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Personality Dimensions of MBTI Theory

The E-I dimension describes a person's basic orientation to life, the S-N dimension describes the preference in perceiving things, the T-F dimension describes decision-making style, and the J-P dimension describes way of coping with the outside world.

Personality Dimensions of MBTI Theory

1. Stance Against Life

People take an introverted or extroverted attitude towards life. The important thing in this dimension is where the person gets the energy and where s/he directs it. No one is completely introverted or extroverted. Ideal behavior is balancing introverted and extroverted attitudes. Balancing effort is a gateway for personal growth (Jacobi, 2002).

1.1. Introversion (I)

Introverted people are called self-conscious, asocial, and quiet in society. They like spending time alone. They gather energy and rest when they are alone. They don't like being the center of interest. They think first, then act. They keep most of their feelings and thoughts to themselves. They open their inner world to very few people. They are reliable in keeping secrets. They prefer to listen rather than speak (listen – speak – listen) (Kummerow & Maguire, 2010). They keep their excitement, happiness, and sadness to themselves. They act cautiously, react to events after thinking. Their acts are measured and controlled. They regret their decisions less than the extroverts because they think and make decisions well. They avoid sudden reactions. Their main weakness is their tendency to be impractical at all. They can easily concentrate, and they are not easily distracted by the movements and noise around them. They prefer to learn by observation. Their behaviors are timid and skeptical (Kennedy & Kennedy, 2004).

1.2. Extroversion (E)

Extroverted people are called social, sociable, self-expressive people in society. They like being with people and being the center of attention. They gather energy when they are with other people. Their biggest fear is that there is no one around them. Their reaction is sudden and instant. They act first, then they think. Therefore, they may be hasty and regret it later on. They prefer to speak rather than listen. They open themselves up easily and are comfortable sharing their world with people. They love to communicate; they are especially good at verbal communication. They can easily adapt to their environment and make friends (Kummerow & Maguire, 2010). They are successful in one-to-one and group communications, practical solutions, and actions. They spend their energy on the conditions and demands of the outside world, which they believe to be life itself. They learn by living and experiencing. Their behaviors are relaxed and safe (Reiss, 2008).

2. Process of Obtaining Information

People obtain information from the outside world either through their intuition or their five senses. No one collects information by their own complete intuition or complete five senses. However, one of the functions of intuition and five senses is dominant in a person, and the dominant function has an effect that determines the personality (Sharf, 2016).

2.1. Intuition (N)

Intuition is also called the sixth sense, imagination, and inspiration in the society. Intuitive people trust their inspiration and intuition. They love new ideas and concepts as they are new and different. They care about imagination and innovations. Therefore, they are successful in picking up opportunities. However, they may overlook that not all innovations can be useful at times (Sharf, 2016). They find different and original methods, words. They read between the lines very well and can guess what is not said. They like trying new ways. They don't like things that become ordinary or concrete. If they have to do the same thing over and over, they prefer to do it in a different way. Often, they care about the picture, seeing the big picture is very important for intuitive people. They like using stories, metaphors, proverbs, and idioms in their speeches. They are focused on the future. This situation can sometimes prevent them from living in the moment. They are inventors and progressives. They can see possibilities and alternatives unseen at first glance and go beyond sight. They have high expectations from life. They trust implications and results. They are very excited about a new proposal, item, person, or place (Grutter, 2003).

2.2. Sensing (S)

People with strong five senses are known as risk aversion. Their senses of sight, hearing, touch, and taste are highly sensitive. They focus their attention on the information they have with their five senses. They rely on concrete and clear things. They like new ideas if they have practical technics. They care about common sense and are realistic. They trust known ways more; they give importance to experience. They give importance to details and use concrete examples in their expressions which are clear, realistic, and detailed. They follow a path from part to whole. They enjoy activities that involve physical movement. When they get a skill, they like using it over and over again. In this way, they can specialize in a skill. They live in the moment mostly (Jung, 2001).

