ISTJ

                Introverted, sensing, thinking, and judging. These four words, which are also known collectively as ISTJ of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), describe an individual who values productivity and is persistent, logical, and practical (Northouse, 2013). Furthermore, ISTJs tend to be realistic and more interested in the present rather than the future. They are observant and more focused on facts and details over concepts and theories. People with this personality type are more likely to be structured, organized, logical, and practical. Famous ISTJs include George Washington, Henry Ford, and Warren Buffett. Additionally, doctors, lawyers, and engineers are great career choices for individuals with this personality type (Cherry, 2013).

                Northouse (2013) breaks down the psychological preferences by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each from a leadership perspective. Introverts, as opposed to extraverts, are likely to be quiet and reflective. The downside of individuals who are introverted is that they tend to be hesitant and are slow to decide. Sensors are opposite of intuitors. Individuals who are sensors are practical and action oriented; however, they tend to be less imaginative and more detail oriented than their counterparts. Thinkers, unlike feelers, are objective, rational, and good problem solvers. The leadership negatives associated with this preference is that these individuals are likely to be critical, demanding, and insensitive. Finally, judgers are inclined to be decisive, but are often rigid and inflexible. They are the opposite of perceivers.

                The reason why I am so focused on analyzing the ISTJ personality type is because my score on the Psychodynamic Approach Survey at the end of Chapter 13 of the assigned text interpreted that I was one. For the most part, I think this is a fairly accurate assessment of me. Many of the characteristics listed in the previous paragraph do describe me. I believe that at times I can be quiet, practical, objective, and decisive. However, I do not agree with this assessment completely. Depending on the situation, I may display certain characteristics. For example, in a work setting, I may tend to be introverted as I prefer to think and reflect quietly. However, in a social setting, I am inclined to be extraverted and more outgoing and communicative. The degree of extraversion in these situations may have a direct relationship with the amount of alcohol I have consumed, but nonetheless, I may exhibit different functions of leadership depending on the situation.

                That being said, I believe that the Psychodynamic Approach Survey contains various weaknesses. First and foremost, this survey is an extremely simplified version of the MBTI as it only contains one question for each psychological preference for a total of eight questions. I strongly believe that eight questions are far too few to interpret an individual’s personality type. Furthermore, this survey fails to indicate a way to measure the strength of a preference. For example, if I rated the extravert sentence a 3 and the introvert question a 4, there is not a strong enough preference between the two. Therefore, Northouse (2013) states that you could include either preference. Finally, another weakness for both this survey and the MBTI is that they both fail to take situations into consideration. As mentioned in my personal example in the previous paragraph, people may display different characteristics depending on the situation. All things considered, the psychodynamic approach and the MBTI generally do a good job in analyzing the psychological preferences of how people perceive others and make decisions, but it will be interesting to learn alternate types of assessing leadership and personalities later in this course.

References:

Cherry, K. (2013). About.com Psychology. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/trait-theories-personality/a/istj.htm

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6th edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

1 comment

  1. Hi Ramuel,

    As you mentioned, the test in the book is overly simplified. The actual test can be taken online for around $50 and has many more questions, often based on what your preference is in a given situation. In this way, they do incorporate situations but the organizational context is not considered. There are other weaknesses to MBTI but interestingly enough, though Northouse (2013) mentions that the Myers and Briggs themselves weren’t really qualified to create the test; the tests used now in fact are created by qualified professionals and considered a “level 2 instrument” (L. A., personal communication, January 24, 2013). I’m not sure what that means and the question of Myer’s qualifications definitely touched a nerve with the coordinator at Myers & Briggs that I corresponded with.

    That doesn’t change the fact that there’s subjectivity in interpreting the results and obviously, someone can generate bogus test results. One may answer the questions based on their projected personality traits or self-image, or even take the test trying to get a specific final outcome that they feel is their target or ideal makeup. If one takes the test and answers thoughtfully and honestly, an accurate picture should emerge and real insight is possible. I wonder if there’s a way to take it and expose one’s “shadow self”?

    Cheers, Matt

    References:

    Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (Sixth ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

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