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A Myers-Briggs, Strauss-Howe Millennial Analysis Mash-Up


I recently decided to take a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator workshop to better understand myself.  For those of you that haven’t heard of Myers-Briggs, it’s a famous assessment designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and naturally make decisions.  Typically, you don’t think about the way you make decisions or why you have that “gut” instinct so, needless to say, the course was intriguing. 

For many, this could seem extremely far out and have no real bearing on one’s life; but, upon further examination, I found that there is some truth to one’s identity with these four key letters. I learned that I fall into the INFJ category (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging).  To sum it up, this means that I am an idea generator and love to discover “win-win” solutions that have a long-term positive impact on people.  I’m also a good listener and believe in seeing all angles of an issue before making a decision.  

During the course of my workshop, generational cohorts were analyzed based on the Myers-Briggs theory. Boomers are known as ENFPs (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception), Xers are INTJs (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judgment) and Millennials are ESFPs (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception). These are all generalizations of course and no one theory can be looked at in a vacuum when understanding an entire generation.  However, in looking at Millennials as ESFPs, their primary mode of living is focused externally and they live in the moment.  (YOLO anyone?)  They are also very spontaneous, optimistic and love instant gratification.  That being said, this definitely jives with everything I have studied on Millennials.  

In taking this one step further, this description sounded a lot like the generational archetypes we at Ypulse subscribe to created by Neil Howe and William Strauss, the originators of the term “Millennial.”  There are four generational archetypes: Prophet, Nomad, Hero and Artist.  Millennials are “Heroes” which means that they are born after a period marked by cultural and religious renewal, and grow up as team-oriented optimists during a period of crisis – think recession, wars, rising college tuition costs, etc. Per Howe and Strauss, their main contributions to society are community, affluence and technology, which appear to be very similar to the ESFP description above.  Plus, who could argue that the ubiquitous technological developments that have consumed our lives, succinctly checks offthe community and technology contribution boxes, while affluence deserves a check as well if you consider “social” affluence.

Maybe the experts got it right; we are all intertwined in an all-knowing pre-determined universe.  Even the skeptics have to admit that there are some interesting coincidences to be observed in individual perceptions (Myers-Briggs) and generational theory.  

Hmmm…since the next generational cohort will be the Artist, shall we say the next generation is an ENTP? Looks like time will tell, we’ll be keeping our eye out in the meantime. 

For more on Myers-Briggs, you can check out the personality types here

Casandra Liggin

CasandraCasandra has always had an interest in understanding and meeting client expectations from her early days as an Account Executive at various media firms to her more recent role as a Director at a technology company within the market research industry. She is passionate about inspiring clients to grasp the Millennial mindset that will carry their business into the future. Casandra lives in Brooklyn and enjoys discovering new ways to fall in love with NYC all over again.