The Myers-Briggs Types of 101 Famous Authors

While we at the Riot take some time off to rest and catch up on our reading, we’re re-running some of our favorite posts from the last several months. Enjoy our highlight reel, and we’ll be back with new stuff on Monday, January 11th.

This post originally ran November 11, 2015.
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For those of you who are not familiar with Myers-Briggs or the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), it is a personality profiling system based on Jung’s typological theory that was developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. In the Myers-Briggs typology system, there are sixteen personality types consisting of four letters: E for extrovert or I for introvert, S for sensor or N for intuitive, T for thinker or F for feeler, and P for perceiver or J for judger. Psychologist David Keirsey later sorted these types into four temperaments. You can read more about Myers-Briggs here and find books about it here. Myers-Briggs typology can offer a lot of insight into how someone thinks, and in the case of an author, how someone writes.

The Guardians

Keirsey Guardians

ESTJ – The Supervisor

ESTJs are industrious traditionalists whose extroversion often leads them to take charge of situations. They are generally pragmatic and like things to be organized and clear. They are driven by a need to analyze and bring order to the world. ESTJ writers include Amy Chua, E.L. James, Dr. Phil McGraw, Tom Clancy, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Bill O’Reilly, Billy Graham, and Sonia Sotomayor. Learn more about how ESTJs write here.

ESFJ – The Provider

ESFJs are the Molly Weasleys of the world. Outgoing and community-minded, people of this type value loyalty, dependability, and practicality. They are driven by an active and intense caring about people along with a strong desire to bring harmony to their relationships. Barbara Walters and Chris Wallace are ESFJ authors. Learn more about how ESFJs write here.

ISFJ – The Protector

ISFJs are quiet, caring, and dependable people who have a strong sense of personal responsibility. They are realistic and excellent organizers. One ISFJ author is Mother Teresa. Learn more about how ISFJs write here.

ISTJ – The Inspector

ISTJs are logical pragmatists with a strong sense of personal responsibility. They take their work seriously and pay great attention to detail. Thomas Hobbes, Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger, Xenophon, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali are examples of ISTJ writers. Learn more about how ISTJs write here.

The Artisans

Keirsey Artisans

ESTP – The Promoter

ESTPs are enthusiastic adventurers who enjoy hands-on experiences. They are realists who accept the world the way it is and focus on enjoying new activities and challenges. Famous ESTP authors include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Glenn Beck, Bret Easton Ellis, the Marquis de Sade, Ernest Hemingway, John Grisham, Dale Carnegie, Stephen R. Covey, Epicurus, and Rhonda Byrne. Learn more about how ESTPs write here.

ESFP – The Performer

ESFPs are enthusiastic about having new experiences and meeting new people. They are generally warm and adaptable realists who go with the flow. ESFP authors include Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Bill Clinton, and Paulo Coelho. Learn more about how ESFPs write here.

ISFP – The Composer

ISFPs are the quintessential free spirit. They feel deeply and often have an adventurous approach to life. They are quiet, adaptable, and compassionate. One ISFP author is Thich Nhat Hanh. Learn more about how ISFPs write here. 

ISTP – The Crafter

ISTPs are driven by a desire to understand how things work. They are logical and realistic people who enjoy solving problems in a hands-on way. ISTP writers include Miyamoto Musashi and the Dalai Lama. Learn more about how ISTPs write here.

The Idealists

Keirsey Idealists

ENFP – The Champion

ENFPs thrive on the new–new people, new activities, and new ideas. They see what is possible and are generally energetic, enthusiastic, and spontaneous. ENFP writers include Oscar Wilde, Aldous Huxley, Umberto Eco, Salman Rushdie, Anne Frank, Kurt Vonnegut, Anaïs Nin, Dr. Seuss, Hunter S. Thompson, and Erica Jong. Learn more about how ENFPs write here.

ENFJ – The Teacher

ENFJs care intensely about people and are driven by a need for relational harmony. They tend to be warmly expressive and empathetic people who enjoy helping others reach their potential. ENFJ writers include Johann von Goethe, Matthieu Ricard, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and Erich Fromm. Learn more about how ENFJs write here.

INFJ – The Counselor

INFJs have an inner world filled with ideas, symbols, and possibilities. They are passionate, idealistic, and have a deep concern for others. INFJ writers include Plato, Mary Wollstonecraft, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Dante Alighieri, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Agatha Christie, Charlotte Brontë, J.K. Rowling, Carl Jung, and Leo Tolstoy. Learn more about how INFJs write here.

INFP – The Healer

INFPs are the dreamers of the world. They are deeply idealistic and passionate about their beliefs, ideas, and relationships. INFP writers include Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Albert Camus, George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, Virginia Woolf, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, A.A. Milne, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, John Milton, William Blake, Hans Christian Anderson, William Shakespeare, Homer, and George R.R. Martin. Learn more about how INFPs write here.

The Rationals

Keirsey Rationals

ENTJ – The Fieldmarshal

ENTJs are forceful personalities who excel at conceptual strategy and executing plans. They are future-oriented and natural leaders. Robert James Waller and Sheryl Sandberg are two examples of ENTJ writers. Learn more about how ENTJs write here.

ENTP – The Inventor

ENTPs love new ideas and possibilities and are excited by innovation. They are energetic, enthusiastic, and spontaneous people with a deep need to understand the world around them. ENTP writers include Socrates, Niccolo Machiavelli, George Bernard Shaw, Chuck Palahniuk, Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, and Mark Twain. Learn more about how ENTPs write here. 

INTP – The Architect

INTPs have a deep need to make sense of the world and are generally logical, analytical, and emotionally detached. They enjoy new ideas and are adaptable in their lifestyle, if not always their thinking. INTP writers include Richard Dawkins, Immanuel Kant, Charles Darwin, Hannah Arendt, John Locke, Thomas Aquinas, Rene Descartes, and John le Carre. Learn more about how INTPs write here.

INTJ – The Mastermind

INTJs are idea people, driven by their inner world of possibilities and a deep need to understand the world around them. They are logical, systematic thinkers who enjoy turning their visions into a reality. INTJ writers include Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, Emily Brontë, Ayn Rand, Lewis Carroll, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stephen Hawking, Isaac Asimov, Christopher Hitchens, and Karl Marx. Learn more about how INTJs write here.

Note: I referenced the type descriptions at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type. Author types are based on research and educated guesses. No one can type a person with 100% accuracy except a professional or the person him/herself.

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