It may be hard to identify what kind of personality your child has at a very young age, however, there are several fundamental traits present at any age. Identifying these general characteristics can help parents make better decisions when introducing a young child to new people and situations or handling behavioral issues.
Personality typing has long been held as a way of categorizing people according to their respective tendencies to act and think in certain ways. And what better way to do that with your own kids than to compare their characteristics to those from the 16 Personality Types quiz, which has categorized more than 223,567,596 people?
History of the 16 Personality Types
Before the quiz came to be, the origins of these 16 personality types can be dated back to 1943. The assessment is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) created by mother-daughter duo, Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers.
The two were intrigued by the personality type theory ideas and Carl G. Jung’s book Psychological Types published in 1921. They believed their interest and Jung’s ideas could be brought to a wider audience.
Myers was particularly interested in its effect on people in the post-war world. World War II was a huge influence on the project and this quiz was made with the intention of making the world a better place. The theory was that if people knew their personality types then they could figure out a way to better work together and there’d be less conflict.
And the MBTI assessment was created.
What Are the 16 Personality Types?
The assessment is designed to sort individuals into 1 of 16 personality types. Each personality type has a detailed description that explores different facets of a person’s life — academics, business, and personal development. We will break down those below.
The questionnaire has four opposing dichotomies:
- Extraversion vs. Introversion: How do you gain energy?
- Sensing vs. Intuition: How do you collect information?
- Thinking vs. Feeling: How do you make decisions?
- Judging vs. Perceiving: How do you organize your environment?
These preferences are the basis for a four-letter code that gives you a personality type. For example, if you get “ENFJ” your personality type is defined as extraverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging. The “N” is typically used for “intuition” in order to avoid confusion with “introversion.”
There is a test you or your kids can take to determine where they fall on the scale.
The 16 Personality Types Test
The most common model is the 16 Personalities Test. This assessment’s approach is far more simplified than the original and adds a fifth dimension called “identity.” This explores how confident we are in our abilities and decisions.
The letter “-A” is used to define individuals who are assertive while the letter “-T” is used to define individuals who are self-conscious. Additionally, the combinations are categorized into sections — analysts, diplomats, sentinels, and explorers. And, each section has corresponding characters for every personality type making it all the more fun to follow.
This assessment is set as a quiz, and the questions may be too difficult for a young child to answer. However, analyzing the 16 different personality types and categorizing your child may help you understand them. The assessment is targeted for children 13 years or older, so if your teen would like to explore their personality, they can.
Breaking Down the 16 Personality Traits
1. Architect: INTJ-A/INTJ-T
An architect’s personality is one that is driven by curiosity. They are always up for a challenge and do well in pushing themselves to see things from all perspectives. Their greatest strengths lie in their decisiveness and independence. More than that, they are a jack-of-all-trades and plan to accomplish everything they set their mind to. However, sometimes this high self-confidence can go to their heads and can be perceived as arrogant and judgmental. This, as a result, can spread into their home and work environments. They tend to challenge authority and set their own rules which can make their lives a bit harder.
Though they have more success in friendships than relationships, architects still have trouble bonding with anyone they don’t perceive to be on their “level.” In friendships, they are looking for intellectuality and honesty, and tend to hold their standards very high.
2. Logician: INTP-A/INTP-T
Of the 16 Personality Types, Logicians are great analysts and abstract thinkers. They love to see how unrelated factors tie into each other beyond the surface. They are enthusiastic about their ideas and are prepared to present them in a discussion. This personality type prides itself in honesty, which can be a double-edged sword. Though they may not intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, the truth is paramount. Their logicality relays insensitivity and they become puzzled in emotional situations. In order to avoid this, they tend to be withdrawn and private. In this solidarity state, they find themselves second-guessing their decisions, but strive for better every time.
Their distance makes it hard for them to fall into friendships quickly. Their friendships are better defined as knowledged-based. Logicians prefer their friendship to be rooted in the exchange of ideas, solutions, theories, etc. However, when they do find someone worth sharing a bond with, their friendships are long-lasting and consistent.
