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This article is about the Myers-Briggs personality type. For the Socionics INFj, see Ethical Intuitive Introvert.

INFJ (Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging) is an acronym used in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) publications to refer to one of the sixteen personality types.[1][2] The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types, which proposed a psychological typology based on his theories of cognitive functions. These theories were based on clinical observation, however, rather than the controlled studies required for acceptance by the modern field of cognitive psychology.[3]

From Jung's work, others developed psychological typologies. Well-known personality tests are the MBTI assessment, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, developed by David Keirsey. Keirsey referred to the INFJs as Counselors, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Idealists.[4] According to some sources, INFJ is the rarest personality type.[5]


[edit] The MBTI instrument

The MBTI preferences indicate the differences in people based on the following:[6]

By using their preference in each of these areas, people develop what Jung and Myers called psychological type. This underlying personality pattern results from the dynamic interaction of their four preferences, in conjunction with environmental influences and their own individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth.

The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four "dichotomies" (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for iNtuition, to differentiate it from Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.[7]

  • I – Introversion preferred to Extraversion: INFJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).[8]
  • N – iNtuition preferred to Sensing: INFJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.[9]
  • F – Feeling preferred to Thinking: INFJs tend to rely on a personal, internal sense of right and wrong rather than external, objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to feelings and social considerations than to logic.[10]
  • J – Judgment preferred to Perception: INFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability, which to perceptive types may seem limiting. [11]

[edit] Characteristics of INFJs

INFJs are conscientious and value-driven. They seek meaning in relationships, ideas, and events, with an eye toward better understanding themselves and others. Using their intuitive skills, they develop a clear vision, which they then execute decisively to better the lives of others. Like their INTJ counterparts, INFJs regard problems as opportunities to design and implement creative solutions.[12]

INFJs are quiet, private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Although very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner. [13]

Accounting for 1–3% of the population,[14] INFJs have a rich, vivid inner life, which they may be reluctant to share with those around them. Nevertheless, they are congenial in their interactions, and perceptive of the emotions of others. Generally well-liked by their peers, they may often be considered close friends and confidants by most other types. However, they are guarded in expressing their own feelings, especially to new people, and so tend to establish close relationships slowly. INFJs tend to be easily hurt, though they may not reveal this except to their closest companions. INFJs may "silently withdraw as a way of setting limits," rather than expressing their wounded feelings—a behavior that may leave others confused and upset.[15]

INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately and deeply woven, mysterious, and highly complex, sometimes puzzling even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world, but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they could understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired.[16] Yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition.[17]

[edit] Cognitive functions

For each personality type, the cognitive functions—sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling—form a hierarchy. This represents the person's "default" pattern of behavior in their day to day life. The Dominant is the personality type's preferred role, the one they feel most comfortable with. The secondary function, the Auxiliary, serves to support and expand on the dominant function. If the Dominant is an information gathering function (sensing or intuition), the Auxiliary is a decision making function (thinking or feeling), and vice versa. The tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary, but it develops as the person matures, providing roundness of ability. The inferior function is the personality type's Achilles' heel. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the tertiary function, the inferior function strengthens with maturity.[18]

  • Dominant Introverted Intuition (Ni)
  • Auxiliary Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
  • Tertiary Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  • Inferior Extraverted Sensing (Se)

[edit] Correlation with Enneatype

According to Baron and Wagele, the most common Enneatype for INFJs is the Romantic.[19]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Type
  2. ^ Preference
  3. ^ Skeptic's dictionary>
  4. ^ . Temperament
  5. ^ "MBTI Statistics '98". Retrieved on 2008-11-21. 
  6. ^ Myers, Isabel Briggs (1998). Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.. 
  7. ^ Myers, Isabel Briggs; Mary H. McCaulley (1985) (in English). Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (2nd edition ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press. pp. 52. ISBN 0-89106-027-8. 
  8. ^ "Changing Minds: Extraversion vs. Introversion". Retrieved on 2009-01-10. 
  9. ^ "Changing Minds: Sensing vs. Intuiting". Retrieved on 2009-01-10. 
  10. ^ "Changing Minds: Thinking vs. Feeling". Retrieved on 2009-01-10. 
  11. ^ "Changing Minds: Judging vs. Perceiving". Retrieved on 2009-01-10. 
  12. ^ MBTI INFJ
  13. ^ Keirsey Counselor
  14. ^ "Estimated Frequencies of Types". Center for Applications of Psychological Type, Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-04-24. 
  15. ^ Baron, Renee (1998). What Type Am I: Discover Who You Really Are. New York, NY: Penguin Books. pp. 141. ISBN 0 14 02.6941. 
  16. ^ Dolphin Cove
  17. ^ Personality Page INFJ
  18. ^ Barron-Tieger, Barbara; Tieger, Paul D. (1995). Do what you are: discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-84522-1. 
  19. ^ * Wagele, Elizabeth; and Renee Baron (1994). The Enneagram Made Easy. HarperOne. ISBN 0-06-251026-6. 

[edit] External links

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