Referring to Keirsey, ISTJs belong to the temperament of the guardians and are called "Inspectors".
ISTJs have tremendous respect for facts. They hold a tremendous store of facts within themselves, which they have gathered through their Sensing preference. They may have difficulty understanding a theory or idea which is different from their own perspective. However, if they are shown the importance or relevance of the idea by someone whom they respect or care about, the idea becomes a fact, which the ISTJ will internalize and support. Once the ISTJ supports a cause or idea, he or she will stop at no lengths to ensure that they are doing their duty of giving support where support is needed.
The ISTJ will work for long periods of time and put tremendous amounts of energy into doing any task which they see as important to fulfilling a goal. However, they will resist putting energy into things which don't make sense to them, or for which they can't see a practical application. They prefer to work alone, but work well in teams when the situation demands it. They like to be accountable for their actions, and enjoy being in positions of authority. The ISTJ has little use for theory or abstract thinking, unless the practical application is clear.
In general, the ISTJ has a tremendous amount of potential. Capable, logical, reasonable, and effective individuals with a deeply driven desire to promote security and peaceful living, the ISTJ has what it takes to be highly effective at achieving their chosen goals - whatever those may be.
According to Myers-Briggs, ISTJs thrive on organization. They keep their lives and environments well-regulated. They bring painstaking attention to detail in their work and will not rest until satisfied with a job well done. They are faithful, logical, organized, sensible and earnest traditionalists. They earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life.
ISTJs are centered on the inside world, persons of thoughts and (sometimes) emotions. They prefer dealing with the present and factual, using various options to make decisions. They are also keen observers of life, well prepared for most eventualities, and have a good understanding of most situations. They believe in practical objectives and value traditions and loyalty.
According to Keirsey, ISTJs, or "Inspector Guardians," are careful and thorough in examining people and institutions. Composing about 6 to 10 percent of the population, Inspectors are decisive in practical affairs. These guardians of institutions are perhaps best described as dependable: ISTJs are people of their word, intent on preserving social and family values. At home and at work, Inspectors reliably examine the people and products that fall under their responsibility—unobtrusively ensuring uniform quality and demanding that certain standards of conduct are maintained.
In both their professional and personal lives, individuals of this type are rather quiet and serious. ISTJs are extraordinarily persevering and dependable. The thought of dishonoring a contract would appall a person of this type. When they give their word, they give their honor. ISTJs can be counted on to conserve the resources of the institution they serve and bring to their work a practical point of view. They perform their duties without flourish or fanfare; therefore, the dedication they bring to their work can go unnoticed and unappreciated.
While not directly seeking leadership positions, ISTJs are often placed in such roles. They build a reputation for reliable, stable, and consistent performance that causes others to select them to lead. ISTJs use their past experience and their factual knowledge in their decision making.
For the ISTJ, love means commitment, steadiness, and consistency. ISTJs expect themselves and their mates to be responsible, practical, and dependable. When in a relationship, they behave appropriately for what the situation or their role demands. For example, if the relationship is in the courting stage, the ISTJ will exhibit courting behaviors, such as giving boxes of candy, red roses and presents. These are worthwhile and important traditions to uphold and observe because they give direct evidence of commitment.
MBTI cognitive functions
The attributes of each personality form a hierarchy. This represents the person's "default" pattern of behavior in their day to day life. The Dominant is the personality type's preferred role, the task they feel most comfortable with. The auxiliary function is the role they feel the next most comfortable with. It serves to support and expand on the dominant function. One of these first two will always be an information gathering function (sensing or intuition) and the other will be a decision making function(thinking or feeling) in some order. The tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary functions, but develops as the person matures and provides roundness of ability. The inferior function is the personality types Achille's heel. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the tertiary function, this function strengthens with maturity.
- Dominant- Introverted Sensing-ISTJs thrive on deep analysis of their surroundings
- Auxiliary- Extroverted Thinking-They use this function to actively process and evaluate their perceptions
- Tertiary- Introverted Feeling-This function lets the ISTJ turn their analysis to themselves and others, to understand their feelings and the causes thereof
- Inferior- Extroverted iNtuition.-While ISTJs are capable of rapid and dogged information processing and number crunching, they often have difficulty with or simply dismiss abstract concepts without immediate concrete applications.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Barron-Tieger, Barbara; Tieger, Paul D. (1995). Do what you are: discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-84522-1.
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