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Personality Types

Personality types describe patterns of human thought and behavior. While each individual is unique, we can observe how some people are like others in certain ways. It is these patterns of behavior and groups of traits that allow us to describe different personality types.

The various personality typing systems, or typologies, base their categorations on various factors and theories of personality. While we may notice our own personal qualities or those of our friends and family, we may not be as familiar with the entire range of human characteristics. Personality typologies look at the whole array of traits and patterns, and in some cases describe how elements relate to one another. As we learn to see more patterns, we become increasingly aware of our own behavior and thoughts as well as those of the people around us.

Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of personality types is not to label people or to put them in a box. By learning about patterns, we are actually able to conceive of a greater scope of behavior and thoughts than we might otherwise. While personality types indicate tendencies, they are not meant to offer rigid predictions of behavior. Reality always trumps theory, and noticing the discrepancies between our observations and the model can lead to a greater understanding of personality theory, including its limitations. Also, as we see ourselves and others more clearly and deeply, hopefully we come to have more compassion for people generally.

Here we briefly describe four of the most common personality typing systems found in online tests, including the two on which the MPM Personality Test is based.

Enneagram Types

The Enneagram outlines nine basic personality types. These types are distinguished in terms of what they want on a deep emotional level and how they go about getting what they want. These underlying goals and strategies are the motivations which affect a person's perception and behavior. The Enneagram includes many nuances within the nine basic types thus creating a rich tapestry of personality patterns. The nine types are usually described with a number, but each number is often associated with a name describing the type.

Here is a list of common names for each type:

Enneagram of Nine Types                  
  1. The Perfectionist
  2. The Helper
  3. The Achiever
  4. The Romantic
  5. The Thinker
  6. The Loyalist
  7. The Enthusiast
  8. The Leader
  9. The Peacemaker

You can read a description of each of the 9 types on the Enneagram Personality Types page.

You can learn more about the theory behind the Enneagram on the Personality Theories page.

Jungian Types

The Jungian system, also known as Myers Briggs (MBTI), outlines sixteen types. These types arise from the combination of four different aspects of personality which can each be expressed on a continuum. For example, extraversion (E) is at one end of a scale and introversion (I) at the other, and each of us is somewhere on this E – I scale.

The four continuums are as follows:

extraversion introversion continuum

   Extraversion - Introversion
   Intuitive - Sensate
   Thinking - Feeling
   Judging - Perceiving

The highlighted letters indicate how the types are written. For example an ENTJ type signifies someone who is more extraverted than introverted, as well as more intuitive, thinking and judging. The Jungian Preferences page has descriptions of these eight qualities.

You can read a description of each of the 16 types on the Jungian Personality Types page.

You can learn more about the theory behind Jungian Types on the Personality Theories page.


DISC describes fifteen types based on a person's sense of self and how she interacts with the environment. One factor is how people-oriented or task-oriented a person is. The other factor is how outgoing or reserved a person is. By weighing these factors DISC can identify someone as fitting one of these types:

DISC four quadrants                    
  • Achiever
  • Agent
  • Appraiser
  • Counselor
  • Creative
  • Developer
  • Inspirational
  • Investigator
  • Objective Thinker
  • Perfectionist
  • Persuader
  • Practitioner
  • Promoter
  • Result oriented
  • Specialist

You can learn more about the theory behind DISC on the Personality Theories page.

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