Jungian Theory in Personality Assessments


Jungian Theory in Personality Assessments

Tiffany M.

Personality Development


Take the MBTI now, if you’re interested.

On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI), I scored ENFJ.  (Note:  Since, I score an INFJ, because of medication changes.)  ENFJ personality breaks down into traits that are extroverted, intuition, feeling, and judging.  Mostly, I would agree with this assessment of my personality.  However, I feel it is a limited, as many others have criticized.  Jung asserts that extraverts project their energies outward to others and their environment and characterizes these people as sociable.  I feel I embody this description to a point.  I would be more inclined to believe that it is a better measure of sociability.  I disagree that personality type is affected by heredity, seeing as how neither one of my parents is ENFJ, and only my father scored as an extravert.  In addition, I don’t agree that personality is static throughout an entire lifetime.  Jung’s personality theory neglects attention to childhood development and major events affecting adult development.  I feel that I am very intuitive, however, I once again don’t feel as if I completely fit the description.  While I am apt to “tune in” to others and have a certain innate understanding of situations as well as their outcomes, I don’t feel as if I’m focused on the “big picture”.  Family, friends, and co-workers can attest to my attention to detail and highly cultivated level of organization.  The assessment of feeling is given when people are thought to place value on things that create a positive emotional response.  This is opposed to utilizing logic for decision making.  I feel that is a very hedonistic evaluation.  We all, as humans, are subject to hedonism according to Freud’s Hedonic Hypothesis.  By this logic, that would place all humans into the feeling category.  Instead, Planap and Fitness proposed that said traits function together.  Therefore, I am able to embody both empathy and logic.  Another problem with this assessment is the obvious gender bias.  Jung personally though that women typically score “feeling” and men score “thinking”.  This can even be seen in my marriage.  My husband and I are fundamentally the same, hence the original attraction.  However, on the MBTI, he scored ENTJ.  The only difference between my husband and myself is the way that we process emotions.  Perhaps this scale measures empathy and expression of emotions better than it’s original intention.  (Judging)

The MBTI is the most recognized and frequently employed assessment when “measuring Jungian functions”. (pg 88 review citation)  Essentially, the MBTI is based on Jungian personality theory and hardly differs.  It incorporates the eight basic personality types in Jungian theory.  These psychetypes combine extroversion and introversion with thinking or feeling and intuition or sensation in pairs of two.  The MBTI expands upon Jungian personality theory by identifying a fourth trait which functions as a person’s conscious interaction with the external world.  This trait works differently for extraverts and introverts.  In extraverts, the fourth trait is the dominant function and contrastingly introverts utilize it as an auxiliary function.  For example, one assessing a MBTI result can combine extroverted with either judging or thinking as how they interact with their environment.  The other functions are introverted and therefore how they deal with themselves.  For introverts, it is the reverse.  By allowing a fourth trait, the MBTI provides a more comprehensive analysis with sixteen types instead of the eight in Jungian typology.

MBTI has a high degree of reliability and validity; it is objective and free of interpretation by the administrator.  The Inkblot exam is purely subjective, and also, subject to the subjective interpretation of the administrator.  MBTI measures the types of individuals, while the Inkblot exam measures individual traits of individuals.  It seems that each time an individual takes the MBTI they score the same or close to the same as the time before; however, an individual may not picture the same things he once saw in an inkblot revealing that the inkblot has a low test-retest reliability.  In the case of the Inkblot exam, it would mean that individual personalities are constantly subject to change.  While personality is subject to revision, it is not subject to total change.  The inherent, learned traits that an individual has will remain with them, despite certain revisions.  Each exam, however, provides valuable information about the individual’s personality and therefore a tool in evaluating a client.

This information is essential in a therapeutic setting.  Each assessment has a purpose.  MBTI is excellent for getting a feel for the patient and understanding their basic personality.  It is also been proven as an excellent tool for career placement.  It has advantages for the patient as well.  As the patient gains a better understanding of themselves, they will also be able to understand their emotions, thoughts, and motives.  This way, they can learn how to cope and self-regulate.  Inkblot and other projective tests provide a look into the subconscious.  This may reveal repressed emotions and impulses.  Once these are brought to light, the patient can then begin mitigating them and expressing them in healthy ways.  Personality disruption and abnormal behavior and development can then be resolved, resulting in a balancing affect and creating a more whole personality.  Therefore, these assessments, combined with psychotherapy can resolve conflict, establish healthy coping mechanisms, and reunify a person to promote functionality.


