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What is the MBTI and why should you care?

There are around 7.9 billion people living on our planet, meaning there are around 7.9 billion personalities. Have you ever wondered if some personalities can be grouped together? Have you noticed certain individuals in your life have similar traits as you, while others differ completely? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality questionnaire that shows differences in the way people perceive the world and make decisions.

After answering a series of questions regarding yourself, you are assigned one of sixteen personality types. The sixteen distinctive personality types are a result of 4 different dichotomies. The first dichotomy is between introversion (I) or extroversion (E): do you resonate more with your own inner world, or the outer world? The second is between sensing (S) or intuition (I): do you prefer to focus on the information given to you, or do you prefer to interpret the information and add your own meanings? The third is between thinking (T) or feeling (F): when faced with a decision, do you first look at it through logic, or do you look at people and certain circumstances? The last dichotomy is between judging (J) and perceiving (P): do you prefer to get things decided, or are you open to new options? Based on your answers during the questionnaire, you will receive your own personality type expressed as four letters. Some examples are ISTJ, ESFP, INTP, ENTJ, and all other sixteen combinations of the letters.

The MBTI personality types are meant to appreciate and better understand differences between people. The benefits of knowing your personality type are abundant; I will focus on two I find to be of utmost importance. Firstly, it can help you choose a career path. It can help identify the type of person you are and generate a list of careers that match your personality. It can also help you select courses you may excel in and those that would help you reach your end goals. By understanding how you make decisions and approach problems, you can be better equipped to choose the right path for yourself. In addition to career design, the MBTI personality types can help you navigate relationships in your life. It is easier to understand why people you care about make certain decisions and judgments that may not align with yours when you understand their personality types. Knowledge of the different MBTI personality types can help you see that individuals have different ways of being, and all should be appreciated. Personally, the MBTI questionnaire has helped me understand myself and solidify big decisions. I have also been able to better understand my loved ones’ decisions and processes they use to solve problems. I recommend trying the MBTI questionnaire to learn more about yourselves and apply it to your everyday life!

Sara Malhotra

McMaster '23

Sara Malhotra is an avid reader and writer from Toronto, Canada. She is currently studying Life Sciences at McMaster University. As a passion, she enjoys painting as well as finding different outlets to explore her creativity. Sara is excited to continue her journey as a writer with HerCampus!
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