Does MBTI change with age? (3 reasons)

This blog post aims to answer the question, “Does MBTI change with age?” and explores what MBTI means and the relation between MBTI and age to help understand the answer. 

Does MBTI change with age?

No, MBTI does not change with age because of the following 3 reasons – 

  • MBTI is inborn.
  • Different functions grow at different times in our life.
  • Fundamental functions remain the same.

What are these 3 reasons why MBTI does not change with age?

MBTI is inborn.

Your personality type is inborn, according to the Myers-Briggs hypothesis, and it does not alter. However, as you become older, the manner you express your type will (and should) alter. Your personality type develops distinct characteristics as you get older.

A cognitive function stack exists for each personality type. This stack has four core functions and four shadow functions, for a total of eight functions. You’ll develop some functions as you move through life and appreciate them more than you did at previous times.

Different functions grow at different times in our life.

Our type’s functions grow at different times in our life. The primary function develops from infancy until around the age of seven.

As an example, a young INTJ would be completely absorbed in the development of introverted intuition. At an early age, we may not notice much thinking, emotion, or perceiving (although they would still be in use, just underdeveloped).

The auxiliary function develops between the ages of 7 and 20. (as the dominant function continues developing). As a result, we would expect to witness higher development of thinking at this age. With their intuitions, the INTJ would become more objectively rational, resolute, and ordered.

The tertiary function develops in the 20s, 30s, and 40s (as the dominant and auxiliary functions continue developing). The INTJ would now be more concerned with figuring out their own personal principles.

The inferior function (extraverted sensing) develops over the 1950s, 1960s, and beyond, while the other functions continue to grow. The INTJ would be more in tune with the present, more detail-oriented, and more appreciative of living in the now and seizing chances.

If you’re an introvert, developing Extraverted Thinking or Extraverted Sensing may make you feel more extraverted. If you’re an extravert, you can find yourself becoming more introverted as your introverted functions grow. 

If you’re a sensor, developing intuition may make you feel more connected to it. If you’re intuitive, developing sensation may make you feel more connected to it. If you’re a thinker, you could notice that as that function improves, you get more in tune with feelings, and vice versa.

As you construct the lower functions in your stack, you may “feel” like a different kind at different ages. Regardless, your dominant function will remain dominant. There will be no other function with as much conscious power as that one. 

Similarly, your inferior function will remain inferior, your auxiliary function will continue in the support position, and your tertiary function will remain the third-most potent function in your stack.

At its most basic level, type development is the act of being more comfortable with and in charge of your preferred method of absorbing information and drawing judgments. Developing a function entails actively distinguishing it from others, practising it, and improving your ability to use it.

Fundamental functions remain the same.

In babies, Jung felt that all functions are primarily unconscious and immature. The many functions evolve as we grow and develop. The date of this evolution has been extensively researched. 

The dominant function is thought to develop up to age 7, the auxiliary function up to age 20, the tertiary function in the 30s and 40s, and the inferior or fourth function in midlife or beyond.

The way you perceive the world and how you act tends to evolve and widen as your type develops. Much of your self-esteem is built on your comfort with your main and auxiliary duties.

If your surroundings do not allow the utilisation of your dominant and auxiliary functions, it will nevertheless press to reach the surface, as a beach ball kept underwater. A person might suffer tension and dissatisfaction if a function is never allowed to develop normally.

The spectrum of behaviours accessible to you expands, even more, when you acquire your tertiary and least-preferred functions later in life. However, your conscious personality’s main and auxiliary functions will always be the fundamental functions.

What is Myers-Briggs?

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is a self-assessment tool that helps people figure out their personality type, strengths, and preferences. Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs created the test based on their research into Carl Jung’s personality types hypothesis. 

The MBTI personality test is now one of the most extensively utilised psychological tests in the world.

Both Myers and Briggs were attracted by Jung’s notion of psychological types and saw how it might be used in the actual world. They began investigating and constructing an indicator to aid in the understanding of individual characteristics during World War II.

Myers and Briggs felt that by helping individuals understand themselves, they might help them choose vocations that were best suited to their personality types and live healthier, happier lives.

During the 1940s, Myers devised the initial pen-and-pencil version of the inventory, and the two ladies began testing it on friends and family. Over the following two decades, they worked on perfecting the instrument.

People are classified into one of 16 personality types based on their responses to the inventory’s questions. The MBTI’s purpose is to help people better understand and explore their own personalities, including their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, potential job choices, and compatibility with others.

