The Sacred in the Secular

Seeking Cultural Truths

MBTI Typing

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I get a LOT of searches on this blog for the MBTI type of various fictional characters. This tumblr is where I store all that information. Browsing the archives or by personality type will probably locate the character you’re searching for. I also take requests, but I have a pretty big backlog at this point so if I’m not familiar with the character, it will take awhile to fill the request.

Learning to Accurately Type Characters

Here’s my method and suggestions for learning how to type fictional characters.

Forget everything you’ve learned about MBTI.

If you’re typing yourself or fictional characters by the four letters, you may be wildly inaccurate. I’ve been there, done that, and it’s not fun — but what is fun is when you figure out a character’s type and are completely on target. The only way to do that is by cognitive functions.

What are cognitive functions?

They influence how you respond and are your basic internal makeup. They are the reasons WHY you do WHAT you do. You have two dominant functions that influence your behavior, and two lesser functions that also play a role, although your fourth function is your weakest and often only turns up under extreme stress or anxiety.

The eight functions are these (I’m using the term “Internal” and “External,” even though other people use “Introverted” and “Extroverted,” because the latter can be confused with Introversion and Extroversion in general, and people can get hung up by saying “I’m not an Extrovert, how can I have Extrovert-Anything?”).

Eight Cognitive Functions: (shortened significantly to their dominant traits)

External Sensing: living in the moment, being totally aware of your environment

Internal Sensing: nostalgic, often compares the present to the past, traditional

External Intuition: knows things intuitively without evidence, has big ideas

Internal Intuition: can predict all possible outcomes to a situation, a visionary

External Thinking: by the book, organization for efficiency, systematic

Internal Thinking: analyzing everything, wants to know how things work

External Feeling: adapts to the emotions of others, takes care of them

Internal Feeling: strong personal emotions, independent of others

Everyone uses four of these functions in daily life (either Si or Se, Ni/Ne, Ti/Te, Fi/Fe). The order of these functions determines your personality type.

Lets use Harry Potter and Ron Weasley as an example. Both of them use Se — they live in the moment, don’t really think about the consequences of their actions, and get bored when nothing exciting is going on. They both use Fi — have very strong personal emotions that have no connection to other people’s emotions (Harry can remain impartial when Hermione and Ron are fighting, but will side with Ron if he shares his particular feeling, as Ron will do with Harry).

Since these are their most-used functions, both of them are SF types. However, Harry uses Ni — he figures stuff out that Ron can’t, like that Draco is a Death Eater. Harry uses a fair amount of Ni, which means looking at things and building up conclusions that are usually right (Draco was a Death Eater!).

Ron doesn’t use Ni, at all. He can’t understand Harry whenever Harry’s Ni kicks in. So that means Ni is Ron’s weakest function. His cognitive functions are Se-Fi-Te-Ni — he’s an ESFP.

Harry’s use of Ni as a third function makes him Fi-Se-Ni-Te — Harry is an ISFP.

How to type using cognitive functions:

Remember, a character can’t be both Se and Ne. Cognitive functions reverse from the function in front of them — someone who leads with Fi will have either Ne or Se as their next function; likewise, if you lead with Se, your next function will either be Ti or Fi. The 1st function will have its opposite function as its weakest function — so if a character leads with Se, Ni will be weakest, and the Fi/Te will be close together.

Decide if the character is Sensing or Intuiting, and which one they are within that type (Ne or Ni? Se or Si?).

Decide if the character uses Thinking or Feeling more (do they react with emotion or logic?) and which version they are within that type (Fi or Fe? Te or Ti?).

Look at the inferior functions. Whichever one they use the least is the fourth function (the trait you see almost NOTHING in them as a character — in Ron’s case, Ni). That dictates your order.

Here’s how the functions stack:

ENTP – Ne-Ti-Fe-Si

INTP – Ti-Ne-Si-Fe

ENTJ – Te-Ni-Se-Fi

INTJ – Ni-Te-Fi-Se

ENFJ – Fe-Ni-Se-Ti

INFJ – Ni-Fe-Ti-Se

ENFP – Ne-Fi-Te-Si

INFP – Fi-Ne-Si-Te

ESTJ – Te-Si-Ne-Fi

ISTJ – Si-Te-Fi-Ne

ESTP – Se-Ti-Fe-Ni

ISTP – Ti-Se-Ni-Fe

ESFJ – Fe-Si-Ne-Ti

ISFJ – Si-Fe-Ti-Ne

ESFP – Se-Fi-Te-Ni

ISFP – Fi-Se-Ni-Te

I know it can be overwhelming, but once you figure it out, it’s a lot of fun!

15 thoughts on “MBTI Typing

    1. Yes, in my loooong and illustrious career (ha, ha, kidding) I’ve seen a few.

      I… really don’t care. I’ve seen cognition actively at work in people, so the flaws in the theory (many of which can be solved through Enneagram) really don’t bother me much.

