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ESFP (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of the sixteen personality types.[1] The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types. Jung proposed a psychological typology based on the theories of cognitive functions that he developed through his clinical observations.

From Jung's work, others developed psychological typologies. Jungian personality assessments include the MBTI instrument, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS), developed by David Keirsey. Keirsey referred to ESFPs as Performers, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Artisan. ESFPs account for about 4–10% of the population.[2][3]

The MBTI preferences indicate the differences in people based on the following:

* How they focus their attention or get their energy (extraversion or introversion)
* How they perceive or take in information (sensing or intuition)
* How they prefer to make decisions (thinking or feeling)
* How they orient themselves to the external world (judgment or perception)

By using their preference in each of these areas, people develop what Jung and Myers called psychological type. This underlying personality pattern results from the dynamic interaction of their four preferences, in conjunction with environmental influences and their own individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth.

The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four "dichotomies" (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for intuition, as I is used for Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.[5]

* E – Extraversion preferred to Introversion: ESFPs often feel motivated by their interaction with people. They tend to enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances, and they gain energy in social situations (whereas introverts expend energy).[6]
* S – Sensing preferred to iNtuition: ESFPs tend to be more concrete than abstract. They focus their attention on the details rather than the big picture, and on immediate realities rather than future possibilities .[7]
* F – Feeling preferred to Thinking: ESFPs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.[8]
* P – Perception preferred to Judgment: ESFPs tend to withhold judgment and delay important decisions, preferring to "keep their options open" should circumstances change.[9]

Characteristics of ESFPs
Some practitioners have speculated that Bill Clinton is an ESFP.[10] However, according to the guidelines for the ethical use of the MBTI, only those taking the assessment can identify their own best fit.[11]

The Performer [ESFP]

Preforming is putting on a show or demonstration of some kind to entertain others, and ESFPs are the natural performers among the types of people for whom it can truly be said "sll the world's a stage." Playful and fun-loving, these expressive Artisans' primary social interest lies in stimulating those around them, arousing their senses and their pleasurable emothins -- charming them, in a sense, to cast off their concerns and lighten up. Such Performers radiate warmth and festivity, and whether on the job, with friends, or with their families, they are able to lift others' spirits with their contagious good humor and their irrepressible joy of living. As a variant of Plato's Artisans and Aristotle's Hedonics, the ESFPs are little different from the SPs in most respects. Like all the Artisans they are concrete in their communication and utilitarian in their use of tools. They are interested in learning about arts and crafts, are preoccupied with technique, and work well with equipment. In orientation they tend to be hedonistic, optimistic, cynical, and focused on the here and now. They want to be seen as artistic, audacious, and adaptable. Often excited, they trust their impulses, yearn for impact, seek sensation , prize generosity, and aspire to virtuosity. Intellectually, they are prone to practice tactics far more than logistics, strategy, and especially diplomacy. further, with their friendly nature they tend to play the informative role of Entertainer over the tough-minded, directive role of the Operator. And with their out going expressiveness they lean more toward pleasing others as a Performer than as a Composer. Performers are plentiful, something over ten percent of the population, and that is fortunate, because they bring joy to so many of us. They love the excitement of playing to an audience, and they try to generate a sense of showtime wherever they are. They aren't comfortable being alone and will seek the company of others when every possible-- which they usually find, for they make wonderful playmates. Lively, witty conversationalists, they always seem to know the latest jokes and stories, and are quick with wisecracks and wordplay--nothing is too serious or sacred that it cant be made fun of. Performers also like to live in the fast lane, and seem up on the latest fads of dress, food, drink, and entertainment, the chic new fashion, the in nightclub, the hot new musical group. Energetic and uninhibited, ESFPs create a mood of eat, drink, and be merry wherever they go, and life around them can have a continual party-like atmosphere.

How Others May Perceive ESFPs

Others usually see ESFPs as resourceful and supportive, as well as gregarious, playful, and spontaneous. ESFPs get a lot of satisfaction out of life and are fun to be around. Their exuberance and enthusiasm draw others to them. They are flexible, adaptable, congenial, and easygoing. They seldom plan ahead, trusting their ability to respond in the moment and deal effectively with whatever presents itself. They dislike structure and routine and will generally find ways to bend the rules.[4]

Potential Areas for Growth

Sometimes life circumstances do not support ESFPs in the development and expression of the Feeling and Sensing preferences. If they have not developed their Feeling preference, ESFPs may get caught up in the interactions of the moment, with no mechanism for weighing, evaluating, or anchoring themselves. If they have not developed their Sensing preference, they may focus on the sensory data available in the moment. Their decisions may then be limited to gratification of sensual desires, particularly those involving interactions with other people.

