Meyers-Briggs: A tool for Character Development?


October 22, 2012 by chriszumtobel

The Meyers-Briggs test has been around since World War II, but I only took it for the first time a couple of nights ago.  I was amazed by the accuracy of the test and the way it reinforced many, many things I already thought about myself.

First of all, I highly recommend taking the test online.  Not only will it help you to understand yourself, but it is very useful to understand others around you as well.  After taking the test choose your given four letters on this website to read your portrait.

It is a blast to read the portrait of yourself, not to mention very inspirational.  I found out that I am Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Judging (INFJ), meaning that I “hold deep convictions about the weightier matters in life” and I am “distinguished by both my complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of my talents.”  Not only that but I am in 1% of the population and in the same group as Chaucer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, and Jerry Seinfeld.  How’s that for company?

I love to read mine and find myself reading and rereading it again and again, each time finding something new that lines up perfectly with the way I think about things.  I’m not sure if it is really as accurate as it seems or is just making me feel good about myself, but a lot of family and friends have taken the test since and it has fit all of them almost ‘to a t’.

Go ahead and try it for yourself and read below about how it can be used in your writing!

Useful for Authors?

As much of an asset as it can be for people in business, I think the Meyers-Briggs personality test can be even more of a tool for writing.  If you follow the advice of two of my favorite writers,

Ray Bradbury

“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Character is plot, plot is character.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Then you will understand the importance of deep, interesting characters to make for an engaging story.  Why not give your character the ultimate test?  Take the typology test and answer each of the questions as though you were your character.

If you have already written the story, then see how you character’s actions line up with the profile you are given.  If you are just beginning the story, use the profile as a means for developing your character on the path towards developing a plot worth reading.

Have you taken the test? Has your protagonist taken the test? Give it a shot!


2 thoughts on “Meyers-Briggs: A tool for Character Development?

  1. tinker3333 says:

    There’s an interesting book on this subject called ‘Type Talk at Work’. It’s quite an interesting read as it describles how each type would think or react in different situations. I enjoyed it!

    • I have that book on my bedside table right now and have been reading it as well! Really in-depth on each of the types and how to understand the people around you and the way they think. Great stuff. Thanks for the comment!

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