What is Myers-Briggs? It’s an analysis of personality types. You may not get many surprises by taking the test yourself, but it may explain some things about yourself to yourself. Even better, it can be a useful tool for writers.
You’ll find 72 questions that result in an interesting personality analysis. There are four main areas being analyzed, with two choices in each. Combined in all possible ways, that makes 16 combinations of letters—16 distinct personality types.
The first letter is I or E. Most of us already know whether we are Introverts or Extroverts (introverts being defined as people who draw strength from silence and solitariness, while extroverts draw strength from crowds and busyness).
The second pair of letters are S (sensing) or N (iNtuition). This pair examines your tendency to look at incoming information as basic information … or interpreted to add meaning.
The third pair of letters, T (thinking) and F (feeling), relate to how you make decisions. If you’re strong in T, you’re consistently logical, where F is more likely to consider the nuances of the circumstance.
The fourth combination analyzes how you feel about structure. If you’re a planner and decider, you’re likely a J (judging), as a P (perceiving), stays more flexible to new options and information.
In any of the four areas, you may find your results to be very strong, or you may find that you’re fairly balanced between the two types. You may think, so what? It’s fun for most people to know, especially as each comes with a little paragraph that explains your type.
But that’s only the beginning. The test also tells you the types of careers you’d be good at and what famous people have the same personality. Even more fun (this may depend on your definition of fun…) is entering your significant other’s personality type into the marriage testand seeing how compatible the pair of you are in the long term.
As a writer, are your gears turning yet? Because this is where it gets even more intriguing.
- How to use #MyersBriggs personality test for your fictional characters: click to tweet
- If knowing your #MyersBrigg personality type can help you, think how much it will help an author in character building! click to tweet
Take the test as your main character. Instead of responding as yourself, consider how she looks at life. You may be a total hermit writing about an impulsive partier. So take the test for her and see what her analysis says about her. Is she in a good career for her personality? If not, should you change it…or should you show some misery during work hours?
Then, for added dimension, take the test for her love interest as well. Put the two of them in the marriage test and consider whether they can be truly happy together. Are you trying to get the wrong couple together?
Or…what natural conflicts can you see coming from the clash of their personalities that you may not have thought of before?
Have you used Myers-Briggs or a similar personality analysis tool to deepen your fictional characters? In comments, let me know how it worked for you.