This article is about Keirsey personality types. See Keirsey describes four main types.

  • Guardians speak mostly of their duties and responsibilities, of what they can
    keep an eye on and take good care of, and they’re careful to obey the
    laws, follow the rules, and respect the rights of others. (SJ 40-45%)
  • Idealists speak mostly of what they hope for and imagine might be possible for
    people, and they want to act in good conscience, always trying to reach
    their goals without compromising their personal code of ethics. (NF 15-20%)
  • Artisans speak mostly about what they see right in front of them, about what
    they can get their hands on, and they will do whatever works, whatever
    gives them a quick, effective payoff, even if they have to bend the
    rules. (SP 30-35%)
  • Rationals speak mostly of what new problems intrigue
    them and what new solutions they envision, and always pragmatic, they
    act as efficiently as possible to achieve their objectives, ignoring
    arbitrary rules and conventions if need be. (NT 5-10%)

The two letters correspond to the Briggs-Myer type, and the other figure is the percentage of the population.

As I have learnt more about these types, I find it easier and easier to pick other people. Artisans are one of the commonest, which is probably a good thing as they are the ones who like to get on and do stuff. They include entertainers, athletes and salesmen, doctors and dentists, mechanics, tradesmen, drivers. Where would be without them?

Guardians are very common too. They are the ones who tell you what you can and cannot do, as if it was carved in stone. Accountants, bankers, public servants, policemen and all the little people who love their little rules. We need them, but do we have to have quite so many of them?

Idealists are lovely people and I wish there more of them. They are truly trying to make the world a better place, and you find them in politics, law, academia, teaching and so on. Wonderful people.

But Rationals are the ones I really understand. I am a Rational, so are most of my family and many of the people I know. Rationals are common amongst engineers, scientists, architects and programmers. From the results of a min-survey we did it seems Rationals are common among members of Mensa, the high IQ society too.

So what type are you? You can get a free Jung/Briggs-Meyer type test here: Find the matching two letters in the 4 groups above and see whether you agree. Drop me a line if you like.