Have you ever wondered which fictional characters have your Myers-Briggs® personality type? Today we’re going to explore the types of over three hundred fictional characters! This can give you an idea of how your personality type might show up in different situations or at different levels of maturity. Let’s get started!
Not sure what your personality type is? Take our new personality questionnaire here. Or you can take the official MBTI® here.
The Personality Types of 325 Fictional Characters
The ENFP “Visionary” – Imaginative/Inspiring/Innovative
From left to right: Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Barley Lightfoot (Onward), Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables), Wizard Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle), Josephine “Jo” March (Little Women), John Keating (Dead Poets Society)
Imaginative, energetic, and friendly, ENFPs are often the most endearing of fictional characters. These types see life as full of possibilities and adventures that they can’t wait to explore. They make connections between events and data very quickly, seeing random links where others do not. Their focus on the big picture can make them forward-thinking and creative, but it can also mean they trip up over details in the real world. Spontaneous and flexible, ENFPs prefer being innovative rather than relying on a pre-ordained plan. Freedom is crucial to these types, and they will fight being tied down by anyone. When it comes to decisions, they rely on their individual values to guide them.
Bob Cratchit (A Christmas Carol), Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables), The Mad Hatter (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Grandpa Joe (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Josephine “Jo” March (Little Women), Peter Pan, Pippi Longstocking, Wizard Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle), Ellie (Up), Clementine Kruczynski (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), John Keating (Dead Poets Society), Barley Lightfoot (Onward), Patrick (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Renly Baratheon (Game of Thrones), Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice, the book, not the movie), Percival Blakeney (The Scarlet Pimpernel).
The ENTP “Trailblazer” – Revolutionary/Energetic/Analytical
From left to right: Tony Stark “Iron Man,” Willy Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), The Tenth Doctor (Doctor Who), Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean), Fleabag (Fleabag), Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars).
Mentally quick and often ingenious, the ENTP lives to dismantle tradition and explore new ways of seeing things. These types are rebellious but curious, open to many ideas, but anxious to find the truth. They enjoy solving challenging problems, analyzing a situation strategically, and developing novel solutions. Bored by routine, they will rarely do anything by the book. They tend to chase one interest after another, finding energy in a never-ending flow of ideas and alternatives.
Tony Stark (Iron Man), Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars), Fred and George Weasley (Harry Potter), Henry Tinley (Northanger Abbey), The Cheshire Cat (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Willy Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Lord Henry “Harry” Wotton (The Picture of Dorian Grey), Mei Hatsume (My Hero Academia), Dustin Henderson (Stranger Things), Murray Bauman (Stranger Things), Klaus Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy), The Tenth Doctor (Doctor Who), Jeff Winger (Community), Fleabag (Fleabag), Leo Valdez (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices), Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean), Jack Skellington (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Ryuk (Death Note).
The INFP “Dreamer” – Idealistic/Imaginative/Individualistic
From left to right: Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings), Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), The Little Prince, Jacob Portman (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Lucy Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia), Fern (Charlotte’s Web)
Creative and contemplative, INFPs look for meaning over material success. These types are driven by their imagination and their hope for a better, kinder world. More than anything, INFPs are loyal to their personal values. They gain their perspective of right and wrong from an independent standpoint, rather than looking to society’s rules and agendas. Naturally curious, they are adept at thinking outside-the-box and seeing many perspectives. Their lifestyle is flexible, adaptable, and tolerant unless a value is threatened.
Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird), Louis de Pointe du Lac (Interview with the Vampire), Nico de Angelo (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), The Little Prince (The Little Prince), Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre D’ame), Mike Ross (Suits), Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings), Faramir (The Lord of the Rings), Romeo Montague (Romeo and Juliet), Coraline Jones (Coraline), Lucy Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia), Fern (Charlotte’s Web), Jacob Portman (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Marius Pontmercy (Les Miserables), Marianne Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility), Lady Dedlock (Bleak House), Tamaki Amajiki (My Hero Academia), Eric Alphonse (FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Nagato (Naruto), Joyce Byers (Stranger Things), Will Byers (Stranger Things), Vanya Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy), Hester Prynne (The Scarlet Letter).
Read This Next:24 Signs That You’re an INFP, the “Dreamer” Personality Type
The INTP “Prodigy” – Curious, Creative, Analytical
From left to right: Alice (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Victor Frankenstein, L Lawliet (Death Note), Hiccup (How to Train Your Dragon), Nick Carraway (The Great Gatsby), Arthur Weasley (Harry Potter).
The INTP prodigy is driven to understand the logical components behind everything around them. They question and scrutinize ideas and systems, trying to decipher the underlying framework at play. More interested in ideas than social rules, they can seem tactless even if they do care what people think of them. INTPs enjoy exploring ideas and tend to have an open, curious outlook on life. They are eager for anything that will stretch the bounds of their mind and make them question and refine their thinking.
Margaret “Meg” Murry (A Wrinkle in Time), Arthur Weasley (Harry Potter), Smaug (The Hobbit), Pierre Bezukhov (War and Peace), Nick Carraway (The Great Gatsby), Alice (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Hiccup (How to Train Your Dragon), Matilda (Matilda), Tsuyu Asui “Froppy” (My Hero Academia), Scott Clarke (Stranger Things), L Lawliet (Death Note), Bruce Banner “Hulk”, Neo (The Matrix), Elliot Alderson (Mr. Robot), Ranpo Edogawa (Bungou Stray Dogs), Winston Smith (1984), Victor Frankenstein, Ariadne (Inception), Betee Latier (The Hunger Games).
The ENFJ “Mentor” – Empathetic/Visionary/Organized
From left to right: Morpheus (The Matrix), Donna Paulsen (Suits), Anna Karenina, Queenie Goldstein (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Professor Charles Xavier “Professor X” (X-Men), Margaery Tyrell (Game of Thrones)
Harmony-focused and insightful, ENFJs are driven to unite people towards a cause. They seem to have an innate sense of other people’s potential, and they enjoy inspiring people to grow. These types are more interested in what’s going on behind the scenes than what’s apparent on the surface, and because of this, they can often sense underlying motivations and needs. They have a gift for taking care of people’s emotional needs and counseling during tough situations.
Margaery Tyrell (Game of Thrones), High Sparrow (Game of Thrones), Donna Paulsen (Suits), Luke Castellan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), Anna Karenina, Phoebe Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye), Mufasa (The Lion King), Morpheus (The Matrix), Diana Prince “Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman), Queenie Goldstein (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Charles Xavier “Professor X” (X-Men), Carlisle Cullen (Twilight), Tanjiro (Kimetsu no Yaiba “Demon Slayer”)
The ENTJ “Architect” – Strategic/Organized/Decisive
From left to right: Lyanna Mormont (Game of Thrones), Number Five (The Umbrella Academy), Tywin Lannister (Game of Thrones), Lady Mary Crawley (Downton Abbey), Ross Poldark (Poldark), Edward Rochester (Jane Eyre)
ENTJs have a unique ability to set long-range goals and implement them in an organized manner. More focused on the future than the present, they enjoy trailblazing new paths, playing with ideas, and directing a team to achieve far-reaching objectives. These types are focused on the big picture and understanding the meaning of life. They believe every moment in life is meant to be used to its maximum potential.