There is no such thing as a “best” or “better” personality type. It’s not a technique for detecting malfunction or abnormalities. Its sole purpose is to assist you in learning more about yourself. There are four separate scales in the questionnaire.

Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)

The extraversion-introversion dichotomy was initially explored by Jung as a means to describe how people respond to and interact with the world around them in his theory of personality types. While most people are familiar with these phrases, the way they are used in the MBTI differs from how they are commonly used.

Extraverts (also known as extroverts) are “outward-turning” persons who are more action-oriented, prefer regular social engagement, and feel rejuvenated after spending time with others. Introverts are “inward-turning,” meaning they are focused on their thoughts, like deep and meaningful social relationships, and feel rejuvenated after spending time alone.

To some degree, we all display extraversion and introversion, but most of us have a strong preference for one or the other.

Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)

This scale considers how people receive information from their surroundings. Everyone, much like extraverts and introverts, spends time detecting and intuiting depending on the scenario. 

People tend to be dominant in one area or the other, according to the MBTI. People who enjoy sensation are more likely to pay attention to reality, especially what they may learn through their own senses. 

They appreciate acquiring hands-on experience and prefer to focus on facts and details. Patterns and sensations are more important to those who value intuition. They like pondering possibilities, picturing the future, and debating complex concepts.

Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)

This scale examines how people make judgments based on data obtained through their sensing or intuition processes. Facts and objective data are more important to those who prefer to think.

When making a choice, they are usually consistent, rational, and impersonal. Those who want to feel are more inclined to think about people and emotions when making decisions.

Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)

The last scale takes into account how people cope with the outside environment. Structure and strong conclusions are preferred by those who incline toward judgement. 

Perceiving people are more open, flexible, and adaptive than perceiving people. The other scales interact with these two inclinations. Remember that everyone spends some time on extraverted activities. 

When you’re taking in new information (sensing and intuiting) or making judgments, the judging-perceiving scale might help you figure out if you’re an extravert (thinking and feeling).

The four-letter code for each category is listed as follows – 

  • ISTJ – The Inspector
  • ISTP – The Crafter
  • ISFJ – The Protector
  • ISFP – The Artist
  • INFJ – The Advocate
  • INFP – The Mediator
  • INTJ – The Architect
  • INTP – The Thinker
  • ESTP – The Persuader
  • ESTJ – The Director
  • ESFP – The Performer
  • ESFJ – The Caregiver
  • ENFP – The Champion
  • ENFJ – The Giver
  • ENTP – The Debater
  • ENTJ – The Commander

Taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator may provide you with a lot of information about your personality, which is perhaps why it’s grown so popular. Even if you don’t complete the official questionnaire, you’re likely to identify some of these traits in yourself. 

It’s crucial to remember, according to the Myers & Briggs Foundation, that all types are equal and that each one has worth.

Conclusion – 

This blog post attempted to answer the question, “Does MBTI change with age?” and reviewed what MBTI means and the relation between MBTI and age to help determine if MBTI changes with age. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

References –

Storm, S. Can Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type Change? (2018, 

June 14). Retrieved from https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2018/06/14/can-your-myers-briggs-personality-type-change/#:~:text=According%20to%20Myers%2DBriggs%20theory,facets%20of%20your%20personality%20type.

Does a person’s Myers Briggs personality type change as a function of age? Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

https://www.quora.com/Does-a-persons-Myers-Briggs-personality-type-change-as-a-function-of-age

Changing MBTI Types with Age/Experience. Reddit. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

Can your MBTI type change with age? Personality Cafe. (2011, December 20). Retrieved from 

https://www.personalitycafe.com/threads/can-your-mbti-type-change-with-age.79214/

Gorvett, Z. How your personality changes as you age. (2020,  March 16). Retrieved from 

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200313-how-your-personality-changes-as-you-age

Lifelong Type Development. The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

https://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/understanding-mbti-type-dynamics/lifelong-type-development.htm

Is It Possible to Change Your Personality Type? 16 Personalities. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

https://www.16personalities.com/articles/is-it-possible-to-change-your-personality-type

Can My Personality Type Change? Truity. (2013, June 21). Retrieved from 

https://www.truity.com/blog/can-your-personality-type-change

Booth, J. Here’s What It Means If Your Myers-Briggs Type Has Changed. (2018, March 16). Retrieved from 

https://www.bustle.com/p/can-your-myers-briggs-type-change-this-is-what-to-know-if-you-manage-to-test-differently-after-a-few-years-7829091

Whitcomb, I. Does your personality change as you get older? (2020, August 23). Retrieved from 

https://www.livescience.com/personality-age-change.html

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