3. Process of Thinking and Decision-Making

Thinking and feeling are competing elements in decision-making. Both are reasonable and self-consistent, but they also have their own rules. Either emotions or logic plays a leading role in the operation of processing and thinking the information acquired by the person. No one always makes decisions with their logic or emotions. However, one of these functions is more dominant in the decision-making process of the person, and the dominant function has an effect that determines the personality (Sharf, 2016).

3.1. Thinking (T)

People who make decisions with logic, analyze problems from an impersonal perspective. They can evaluate the problems by separating them from their personalities. They attach importance to logic, justice, equality, and honesty. They think that honesty is more important than kindness. They have strong management skills rather than artistry. They care about emotions only if the emotions are reasonable. They are motivated by a desire for success and results. They don't expect any appreciation and they don't appreciate either. They make decisions according to their own opinions; they put forward their logic rather than their feelings. They prefer to stay outside and evaluate events rather than go into and experience them. They want the necessity of a rule or prohibition to be explained in the chain of cause and effect. They easily notice and criticize mistakes. When they criticize, they do not think that the person in front of them will be hurt or upset (Sharf, 2016). They are convinced if the subject is expressed in logical integrity (Quenk, 2009).

3.2. Feeling (F)

People who make decisions with their emotions, consider the effects of what they do on other people. Before deciding, they think about how people will be affected by the decision they make (Quenk, 2009). They attach importance to empathy, harmony, and compassion. Sometimes they hesitate to say their thoughts just so that the harmony is not broken. They think that rules can be stretched to people's situations. They care about having good relationships with people and making them happy. They are motivated by appreciation and expect appreciation for what they do. They think it is important to be kind and polite. In the case of decision-making and conclusion, they use their emotions rather than their thoughts. They are helpful people; they enjoy helping people (Kennedy & Kennedy, 2004). They are convinced if the subject is expressed in an affectionate and polite style rather than in logical integrity.

4. Way of Organizing Life

People are flexible or decisive in the process of implementing the decisions they make. Decisive people believe that people should direct their own lives, while flexible people believe that life can be recognized by living. Therefore, there is a wide range between people's behavior in the process of implementing their decisions (Sharf, 2016).

4.1. Perceiving

Flexible people feel more comfortable by leaving options open. They think that they can finish their work in the process and spend time having fun. The philosophy of flexible people is fun first, then work. They tend to constantly delay their decisions as they change goals according to new information. They are easily adapted to new situations and events. They are open to change, easy going, and tolerant. They are curious, so they ask lots of questions. They want to learn more, see more and get to know their surroundings. They find the rules limiting. Flexible people like to start a business, but they are not good at the plan - program enough (Kummerow & Maguire, 2010).

4.2. Judging

Decisive people feel comfortable after making their decisions. Therefore, their decision-making processes are quick and easy. They have work disciplines. If they have time after they are done, they spare time to have fun. They are responsible, so they try to finish a job they take responsibility for at any cost. They set their goals in advance and try to reach them. They gather information before they start a business. It gives them happiness to finish a project. Unplanned, sudden changes and uncertainty discomfort them. They go to meetings and appointments on time. They are neat, aimful, and meticulous (Jacobi, 2002).


Grutter, J. (2003). Using the MBTI instrument for student career development. . In J. A. Provost, & S. Anchors, Using the MBTI instrument in colleges and universities (pp. 321-370).

Jacobi, J. (2002). Jung Psikolojisi. İstanbul: Mart Matbaacılık.

Jung, C. G. (2001). Modern man in search of a soul. Psychology Press.

Kennedy, R. B., & Kennedy, D. A. (2004). Using the Myers‐Briggs Type İndicator® in Career Counseling. Journal of Employment Counseling, 41(1), 38-44.

Kummerow, J. M., & Maguire, M. J. (2010). Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Framework with an Adlerian Perspective to Increase Collaborative Problem Solving in an Organization. Journal of Individual Psychology, 66(2), 188-200.

Quenk, N. L. (2009). Essentials of Myers-Briggs type indicator assessment. John Wiley & Sons.

Reiss, S. (2008). The normal personality: A new way of thinking about people. Cambridge University Press.

Sharf, R. S. (2016). Applying career development theory to counseling. Nelson Education.


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