Ross Poldark (Poldark), President Snow (The Hunger Games), Tywin Lannister (Game of Thrones), Edward Rochester (Jane Eyre), All For One (My Hero Academia), Muzan Kibutsuji (Demon Slayer), Madara Uchiha (Naruto), Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator), Octavian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), Number Five (The Umbrella Academy), Francis J. Underwood (House of Cards), Donald “Don” Draper (Mad Men), Harvey Specter (Suits), Lyanna Mormont (Game of Thrones), The Handler (The Umbrella Academy), Lady Mary Crawley (Downton Abbey)
The INFJ “Mystic” – Insightful/Empathic/Determined
From left to right: Louise Banks (Arrival), Will Graham (Red Dragon), Kagaya Ubuyashiki (Kimetsu no Yaiba “Demon Slayer”), Sayuri (Memoirs of a Geisha), Gandalf the Grey (Lord of the Rings), Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
INFJs desire to grasp the profound and meaningful aspects of life and form authentic connections with individuals. These types have a skill at understanding complex meanings and grasping underlying themes and patterns. They trust their insights to guide them in the right direction and to help them decipher the background processes at work under the surface of events. With their big picture vision and empathy, they are often emotionally insightful, compassionate, and driven. Personal growth and improvement are a large focus of their lives and they are rarely content to be stagnant.
Gandalf the Grey (The Lord of the Rings), Dumbledore (Harry Potter), Amelie, Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird), Galadriel (The Lord of the Rings), Jane Eyre, Sayuri (Memoirs of a Geisha), Will Graham (Red Dragon), Holden Ford (Mindhunter), Remus Lupin (Harry Potter), Sydney Chambers (Grantchester), Sara Crewe (A Little Princess), Abbe Faria (The Count of Monte Cristo), Agnes Wickfield (David Copperfield), Tamayo (Kimetsu no Yaiba “Demon Slayer”), Kagaya Ubuyashiki (Kimetsu no Yaiba “Demon Slayer”), Itachi Uchiha (Naruto), Armin Arlert (Attack on Titan), Siddhartha, R’As Al Ghul (Batman Series), Louise Banks (Arrival), Lorraine Warren (The Conjuring), Malcolm Crowe (The Sixth Sense), Izuku Midoriya (My Hero Academia).
Read This Next: 24 Signs That You’re an INFJ, the “Mystic” Personality Type
The INTJ “Strategist” – Independent/Rational/Insightful
From left to right: Kai Chisaki “Overhaul” (My Hero Academia), Petyr Baelish (Game of Thrones), Ender Wiggin (Ender’s Game), Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Thranduil (The Hobbit), Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
INTJs are global thinkers with an eye on the big picture and future possibilities. Deeply insightful, they have a knack for reading between-the-lines and detecting underlying meanings and patterns. These types love complex challenges and theoretical and abstract topics. They use their thinking side to assess everything critically and quickly identify solutions to problems. Both philosophical and rational, INTJs trust their insights and opinions and aim to understand the underlying meaning of all things.
Amy Dunne (Gone Girl), Artemis Fowl, Saruman (The Lord of the Rings), Thranduil (The Hobbit), Ender Wiggin (Ender’s Game), Dracula, Caleb Trask (East of Eden), Heinrich Faust (Faust), Elrond (Lord of the Rings), Annabeth Chase (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), George Warleggan (Poldark), Kai Chisaki “Overhaul” (My Hero Academia), Petyr Baelish (Game of Thrones), Bruce Wayne (Batman), Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Rowena Ravenclaw (Harry Potter), Captain Ahab (Moby Dick), Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs), Phileas Fogg (Around the World in 80 Days), Sir Reginald Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy), Lelouch vi Britannia (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)
Read This Next:24 Signs That You’re an INTJ, the “Strategist” Personality Type
The ESFP “Champion” – Adventurous/Individualistic/Spontaneous
From left to right: Ron Weasley (Harry Potter), Finnick Odair (The Hunger Games), Mina Ashido (My Hero Academia), Peregrine Took (The Lord of the Rings), Steve Harrington (Stranger Things), Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby).
Gregarious, enthusiastic, and fun-loving, ESFPs believe in seizing the day and making the most of each moment. These types are highly observant and quick to respond to sudden changes in their environment. They enjoy working alongside others to learn new skills or make something happen. They often have a restless, adventurous streak and enjoy being active as much as possible. When it comes to decisions, ESFPs are guided by their personal values and individual moral code.
Ron Weasley (Harry Potter), Alexei Vronsky (Anna Karenina), Kitty Fane (The Painted Veil), Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby), Lydia Bennet (Pride and Prejudice), Peregrine Took (Lord of the Rings), Fred (A Christmas Carol), Felicity Merriman (American Girl Character), Amy March (Little Women), Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), Francis Poldark (Poldark), Dorian Grey (The Picture of Dorian Gray), Mina Ashido (My Hero Academia), Present Mike (My Hero Academia), Yuga Aoyama (My Hero Academia), Zenitsu Agatsuma (Kimetsu no Yaiba “Demon Slayer”), Naruto Uzuaki (Naruto), Steve Harrington (Stranger Things), Kallen Kozuki (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion), Finnick Odair (The Hunger Games), Theon Greyjoy (Game of Thrones), Oberyn Martell (Game of Thrones), Robert Baratheon (Game of Thrones).
The ESTP “Daredevil” – Impulsive/Clever/Energetic
From left to right: Rebecca Sharp (Vanity Fair), Midnight (My Hero Academia), Tyler Durden (Fight Club), Jamie Lannister (Game of Thrones), Aquaman, Gimli (Lord of the Rings)
ESTPs have a strong need for action and a desire to be spontaneous. They have a pragmatic, flexible approach to life and enjoy solving problems and responding to life as it happens. More than most types, they stay focused on the here and now so that they can react quickly to any surprise or information that comes their way. These types have analytical, rational minds and a straightforward approach to life. They tend to learn by doing, plunging headlong into experiences and learning as they go.
Tyler Durden (Fight Club), Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Catch Me If You Can), Bigwig (Watership Down), Jamie Lannister (Game of Thrones), Catherine Earnshaw (Wuthering Heights), James Potter (Harry Potter), Khal Drogo (Game of Thrones), Lestat de Lioncourt (Interview with the Vampire), Gimli (Lord of the Rings), Rebecca Sharp (Vanity Fair), Frank Churchill (Emma), Caroline Penvenen (Poldark), Robinson Crusoe, Phinks (Hunter X Hunter), Nemuri Kayama “Midnight” (My Hero Academia), Inosuke Hashibira (Kimetsu no Yaiba “Demon Slayer”), Envy (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Billy Hargrove (Stranger Things), Merida (Brave), Bronn (Game of Thrones), Chuuya Nakahara (Bungou Stray Dogs), James “Sawyer” Ford (Lost), Arthur Curry “Aquaman” (Aquaman), Tanaka Ryunosuke (Haikyuu!!), Joanna Mason (The Hunger Games), Clarissa LaRue (Percy Jackson and the Olympians).
The ISFP “Virtuoso” – Gentle/Practical/Creative
From left to right: Claire Fraser (Outlander), Rose Dewitt Bukater (Titanic), Eleven (Stranger Things), Cinna (The Hunger Games), Jon Snow (Game of Thrones), Eowyn (Lord of the Rings).
ISFPs want the freedom to pursue their own course in life, set their own schedule, and live according to their personal values. These types crave freedom for themselves and want others to enjoy freedom as well. They are typically sensitive, kind, and gentle and crave a life that is meaningful and personally rewarding. They balance this with a realistic, practical, and factual outlook on life. Like all Sensing-Perceivers, ISFPs can respond quickly to changes in their environment and are usually adept at noticing details.
