Turn of Mind:
A Game of Psychological Type



by Connie Busse

Connie is an evaluation analyst with the San Diego City Schools. She loves fast cars and chocolate.

Instructional Objective The learner will be able to identify the four elements of a psychological type and state the type represented by the phrases on the cards. The learner will be able to distinguish characteristics of the pairs of opposites represented by the phrases on each card.


Learners/Context Learners would be any group of students from high school through adult who are studying the characteristics of psychological type as described in the work of Carl Jung and assessed with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

The game would best be used near the end of a class unit or training workshop on psychological type. It could provide an interesting form of review before an exam or serve to summarize what has been presented.


Rationale A card game is appropriate because it will interject instructional punctuation into the teaching of material that can be complex to learn. The content is interesting but not serious and the four pairs of opposites which comprise a personality lend themselves to card suites. The compactness of a card game allows the teacher or trainer to easily transport the game to any setting and little time is needed for setup.

The game uses the rules of rummy which makes it familiar. Generally, "type" workshops involve a small number of people at any one time so the use of a card game for small groups is appropriate. As a review exercise the game takes little time but asks learners to apply knowledge. Designing the cards in HyperCard and moving them to PageMaker for printing whole decks makes duplication relatively simple. Once the cards are printed they can be copied onto heavy card stock and laminated to ensure durability.


Rules The game is designed for 2-4 players. The goal of the game is to form a hand comprised of one psychological type and three characteristics of one of the four areas of preference. The three characteristics must be the opposite of the one used to form the type. For example, if the player collects cards to form the type ESTJ and then collects characteristics of the E/I preference, the three characteristics would have to be I characteristics.

Players choose one person to deal first. The deal then passes to the left for each round. Deal 7 cards to each player beginning with the player to the dealer's left. Place the remaining cards in a stack face down on the table. Each players arranges his/her cards in an attempt to form one psychological type and three characteristics of one preference opposite the one in the type. The "cheat sheet" lists the pairs of preferences and the characteristics of each preferences well as the 16 psychological types. A type is formed by collecting one E/I preference card, one S/N preference card, one T/F preference card and one J/P preference card.

Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer who picks up the top card from the face down pile. The player may keep that card or discard it. If the card is kept, the player discards another card from the hand so that there are always 7 cards in the hand.

Play continues until one player has "type." As defined above, type is having four cards which comprise the characteristics of one psychological type and three cards of the same preference which are opposite the preference in the psychological type held. A player goes out when all 7 of the cards in his/her hand have been matched into one type and three characteristics of a preference opposite one aspect of the type. A player gets 25 bonus points for going out. After laying down the hand, the player going out must name the type held in the hand using the letter abbreviations and the full word for each preference. If the player fails to do this, the 25 bonus points are forfeited. Once the player has named the type, he/she adds up the total points of the cards held and adds them to his/her score.

All other players lay their matched cards, either those which form a whole type (1 for each of the four preference areas) or those which form 3 characteristics of the same preference, face down on the table. Any unmatched cards are deducted from each player's score. No points are added to the score of these players.

For example, if a player goes out and you have one E/I card, two S/N cards, two T/F cards, and two J/P cards, you would lay the E/I card, one of the S/N cards, one of the T/F cards, and one of the J/P cards face down so that they are not counted against you. The extra T/F and the extra J/P card would each count 5 points against you. The S/N card would count 5 points against you if it were an S characteristic and 10 points if it were an N characteristic.

Play continues until the first player reaches 300 points.


Card Design There are 52 cards in the deck in four suits of 13 each. The suits are E/I, S/N, T/F, and J/P. The E/I suit contains 8 E characteristic cards and 5 I characteristic cards. The S/N suit contains 8 S characteristic cards and 5 N characteristic cards. The T/F suit contains 6 T characteristic cards, 6 F characteristic cards and one "wild" card. The J/P suit contains 6 J characteristic cards, 6 P characteristic cards, and one "wild" card. Wild cards may be used for either preference in forming a type or matching the 3 characteristics. All cards are regular playing card size.

Cards have the following values:

E Preference 5 points

I Preference 10 points

S Preference 5 points

N Preference 10 points

T Preference 5 points

F Preference 5 points

J Preference 5 points

P Preference 5 points

Wild Cards 20 points

The cards have the suit designation in the top right corner and a characteristic of the preference in the center. The bottom of the card contains the logo with the pair of opposites within it. The logo and the suit identification would be color coded with red for E/I, green for S/N, blue for T/F and yellow for J/P. The cards below illustrate one example from each of the four suits. The two wild cards contain the suit designation and the words "Way of making decisions" for the E/F card and "Way of dealing with the external world" for the J/P suite.


Design Process Over the years that I have worked with psychological type, I have noticed that people often have difficulty remembering what the four areas of preference are or what each of the letters means. A game using the characteristics of type and forcing the formation of a type should help clarify the differences.

I originally planned to use the Gin Rummy form but when I played it in that form it was neither fun nor challenging, so I switched to the regular rummy format. At first I planned to have the formation of one type and any three characteristics from a single suit, but that was too easy. Having the three cards be the same suit and be the opposite of the preference used in the type not only made the game more challenging, but also reinforced knowing the characteristics of each preference. The addition of color to each suit helps a player quickly organize and identify cards. The decision to have players name the type if they go out reinforces the terminology and prevents playing the game without knowing the content.

I chose the simplest form of the game to begin with, assuming that it would serve to solidify the concepts for learners. More advanced levels could include requiring the type used to go out to be different in each successive hand until all 16 types had been formed. Variety could be added to either the simple or advanced form by having decks with different characteristics for the preferences so that learners are exposed to more characteristics. The player going out might also be required not only to name the type but also to give the dominant function of that type or give an appropriate career for that type.

The 16 Types

Introverted Sensing Introverted Intuitive

ISTJ INTJ

ISFJ INFJ

ISTP INTP

ISFP INFP

Extroverted Sensing Extroverted Intuitive

ESTJ ENTJ

ESFJ ENFJ

ESTP ENTP

ESFP ENFP

Characteristics of Preferences

Extrovert (E) Introvert (I)

Energy from people Energy from ideas

Focus on outer world Focus on inner world

Understand through action Understand through contemplation

Rely on environment for stimulation Value privacy

Frankness Like depth of knowledge

Sociable

Like breadth of knowledge

Have many relationships

Sensing (S) Intuition (I)

Memory for detail Innovative

Perceive through senses Perceiver though pattern relationships

Like tradition Focus on future

Emphasize the concrete Emphasized the abstract

Focus on the present Perceive the possibilities

Interested in practical value

Acute observations

Trust facts

Thinking (T) Feeling (F)

Objective decisions Subjective decisions

Skeptical Need intimacy

Makes Logical connections Weighs relative values

Relies on Principles People oriented

Impersonal Capacity for warmth

Analytical Desire for harmony

Judgment (J) Perceptive (P)

Likes closure Keep options open

Decisive Flexible

Organized Open minded

Like structure Curious

Exacting Tolerant

Work before play Likes to start new things