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About Myers-Briggs® and Personality Types: Who Becomes a Psychologist?


Many of you are thinking about new careers. Psychology is a popular subject for those interested in the Myers-Briggs and personality. Of course, the next question many ask is, "Does my type show up as psychologists?" Well, the answer is yes, no matter what your type is. As in all occupations, if you test enough people, you'll eventually find every type. It's true that some types will be represented far more frequently than others, so trends will emerge. However, it's important to remember that any type can work successfully and happily in any profession.

Psychology is an interesting field for another reason. Like law and other professions, there is a great variety of jobs that use psychologists. The American Psychological Association has over 50 divisions. There are widely diverse fields such as military, consumer, gay/lesbian, school, experimental, and organizational psychology and many more. Many people likely think first of therapists when someone mentions psychologists, yet many psychologists work at universities, in industry, or research institutes and never see patients. There are likely to be differences among the types that are attracted to the various fields of psychology. Perhaps someone will research this one day.

So who shows up most frequently as psychologists? If you guessed ENFP, you win! In second place were the INFPs, while third place was filled by ENTJs. In last place were the ESTPs, while the next two places went to ISFP/ESFPs and ISTPs. Here's how all the types came out:

  • ENFP: 18.4%
  • INFP: 14.7%
  • ENTJ: 11.7%
  • INTJ: 10.7%
  • INTP: 8.5%
  • ENFJ: 8.2%
  • INFJ: 7%
  • ENTP: 6%
  • ISTJ: 3%
  • ESTJ: 2.7%
  • ISFJ: 2.5%
  • ESFJ: 2.2%
  • ISTP: 1.5%
  • ISFP: 1.2%
  • ESFP: 1.2%
  • ESTP: 0.5%

What jumps out looking at these numbers? First, the group is 85% Intuitives, which is quite a change from their usual low numbers in society. It's interesting that the split between Extraverts and Introverts is about even 51:49%. The Judger - Perceiver split is close to even: 48:52%. It's also not surprising that the group has more Feelers (55%). Intuitive Feelers made up the largest group (48%), while Sensor Feelers were the smallest (7.2%) on those scales (Intuitive Thinkers were 37%; Sensor Thinkers 7.7%). Likewise Intuitive Perceivers were the largest group (47.5%) while Sensor Perceivers were the smallest (4.5%) on those dimensions (Intuitive Judgers 37.6% and Sensor Judgers 10.4%). Dominant Intuitives came out as 42% of the group, while Dominant Sensors came out the lowest at 7.2%. Dominant Thinkers were 24.4% and Dominant Feelers were 26.4%.

For those ENFPs out there who have thought about becoming psychologists, perhaps you can see why the field is to attractive to many. On the other hand, it's understandable that most ESTPs would not be attracted to the field. Still, as always, if you're interested in psychology, study it. Avoid making a decision based on the data. Remember, they show how groups behave, not individuals. You might be the world's best ESTP psychologist. You'll never know until you try it out.


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