Lady Sybil Crawley (Downton Abbey), Jacob Black (Twilight), Claire Fraser (Outlander), Princess Buttercup (The Princess Bride), Cinna (The Hunger Games), Arwen (The Lord of the Rings), Liesel Meminger (The Book Thief), Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey), Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings), Demelza Poldark (Poldark), Fantine (Les Miserables), Chizome Akaguro “Stain” (My Hero Academia), Jane Ives Hopper “Eleven” (Stranger Things), Jonathan Byers (Stranger Things), Jon Snow (Game of Thrones), Eren Yeager (Attack on Titan), Rose Dewitt Bukater (Titanic), Isabella “Bella” Swan (Twilight), Yuichiro Hyakuya (Seraph of the End), Baby (Baby Driver), Edmond Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo), Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia).
The ISTP “Vigilante” – Analytical/Realistic/Independent
From left to right: Arya Stark (Game of Thrones), Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity), Shoto Aizawa “Eraserhead” (My Hero Academia), Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan), Jessica Jones, Jace Herondale (Shadowhunters)
ISTPs are extremely attuned to the moment and can quickly size-up a situation and get to the core of a problem. These types are interested in knowing how and why things work and are usually fascinated by hands-on pursuits like crafting, sports, or even playing musical instruments. Realists at the core, ISTPs trust facts over feelings and try to solve problems as efficiently as possible. Like all Sensing-Perceivers, ISTPs crave freedom and autonomy and rebel under a lot of micro-management or strict rules.
Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity), John Wick (John Wick), Bard (The Hobbit), Jace Herondale (Shadowhunters), Alex Fierro (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard), Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Perfume), Kyoka Jirou “Earphone Jack” (My Hero Academia), Shoto Aizawa “Eraserhead” (My Hero Academia), Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan), Arya Stark (Game of Thrones), Natasha Romanoff “Black Widow” (The Avengers), Saitama (One Punch Man), Clint Barton “Hawkeye” (The Avengers), Max Mayfield (Stranger Things), Geralt of Rivera (The Witcher), Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Game of Thrones), Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead), Shinya Kogami (Psycho-Pass), Jessica Jones, Diego Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy).
The ESFJ “Defender” – Practical/Personable/Thorough
From left to right: Sakura Haruno (Naruto: Shippenden), Anna Smith (Downton Abbey), Molly Weasley (Harry Potter), Bilbo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings), Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones), Effie Trinket (The Hunger Games)
ESFJs have a gift for understanding the physical and emotional needs of the people around them. They are adept at organizing people to complete a task in a timely manner. Because they are more focused on the concrete than the abstract, they have a down-to-earth, grounded aura. When meeting an ESFJ, you’ll likely notice their warm, tactful nature and their natural love of people. These types enjoy making people happy and are hurt by insensitivity or indifference. When it comes to getting a job done, ESFJs are decisive, consistent, and methodical.
Effie Trinkett (The Hunger Games), Margaret Hale (North and South), Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit), Anna Smith (Downton Abbey), Wendy Darling (Peter Pan), Mrs. Bennett (Pride and Prejudice), Elizabeth Poldark (Poldark), Lucie Manette (A Tale of Two Cities), Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones), Sakura Haruno (Naruto: Shippenden), Nancy Wheeler (Stranger Things), Molly Weasley (Harry Potter), Cedric Diggory (Harry Potter), Bob Newby (Stranger Things), Allison Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy), Maka Albarn (Soul Eater).
The ESTJ “Captain” – Decisive/Organized/Objective
From left to right: Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Mary Poppins, Peter Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia), Hopper (Stranger Things), Endeavor (My Hero Academia), Boromir (The Lord of the Rings)
ESTJs value competence, efficiency, and results and are skilled at organizing a task to make sure it’s accomplished as quickly as possible. These types enjoy interacting with others as long as they’re not procrastinating or wasting time. Typically assertive and logical, they work out problems objectively by focusing on the facts and details at hand. ESTJs tend to take naturally to leadership and are good at projecting the steps needed to get something done. They are also skilled at managing logistics and catching errors before they create major problems.
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Rachel Lynde (Anne of Green Gables), Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter), Peter Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia), Rabbit (Winnie the Pooh), Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey), Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones), Boromir (Lord of the Rings), Leia Organa (Star Wars), Endeavor (My Hero Academia), General Li Shang (Mulan), Jack Shephard (Lost), Yubaba (Spirited Away), Tatsumaki (One Punch Man), Cornelia li Brittania (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion), Mary Poppins, Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter), King Triton (The Little Mermaid), Shirley “Shiri” Crain (The Haunting of Hill House), Hopper (Stranger Things).
The ISFJ “Protector” – Nurturing/Grounded/Detail-Oriented
From left to right: Steve Rogers (Captain America), Jennifer Honey (Matilda), Beth March (Little Women), Charlie Buckets (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Sophie Hatter (Howl’s Moving Castle), Clay Jensen (13 Reasons Why)
Dependable and considerate, ISFJs are deeply committed to protecting the people and traditions they love. Their grounded, down-to-earth demeanor puts people at ease, and their sensitive and thoughtful spirit is usually a source of comfort. ISFJs aren’t afraid to weather tough storms if it means they are protecting the people they care about. Their thorough, detail-oriented nature means that they rarely leave a task unfinished or sloppy.
Clay Jensen (13 Reasons Why), Amy Dorritt (Little Dorritt), Steve Rogers “Captain America” (Captain America), Dr. James Watson (Sherlock), Arthur Dent (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Miss Havisham (Great Expectations), Narcissa Malfoy (Harry Potter), Matthew Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables), Meg March (Little Women), Anne Elliot (Persuasion), Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings), Edward Ferrars (Sense & Sensibility), Kirsten Larson (The American Girls Series), Amelia Sedley (Vanity Fair), Charlie Buckets (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Jonathan Harker (Dracula), Elizabeth “Beth” March (Little Women), Miss Jennifer Honey (Matilda), Grover Underwood (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), Verity Poldark (Poldark), Cosette (Les Miserables), Sophie Hatter (Howl’s Moving Castle), Mayuri Shiina (SteinsGate).
The ISTJ “Detective” – Thorough/Meticulous/Responsible
From left to right: John Thornton (North and South), Eomer (The Lord of the Rings), Marilla Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables), Harry Potter (The Harry Potter Series), Susan Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia), Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones)
Detail-oriented and down-to-earth, ISTJs have a careful eye on tasks and procedures to make sure they’re done right. These types are also deeply loyal to their loved ones and beliefs, standing up against any adversary that would threaten them. Their practical, sensible outlook on life makes them a trusted source of information. Unlike some other types, they’re not likely to bend the facts or manipulate people. They trust facts over hunches and try to stay detached and objective when a decision has to be made so that they will be as fair as possible.
Harry Potter (Harry Potter Series), Tenya Iida (My Hero Academia), Bill Tench (Mindhunter), John Bates (Downton Abbey), Susan Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia), Bathsheba Everdene (Far from the Madding Crowd), John Thornton (North and South), Marilla Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables), Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones), Eomer (The Lord of the Rings), Theoden (The Lord of the Rings), Alexei Karenin (Anna Karenina), Inspector Javert (Les Miserables), Dr. Alan Grant (Jurassic Park), Thorin Oakenshield (The Hobbit), Ebenezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol), George Knightley (Emma), Eudora Patch (The Umbrella Academy), Luther Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy).
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you have any other fictional characters you’d recommend? Do you agree with your characters? Let us know in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
An Overview of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Have you ever heard someone describe themselves as an INTJ or an ESTP and wondered what those cryptic-sounding letters could mean? What these people are referring to is their personality type based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is a self-report inventory designed to identify a person's personality type, strengths, and preferences. The questionnaire was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs based on their work with Carl Jung's theory of personality types. Today, the MBTI inventory is one of the most widely used psychological instruments in the world.