3. Commander: ENTJ-A/ENTJ-T
This personality type is commandeering, energetic, and efficient. Inefficiency is a problem they see as drawing them away from their goals. Commanders are self-confident and believe in their ability to tackle all situations. They are strong-willed and enjoy navigating through obstacles in a way that inspires others to look up to them as leaders.
Things can take a turn when they’re put in a position of power or authority. Commanders tend to dominate a room in a way that others perceive as arrogant and stubborn. Their intolerance trumps emotional considerations and their rationalism can be taken as cold and ruthless.
This makes it hard for them to maintain friendships. They demand a lot from their friendships and their lack of sensitivity is their greatest weakness in this aspect of their lives. Most of their friends fall into the Analyst category because of their shared passion for knowledge and debate.
4. Debater: ENTP-A/ENTP-T
Debaters–as their name suggests– rarely pass up an opportunity to learn something new and challenge different findings. They are quick-thinkers and love bringing original ideas and concepts to the table. They are energetic personality types whose charisma makes way for a charming style of communication. Their weaknesses (one could assume) lie in their tendency to be argumentative as well as insensitive to others’ ideas. Their incredible flexibility can also get them into a pickle because they don’t know how to focus on one thing at a time.
As friends, debaters can be a handful. Enjoying loaded-discussions with quick-witted remarks is their forte. This personality type may not be the best companion for a board game, they might argue their way into winning.
5. Advocate: INFJ-A/INFJ-T
This personality type’s strengths lie in their creativity and insightfulness. They work their way through obstacles with a strong sense of compassion and intuitiveness. The warmth in their words makes them highly-convincing and inspiring personalities. When they believe in something or someone, they are passionate about spotlighting it.
Advocates are incredibly altruistic and focus their energy on acting in a way that benefits others. However, they tend to be sensitive and a perfectionist in their pursuits. Their need to always have a cause or something to work towards can lead to burnout very quickly. This can be especially important to consider when they’re taking on extracurriculars in school. Knowing to limit themselves and what they can handle is essential for their well-being.
In friendships, they seek people out who are as passionate and motivated as they are. Advocates steer clear of having aimless-friendships or big social-circles. Their perfectionism shifts into overdrive when looking at friendship and compatibility.
6. Mediator: INFP-A/INFP-T
Mediators are the optimistic one of the bunch, which becomes an asset to their loved-ones. They have a resilient attitude in the face of hardship and are always in search of harmony in any setting. You don’t have to worry about a domineering attitude from these personalities because having power is not their preference. Mediators are open-minded and flexible which supplements their aversion to rules.
This personality type’s passions are their driving-force and their dedication to their pursuits is unfazed. Their idealism, however, sets them up for disappointment. Their tendency to idealize situations and people is impractical. Mediators oftentimes take things too personally and get their feelings hurt a lot. Most mediators are private and reserved which reduces the possibility for hard-feelings.
In friendships, these factors make it hard to get to know them. But, if you do, you’ll know them for life. They may lack some consistency. Mediators take time-off in friendships, which lets them re-center their hearts and minds.
7. Protagonist: ENFJ-A/ENFJ-T
Protagonists, as you could imagine, are the center of attention even if they don’t intend to be. Their reliability and charisma make them natural leaders. More than that, their altruistic passions make them selfless individuals. Their selflessness can get in the way quite often. They tend to worry too much about others and their opinions that their self-esteem fluctuates.
As friends, protagonists, are always making an effort to keep their friendships with people. Their charismatic personality makes it easy for them to make friends with all types of people. They go beyond superficial interests. Protagonists want to know about your hopes and dreams.
8. Campaigner: ENFP-A/ENFP-T
This personality type is curious and enthusiastic. They are open-minded about the world and people, and are always looking to make new connections. Campaigners are excellent communicators and aren’t afraid to give their opinion.