Kaplan. (2008). Past and Present Views on Personality. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. (n.d.). Retrieved September 15, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator

Phanalp, S., & Fitness, J. (n.d.). Thinking/Feeling about Social and Personal Relationships — Planalp and Fitness 16 (6): 731 — Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Retrieved September 15, 2009, from http://spr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/16/6/731

15 thoughts on “Jungian Theory in Personality Assessments

  1. I took it. INFJ

    Introvert(78%) iNtuitive(25%) iNtuitive Feeling(12%) Judging(39%)
    •You have strong preference of Introversion over Extraversion (78%)
    •You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (25%)
    •You have slight preference of Feeling over Thinking (12%)
    •You have moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving (39%)

    I disagree on feeling over thinking somewhat and especially Judging over Perceiving. Also, I think that my results could change a lot if I took the same test a few weeks later.

    • That’s the fun thing about the nature of our disorder. Wait a couple of weeks and see what happens, lol. I flip back and forth from ENFJ to INFJ. Mania, depression, and anxiety all mixed together in personality traits.

      • right and also, a lot of my answers are totally different than what they would have been if I hadn’t had the breakdown. I think that the test I told back then to determine my diagnosis was scewed because part of the test I thought like I did before hand and then part of the answers were me afterward. I am different like night and day now.

        • It’s interesting you say that, because it dates back the age old question of whether personality is static or not. I wish I had the paper I wrote on the malleability of personality. Maybe I’ll just write another one.

          Anyway, it is in my educated opinion that personality is only mildly static. The only thing that can greatly change personality is a great life event, such as a serious illness or accident. And even then, the effects might only be temporary, such as in the duration of the distress concerning the accident or illness.

          But, there remains a few exceptions. In the case with mental illness and neurological diseases, personality may not be static. The brain is a very poorly understood thing. Therefore, we cannot exactly pinpoint what a degenerative disease, like MS, will actually do. Even blunt force trauma to the head might be enough to jar something loose.

          I don’t think mental illness is without exception here. But, I do have the belief that there absolutely were precursors prior to the onset.

        • I agree in most cases thats true. Even if a persons habits change, inside peoples way of looking at things stays relatively the same unless something major happeneds. Even though my spiritaul self has changed, my personality is pretty much the same as it was. Yet all my life I have been fluctualting in my actions and opinions. I guess that means I have been bipolar all my life?

        • No, I don’t think it’s been your entire life. I think you were predisposed and then maybe there was an event that triggered it. That’s usually how schizophrenia first presents. Maybe there was something eccentric or unusual, but it wasn’t as global or disordered as it is now.

        • well I htought that my breakdown brought my bipolar out in the open but me and even my mother has talked about how I have always changed. She used to even use me as a way to decided something. She would say, “if Carla gets in the car this morning and is talketive, then I will do such and such and if she is quiet today I won’t do it”. lol

  2. ENFJ
    Extravert(56%) iNtuitive(12%) iNtuitive Feeling(50%) Judging(44%)
    You have moderate preference of Extraversion over Introversion (56%)
    You have slight preference of Intuition over Sensing (12%)
    You have moderate preference of Feeling over Thinking (50%)
    You have moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving (44%)

  3. I always score an INTJ whenever I take the Myers-Briggs. I think this was Jung’s greatest (and probably, most sound, if not the only truly sound) contribution to the field.

  4. Pingback: Dario Nardi – Neuroscience of Personality | Lugen Family Office

  5. Ugh, my computer keeps doing weird things and I lost my original comment.

    I was saying that usually I score INFJ, but I also often switch between the Feeling and Thinking when I take it. I feel like I am often more empathetic than the average person but also more logical than the average person. I feel like that’s an interesting and rather odd dichotomy.

    • I like that, because it’s not your usual switch between I and E in this case. How far do you usual score inside of the J and the T?

      • Yeah, my “I” is always quite pronounced, lol. Usually, with the “F” and the “T” (is that what you meant?), I score in the 40-50 range. Which I guess is the moderate one, so I switch between the moderate version of both.

        • Hmm, I find that very interesting. I wanted to rewrite a paper I did on the rigidity of personality. I have a theory that we’re pretty static in terms of personality, but I’m wondering how disorder plays a role. Do you think disorder plays a role in our personalities? Or is it in the presentation or view of ourselves?

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