The Development of the Myers-Briggs Test
Both Myers and Briggs were fascinated by Jung's theory of psychological types and recognized that the theory could have real-world applications. During World War II, they began researching and developing an indicator that could be utilized to help understand individual differences.
By helping people understand themselves, Myers and Briggs believed that they could help people select occupations that were best suited to their personality types and lead healthier, happier lives.
Myers created the first pen-and-pencil version of the inventory during the 1940s, and the two women began testing the assessment on friends and family. They continued to fully develop the instrument over the next two decades.
An Overview of the Test
Based on the answers to the questions on the inventory, people are identified as having one of 16 personality types. The goal of the MBTI is to allow respondents to further explore and understand their own personalities including their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, possible career preferences, and compatibility with other people.
No one personality type is "best" or "better" than another. It isn't a tool designed to look for dysfunction or abnormality. Instead, its goal is simply to help you learn more about yourself. The questionnaire itself is made up of four different scales.
Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)
The extraversion-introversion dichotomy was first explored by Jung in his theory of personality types as a way to describe how people respond and interact with the world around them. While these terms are familiar to most people, the way in which they are used in the MBTI differs somewhat from their popular usage.
Extraverts (also often spelled extroverts) are "outward-turning" and tend to be action-oriented, enjoy more frequent social interaction, and feel energized after spending time with other people. Introverts are "inward-turning" and tend to be thought-oriented, enjoy deep and meaningful social interactions, and feel recharged after spending time alone.
We all exhibit extraversion and introversion to some degree, but most of us tend to have an overall preference for one or the other.
Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)
This scale involves looking at how people gather information from the world around them. Just like with extraversion and introversion, all people spend some time sensing and intuiting depending on the situation. According to the MBTI, people tend to be dominant in one area or the other.
People who prefer sensing tend to pay a great deal of attention to reality, particularly to what they can learn from their own senses. They tend to focus on facts and details and enjoy getting hands-on experience. Those who prefer intuition pay more attention to things like patterns and impressions. They enjoy thinking about possibilities, imagining the future, and abstract theories.
Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)
This scale focuses on how people make decisions based on the information that they gathered from their sensing or intuition functions. People who prefer thinking place a greater emphasis on facts and objective data.
They tend to be consistent, logical, and impersonal when weighing a decision. Those who prefer feeling are more likely to consider people and emotions when arriving at a conclusion.
Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)
The final scale involves how people tend to deal with the outside world. Those who lean toward judging prefer structure and firm decisions. People who lean toward perceiving are more open, flexible, and adaptable. These two tendencies interact with the other scales.
Remember, all people at least spend some time engaged in extraverted activities. The judging-perceiving scale helps describe whether you behave like an extravert when you are taking in new information (sensing and intuiting) or when you are making decisions (thinking and feeling).
The MBTI Types
Each type is then listed by its four-letter code:
Taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can provide a lot of insight into your personality, which is probably why the instrument has become so enormously popular. Even without taking the formal questionnaire, you can probably immediately recognize some of these tendencies in yourself.
According to the Myers & Briggs Foundation, it is important to remember that all types are equal and that every type has value.
When working in group situations in school or at work, for example, recognizing your own strengths and understanding the strengths of others can be very helpful. When you are working toward completing a project with other members of a group, you might realize that certain members of the group are skilled and talented at performing particular actions. By recognizing these differences, the group can better assign tasks and work together on achieving their goals.
How MBTI Differs From Other Instruments
First, the MBTI is not really a "test." There are no right or wrong answers and one type is not better than any other type. The purpose of the indicator is not to evaluate mental health or offer any type of diagnosis.
Also, unlike many other types of psychological evaluations, your results are not compared against any norms. Instead of looking at your score in comparison to the results of other people, the goal of the instrument is to simply offer further information about your own unique personality.
Reliability and Validity
According to the Myers & Briggs Foundation, the MBTI meets accepted standards of reliability and validity. However, other studies have found that the reliability and validity of the instrument have not been adequately demonstrated.
Studies have found between 40% and 75% of respondents receive a different result after completing the inventory a second time.
A 1992 book by The Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance and the National Research Council suggests that "there is not sufficient, well-designed research to justify the use of MBTI in career counseling programs. Much of the current evidence is based on inadequate methodologies."
The MBTI Today
Because the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is relatively easy to use, it has become one of the most popular psychological instruments currently in use today. Approximately two million U.S. adults complete the inventory each year.
While there are many versions of the MBTI available online, it should be noted that any of the informal questionnaires that you may find on the Internet are only approximations of the real thing.
The real MBTI must be administered by a trained and qualified practitioner that includes a follow-up of the results. Today, the questionnaire can be administered online via the instrument publisher, CPP, Inc., and includes receiving a professional interpretation of your results.
The current version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator includes 93 forced-choice questions in the North American version and 88 forced-choice questions in the European version. For each question, there are two different options from which the respondent must choose.
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Bjork RA, Druckman D. In the Mind's Eye: Enhancing Human Performance. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. 1992.
Jung CG. Psychological Types. In Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 6. Princeton University Press: 1971.
Lawrence GD, Martin CR. Building People, Building Programs. Center for Applications of Psychological Type. 2001.
Myers IB, Peter BM. Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type. Mountain View, CA: Davies-Black Publishing. 1980.
Pittenger DJ. Measuring the MBTI...And Coming Up Short. Journal of Career Planning and Employment. 1993;54(1):48-52.
The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (n.d.). Reliability and Validity of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Instrument.
The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (n.d.). All Types Are Equal.
Understanding the 4 Personality Types: A, B, C, and D
Each person is a unique combination of four personality types. Over the centuries, these basic categories have gone by several names and designations, but for our purposes, they are known as the director, the socializer, the thinker, and the supporter. As shorthand, though, we refer to those personality types as A, B, C, and D, respectively. Learning how to identify people by personality type can bring a higher level of understanding to interpersonal relationships and team building, especially for employers looking for ways to improve employee hiring and reduce turnover. Indeed, a good personality test may be the most valuable tool in a hiring manager’s toolbox.
What is a Type A personality?
A Type A personality likes to be in charge and be in control of their environment and their lives. They’re normally not very detail-oriented, choosing to delegate details to others. They’re usually very goal-oriented and practical in their solutions. And arriving at their solutions and goals will entail a no-nonsense, bottom-line approach.
What are other names for the Type A personality?
|Personality Tests & Approaches||Type A Personality Name|
|The Hire Success® System||Director|
|Hippocrates||Choleric (bodily humor: yellow bile)|
|Myers-Briggs||ENFJ, ENFP, INFJ, INFP|
|Cartoon/comic characters||Lucy (from Peanuts) / Rabbit (from Winnie the Pooh)|
What are Type A personality strengths?
- Embraces change
- Direct management style
- Works well independently
- Demands maximum freedom
- Good administrative skills
- Highly competitive
- Good delegation skills
What are Type A personality weaknesses?
- Easily angered
- Ill-tempered (short fuse)
What motivates a Type A personality?
- Favorable risk-reward ratio
What are some common words or phrases that motivate or grab the attention of the Type A personality?
- “Let’s get it done.”
- The bottom line
- “What do you think about ___?”
- “The best (newest, cutting-edge, etc.)”
- Take the challenge
- Great return on investment
What are the turnoffs, dislikes, and fears of the Type A personality?