They are easy-going about a lot of aspects of their lives except how they handle their emotions. They tend to be sensitive and get stressed really easily. Their popularity places them in a position of power and authority and people find in them a sense of guidance. This can transform into a stressful situation when they have too many things on their plate. Campaigners fall into a slippery slope of “overthinking things” and lose a bit of themselves in the process.
In friendships, they are cheerful and supportive friends, constantly sharing ideas and being open-minded about other people’s perspectives. They enjoy social situations and gravitate toward outgoing people, but love to get to know more shy and reserved personalities as well.
9. Logistician: ISTJ-A/ISTJ-T
This personality type makes up nearly 13% of the population. Logisticians are honest and direct. They pride themselves on their integrity. They tend to work hard to meet their goals. This makes them especially reliable and responsible. When Logisticians make a promise, they keep it. They know how to prioritize. Failing isn’t an option. Their name could be more definitive of their thinking process, and they are calm and practical in their decision-making.
However, they have trouble considering emotions. This insensitivity can seem a bit too harsh. They consult mainly with their minds and disregard their hearts. Logisticians believe things work better when they have clearly-defined rules and don’t like trying new things. This reveals their stubbornness and their reluctance to change.
In friendships, Logisticians are dependable and trustworthy. They’re not the friend you go cliff-jumping and sky-diving with. Spontaneity is not their forte. However, they’ll remain supportive and by your side. They socialize with smaller circles of friends and building connections is a slow process for them. Although they are not emotional or affectionate, they find other ways to show that they care.
10. Defender: ISFJ-A/ISFJ-T
Defenders are the “helper” personality type. They enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience with others. More than that, they love putting their energy into people and situations that need it. Defenders have excellent patience and are incredibly reliable. They take a steady approach in everything they do and accomplish their goals. Similarly, if their goal is met, they boast with great enthusiasm.
Their down-fall lies in their shyness and sensitivity. They take things too personally but don’t show it. They’re a reserved personality and repress their feelings. This repression leads to a lot of frustration and pent-up emotions.
In friendships, their shyness isn’t very helpful. Making friends is difficult for this personality type. Just as they are protective of others, they are protective of themselves. This falters when they find someone they truly connect with. Defenders begin prioritizing the needs of their loved-ones and neglect themselves. Luckily, they make friends with similar personalities.
11. Executive: ESTJ-A/ESTJ-T
Executives are in the business of “getting things done.” They enjoy taking on different challenges and tasks as long as they seem fitting and the right move. This personality type is willing to defend their ideas and beliefs. Above all, they are honest. They pride themselves in being reliable because this conveys stability and security. If they say they’re going to accomplish something, they will. This is supplemented by their organizational skills. They are excellent at distributing work evenly and making the workload fair.
Some of their weaknesses lie in their inflexibility and their high expectations. They look for what works best; not what might work better.
As friends, they can be judgmental. Executives expect a lot from others. This even seeps into what they think is socially acceptable. Beyond this, they know how to form strong friendships (often with people who are similar to themselves) and are incredibly social. They have an invite to all social events.
12. Consul: ESFJ-A/ESFJ-T
The Consul personality type is quite common, too. Consuls are concerned with their loved ones and their well-being. They have a strong sense of duty to their obligations. This personality type strives to meet their goals and their consistency takes them there. They are loyal and value stability in everything they do. More than that, Consuls seeks harmony and are considerate of other people’s feelings. This may translate into becoming too selfless and neglect their own needs. They worry far too much about their social status and every decision they make is for the public eye.
They love having a lot of friends. They focus their efforts on proving themselves to their social circles. Consuls are naturally popular. Constantly worrying about what everybody else thinks makes them sensitive to criticism. This is especially true in their close friendships.
13. Virtuoso: ISTP-A/ISTP-T
This personality type is always busy and on the go. They enjoy having something to do and don’t get stressed out too often. Virtuosos are creative and practical. They are hands-on and have a knack for coming up with spontaneous ideas. They know how to prioritize their tasks and still have a little fun.
