ESTJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judgment) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types. Jung proposed a psychological typology based on the theories of cognitive functions that he developed through his clinical observations.
From Jung's work, others developed psychological typologies. Jungian personality assessments include the MBTI assessment, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, developed by David Keirsey. Keirsey referred to ESTJs as Supervisors, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Guardian. ESTJs account for about 8–12% of the population.
The MBTI instrumentEdit
- How they focus their attention or get their energy (extraversion/introversion)
- How they perceive or take in information (sensing/intuition)
- How they prefer to make decisions (thinking/feeling)
- How they orient themselves to the external world (judgment/perception)
By using their preference in each of these areas, people develop what Jung and Myers called psychological type. This underlying personality pattern results from the dynamic interaction of their four preferences, in conjunction with environmental influences and their own individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth.
The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four "dichotomies" (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for iNtuition, since I is used for Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.
- E – Extraversion preferred to introversion: ESTJs often feel motivated by their interaction with people. They tend to enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances, and they gain energy in social situations (whereas introverts expend energy).
- S – Sensing preferred to intuition: ESTJs tend to be more concrete than abstract. They focus their attention on the details rather than the big picture, and on immediate realities rather than future possibilities.
- T – Thinking preferred to feeling: ESTJs tend to value objective criteria above personal preference. When making decisions, they generally give more weight to logic than to social considerations.
- J – Judgment preferred to perception: ESTJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.
Characteristics of ESTJsEdit
ESTJs are practical, realistic, and matter-of-fact, with a natural head for business or mechanics. Though they are not interested in subjects they see no use for, they can apply themselves when necessary. They like to organize and run activities. ESTJs make good administrators, especially if they remember to consider others feelings and points of view, which they often dismiss.
According to Keirsey, ESTJs are civic-minded individuals who dedicate themselves to maintaining the institutions behind a smooth-running society. They are defenders of the status quo and strong believers in rules and procedures. ESTJs are outgoing and do not hesitate to communicate their opinions and expectations to others.
According to Linda V. Berens' Interaction Styles model, ESTJs fall into the "In Charge" style, being both "extraverted" (E) and "Directing" (ST). They are outgoing, yet task-oriented, which also explains the behavior described above.
Drawing upon Jungian theory, Isabel Myers proposed that for each personality type, the cognitive functions (sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling) form a hierarchy. This hierarchy represents the person's default pattern of behavior.
The Dominant function is the personality type's preferred role, the one they feel most comfortable with. The secondary Auxiliary function serves to support and expand on the Dominant function. If the Dominant is an information gathering function (sensing or intuition), the Auxiliary is a decision making function (thinking or feeling), and vice versa. The Tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary, but it matures over time, rounding out the person's abilities. The Inferior function is the personality type's fatal weakness. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the Tertiary, the Inferior function strengthens with maturity.[page needed]
Jung and Myers considered the attitude of the Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions to be the opposite of the Dominant. In this interpretation, if the Dominant function is extraverted, then the other three are introverted, and vice versa. However, many modern practitioners hold that the attitude of the Tertiary function is the same as the Dominant. Using the more modern interpretation, the cognitive functions of the ESTJ are as follows:[page needed]
Dominant: Extraverted thinking (Te)Edit
Te organizes and schedules ideas and the environment to ensure the efficient, productive pursuit of objectives. Te seeks logical explanations for actions, events, and conclusions, looking for faulty reasoning and lapses in sequence. The dominant Te means ESTJs use logical fact-based judgments in the outer world of people and actions. This again explains their behavior and leadership qualities.
Auxiliary: Introverted sensing (Si)Edit
Si collects data in the present moment and compares it with past experiences, a process that sometimes evokes the feelings associated with memory, as if the subject were reliving it. Seeking to protect what is familiar, Si draws upon history to form goals and expectations about what will happen in the future. The auxiliary Si's connection with memory and familiarity leads ESTJs to defend the status quo and procedures.
Tertiary: Extraverted intuition (Ne)Edit
Ne finds and interprets hidden meanings, using “what if” questions to explore alternatives, allowing multiple possibilities to coexist. This imaginative play weaves together insights and experiences from various sources to form a new whole, which can then become a catalyst to action. Ne's use of abstract perception in the outer world gives ESTJs the ability to conceptualize. However, Ne is subservient to the inward, concrete focus of Si.
Inferior: Introverted feeling (Fi)Edit
Fi filters information based on interpretations of worth, forming judgments according to criteria that are often intangible. Fi constantly balances an internal set of values such as harmony and authenticity. Attuned to subtle distinctions, Fi innately senses what is true and what is false in a situation. With Fi in the inferior position, some ESTJs may not make full use of Fi's associations with kinship, personal connections, and congruency of values or beliefs.
Later personality researchers (notably Linda V. Berens) added four additional functions to the descending hierarchy, the so-called "shadow" functions to which the individual is not naturally inclined but which can emerge when the person is under stress. The shadow processes "operate more on the boundaries of our awareness…We usually experience these processes in a negative way, yet when we are open to them, they can be quite positive." For the ESTJ these shadow functions are (in order):
- Introverted thinking (Ti): Ti seeks precision, such as the exact word to express an idea. It notices the minute distinctions that define the essence of things, then analyzes and classifies them. Ti examines all sides of an issue, looking to solve problems while minimizing effort and risk. It uses models to root out logical inconsistency. For the ESTJ, Ti supports Te by expanding the use of the Thinking function. But using Ti requires more effort, and Ti's application is narrower.
- Extraverted sensing (Se): Se focuses on the experiences and sensations of the immediate, physical world. With an acute awareness of the present surroundings, it brings relevant facts and details to the forefront and may lead to spontaneous action.
- Introverted intuition (Ni): Attracted to symbolic actions or devices, Ni synthesizes seeming paradoxes to create the previously unimagined. These realizations come with a certainty that demands action to fulfill a new vision of the future, solutions that may include complex systems or universal truths.
- Extraverted feeling (Fe): Fe seeks social connections and creates harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. Fe responds to the explicit (and implicit) wants of others, and may even create an internal conflict between the subject’s own needs and the desire to meet the needs of others.
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