- Touchy-feely things
- Long explanations or descriptions
- Explaining things in emotional terms or more than once to the same person
- Looking soft or vulnerable
- Falling into routines
- Being taken advantage of
Which jobs attract a Type A personality?
- General contractor
- Salesperson or sales manager
- Business owner
- Police/military officer
What do Type A personality traits look like at work?
People with Type A personalities can typically be identified by the following traits:
- Good under stress
Type A personalities don't like a lot of restraints or restrictions placed on them. Instead, they prefer to work independently and set their own schedules. Since they often tend to be workaholics, it’s not unusual to see them put in whatever time and effort it takes to accomplish their goals. They may seem impatient at times, especially if they believe someone is spending too much time going over details with them or impeding the successful completion of whatever goal or project they’re focusing on at the moment.
Don't be surprised to see this personality type in a supervisory position or management. Having an entrepreneurial streak, they may be a business owner or strive to own their own business someday. The Type A personality is not easily discouraged and will normally exude confidence.
If a Type A personality sees their day-to-day job as routine or repetitive, they’ll get bored easily and won’t enjoy the work. They’ll want others to view them as tough in these situations, but internally they may be miserable if the job is too routine. In keeping with their dominant traits, Type A personalities will do whatever is necessary to prevent themselves from falling into patterns or routines and seek freedom and independence instead. They’ll also be very dissatisfied if they believe someone is trying to take advantage of them or hold them back.
A Type A personality may not be very good at recognizing coworker's feelings and needs. It’s not necessarily because they don't care; rather, they’re extremely focused on achieving their goals and may not notice. If you're looking for someone who works well under pressure and seems to excel in high-stress situations, the Type A personality is probably what you're looking for.
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What is a Type B personality?
The Type B personality is a very outgoing, energetic, and fast-paced individual who likes to be around people and enjoys being the center of attention. They’re good relationship builders, and most people like them right away. Their driving need is for approval, so they try to like everyone in hopes everyone will like them too. Compliments, acknowledgement of their achievements, words of admiration, and even applause from groups will be the most important thing you can do for them.
What are other names for the Type B personality?
|Personality Tests & Approaches||Type B Personality Name|
|Hire Success® System||Socializer|
|Hippocrates||Sanguine (bodily humor: blood)|
|Myers-Briggs||ENTJ, ENTP, INTJ, INTP|
|Cartoon/comic characters||Snoopy (from Peanuts) / Tigger (from Winnie the Pooh)|
What are Type B personality strengths?
- Easily liked by most people
- Idea person
What are Type B personality weaknesses?
- Too self-involved
- May try to do too much at once
- Sometimes unrealistic
- Trouble being alone
- Doesn’t finish what was started
- Short attention span
- Arrogant or cocky
- Easily bored
- Prone to sweeping generalizations
What motivates a Type B personality?
- Public recognition
- Awards, plaques, certificates
- Having picture taken with celebrities
- Succeeding, especially beyond peers
- Being the center of attention, public speaker, director, etc.
- The latest styles and/or trends
What are some common words or phrases that motivate or grab the attention of the Type B personality?
- “You look great.”
- “You’re the best ____.”
- “People love you.”
- “This will be fun.”
What are the turnoffs, dislikes, and fears of the Type B personality?
- Public humiliation
- Being unappreciated
- Appearing uninvolved
- Nonsocial types
- Appearing unattractive
- People and things that distract attention
- Appearing unsuccessful
- Appearing unacceptable
Which jobs attract a Type B personality?
- Public relations
- Personnel interviewer
- Professional host(ess)
- Recreation director
- Party planner
- Customer service/relations
What do Type B personality traits look like at work?
People with Type B personalities can typically be identified by the following traits:
Type B personalities love to talk about themselves. Some may view that as self-centered, but a Type B’s real motivation is to be liked. For an extreme (and funny) example, think of the character played by Bette Midler in the movie Beaches, when she invited an old friend up to see her lavish apartment and told her about her great success. Then she said to the friend: "Enough about me. Let's talk about you. So, what do you think of me?"
The Type B personality’s biggest fear is being humiliated in public, since that might make many people disapprove of them, and the thought of that would be devastating. The B personality doesn't want to appear unattractive or unsuccessful either, so they’ll make sure their appearance is impeccable and will always give the impression of being very successful at whatever they do, whether they are or not.
Some of the strengths you can count on from the Type B personality are their enthusiasm, outgoing behavior, friendliness toward others, and their ability to persuade even the most skeptical of people. They tend to be dreamers and can often turn those dreams into very practical ideas in the workplace. Type B personalities are normally spontaneous and use their quick wit and humor to make people like them. They aren't very good about hiding their own feelings either, so if they’re hurt or disappointed, you'll probably be able to read it in their mannerisms and overall disposition.
Some of the natural weaknesses that are associated with the Type B personality include being impatient, having a relatively short attention span, and not being very detail-oriented. In business, Type B personalities may tend to oversocialize and not spend as much time doing their work because they strive for the social interaction. During the hiring process, they may be inclined toward unstructured, rambling interviews rather than structured ones, and bad interviews can lead to bad hires. Despite their natural tendency, many Type B personalities have learned to keep their counterproductive impulses in check while benefiting from the positives of having a social nature.
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What is a Type C personality?
The Type C personality is a very detail-oriented individual who likes to be involved in things that are controlled and stable. They’re interested in accuracy, rationality, and logic. People who can't seem to control their emotions will bother them because Type C personalities believe being emotional makes objectivity difficult or perhaps impossible. They also dislike being around people who are full of hype, since they desire facts, accuracy, and logic. Other people's emotions may not be a priority for them, as they tend to strive for the facts and let the chips fall where they may.
What are other names for the Type C personality?
|Personality Tests & Approaches||Type C Personality Name|
|Hire Success® System||Thinker|
|Hippocrates||Melancholic (bodily humor: black bile)|
|Myers-Briggs||ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ|
|Cartoon/comic characters||Linus (from Peanuts) / Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh)|
What are Type C personality strengths?
- Plays by the rules
- Critical thinker
- Quality control
What are Type C personality weaknesses?
- Worry about progress
- Can appear unsocial
- Critical behavior
- Likes to do things their own way
- Detached behavior
- Can see the glass half empty
- Skeptical, disbelieving
- May never have personal expectations met
What motivates a Type C personality?
- Opportunities to be independent and analytical
What are some common words or phrases that motivate or grab the attention of the Type C personality?
- “How does that work?”
- Quiet, solitude
- “Tell me more about ____.”
What are the turnoffs, dislikes, and fears of the Type C personality?
- Uncontrolled emotions
- Irrational acts
- People who are self-centered, or self-aggrandizement
- Loss of control
- Being subject to control or supervision by people they don’t trust or respect
- Distractions or distracting people
Which jobs attract a Type C personality?
- Investigator (police, crime scene, private, etc.)
- Technical support
- Research scientist
- Game designer
- Data analyst
What do Type C personality traits look like at work?
People with Type C personalities can typically be identified by the following traits:
Type C personalities tend to be quite controlling, both of themselves and others. They don't like things to get out of hand and may not appear very expressive at times because they don't really want themselves to display a lot of emotion. They’re very outcome-driven and will be sticklers for following procedures and protocol in getting the job done.
They’re careful, resourceful, and, above all, excellent thinkers who will look at all aspects of an issue before taking a stand. Once they take a stand on an issue, though, they’ll have the facts to back it up, so anyone who challenges them better be prepared. If you have a Type C personality on your job candidate shortlist, you’ll want to prepare some thoughtful interview questions if you don’t want a carefully rehearsed response.