If there’s a crisis, Virtuosos come to the rescue. They know how to work through things smoothly and logically. What’s best is their relaxed attitude. They never contemplate long enough to become worried. Their weaknesses lie in their stubbornness and insensitivity. Their “go with the flow” attitude gets trampled by their spontaneity, which feeds into their tendency to become bored with long-term commitments and supplements their risky behavior.
As friends, Virtuosos are social butterflies. They make acquaintances with all kinds of personalities. Their non-commital attitude makes it easy for friends to come and go. They’re not concerned with what their friends are doing. If their friends don’t want to do the same thing as Virtuosos, they can hang out on another occasion. Virtuosos aren’t easily held back by others. This is why it’s not practical to schedule things with this personality type; they might never make it.
14. Adventurer: ISFP-A/ISFP-T
This charming personality type is imaginative, passionate, and curious. They are receptive to others’ emotions and use this to think of heartfelt ideas. Their passion trumps anything else in hopes of accomplishing the goals they care about. Additionally, Adventurers are artistic in more ways than one. They have a gift for visualizing things that captivate audiences. Whether it’s writing, painting, or presenting, Adventurers excel in whatever they set their mind to.
While they prioritize their freedom of expression and independence, they neglect anything structured. Adventurers are incredibly unpredictable, which leaves them susceptible to stress. This stress translates into fluctuating self-esteem when they feel they’re not doing as much as they’d like to.
This laid back and spontaneous personality type makes for a great friend. They enjoy going on adventures and participating in fun activities. They believe in actions being more important than words. However, they’re pretty sensitive to the latter. They don’t take criticism well and find it to be judgemental. Careful what you say and how you say it around this personality type.
15. Entrepreneur: ESTP-A/ESTP-T
This bold personality type enjoys testing their strengths and capabilities. They enjoy discovering new ideas and taking on new challenges. They work their way through problems in a rational and practical manner. Their methodology is original and detail-oriented. The more exact something is, the quicker that it can be executed. They don’t waste any time.
Entrepreneurs know what they want and don’t mind asking for it (even demanding it). This can make them inconsiderate to emotions and make it difficult for them to work their way through emotionally-heightened situations. Their “no time to waste” attitude makes them incredibly impatient because they don’t like slowing down for the sake of others. They often miss things because they’re constantly on the go.
As a friend, an Entrepreneur is the life of the party. This is the friend that gets things going. They enjoy trying new things and activities with their friends. This is especially true of activities that involve a little friendly-competition. Entrepreneurs are attracted to those who are all action all the time. This is who they connect best with.
16. Entertainer: ESFP-A/ESFP-T
Entertainers are bold. They yearn to experience everything and don’t mind out-of-the-box ideas or activities beyond their comfort zone. They’re experimental and love to stick out in a crowd. Whether that’s in style or behavior. Entertainers don’t believe in “what-ifs.” Their wit and charm make for great people skills.
Their weaknesses lie in their sensitivity and their tendency to become bored. They avoid long-term plans and schedules, and most importantly, they don’t think of the possible consequences for their unprecedented plans.
As a friend, it’s hard to catch them and it’s hard to leave them. You may get sucked into some risky plans or fall into careless behaviors. This is not all bad. Sometimes you’ll find the most memorable moments were ones spent with Entertainers. Their friendships aren’t concrete and move from one person to the other. Their inconsistency doesn’t let them establish long-term friendships even if they put in the effort.
And, finally, one last important note…
A Disclaimer About 16 Personality Types
Whether you’re looking at someone’s personality quiz, astrology chart, or DNA sequence, it should be clear that nothing is set in stone — especially with kids. Regardless of their personality type as defined here, there is so much more room for children to grow and change. From environmental factors to health changes to situations we can’t even imagine right now, there is no 100% accurate way to determine who, exactly, a person will grow up to become.
Some people are also curious about how astrology may play a role in their child’s future.