The MBTI® INFP and College
INFP (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Perceiving) Personality Types often appear to others as adaptable, honest, amiable, humble, timid, and sometimes complex individuals. Often tranquil yet perceptive, INFPs generally place an elevated value on acknowledging both their own and other individuals’ originality. This personality type has been found to be passionately encompassed in the results of their actions, more than people may realize. They often will consider favorable characteristics in others and, therefore, may have a tendency to minimize others’ imperfections. In this regard, INFPs may take notice of the slight overtones behind people’s words and behavior, seeking the ability to have a personal influence on others’ actions and attitudes. As introverted individuals, INFPs often commonly place their concentration on their own inner world, paying most attention to their own thoughts, feelings, and impressions. This personality type is customarily energized by and directs their energy toward this inward attention. However, due to their innate Perceiving function, they often want to accommodate the outer world as well. It may be common for INFPs to involve themselves in extracurriculars such as serving as part of campus newsletters or yearbooks. However, it may be challenging for peers and friends of INFPs to be able to pull them away from compelling reading or projects an INFP is involved with in order to play a part in physical activity or entertainment. By the same token, roommates of INFPs have stated that individuals with this personality type can be very adaptable.
Learning Styles and Being Studious
INFPs have been known to attempt to accomplish more than most would believe to be achievable but somehow generally can execute results. However, when first entering college INFPs may be taken aback by their increased need for good study habits due to the fact they may not have needed to study as regularly in order to achieve good grades when in high school. When studying, this personality type tends to be most comfortable in environments with little interpersonal conflict, sufficient time to work alone quietly, and the security of knowing their efforts are appreciated and recognized. They commonly will want the opportunity to convey themselves intellectually and to be able to complete influential undertakings in environments that encourage individual resourcefulness while supporting adaptability and diversity. INFPs frequently learn best by pausing for speculation. This personality type has been known to peruse a quick understanding of their assigned material and then use their imagination to go beyond the facts they’ve learned. Most INFPs prefer to use concepts to provide themselves with an understanding of the overall meaning of their assigned material. This personality type tends to condense extensive information by relating one concept to another. When doing so, INFPs appreciate informal study tools, such as fundamental brainstorming.
This personality type has been known to place a high value on the opportunity for variance, as well as the ability to work or study spontaneously. As such, in the circumstance they are allowed this commonly impulsive behavior, INFPs have been known to do so with a surge of intensity, determination, and efficiency. This personality type has a tendency to remain receptive to innovative possibilities, and due to their innate Perceiving Function, they often enjoy searching for any achievable angles for the completion of their assignments. Additionally, attributable to their Intuitive Function, they tend to excel on essay-driven assignments, which provide them with the opportunity to connotate figurative ideas. However, INFPs are known to stray from the assigned question and may achieve higher scores by learning to support their reasoning with concrete evidence. Nevertheless, this personality type tends to do well on verifiable multiple-choice exams because they often follow their first hunch. That said, when taking these types of exams, it can be helpful for INFPs to review their answers for particulars they may have disregarded.
Individuals who share the INFP Personality Type have stated to prefer instructors who present clearly expressed facts when lecturing. They have also shown a desire for their professors to empower their students with the opportunity for liberated thinking. Having instructors who develop a personal relationship with their students will commonly be the best learning environment for an INFP. This is due to the circumstance that INFPs generally learn best by being encouraged and appreciated. Individuals with this personality type have also stated to prefer their instructors to be captivating and motivational, with an increased enthusiasm for instruction. “There are almost twice as many faculty with preferences for both Introversion and Intuition than there are students with these preferences, and an INFP may be able to relate to their instructors based on their common personality functionality in these areas.” Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.)
Reading and Writing
Many INFPs appreciate artistic expression, especially when engaging with the written word. “It is common for them to say they spend up to nine hours a week in serious nonrequired reading.” (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.) As mentioned, students who have an increased preference for their Intuition function search for interpretation and commonalities that extend beyond the assigned facts. In doing so, they focus on the big picture and try to grasp the essential patterns. Others may view INFPs as individuals who have no trouble “reading between the lines,” and this may be due to this personality type’s common desire to be able to relate to their assigned material on a personal level. Because this personality type tends to place a high value on reading, they may easily find something within their assigned work to appreciate. However, in order for Intuitive types (such as INFPs) to elevate their submissions for assignments, they may want to pay close attention to the specifics involved with them. INFPs may want to apply this specific attention to detail to even small tasks that may seem to require imagination only, such as writing fiction, in order to improve their writing skills. Additionally, because this personality type often innately searches for inner or underlying meaning, they may be able to improve writing skills by also paying closer attention to the factual information. “INFPs have been known to write best from inner inspiration, drawing ideas from diverse sources and showing conceptual links.” (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.) However, when revising multiple drafts, this personality type may want to edit their writing by reducing the length of their sentences, clarifying perplexing interpretations, and providing credible references and facts.