They like their jobs to be clearly defined and want to know exactly what’s expected of them. Knowing those facts, they will be able to prioritize their tasks and see them through to completion.
When in decision-making roles, they’re cautious and logical, requiring many details and facts before they make a decision. People who try to sell them something by trying to get them emotionally involved usually fail; the Type C personality would consider such an effort to be hype and would wonder what facts the other person is trying to hide.
In more public roles, the Type C personality will strive for originality, cleverness, and uniqueness in all things. Because of their detail orientation, they’re meticulously prepared to defend their decisions against any possible objections. Many accountants and lawyers, for example, are Type C personalities. They’re excellent for any job that requires creative thinking based on patience, facts, and accuracy.
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What is a Type D personality?
A Type D personality takes a slower, easier pace toward their work and life in general. They seek security and longevity on the job and are very happy doing a repetitive task, day in and day out. The repetition allows them to become very skilled in what they do. Likewise, they won't like it if the rules change a lot, as that’s contrary to their desire to minimize change and stick with what they know works. For the Type D personality, even though the current way may be unpleasant, they worry that the unknown may be even worse.
What are other names for the Type D personality?
|Personality Tests & Approaches||Type D Personality Name|
|Hire Success® System||Supporter|
|Hippocrates||Phlegmatic (bodily humor: phlegm)|
|Myers-Briggs||ESTP, ESFP, ISTP, ISFP|
|Cartoon/comic characters||Charlie Brown (from Peanuts) / Winnie the Pooh|
What are Type D personality strengths?
- Fair and equitable
- Looks approachable
- Appearance of strength
- Minimal mood swings
- Good at routines or repetitive tasks
What are Type D personality weaknesses?
- Not speaking up
- Easily used by others
- Going along when they don’t agree
- Uncomfortable with constant change
- Going along to avoid confrontation
- Less assertive
- Gets hurt feelings
- Resistant to change
What motivates a Type D personality?
- Low risk
- Team/group opportunities
- Calm work atmosphere
What are some common words or phrases that motivate or grab the attention of the Type D personality?
- “Help others in need.”
- Relaxed atmosphere
What are the turnoffs, dislikes, and fears of the Type D personality?
- Pushy people
- Change (especially frequent change)
- Aggressive behavior
- Disruption in routine
- The unknown
Which jobs attract a Type D personality?
- Secure team position
- Financial services
- HR manager
- Social worker
- Family doctor/nurse
- Assembly line worker
- Residential/community services
- Personal assistant/secretary
- Insurance agent
- Security guard
- Customer service representative
What do Type D personality traits look like at work?
People with Type D personalities can typically be identified by the following traits:
They seek the respect, sincere admiration, and acceptance of others. The Type D personality will gladly work hard to please the people they work for as long as they feel appreciated and receive plenty of reassurance that they’re needed. They need that sense of security. Type D personalities often think the Type A personality is crazy for taking so many risks and not showing much concern for security and longevity.
Type D personalities are usually very organized; being around a messy environment or disorganization will bother them. They’re also good at playing a very supportive role with others and are normally very caring, thoughtful, and compassionate. They are patient, tend to be good listeners, and will persevere when all others have given up. They especially like working in a group or on a team and will be a stabilizing force in these scenarios.
Although they may not be as fast as others, they’re accurate and thorough. They’ll usually keep their feelings to themselves and are reluctant to express themselves, even if a more assertive type seems to be taking advantage of them. They tend to go along to get along.
To attract the Type D personality in a job ad, be sure to talk about the company benefits package and the long-term growth potential within the company. Having a secure, stable environment will be very important to the Type D personality.
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What is a Type X personality?
Whenever two or more personality types are equal in strength within a person, that person is considered a Type X personality. For example, if an individual's two highest-strength personality types were A and B, they might be identified as AX and BX. In the extremely rare event that all four personality types were identical, that person would be considered simply as a Type X personality.
Type X personality traits
The X indicates a cross, or an intersection, of two or more types. It’s not unusual to see the X between two of the four personality types, and it doesn’t necessarily have to include the primary (or strongest) personality. However, when it does include the primary personality, the individual in question may have a tendency to be like one type in one situation and the other type in another. And when all four types are very close in strength, the individual may seem like a chameleon of personalities.
This can be beneficial for many jobs, especially when it’s important that the person gets along with almost everybody, such as consultative sales people for example. The Type X personality tends to change personality "colors" as needed based on who they may be with. Although somewhat unpredictable at times, this rare combination could be an important asset if utilized fully.
How to use the 4 basic personality types: A, B, C, and D
The descriptions above are the same, or similar, to what you will see printed on the Hire Success® Overview Report. Each applicant is instructed to respond to the Hire Success®Personality Profile form based on how they are at work, and the results will indicate which of the four personality types they draw from most, and to what degree. The system automatically provides a description of the primary personality at the beginning of the Overview Report. Variations of the above will be printed if the test taker is a combination of more than one personality type, or a Type X. You can compare the results against the baseline you developed to help speed up your hiring process.
In the Summary Report, a bar chart is provided along with a percentage, or strength, of each of the four personality types. The higher the percentage, the more dominant that personality type. When two or more personality types are close, or the same, in strength, the applicant may be characteristic of both types equally.
These Type A, B, C, and D personality descriptions are classic descriptions designed to provide you with some background information about a particular personality. The Hire Success® system uses these descriptions for contrast to the specific descriptions and values found in the traits section of the report. In many cases, the applicant's individual traits may differ, at least to some degree, from what you may see described in the overall personality description.
The Hire Success® system determines traits independently of the personality calculation and doesn’t base trait information on what might be expected from a particular personality type. The inclusion of these expanded traits is one of the ways the Hire Success® system differs from other systems, like Myers-Briggs®, and opens the door to highlight those differences that make the applicant a unique individual — not one squeezed into one of four boxes. If and when you see a trait differ from what might be described in the personality overview, it’s not a mistake. Quite the contrary, it’s most likely the true trait you can expect to see from the applicant on a day-to-day basis and not just an expectation based on a traditional Type A, B, C, or D personality description.
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Personality traits & personality types: What is personality?
What makes someone who they are? Each person has an idea of their own personality type — if they are bubbly or reserved, sensitive or thick-skinned. Psychologists who try to tease out the science of who we are define personality as individual differences in the way people tend to think, feel and behave.
You'll find many quizzes and tests online that claim to measure personality. Most of these are supported by very little evidence, and if you run across a system that claims to break all of humanity into just a handful of categories, it's safe to say it's probably oversimplified. Instead of trying to break people into "types," psychologists focus on personality traits. Each trait occurs along a spectrum and traits are independent of one another, making for an infinite constellation of human personality.
The traits with the strongest research backing them are the Big Five:
Conveniently, you can remember these traits with the handy OCEAN mnemonic (or, if you prefer, CANOE works, too).
The Big Five were developed in the 1970s by two research teams. These teams were led by Paul Costa and Robert R. McCrae of the National Institutes of Health and Warren Norman and Lewis Goldberg of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Oregon, according to Scientific American.
How universal are the Big Five? The evidence suggest that these traits translate well across cultures. A 2005 study led by McCrae and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that structure of the Big Five was similar across 50 countries, and a 2017 study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that among 22 countries, breakdowns of personality traits were quite similar. In fact, a person's nationality contributed only 2% to their personality.
