ISFP (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types. Jung proposed a psychological typology based on the theories of cognitive functions that he developed through his clinical observations.
From Jung's work, others developed psychological typologies. Jungian personality assessments include the MBTI assessment, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, developed by David Keirsey. Keirsey referred to ISFPs as Composers, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Artisan. ISFPs account for about 5–10% of the population.
- 1 The MBTI instrument
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Cognitive functions
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The MBTI instrument
- How they focus their attention or get their energy (extraversion or introversion)
- How they perceive or take in information (sensing or intuition)
- How they prefer to make decisions (thinking or feeling)
- How they orient themselves to the external world (judgment or perception)
By using their preference in each of these areas, people develop what Jung and Myers called psychological type. This underlying personality pattern results from the dynamic interaction of their four preferences, in conjunction with environmental influences and their own individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth.
The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four "dichotomies" (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for iNtuition, since I is used for Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.
- Introversion (I) preferred to extraversion: ISFPs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).
- Sensing (S) preferred to intuition: ISFPs tend to be more concrete than abstract. They focus their attention on the details rather than the big picture, and on immediate realities rather than future possibilities.
- Feeling (F) preferred to thinking: ISFPs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
- Perception (P) preferred to judgment: ISFPs tend to withhold judgment and delay important decisions, preferring to "keep their options open" should circumstances change.
According to Myers-Briggs, ISFPs are peaceful, easygoing people who adopt a "live and let live" approach to life. They enjoy taking things at their own pace and tend to live in the moment. Although quiet, they are pleasant, considerate, caring, and devoted to the people in their lives. Though not inclined to debate or necessarily even air their views, their values are important to them.
According to Keirsey, Composer Artisans are grounded in the here and now. They are extremely sensitive to their environment, attuned to the perceptions of their five senses even more than other sensing types are. They notice small variations in their physical world or in the people around them. They are very sensitive to balance and understand well what does or does not fit, whether in a work of art or any other aspect of their lives. ISFPs are highly conscious of their companions, but they prefer to allow others to direct their own lives. ISFPs tend to be emotionally well rounded and empathetic toward others.
Statistical correlations with the Enneagram of Personality
Drawing upon Jungian theory, Isabel Myers proposed that for each personality type, the cognitive functions (sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling) form a hierarchy. This hierarchy represents the person's default pattern of behavior.
The Dominant function is the personality type's preferred role, the one they feel most comfortable with. The secondary Auxiliary function serves to support and expand on the Dominant function. If the Dominant is an information gathering function (sensing or intuition), the Auxiliary is a decision making function (thinking or feeling), and vice versa. The Tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary, but it matures over time, rounding out the person's abilities. The Inferior function is the personality type's fatal weakness. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the Tertiary, the Inferior function strengthens with maturity.
Jung and Myers considered the attitude of the Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions to be the opposite of the Dominant. In this interpretation, if the Dominant function is extraverted, then the other three are introverted, and vice versa. However, many modern practitioners hold that the attitude of the Tertiary function is the same as the Dominant. Using the more modern interpretation, the cognitive functions of the ISFP are as follows:
Dominant: Introverted Feeling (Fi)
Fi filters information based on interpretations of worth, forming judgments according to criteria that are often intangible. Fi constantly balances an internal set of values such as harmony and authenticity. Attuned to subtle distinctions, Fi innately senses what is true and what is false in a situation.
Auxiliary: Extraverted Sensing (Se)
Se focuses on the experiences and sensations of the immediate, physical world. With an acute awareness of the present surroundings, it brings relevant facts and details to the forefront and may lead to spontaneous action.
Tertiary: Introverted Intuition (Ni)
Attracted to symbolic actions or devices, Ni synthesizes seeming paradoxes to create the previously unimagined. These realizations come with a certainty that demands action to fulfill a new vision of the future, solutions that may include complex systems or universal truths.
Inferior: Extraverted Thinking (Te)
Te organizes and schedules ideas and the environment to ensure the effective, productive pursuit of objectives. Te seeks logical explanations for actions, events, and conclusions, looking for faulty reasoning and lapses in sequence.
Later personality researchers (notably Linda V. Berens) added four additional functions to the descending hierarchy, the so-called "shadow" functions to which the individual is not naturally inclined but which can emerge when the person is under stress. For ISFP, these shadow functions are (in order):
- Extraverted Feeling (Fe): Fe seeks social connections and creates harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. Fe responds to the explicit (and implicit) wants of others, and may even create an internal conflict between the subject’s own needs and the desire to meet the needs of others.
- Introverted Sensing (Si): Si collects data in the present moment and compares it with past experiences, a process that sometimes evokes the feelings associated with memory, as if the subject were reliving it. Seeking to protect what is familiar, Si draws upon history to form goals and expectations about what will happen in the future.
- Extraverted Intuition (Ne): Ne finds and interprets hidden meanings, using “what if” questions to explore alternatives, allowing multiple possibilities to coexist. This imaginative play weaves together insights and experiences from various sources to form a new whole, which can then become a catalyst to action.
- Introverted Thinking (Ti): Ti seeks precision, such as the exact word to express an idea. It notices the minute distinctions that define the essence of things, then analyzes and classifies them. Ti examines all sides of an issue, looking to solve problems while minimizing effort and risk. It uses models to root out logical inconsistency.
- "Myers-Briggs Foundation: The 16 MBTI Types". Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- "Keirsey.com Portrait of the Composer". Retrieved 10 January 2010.
- "CAPT". Retrieved 2008-10-13.
- Myers, Isabel Briggs (1998). Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.
- Myers, Isabel Briggs; Mary H. McCaulley (1985). Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-89106-027-8.
- "Changing Minds: Extraversion vs. Introversion". Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- "Changing Minds: Sensing vs. Intuiting". Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- "Changing Minds: Thinking vs. Feeling". Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- "Changing Minds: Judging vs. Perceiving". Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- "Jackson, an ISFP". Retrieved 2009-06-01.
- Wagele/Baron, p.155
- Barron-Tieger, Barbara; Tieger, Paul D. (1995). Do what you are: discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-84522-1.
- Myers, Isabel Briggs; Mary H. McCaulley (1985). Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. ISBN 0-89106-027-8.
- "Cognitive Processes: Introverted feeling". Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "Cognitive Processes: Extraverted Sensing". Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "Cognitive Processes: Introverted intuition". Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "Cognitive Processes: Extraverted thinking". Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "CognitiveProcesses.com". Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- "Cognitive Processes: Extraverted Feeling". Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "Cognitive Processes: Introverted sensing". Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "Cognitive Processes: Extraverted intuition". Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "Cognitive Processes: Introverted thinking". Retrieved 2009-05-12.