extroverts draw theirs from an objective world.

The four functions of consciousness define the different ways mind can apprehend reality.
Jung divides these functions into two pairs of opposites.

The first pair identity how people perceive information; known as ATTENDING or PERCEIVING. It relates to what a person pays attention to.

Sensing – A person with a dominating “sensing” type, tends to take information through their senses – taking details of the physical world. Someone who takes preference to sensing is inclined to be practical, and notice what is actual. They are prone to be realistic, and like details and facts.

Intuitive – An intuitive person tends to notice what might be, rather than what is. They generally have an innovative and creative mind, and considered visionary as they take information through their “6th sense”.

This also means they look for potential and possible existence, and therefore can be seen as unrealistic.

Intuitive people can be daydreamers, whereas sensing people are more in tune with their physical world.

The second pair describe the way people make decisions and how their judgement is influenced – DECIDING.

Thinking – If a person favours thinking, this means that he/she base their decisions and choices in logical and objective ways. They can possess impersonal qualities and are often rational in their choices. Preference to thinking means that the person generally likes to organise and structure information, and make good problem solvers.

Feeling – Choices here are based on emotional factors. They decide in a personal, value-oriented way. A person with preference to feeling tends to solve problems through trial and error.

The last following opposites were first introduced by Myers-Briggs, as an extension to Jung’s theory on psychological types. These last two help make up the four-letter word that indicates a person’s preference, and essentially makes up the sixteen personality types.

They are an indicator of whether the functions you prefer to extrovert with is Judging or Perceiving – does the person deal with the outer world with a Judging or Perceiving attitude.
Judging – People who favour this preference tend to live planned and organised lifestyles. Because of this structure, there is a need for closure on decisions, otherwise they can become anxious. Often, they only see things and situations as “black or white”.

Perceiving – Perceivers prefer their lifestyle to be spontaneous and flexible. Described as “wishy-washy” and mull over things. This implies they are indecisive and can feel uneasy after a decision has been made.

The 8 scales described make up the four dimensions used to categorise people. Whichever function dominates, the opposite is usually repressed. Jung notes that people have preference for mental processes they use to perceive and judge the world. This is said to lead to important personality differences between people. This ultimately influence how a person feels, they way they think, and how they act.

The aims of the Myers-Briggs and Duniho tests are to test the personality type of the person taking the test, yet the tests have some similarities, and some differences.

Both tests provided a series of questions where there was only a choice of two possible answers. These two answers were the opposite of each other – forcing the person to decide where they will lean towards. This showed that the nature of the answers were very “black or white”. In cases where I was undecided, I had to make a choice. This supports the theory of the four dimensions – “every person is assumed to use both sides of each dimension, however tend to respond first or most often with preferred attitudes”.

This comment is enforced before taking the tests, where the person is encouraged to answer the questions according to what they decided upon first “If one answer immediately seems more you than the other, go with that answer.” By following this, a person will generally make a choice leaning towards a function they prefer.

The Duniho test provides an easier process in terms of supporting the answer chosen. This is accomplished by including a ranking system, where you are forced to rank your preference on a scale of 1-7. This proved effective in the process of taking the test, as I was able to indicate the extent to which I favoured a particular preference. A ranking system is valuable in cases where I was undecided or did not heavily favour a certain preference – I was able to indicate that my preference for this was weak. The Duniho test in this case attempted to find a compromise for the “black and white” answers.

The Duniho test also provided answers asking for a preference rather than just yes or no answers like the Myers-Briggs test. This helped reduce the ambiguity of some of the questions.

During the process of undertaking the tests, I often came across questions that seemed similar to questions I had already answered. By tracing back to previous questions, it was discovered that the tests did ask the same questions again, except that they were asked in a different manner. For example question 3 of the Myers-Briggs test asked if “You spend your leisure time actively socializing with a group of people, attending parties, shopping, etc.” Later, question 12 asked if “You prefer to spend your leisure time alone, within a narrow circle of friends or relaxing in a tranquil family atmosphere”.

This often made me think about my answer and feel tempted to change my answer especially with the different wording, which did influence my answers.

The process of answering the questions was interesting, yet did grow tiresome. In some cases I did not think about that answer I was providing, and just answered for the sake of getting through the questions.

A conclusion was made after taking the tests, each on a different day, that my answers were influenced by my mood of the day, even if I tried to answer with my general overview. This would essentially play an integral role in the character assessment provided by the tests I had just completed.

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