Still, there may be some cultures that don't conceive of human traits in the terms of the Big Five. For example, a 2013 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that among the Tsimane tribe of forager-horticulturists in Bolivia, personality was conceived of along only two traits, prosociality and industriousness. This suggests that the Big Five personality traits could be a byproduct of living in a large, complex society, while people in small, traditional societies differ along other sets of traits. One possibility is that societies that offer more social niches for people allow more types of personality traits to arise, University of California Merced psychologist Paul Smaldino and UC Santa Barbara anthropologist Michael Gurven, have suggested.
If you live in a large, industrialized society, though, chances are the Big Five will do a pretty good job of summing you up. You might have a dash of openness, a lot of conscientiousness, an average amount of extraversion, plenty of agreeableness and almost no neuroticism at all. Or you might be highly conscientious, a bit introverted, disagreeable, neurotic and barely open. Here's what each trait entails.
Openness is shorthand for "openness to experience." People who are high in openness enjoy adventure. They're curious and appreciate art, imagination and new things. The motto of the open individual might be, "variety is the spice of life."
People low in openness are just the opposite: They prefer to stick to their habits, avoid new experiences and probably aren't the most adventurous eaters.
Openness might correlate with verbal intelligence and knowledge acquisition over the lifespan, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. People high in openness enjoy novelty, which might motivate them to keep learning new things as they grow older.
People who are conscientious are organized and have a strong sense of duty. They're dependable, disciplined and achievement-focused. You won't find conscientious types jetting off on round-the-world journeys without an itinerary; they're planners.
People low in conscientiousness are more spontaneous and freewheeling. At the extreme, they may tend toward carelessness. Conscientiousness is a helpful trait to have, as it has been linked to achievement in school and on the job.
Extraversion versus introversion is possibly the most recognizable personality trait of the Big Five. The more of an extravert someone is, the more of a social butterfly they are. Extraverts are chatty, sociable and draw energy from crowds. They tend to be assertive and cheerful in their social interactions.
Introverts, on the other hand, need plenty of alone time. Introversion is often confused with shyness, but the two aren't the same. Shyness implies a fear of social interactions or an inability to function socially. Introverts can be perfectly charming at parties — they just prefer solo or small-group activities.
Agreeableness measures the extent of a person's warmth and kindness. The more agreeable someone is, the more likely they are to be trusting, helpful and compassionate. Disagreeable people are cold and suspicious of others, and they're less likely to cooperate.
As you might imagine, agreeableness has its benefits. In a 25-year study published in Developmental Psychology in 2002, agreeable kids had fewer behavioral problems than kids low in agreeableness, and agreeable adults had less depression and greater job stability than adults who were low in agreeableness.
But being agreeable isn't always rewarded. A 2011 study found that disagreeable men outearn agreeable men. (Disagreeable women, on the other hand, didn't see much of a salary boost, possibly because people judge no-nonsense women more harshly than they do no-nonsense men, the study researchers said.) A 2018 study published in Personnel Psychology suggested that disagreeable men may pitch in less at home, allowing them to devote more time and energy to their work and thus make more than agreeable guys.
To understand neuroticism, look no further than George Costanza of the long-running sitcom "Seinfeld." George is famous for his neuroses, which the show blames on his dysfunctional parents. He worries about everything, obsesses over germs and disease and once quits a job because his anxiety over not having access to a private bathroom is too overwhelming.
People high in neuroticism worry frequently and easily slip into anxiety and depression. If all is going well, neurotic people tend to find things to worry about. One 2012 study found that when neurotic people with good salaries earned raises, the extra income actually made them less happy. Because people high in neuroticism tend to experience a lot of negative emotion, neuroticism plays a role in the development of emotional disorders.
In contrast, people who are low in neuroticism tend to be emotionally stable and even-keeled.
Can personality change?
Personality was once thought to be very difficult to alter, but evidence is accumulating that personality can change in adulthood. In a 2011 study, people who took psilocybin, or hallucinogenic "magic mushrooms," became more open after the experience. More recently, the hallucinogen MDMA has been found to increase openness when used therapeutically, which could be helpful for treating post-traumatic stress.
And you don't necessarily have to go on a hallucinogenic trip to make real change. A study published in the January 2017 journal Psychological Bulletin synthesized 207 published research papers and found that personality may be altered through therapy. "For the people who want to change their spouse tomorrow, which a lot of people want to do, I don't hold out much hope for them," said study researcher Brent Roberts, a social and personality psychologist at the University of Illinois. However, he continued, "if you're willing to focus on one aspect of yourself, and you're willing to go at it systematically, there's now increased optimism that you can affect change in that domain."
Because neuroticism is linked to mental health challenges, researchers have recently become interested in trying to reduce neuroticism through therapy. The hope is that targeting neuroticism will prevent the development of disorders like depression.
Personality also seems to change – slowly but naturally – over the course of a person's life. As people age, they become more extraverted, less neurotic, more agreeable and more conscientious.
Other personality measures
Though the Big Five are by far the most research-backed, scientifically based personality traits that have been identified, there are other schemas for measuring personality. These don't always tend to correlate with life outcomes the way the Big Five do, but people find them entertaining and sometimes helpful for thinking about their own attributes and goals. (Pro tip: If a system claims to describe your personality based on your zodiac sign, blood type or Hogwarts house, it's just for fun.)
Among the most popular is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which breaks people into 16 "types" based on how their level of introversion or extraversion, their information-gathering style (sensing for those who stick to the bare facts or intuition for those who prefer to find patterns), their decision-making preferences (thinking for those who like objectivity and fact or feeling for those who prefer to weigh personal concerns) and their tolerance of ambiguity in dealing with the outside world (judging for those who prefer to get things settled, perceiving for those open to new information).
You're likely to run into versions of the Myers-Briggs online or at work retreats – they're very popular in corporate America. But research on the Myers-Briggs has found that it's not very reliable (meaning people get different answers if they take the test several times) and that it's not particularly valid (meaning that people's answers don't match their real-world behavior or job outcomes very well).
Another popular personality test is the Enneagram Type Indicator, which divides people into nine personality types with additional "wing" types that cover other traits that people might sometimes display. The Enneagram doesn't have much scientific theory behind it, though, and there's very little research showing that it's valid or reliable, according to Inverse.
Finally, you're likely to run across the 16Personalities test online. This test is based on Myers-Briggs but instead of identifying people by four-letter strings, it divides people into 16 social-media-friendly categories like "diplomats" and "explorers."
If you'd like to delve into personality inventories beyond the Big Five, you might have more luck with the HEXACO Personality Inventory, which aims to be more internationally relevant than the Big Five. In studies of personality, researchers found that outside the United States, a sixth trait kept popping up. This trait is along the honesty-humility spectrum. People who are high in honesty-humility are modest, fair and sincere; people who are low in the trait as boastful, greedy and pompous. The HEXACO inventory otherwise overlaps with the Big Five, measuring openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion and emotionality (which is similar to neuroticism).
Another personality inventory based in scientific theory is the Hogan Personality Inventory, which draws from the Big Five but focuses on interpersonal interactions specifically. This inventory measures people on traits such as ambition, sociability, sensitivity and prudence.
Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science covering topics from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. A freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, she also regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Personality types character
16 Personality Types
Complete overview of the 16 Personality Types. Free in-depth and practical information on the 16 personality types, including careers, relationships, and core values. Enjoy and share with your friends!
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The Inspector – ISTJ Personality
The ISTJ can be considered an intimidating personality type to approach, especially without a prior relationship. ISTJs appear serious, formal, and proper. This personality type places great importance on tradition and old-school values. Patience, hard work, honor and social and cultural responsibility are all cherished by the ISTJ. They are reserved, calm, quiet, and upright. These traits result from the combination of Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging. The result is a personality type that is often misunderstood.