If ESFPs do not find a place where they can use their gifts and be appreciated for their contributions, they usually feel frustrated and may become distracted or overly impulsive. They may have trouble accepting and meeting deadlines. They may also become hypersensitive, internalizing others’ actions and decisions.

It is natural for ESFPs to give less attention to their non-preferred Intuitive and Thinking parts. If they neglect these too much, they may fail to look at long-term consequences, acting on immediate needs of themselves and others. They may also avoid complex or ambiguous situations and people, putting enjoyment ahead of obligations.

Under great stress, ESFPs may feel overwhelmed internally by negative possibilities. They then put energy into developing simplistic global explanations for their negativity.[4]
[edit] Cognitive functions

Drawing upon Jungian theory, Isabel Myers proposed that for each personality type, the cognitive functions (sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling) form a hierarchy. This hierarchy represents the person's so-called default pattern of behavior.

The Dominant function is the personality type's preferred role, the one they feel most comfortable with. The secondary Auxiliary function serves to support and expand on the Dominant function. If the Dominant is an information gathering function (sensing or intuition), the Auxiliary is a decision making function (thinking or feeling), and vice versa. The Tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary, but it matures over time, rounding out the person's abilities. The Inferior function is the personality type's Achilles' heel. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the Tertiary, the Inferior function strengthens with maturity.[12]

Jung and Myers considered the attitude of the Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions to be the opposite of the Dominant. In this interpretation, if the Dominant function is extraverted, then the other three are introverted, and vice versa. However, many modern practitioners hold that the attitude of the Tertiary function is the same as the Dominant.[5] (Neither view is backed by sufficient empirical evidence to be considered scientifically valid.[13]) Using the more modern interpretation, the cognitive functions of the ESFP are as follows:[12]

Dominant: Extraverted Sensing (Se)

Se focuses on the experiences and sensations of the immediate, physical world. With an acute awareness of the present surroundings, it brings relevant facts and details to the forefront and may lead to spontaneous action.[14]
[edit] Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling (Fi)

Fi filters information based on interpretations of worth, forming judgments according to criteria that are often intangible. Fi constantly balances an internal set of values such as harmony and authenticity. Attuned to subtle distinctions, Fi innately senses what is true and what is false in a situation.[15]

Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking (Te)

Te organizes and schedules ideas and the environment to ensure the efficient, productive pursuit of objectives. Te seeks logical explanations for actions, events, and conclusions, looking for faulty reasoning and lapses in sequence.[16]

Inferior: Introverted Intuition (Ni)

Attracted to symbolic actions or devices, Ni synthesizes seeming paradoxes to create the previously unimagined. These realizations come with a certainty that demands action to fulfill a new vision of the future, solutions that may include complex systems or universal truths.[17]

Shadow functions

Later personality researchers (notably Linda V. Berens)[18] added four additional functions to the descending hierarchy, the so-called "shadow" functions to which the individual is not naturally inclined but which can emerge when the person is under stress. For ESFP, these shadow functions are (in order):

* Introverted Sensing (Si): Si collects data in the present moment and compares it with past experiences, a process that sometimes evokes the feelings associated with memory, as if the subject were reliving it. Seeking to protect what is familiar, Si draws upon history to form goals and expectations about what will happen in the future.[19]
* Extraverted Feeling (Fe): Fe seeks social connections and creates harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. Fe responds to the explicit (and implicit) wants of others, and may even create an internal conflict between the subject’s own needs and the desire to meet the needs of others.[20]
* Introverted Thinking (Ti): Ti seeks precision, such as the exact word to express an idea. It notices the minute distinctions that define the essence of things, then analyzes and classifies them. Ti examines all sides of an issue, looking to solve problems while minimizing effort and risk. It uses models to root out logical inconsistency.[21]
* Extraverted Intuition (Ne): Ne finds and interprets hidden meanings, using “what if” questions to explore alternatives, allowing multiple possibilities to coexist. This imaginative play weaves together insights and experiences from various sources to form a new whole, which can then become a catalyst to action.[22]

Type and personal growth

Each person is unique; there is no "right" or "wrong" type. The purpose of learning about personality type is to understand oneself better and enhance relationships with others. Results on the MBTI suggest the probable type based on the choices made when answering the questions; however, only the individual can determine his or her true type preference. Moreover, type does not explain everything. Human personality is much more complex.[4]
[edit] Correlation with Enneatype

According to Baron and Wagele, the most common Enneatypes for ESFPs are Helpers and Enthusiasts.[23]

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