  1. Hi, I could agree with the cognitive functions stacks that you explained. But have you considered this: http://www.cognitiveprocesses.com/16Types/INTP.cfm

    I think this will alter a bit your classification since actually everyone is using 8 of the functions, not only 4. Like if you have Ti in your third function, then the relief state is happened when you can analyzing, categorizing according the principles. And the fourth function is about the aspirational state, not meaning that you don’t use it at all.

    P.S. I think Dumbledore is more INTP, than ENTP. If we consider the primary functions (that are 1st until 4th functions), INTP and ENTP share the same functions, but the orders are a bit different.

    1. I’m familiar with the theory of the shadow process, yes. I’m not sure that I completely buy it, however.

      ENTPs and INTPs differ immensely, in that ENTP’s dominant Ne allows them to consider all ideas regardless of their logical variables, whereas the INTP’s dominant Ti is more inclined to filter out ideas that are logically unsound, rather than indulging them as the ENTP is prone to do. Dumbledore does not strike me as a “logic first” character; he seems less of a judging dominant and more of a perceiving dominant.

      1. About Dumbledore: I think Ti is a very focus function if I understand it well, and his focus is about power, according to him and his brother. So his Ne serves his Ti to achieve that. I don’t think INTP can judge very quickly, he needs a lot of time to arrive a conclusion. It is true that Ti is very fast to filter out ideas that are not correct, for example because of some contradiction, but to arrive a conclusion needs more time. Like when Dumbledore first met Tom Riddle, he has a suspicion but can’t sure 100% that he will become a very dangerous dark wizard. Also about Hocruxes, he has a theory about it (Ti) but need a confirmation from the memory of Horace. His childish like behavior can be related to either the aspiration function that is Fe or the 8th function Fi. He has theories that Harry is also another Hocrux, love is the strongest magic probably, etc.

        So I think to really understand people based on the dominant functions that they use need more considerations. It is really what “determine” the people I guess. I just can not see that Dumblodore strongest point is his Ne, since he is the most brilliant/powerful wizard in the series, no? I mean to achieve that I guess we need to able to focus to do a thing.

  2. Charity

    Thank you for taking the trouble to research this.

    I, too, had Cameron down as an *NTJ of some sort. Possibly an ENTJ with a low E. These people have Cameron down as ESTP http://www.celebritytypes.com/estp.php which doesn’t make any sense at all since he is nothing like George Bush, for example, who strikes me as definitely ESTP. That is why I asked for your opinion.

    As for Johnson, I had him down as more ENFP mainly because ENFPs often come across as slightly silly people which is what he does. But I’ll go along with ENTP – the mad scientist. Makes sense.

    1. I can’t see ESTP for Cameron — he lacks any of that Fe external warmth (he didn’t really try to connect to the interviewer, which Fe-users will do — some more than others, depending on where it is in their function stack).

      ENFP is possible for Johnson. The interview didn’t really give me a clear sense of Fi-Te, but then again, it didn’t give me a clear sense of Ti-Fe either. How sensitive is he? ENFPs tend to be rather sensitive, where ENTPs are more blunt. Both have reputations for silliness, though. 😉

        1. Yeah, not a feeler then. 😉

          Obama? Probably an ENTP. He has the monotone voice that goes with Ti/Te dom/aux users, but it’s backed up with his ability to “charm” people and show his emotions on his face at times (Fe). Could be ESTP but I don’t see the Se-intensity and he’s not very quick in his decision making (like a Se-dom would be).

  3. I’m a firm believer in typing using the cognitive functions–clearer and simpler. I like the change you made in referring to the functions as internal and external instead of introverted and extraverted. I’ve run into some people who don’t get the distinction and this would be an easy fix for any confusion.

    1. Yeah, I ran into trouble trying to explain the process to my parents — they always got hung up on “But… I’m an introvert, so how can I have an extroverted function?” But I… amended the descriptions a bit.

    1. These typings are based on interviews I just watched with both of them. I looked for visual clues as well as the content and structure of their words.

      David Cameron – XNTJ. Driven, practical, goal-oriented, uses facts a lot to answer questions (Te traits), backed up with an internal vision that he is working toward (Ni). Serious expressions, consistent, direct eye contact (rarely looks away from people — that’s a Ni/Se or Se/Ni thing). Hard to tell which is his dominant function, but he’s very assertive and holds the floor, so maybe ENTJ.

      Boris Johnson – ENTP. He’s comparing present circumstances with his own personal experiences and connecting them to examples of unrelated things (Ne-Si); his eye contact is wandering all over the place (Ne-distractions) and he’s often looking down when thinking about something (Ti — searching for internal logic / beliefs), but he’s also emoting openly with his gestures (Fe). He messes with the interviewer a lot and manages to turn the interview around on the interviewer (his Ne-Ti is having a lot of fun).

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