The Counselor – INFJ Personality
INFJs are visionaries and idealists. This personality type oozes creative imagination and brilliant ideas from every pore. They have a different, frequently profound, way of looking at the world that is not always understood. INFJs favor substance and depth in the way they think. This personality type will never accept anything at surface level or refuse to countenance a better way to approach problems. Others may perceive the INFJ as odd or amusing due to this variable outlook on life.
The Mastermind – INTJ Personality
INTJs are true introverts. This personality type tends to be quiet, reserved and comfortable in their own company. INTJs are usually self-sufficient and prefer to work alone than in a group. Socializing significantly drains the energy of this personality type, causing them to need to recharge. Do not weight down an INTJ with small talk! They are more interested in big ideas and theories. When observing the world, INTJs regularly question why things happen the way they do. Uncertainty is the enemy of the INTJ. They excel at developing plans and strategies for every eventuality.
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The Giver – ENFJ Personality
ENFJs are eternal people-pleasers. They are extroverted, idealistic, charismatic, outspoken, highly principled and ethical. This set of traits ensures that an ENFJ can usually connect with others of varying backgrounds and personalities. ENFJs rely more on intuition and feelings, living more in their imagination than the real world. This can be troublesome, for the individual themselves and those around them. Rather than living in the, “now” and what is currently happening, ENFJs tend to concentrate on the abstract and what could possibly unfold in the future.
The Craftsman – ISTP Personality
ISTPs are mysterious and oft-misunderstood people. This personality type is typically defined by rationality and logic but is also capable of spontaneity and enthusiasm. The personality traits of the ISTP are tougher to recognize than those of other types. Even people who know the ISTP well cannot always anticipate their reactions. Deep down, ISTPs are spontaneous, unpredictable individuals, but they sometimes hide those traits from the outside world, favoring an approach of logic and culpability.
The Provider – ESFJ Personality
ESFJs are the stereotypical extroverts. This personality type is effortlessly social, born of a need to interact with others. This desire to make others happy usually results in popularity for the ESFJ. The ESFJ often tends to be the cheerleader or sports hero in high school and college. Later in life, they continue to revel in the spotlight. ESFJs are primarily focused on organizing social events for their families, friends and communities. ESFJ is a common personality type and one that is liked by many people.
The Idealist – INFP Personality
INFPs, like most introverts, are quiet and reserved. This personality type prefers not to talk about themselves, especially upon first meeting a new person. They prefer spending time alone in quiet places. This provides the opportunity for the INFP to make sense of the world around them. INFPs love analyzing signs and symbols, often considering them to be metaphors that have deeper meanings related to life. This personality type can become lost in their imagination and daydreams. This occasionally leads to the INFP drowning in the depth of their thoughts, fantasies, and ideas.
The Performer – ESFP Personality
ESFPs have an Extroverted, Observant, Feeling and Perceiving personality, and are commonly seen as Entertainers. Born to provide amusement and distraction to others and to hog the limelight, ESFPs love to hold court in a group. ESFPs are thoughtful explorers who enjoy learning – and sharing what they learn with others. ESFPs live for company, and typically have strong interpersonal skills. They are lively and fun, and will never decline the opportunity to be the center of attention. Despite this court jester-like demeanor however, ESFPs are warm, generous, and friendly. They are also typically sympathetic and concerned for the well-being of others.
The Champion – ENFP Personality
ENFPs have an Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving personality. This personality type is highly individualistic. Champions are not followers, and care little for the status quo. Instead, they strive toward creating their own methods, looks, actions, habits, and ideas. ENFPs do not welcome cookie cutter people into their circle and loathe being forced to live inside a box. They do enjoy company though – assuming it is the “right” company – enjoying strong intuition when it comes to themselves and others. ENFPs operate from their feelings most of the time. This is no bad thing, as they are highly perceptive and thoughtful.
The Doer – ESTP Personality
ESTPs have an Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceptive personality. ESTPs live for social interaction, drawing power from feelings and emotions. This does not mean that ESTPs are flippant. They enjoy logical processes and reasoning, provided this does not stand in the way of freedom in thought and deed. Theory and abstracts will not retain the attention or interest of an ESTP for long. This personality type prefers to leap before they look, fixing mistakes as they go. This is preferable to sitting idle or preparing contingency plans.
The Supervisor – ESTJ Personality
ESTJs place a great deal of emphasis on traditional values. These include organization, honesty, dedication and dignity. This personality type believe firmly in doing what they believe is right and socially acceptable. Though the paths towards “good” and “right” are difficult to define, an ESTJ will act as the leader of the pack and extol personal views. They are the epitome of good citizenry. People often look to ESTJs for guidance and counsel, and this personality type will always be happy to provide such assistance.
The Commander – ENTJ Personality
An ENTJ’s primary concern is focus is managing external circumstances with logic and discipline. Once this has been achieved, intuition and reasoning take effect. ENTJs are the most natural leaders among the 16 personality types. This personality type will always relish the opportunity to take charge. ENTJs live in a world of possibilities, often viewing challenges and obstacles great opportunities to push themselves. They have a natural gift for leadership and never shirk from making decisions. Options and ideas will be quickly yet carefully reviewed. ENTJs are “take charge” people who do not like to sit still and allow life to happen around them.
The Thinker – INTP Personality
INTPs are highly regarded for brilliant theories and unrelenting logic. This makes sense, as this personality type is arguably the most logical of all. INTPs love patterns, have a keen eye for picking up on discrepancies, and possess the ability to read people. This makes it inadvisable to lie to an INTP. People of this personality type lack interest in practical, day-to-day activities and maintenance. When an INTP finds an environment that provides the opportunity to stretch their creative muscles, there is no limit to the time and energy expended. A sensible and unbiased solution becomes likely.
The Nurturer – ISFJ Personality
ISFJs are philanthropists. This personality type is always ready to give back, and any generosity received will be returned threefold. The people and things an ISFJ believes in will be upheld, and supported with enthusiasm and unselfishness. This makes this among the most warm and kind-hearted personality types. Harmony and cooperation are important to the ISFJ, and this type is likely to be sensitive to the feelings of others. The ISFJ is valued for their consideration and awareness, and often bring out the best in others.
The Visionary – ENTP Personality
The ENTP personality is among the rarest in the world, which is understandable. Although they are extroverts, ENTPs reject small talk – and may not thrive in social situations. This is especially true is the ENTP is surrounded by vastly different personality types. ENTPs are intelligent and knowledgeable, and as a result they need to be constantly mentally stimulated. This personality types relishes the opportunity to discuss theories and facts in extensive detail, needing little encouragement to set the world to rights. ENTPs are logical, rational and objective in their approach to information and arguments. They expect the same from a debating partner.
The Composer – ISFP Personality
ISFPs are introverts but may not always seem this way. Even if an ISFP has difficulties connecting to other people initially, they eventually grow warm, approachable, and friendly. ISFPs are fun to be around and very spontaneous. This makes them the perfect friend to tag along with an activity, planned or unplanned. ISFPs look to live life to the fullest and embrace the present. This ensures they are always keen to encounter a new experience or make a discovery. ISFPs find wisdom in understanding, so they find more value in meeting new people than other introverted personality types.
16 Personality Types
Everyone wants to learn about themselves. Our TypeExplorer personality test shows you what it means to be you. The TypeExplorer assessment is based on the 16 personality types that were developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, which was built on the work of Carl Jung in the early 1900s.
Which type are you? Take our free personality test ->
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