Is your Myers Briggs profile inherited?

I did my Myers Briggs Type Indicator accreditation 6 years ago, and one of the things that made a big impact on me at the time was when they told us that your MBTI profile is inherited.  If this is true, that would make it one of the few profiles of this type where this is the case.  In fact I can’t think of another one where this is also true.

I must admit I was a bit sceptical about it.  Surely we develop these preferences for how we live life from the way we’re brought up, don’t we?

What’s your reaction to the idea that it is inherited?  Can you see your preferences in one or other of your parents?  What about “downstream”, in your children if you have them?

When I asked myself this, I was won over by the evidence literally sitting in front of me.  I’m an ENFP, and very conveniently for this purpose (and don’t we both wish we’d know this before we got married!) my wife is an ISTJ!  This is excellent for having diverse perspectives on life under the same roof, and the occasional source of conflict!  A subject for another Blog, I think.

Anyway, I have used the MBTI with my two children (at the age of 16 , preferences are clear enough to do the profile).  Guess what?  My daughter looks like me, similar outlook on life, and is an ENFP, same as me.   And my son looks like my wife, has her approach to life, and is an ISTJ like her.  A clear genetic split, following all the rules that I vaguely recall learning at school about genetics.

Not enough evidence in its own right to prove anything, but I for one am convinced by it.  Have a think about what evidence you have around you, and come to your own conclusion

If you are interested enough to want to take this further, contact me and I will give you a FREE 20 minute consultation on your MBTI profile.


About Michael Brown Training

I'm a business skills trainer, facilitator and coach. I've been helping people to learn for 16 years, working all around the world on topics such as Negotiation, Conflict Handling, Sales, Leadership, Consulting and Personal Effectiveness. I'm an ENFP, constantly looking for new and inspiring things to do. I love my job for its variety and the stimulation I get from it, and spend most of my time seeing how far we can go with the subjects we work on in the training room. I've recently started a new venture in making video on how NOT to do things, which you can find at
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7 Responses to Is your Myers Briggs profile inherited?

  1. vzandria says:

    This is so interesting, Personally I think it’s genetics. My Mother: ENFJ, Father INTJ, on my mothers side my grandma is: ISFJ and grandfather ENTP. I am an INFJ my brother an ENTP my son is an ENFJ.


  2. Athear says:

    Just to echo your point…I was curious about the same thing so I put it to the test. My son, who looks just like me, took the instrument and is an INTJ just like I am!
    My other son, who looks more like his mother, and lives with her as well, took the test and is the same type as she is; ENFJ. I was pretty shocked but since I validated my hypothesis, I was also happy as well 🙂

    In an aytempt at further research on it, I gave Google a try and found your article so I wanted to return the favor to you and provide more evidence to backup YOUR research.



  3. Kristina says:

    My husband is INTP and I am an ENTJ. We have three children: INFP, ENTP, and ENFP. From where did the F come?


    • Hi Kristina
      It could be that your T preferences are the version of you that comes through at work, and that the F is in fact the real preference for you and your husband. I would suggest you both redo the profile if you are interested. Could also be that when you completed it before you were in a time of stress or change.

      Do drop me an email if you would like to redo it using a free online version.



  4. Hi Mike.

    Have you had a chance to check out the Human Brain Dominance Index (HBDI)?


  5. Dave Loewy says:

    Nice web-site, Mike. I like the stream of consciousness “blogs”. So much more engaging, puls your wisdom and humour shine through.

    Regarding the “inherited” MBTI preferences, two comments:
    1. This is the nature (genotype) vs nurture (phenotype) argument which has dominated psychology since Freud started eyeing his mother suspiciously. Always good for a lively discussion!
    2. With recent discoveries from neuroscience about neuroplasticity, I don’t accept that personality type is fixed, let alone a fixed characteristic. Sure, it’s damn hard to change, and that leads to the proliferation of coaches and trainers seeking to build on the acknowledged experts in behavioural change, such as Milton Erickson. So another topic for discussion, and good for business.

    Looking forward to your next contribution, and keep it real – or do I mean insensitive, or is that just a personality characteristic? 🙂

    Dave Loewy
    Engaging Wisdom Ltd


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