Personality Type

Based on the theory of psychological types introduced by the famous psychologist Carl G. Jung, people can be characterized by their preference of general attitude (extraverted vs. introverted), their preference of one of the two functions of perception (sensing vs. intuition), and their preference of one of the two functions of judging (thinking vs. feeling) [1]. Isabel Briggs Myers, a researcher and practitioner of Jung’s theory, emphasized the importance of the judging-perceiving relationship as a fourth factor influencing personality type [2]. In other words, Jung's and Briggs Myers' personality typology is based upon the following four dichotomies (bipolar dimensions where each pole represents a different preference):

  • Extraversion (“E”) vs. Introversion (“I”)
  • Sensing (“S”) vs. Intuition (“N”)
  • Thinking (“T”) vs. Feeling (“F”)
  • Judging (“J”) vs. Perceiving (“P”)

This produces 16 different combinations of preferences, or personality types. Each personality type can be assigned a 4 letter acronym of corresponding combination of preferences:

The 16 personality types

The first letter in the personality type acronym corresponds to the first letter of the preference of general attitude - “E” for extraversion and “I” for introversion.

The second letter in the personality type acronym corresponds to the preference within the sensing-intuition dimension: “S” stands for sensing and “N” stands for intuition.

The third letter in the personality type acronym corresponds to preference within the thinking-feeling pair: “T” stands for thinking and “F” stands for feeling.

The forth letter in the personality type acronym corresponds a person’s preference within the judging-perceiving pair: “J” for judging and “P” for perception.

For example:

  • ISTJ stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
  • ENFP stands for Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

Jung Typology Profiler for Workplace™ (JTPW™) instrument determines personality type of an individual and strengths of expressiveness of each of the four preferences.  It goes beyond the 4 Jungian dimensions by evaluating several additional behavioural factors that make it possible to apply Jungian typology to, and effectively assess behavioural preferences of an individual in, the workplace. JTPW™ instrument provides dynamically generated, personalized descriptions of personality types that include such aspects as preferred activities, working style, decision making and problem solving style, conflict management, communication style, and more.

Jung called Extraversion-Introversion preference general attitude, since it reflects an individual’s attitude toward the external world distinguished by the “direction of general interest” [1]: the extravert maintains affinity for, and sources energy from the outer world, whereas the introvert is the other way around – their general interest is directed toward their inner world, which is the source of their energy.

As mentioned above, Jung introduced a pair of judging functions - thinking and feeling - and a pair of perception functions – sensing (or “sensation”), and intuition.

Sensing-Intuition preference represents the method by which one perceives information: Sensing means an individual mainly relies on concrete, actual information -  “in so far as objects release sensations, they matter” [1]), whereas Intuition means a person relies upon their conception about things based on their understanding of the world. Thinking-Feeling preference indicates the way an individual processes information. Thinking preference means an individual makes decisions based on logical reasoning, and is less affected by feelings and emotions. Feeling preference means that an individual's base for decisions is mainly feelings and emotions.

Jung introduced the idea of hierarchy and direction of psychological functions. According to Jung, one of the psychological functions - a function from either judging or perception pair – would be primary (also called dominant).  In other words, one pole of the poles of the two dichotomies (Sensing-Feeling and Thinking-Feeling) dominates over the rest of the poles. The Extraversion-Introversion preference sets the direction of the dominant function: the direction points to the source of energy that feeds it – i.e. to the outer world for extraverts and to the inner world for introverts.

Jung suggested that a function from the complimentary pair would be secondary (also called auxiliary) but still be “a determining factor” [1]. I.e. if Intuition is dominant, then the auxiliary one is either Thinking or Feeling. If Sensing is dominant, then the auxiliary one can also be either Thinking or Feeling. However, if Thinking is dominant, then the auxiliary one is either Sensing or Intuition, and if Feeling is dominant then the auxiliary one is either Sensing or Intuition. In other words, the auxiliary function never belongs to the same dichotomy.

Jung called feeling and thinking types “rational” [1] because they are characterized by the dominance of judging functions that provide reasoning rationale (be it thinking or feeling).  “Rational” or Judging preference results in thinking, feelings, response and behavior that consciously operate in line with certain rules, principles or norms. People with dominant "rational" or judging preference perceive the world as an ordered structure that follows a set of rules.

He called sensing and intuitive types “irrational” [1] because they are characterized by dominance of the functions of perception (either sensing or intuition), and therefore their “commissions and omissions are based not upon reasoned judgment but upon the absolute intensity of perception” [1]. “Irrational” or Perceiving preference operates with opportunities, i.e. with a range of possible outcomes that result from assumed premises or from sensations, mostly driven by the unconscious processes. People with dominant "irrational" or Perceiving preference thinking see the world as a structure that can take various forms and outcomes. It is possible to determine, either by observation or by asking certain questions, preference of Judging vs. Perceiving and the strength thereof in a person.

Applying Jungian Approach in the Workplace

The framework of the 16 personality types has become popular outside of behavioural science and academia, due to its apparent simplicity and thanks to the efforts of Briggs Myers to offer personality type descriptions that are straightforward and relevant enough to ordinary people, and not just to psychologists and behavioural scientists. However, such basic approach to personality type has considerable practical limitations when applied to workplace-related issues. It produces the same, static cliché-like descriptions for different individual realizations of the same personality type, and the descriptions have a general focus rather than a workplace-specific one. In reality, however, Jungian personality types realize themselves in the workplace in a multitude of ways. Each of the Jungian dichotomies may reveal itself in various ways.

Humanmetrics Jung Typology Profiler for Workplace™ (JTPW™) assessment instrument was designed to effectively overcome these limitations. JTPW™ instrument uses methodology, questionnaire, scoring, dynamic descriptions and software that are proprietary to Humanmetrics. Not only does it identify the expressiveness of an individual’s preferences in the above mentioned four Jungian dimensions of personality type, and recognizes the important differences within the same Jungian personality types, it goes beyond by evaluating several additional dimensions that make it possible to apply Jungian typology to, and effectively assess behavioural preferences of an individual in, the workplace. The JTPW™ instrument features several assessment reports that are focused on various behavioural aspects in the workplace and are dynamically personalized based on multiple factors. Another unique feature of the JTPW™ instrument is the JTPW™ Personality Radar™ graph that visually represents the strengths of the key workplace-related behavioural qualities, and offering a comprehensive, yet easy to use, “snapshot” of an individual’s personality in the workplace.

For more in-depth information on using Jung Typology for workplace-related problems, please read the following articles and resources:

Effective Teaming, Team Building

Candidate Selection, Best Fit


  1. Jung, C. G. (1971). Psychological types (Collected works of C. G. Jung, volume 6, Chapter X)
  2. Myers, I. (1980, 1995) Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type.