It took years to get to this point of closure, and I had my doubts about the validity of Jung's cognitive function theory, but it's finally clear to me that my MBTI type is INFJ, thanks to Dr. A.J. Drenth's most insightful web site: Personality Junkie. You can take the Free Jungian Personality Test designed by Dr. A.J. Drenth at the link. This is the first time I felt that the cognitive functions were explained truly well, in practical application from the four main functions of each personality type to the overall descriptions, in both detailed and holistic ways, bridging theory and practice deftly and eloquently enough so I could vividly visualize the 16 unique types. I'm very grateful to have stumbled upon his work.
I first read the description of the ISTJ to see how accurate I thought it was, only because I know people of this type well, and it seemed easier than to assess my own type if I couldn't be objective enough about myself. I thought it was fairly accurate, although I would have added that people of the ISTJ type are gentle and sensitive souls, probably more so than INFJs who are often seen as gentle and yet are quite strong-willed and stubborn, all the things ISTJs are seen as being. There must be a reason there's a mirror in a Shinto shrine; perhaps the ancients wanted to pass on the wisdom that the hardest thing for humans to do is to see ourselves clearly.
It also helped me to compare Dr. Drenth's descriptions of the types so that I could understand the differences between INFJ and INFP, both of which I have tested as being on the official Myers-Briggs test (as well as INTP and INTJ on other tests). Based on the descriptions of INFJ and INFP which have a Complement type relationship with each other (every function has compatible strengths with opposite emphases; what's extraverted in one is introverted in the other and vice versa: more about type relationships at TypeLogic), I can see myself as being perhaps slightly more global or "macro" minded than the INFP, but nevertheless having the subjectivity of feeling, being fiercely protective of those I care about the most. That hierarchy of importance is clear in my mind, but I wonder if it translates well enough to those that are closest to me, hence the INFP feeling as skeptical about the INFJ's feelings towards the inner circle as INFJ can feel about the ENFJ diplomat who, like Moses, is often a leader of large masses of people whom the ENFJ can appear to be equally responsible for and attentive towards.
In the end, even the Ni-led INFJ whose primary function is to open-endedly perceive, is more reductionist in its Judging personality, decisively choosing closure whereas the INFP led initially by the Judging Fi can end up more open to new possibilities, authentic to its Perceiving character, seeking truth as life unfolds moment by moment. According to Personality Junkie, famous INFPs include John Lennon, Albert Camus, Luke Skywalker and Johnny Depp.
Aside from the knowledge I gained from the site, I came across some other entertaining links along the way, so I hope you'll enjoy them, even glean something from them if anything is of value to you in your individual quest.
ISFP page at Personality Junkie for comparison.
More about the type: The 16 Types (links to the ISFP page)
ISFP or INFP - Page 2 Typology Central
A More Honest Look into MBTI Descriptions: The ISFP - The Philosophical Boy
I suppose I've also been trying to catch up on blogging about some of the neglected (by me) types, namely Artisans (SP types: ISFP, ESFP, ISTP, ESTP) and Guardians (SJ types: ISTJ, ESTJ, ISFJ, ESFJ), and at the time of this post, I was determined to take the opportunity to learn more about the ISFP Artist. Detail and performance-oriented, they are described as sensitive, quiet, and often animal lovers, but also according to some web sites as people sometimes struggling with anger (no idea how true that could be for one specific type). ISFPs Artists are described as highly aesthetically fine-tuned, caring individuals. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is an example of a famous ISFP, among a great many gifted people in entertainment. Here are more ISFPs at: Celebrity Types
Another interesting comparison is the ISFP with the ISTP, although based on the descriptions I've read, the ISTP sounds more like an INFJ than the ISFP, probably because they are Supplements to each other, meaning they share the same functions in different order and relate like Pals (minimal natural conflict like INFJ with ENFJ) only in different realms.
Here are more sites to check out (these are random links covering various types): Likelihood of MBTI Types Becoming Managers - Vantan.org October 26, 2009
Myers-Briggs type and medical specialty choice: a new look at an old question. Stilwell NA, et al. Teach Learn Med. 2000 Winter;12(1):14-20. Department of Behavioral Sciences and Community Health, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.
Personality and Medical Specialty--What is the Connection? Prospective Doctor
When an INTJ Dumps You - Confessions of an INTJ - If you can't take it don't read it. ( INTJ and INFJ are called "look alikes." In many ways, I can relate to this article, but especially where long range foresight meets decision-making.)
Careers for ADD Explorers - Born to Explore
Knowing Yourself: How Psychological Type Affects Your Career, Your Relationships and Your Life - September 13, 2010 | Integrated Human Dynamics
Learn more about the Jungian Cognitive Processes here.
Are you a data-driven scientist or a theory-driven one? Are you an adventurer or a nerd? Find your Myers-Briggs type: The Four Types of Scientists Jul 19th, 2011 by Virginia Hughes, The Last Words on Nothing
Finally, I want to add that I'm grateful to all the artists who created the MBTI related posters, because they were also immensely helpful to me, bringing to life what could not be expressed in words.