Does Jung & Myers-Briggs Typology Effect Obesity?

Sitting around the dinner table this evening we began discussing personality types.  As a fun exercise, we each took the Jung Typology Test based on Jung and Myers-Briggs findings about personality.   If you haven’t taken this personality test, you might find it quite interesting and the topic of hours of conversation around the dinner table  . . . as we did this evening. The test is free on-line and takes about 10 minutes.

jung

Carl Gustav Jung – Swiss Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist

The actual Myers-Briggs Type Indicator costs about $50.00 and includes an interpretation by someone trained in giving the test. It differs slightly in its questions and the way the testing is interpreted.

Both tests provide an interesting insight into your individual psychological preferences regarding four categories.  According to Carl G. Jung’s theory of psychological types published in 1971, people can be characterized, first, by their preference or general attitude about the source of and how they express their energy:

  • Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I)

The second preference is one of the two functions of perception, or related to how they perceive information coming from either the external or internal world:

  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)

and the third preference relates to how one processes the information that they have received, acting as one of the two functions of thought or judgement:

  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)

Isabel Briggs Myers, a researcher and practitioner of Jung’s theory, proposed that the fourth preference related to how one applies or implements the information that he or she processed above.  She proposed a judging-perceiving relationship as the fourth dichotomy influencing personality type in 1980:

  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)

Each of these dichotomies represents an opposite pole of preference and each of us have a dominant pole toward which we gravitate.

Based upon your dominant traits, a personality type index is assigned.

PersonalityChart

Kim and Lee studied these personality preferences and how they relate to diet, health and propensity toward obesity.  Their findings were interesting in that expression, perception and judgement did not seem to have any bearing on  health or obesity. However, the application of judgement vs perception did play a role in health. Judging (J) means that a person organizes all of his or her life events and, as a rule, sticks to those plans. Perceiving (P) means that he or she is inclined to improvise and explore alternative options.

Significantly better dietary and health behaviors were identified in those preferring Judging (J) versus those preferring Perceiving (P) traits.  Those preferring the Judging (J) behaviors included eating breakfast, regularly eating three meals a day, smoking less, exercising more and having a lower tendency to nocturnal eating.

The findings show that the use of  Jung Type or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator may be helpful in identifying and index those with a Perceiving (P) trait that would benefit from dietary and exercise education, nutritional counseling and/or behavior modification programs.

It has been my experience that those with a “P” type dichotomy preference would benefit greatly from daily food planning and journaling.

So, what is your Jung/Myers-Briggs type?

Just for fun, and because my kids were very curious about what each personality type would appear as in character, I’ve included the Jung/Myers-Briggs Disney typing.

I’m an ENFJ, just in case you’re curious.

Disney Character Personality Types

References:

  1. Jung, C. G. (1971). Psychological types (Collected works of C. G. Jung, volume 6, Chapter X)
  2. Briggs Myers, I. (1980, 1995) Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
  3. Kim BS, Lee YE. College Students’ Dietary and Health Behaviors related to Their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Personality Preferences. Korean J Community Nutr. 2002 Feb;7(1):32-44. Korean.

 

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