Personality Type & Proactivity
What's your Personality Type?
Is this Question Old?
Yes, indeed, this is an old question. From the dawn of time, people noticed stark differences between themselves in terms of physical and mental abilities, emotional dispositions, resilience, and so on. In the second century AD, the Roman physician and philosopher Galen of Pergamon came up with the theory of the four temperaments to describe distinctive types of individuals. His method was based on four fundamental types of temperaments:
Sanguine: enthusiastic, active, and social
Choleric: meaning short-tempered, fast, or irritable
Melancholic: analytical, wise, and quiet
Phlegmatic: relaxed and peaceful
Galen’s theory has survived many centuries and is still accepted today. The term temperament broadly refers to consistent individual differences in behavior that are biologically based and very little influenced by learning, a system of values and attitudes. For instance, when babies are born, they display temperaments only. They do not have personality attributes or moral character traits this early in their lives.
One of the most prominent scientists in the field of personality psychology was Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961), a Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. Jung was an outstanding scientist whose work was influential not only in psychiatry but also in several related fields such as anthropology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies. Jung’s theory of personality asserts that people can be classified on the basis of their attitudes and functions.
He defined two attitudes called introvert and extrovert, and four functions, namely intuition, sensing, thinking, and feelings. The term introvert describes people focused on their inner world, while extrovert defines those who focus on the outside world. Regarding the four functions types, Jung described them as follows:
Intuitive types focus on envisioning a wide range of possibilities to a situation and favor ideas, concepts, and theories over data.
Sensing types tend to focus on the reality of present situations, pay close attention to detail, and are concerned with practicalities.
Thinking types use objective and logical reasoning in making their decisions, are more likely to analyze stimuli in a consistent and detached manner, be more emotionally stable, and score higher on intelligence.
Feeling types make judgments based on subjective and personal values. In interpersonal decision-making, feeling types tend to emphasize compromise to ensure a beneficial solution for everyone.
Note: the above information is from Wikipedia’s page /personality-type
Too much Personality Type Psychology?
Yes, of course, because it gives us the science necessary to understand the psychological makeup defining who we are. But I make you a promise: since I am not a psychologist, I will try to use simple English language to describe complex concepts in an easy-to-understand way. But I have to request of you to learn the minimal vocabulary needed to comprehend the core issues which will be beneficial to you. Remember, you are a self-learner and a DIY-er, so prove yourself again here!
Let’s start defining what personality and personality types are. Personality is a specific set of behavior, cognitive, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors. Personality types refer to the classification of those unique sets into different molds.
Most of the current theories of personality types are based on Jung’s model of two attitudes and four functions as outlined above. The four functions operate in conjunction with the two attitudes, meaning that each function is used in either an extraverted or introverted way. Such an approach leads to the following eight possible combinations:
Extraverted sensation, Extraverted intuition, Extraverted thinking, Extraverted feeling,
Introverted sensation, Introverted intuition, Introverted thinking, Introverted feeling.
Starting from Jung’s model, modern psychology came up with several theories on personality types. Most popular are the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI), 16 Personality Factors, the Big Five theory, and the DISC assessment. Another approach, called the Enneagram graph, is not based on Jung’s model, but it, too, is quite successful. Let’s look at each of them succinctly.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) uses the concept of preference, i.e., what you like. For instance, you may prefer talking with a friend over reading books. There are no right or wrong preferences. Reading is not better than talking; each activity has its strengths and its problems. Most people can do both, even if they don't like one or the other. Personality type is what you prefer when you are using your mind. Studies and experience have shown that there are consistent patterns for each person. For example, one pair of preferences is about whether you choose to spend more time in the outside world or more time in your inner world. We call this a choice for extraversion or introversion. Neither is wrong; you just prefer one.
Here are the four dichotomies (opposing terms) on which the MBTI theory is based:
Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I) relates to your favorite world: do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?
Sensing (S) or Intuition (N) communicates how you deal with information: do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in, or you like to interpret and add meaning?
Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) tells your way in making decisions: do you prefer to look at hard facts only or first look at people and particular circumstances?
Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) conveys how you relate to structures: in dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to make judgments, or you’d like to stay open to new options?
The identification and description of the 16 distinctive personality types result from the interactions among the preferences listed above. Let’s provide a few illustrations.
ISTJ personality type results from interacting Introversion + Sensing + Thinking + Judging. Nicknamed Responsible Realist, it is someone who is quietly systematic, organized, factual, pragmatic and analytical. Celebrity in this category: Warren Buffet.
ISFP personality type results from interacting Introversion + Sensing + Feeling + Perceiving. Nicknamed Versatile Supporter, it is someone gentle, caring, adaptable and loyal. Celebrity in this category: Michael Jackson.
ENTJ personality type results from interacting Extroversion + Intuition + Thinking + Judging. Nicknamed Decisive Strategist, it is someone who is a driving organizer, decisive, strategic and assertive. Celebrity in this category: Bill Gates.