The typical writing approach which INFPs have reported to assist with combating writer’s block are to:
Write from ideas Communicate personal viewpoint
Jot down ideas before writing Enliven content with human examples
Pause to think ahead while writing Anticipate reader’s reaction
Find quit to concentrate without interruptions Writing guided by sense of flow and overall tone
Discuss concepts and implications Keep topic options open and flexible
Try out new approaches Let deadlines motivate completion
Attend to interesting complexities Let multiple projects overlap
Say it with a flourish and with subtlety Extensive search for related facts or ideas
*Abstracted from Introduction to Type in College (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc. P.8)
College Direction and Major Choice
This personality type has always been known to be dreaming of new possibilities and can be prone to being indecisive at times. It is common for this personality type to want often to delay deciding their college major until after they have weighed all possibilities and the outcomes of each. They have been known to prefer to be able to make this decision at their own pace and not be rushed. However, INFPs commonly make decisions such as these by not only giving consideration to values that are most important to themselves but also to other important people in their lives. Regardless, due to their innate Perceiving function, INFPs often prefer the ability to keep their options open to all possibilities and experiences. It is important for individuals who report with this personality type, as well as family members involved in their collegiate decision-making, to understand that they do not have to decide their lifelong occupation prior to or even while still in college. INFPs should know that each phase and decision they make are a part of and will set a new path in motion, creating a foundation for the steps and decisions to follow. When choosing college majors, INFPs often want their future to contribute to a purpose beyond a paycheck, commonly in occupations that support human development.
Taking a college major assessment can greatly help an INFP figure out which direction to take.
ENTPs are frequently found focusing on the following:
- Counseling/Human Services
- Art and Music
- Behavioral Science
It is also common for INFPs to be found majoring in Psychology.
INFPs are less likely to report stress connected with balancing schoolwork and personal necessities. They have reported not welcoming others around them who are presenting negative or critical behavior and have been known to become stressed by conflict or hostility among their peers. INFPs have stated not to be fond of controlling, demanding, or confrontational people and are known to be among the least aggressive of all the MBTI® Personality Types, especially while in college. They may become stressed by being assigned too many obligations at once or being asked to play many roles at the same time. Other stress factors which INFPs have stated to be troublesome are having strict schedules or being given extreme time constraints. When under a great deal of stress over an extended period of time, INFPs may feel a sense of inadequacy, even despite their verifiable performance. Stress therapies that have been useful for this personality type in the past include having alone time for reflection in order to meditate on personal values or personal priorities and to refocus on what is right rather than concentrating on what is wrong in their lives. INFPs can also set aside time for fun or engage in relaxing activities, or speak with close friends or family about their stress management regimen. INFPs have also been known to find new energy and motivation in coming up with an intriguing new idea for an ongoing project. Additionally, it is common for this personality type to use physical exercise as their primary method of coping with their stress levels. It can be helpful for INFPs to lower their stress levels by turning in their projects even though they may feel the project is incomplete to their personal standards, and to learn to trust verifiable evidence for their performance (such as their grades or GPA).
Learn More About the MBTI INFP Personality Type
Explore additional information that delves deeper into the INFP Personality Type by examining various personality and career-based subjects:
- How the MBTI INFP Type relates to Innovation
- How the MBTI INFP Type relates to Project Management
- How the MBTI INFP Type relates to Emotional Intelligence
- How the MBTI INFP Type relates to Leadership
- How the MBTI INFP Type relates to Decision Making
Click on the link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types
All College-based information was taken from the following publication: (Ditiberio and Hammer, 1993, CPP Inc.)
In the Grip. Understanding Type, Stress, and The Inferior Function (Quenk, N. 2000. CPP)