Librarians and Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicators…12.02.08

2 12 2008

Looking back at traffic to various postings, there is considerable interest still in personalilty types/traits and testing of librarians.  It would be interesting today to redo “The Scherdin Study which used the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to determine if the results have significantly changed.  The results of the original study were summarized by Anne K. Beaubien in Library Journal in 1995 and posted on the “Image of Libraries in Popular Culture” website []:  

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) confirmed some of the most deeply ingrained stereotypes in the 1970s and 1980s: that librarians are process-driven and shortsighted, and tend to shy away from any type of confrontation. The MBTI was used to determine an individual’s personality based on four dichotomous scales: Introversion/Extroversion (I/E), Sensing/Intuition (S/N), Thinking/Feeling (T/F), and Judging/Perceiving (J/P). The Scherdin Study determined the following percentages for librarians’ personality traits: 63 percent Introverted, 60 percent Intuitive, 61 percent Thinking, and 66 percent Judging. Traditionally, ISFJ was the personality type assigned to librarians, but Scherdin determined that the ISTJ and INTJ personality types were most prominent in librarians and were also found in the following occupations: Computer professionals, chemists, electrical engineers, high-level corporate executives, auditors, life and physical scientists, school principles, dentists, lawyers, and judges, according to CAPT’s Atlas of Type Tables. Scherdin asserts that an array of dynamic qualities are needed to meet the challenges of the Information Age and staff MBTI profiles can help create strong project teams that work well together.”

According to The Personality Test Center [], “INFJ”s typically do well at the following occupations:

“career counselor
educational consultant
special education teacher
editor/art director
HRM manager
merchandise planner
environmental lawyer
job analyst
mental health counselor
educational consultant

I particularly like it that they point out the following truth: “…And it is very important to remember that people can, and frequently do, fill jobs that are dissimilar to their personality… this happens all the time…and sometimes works out quite well…”


Librarians Signal Personality “Patterns” Survey and DiSC Profile Results

Lone Wolf Librarian and the Briggs-Myers Personality Profile Test Results




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