For more info visit, www.myersbriggs.org
16 Personality Factors
16 Personality Factors theory is a variation of the MBTI using personality traits rather than types. Instead of creating categories and attempting to fit people in them, a trait-based model simply studies the degree to which people exhibit certain traits. They use the acronym format introduced by Myers-Briggs for its simplicity and convenience, with an extra letter to accommodate five rather than four scales. The additional letter is either A, standing for assertive, or T, meaning Turbulent.
16 Personality Factors use five personality aspects that, when combined, define the personality type: Mind, Energy, Nature, Tactics, and Identity. Each of these aspects should be seen as a two-sided continuum, with the neutral option placed in the middle. Their type system has two layers: the inner one defines roles, the outer one – strategies. The role layer determines goals, interests, and preferred activities. There are four roles: Analyst, Diplomat, Sentinel, and Explorer. The strategy layer shows the favorite ways of doing things and achieving goals. There are four strategies: Confident Individualism, People Mastery, Constant Improvement, and Social Engagement.
For more information, visit www.16personalities.com
The Big Five
The Big Five personality theory was initially developed to help researchers understand the relationship between personality and students’ ability to learn. The method uses five overarching domains assumed to represent the basic structure of all personality traits. These five domains are called Openness, Consciousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. This is what they mean:
Openness to experience, being inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious
Conscientiousness, being efficient/organized vs. extravagant/careless
Extraversion, being outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved
Agreeableness, being friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/callous
Neuroticism, being sensitive/nervous vs. resilient/confident
The Big Five model of personality is widely considered to be the most robust way to describe personality differences. It is the basis of most modern personality research.
For more information visit, Wikipedia.org/wiki/Big-Five-personality-traits
According to www.discprofile.com, DISC is the leading personal assessment tool used by over 1 million people every year to improve work productivity, teamwork, and communication. The DISC assessment, published by Wiley, is a non-judgmental tool used for discussion of people's behavioral differences. The DISC model provides a common language that people can use to understand themselves better and to adapt their behaviors with others — within a work team, a sales relationship, a leadership position, or other relationships.
The DISC model uses four emphasis attributes to differentiate personalities, Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Consciousness.
Dominance: person places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, confidence
Influence: person places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, relationships
Steadiness: person places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, dependability
Conscientiousness: person places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise, competency
For more information, visit: www.discprofile.com
The Enneagram Model
The Enneagram Model differs from most others because it uses nine personality types represented as nine points placed on the circumference of a circle. The nine personality descriptors are: 1 The Reformer, 2 The Helper, 3 The Achiever, 4 The Individualist, 5 The Investigator, 6 The Loyalist, 7 The Enthusiast, 8 The Challenger, 9 The Peacemaker. In addition to the nine personality types, the Enneagram theory identifies three centers of emotional response (instinctive, feeling, and thinking), three levels of development (healthy, average, and unhealthy) and three biological reflexes (self-preservation, sexual, and social).
According to the website of The Enneagram Institute, the Enneagram system is one of the most powerful and insightful tools for understanding ourselves and others. At its core, the Enneagram helps us to explore ourselves at much deeper levels, the objective, and the spiritual. For this reason, its findings can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge, self-improvement and spiritual growth. A unique feature of the Enneagram system is that it can inform us about the relationship between our personality and spirituality. In other words, how our psychological constructs relate to God.
Since the Enneagram subject matter is so fascinating, I will further explore it in one of my upcoming blogs.
What's a Personality Test?
A personality test is a method of assessing human personality constructs. Most of them are introspective self-report questionnaires which are relatively easy to take. Personality tests are devised following the theory they are based on, and the results are interpreted in the same way. For this material, we are interested only in those tests that are self-administered and make an inventory of the respondent’s personality attributes. We also assume that the persons taking the test are reasonably healthy persons who do not exhibit any mental disorders or other psychological conditions that may require medical attention.
Self-administered personality tests are of two broad categories: short tests or quizzes, and full tests. Short tests are designed to provide just a bird’s eye view of the personality traits of the test taker. They may consist of a dozen or so questions and usually are completed in several minutes. In contrast, fuller, more in-depth tests include many items, typically between thirty and sixty, and may require up to a half-hour to complete. The reports provided should provide a reasonable explanation and interpretation of your personality test results.
The main benefit of test-taking is finding out your personality profile, including your strengths and weaknesses. Quite a few people are surprised or disappointed to find out what the test results reveal about themselves. Don’t be! Take the results of short tests with a grain of salt but be thorough in understanding the commentary offered by more complex tests. Use them to create a baseline in your own mind of who you really are and what you need to do to continue on your path of personal development and spiritual growth.
Here are my recommendations on tests that may be beneficial to you.
Quick Personality test. Find out right away your big five personality traits — extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experiences. (10 questions, 5 minutes).
Self-Esteem Abridged test: Self-esteem is a critical component to happiness, assertiveness, and getting the things you want from life. Check out your self-esteem score here. (10 questions, 5 minutes)
Free in-depth tests from www.truity.com
TypeFinder Personality test based on the MBTI system (120 questions, 15 minutes)
DISC Assessment (60 questions, 10 minutes)
After taking the recommended tests, please come back here and reflect on how The Diamond Soul will help you along the way. Remember, my book is a field manual providing practical step-by-step instructions on your personal development.
Use it now!
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