When creating a character, using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test is a useful tool. However, after my previous post, I got to thinking, thanks to a comment, that the MBTI personality test does not dictate absolutely how someone behaves. It’s more of a general guideline.
For example, when I did my test, I found I was an INTJ. But I also mentioned in the post that my ratings for each aspect were between 25 and 75%. My strongest was the T (thinking), as I am rather logical and analytical in my decision-making. I rarely let emotion decide for me, but sometimes I do, usually related to food. If it has bacon, my emotional side takes over and tells my usually dominant rational side to shut up and eat. Bacon has incredible powers. But back to the main topic, although I do love bacon. My weakest category was the N (intuitive). This doesn’t mean that my intuitive side is weak, it’s just that it’s more balanced with the S (sensing) trait. What this means is that while I am good at planning, seeing the big picture, and able to predict outcomes, I am also getting some influence from the sensing side, which means I do see the details and focus on the present. I get the best of both worlds in that case.
When the percentages are below, it’s far less certain about what behaviours you or your characters will do. If it’s closer to 100%, they are strongly following that aspect, but anything under, and especially closer to 0%, it’s highly unlikely that they will firmly be the type you determined them to be.
So what I’m saying is that even if you have figured out your character’s personality type, you don’t have to rely on it to dictate your character’s behaviour. You can fudge it a bit. Or a lot. It’s up to you. Just don’t rely on the indicators, because humans are flexible. I may seem unflappable, but tempt me with bacon (or chocolate ice cream), and I will let go of my 75% thinking brain and let that 25% feeling brain take over.