Myers Briggs Type Indicator and Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire differences between bipolar patients and unipolar depressed patients


Corresponding author: David S Janowsky, MD, Department of Psychiatry, CB#7175, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7175, USA. Fax: +1 919 966 0259; e-mail:


Objectives: The current study was designed to compare personality differences between bipolar patients and unipolar depressed patients, as evaluated on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ).

Methods: A group of bipolar and a group of unipolar depressed patients filled out the MBTI, the TPQ, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the CAGE questionnaire. The two groups were compared with each other as to responses on the above surveys, and subgroups of bipolar depressed and bipolar patients with manic symptoms were also compared.

Results: Bipolar patients were found to be significantly more extroverted (p=0.004) and less judging (p=0.007) on the MBTI. They were significantly more novelty seeking (p=0.004) and less harm avoidant (p=0.002) on the TPQ. Of the above differences, only the TPQ harm avoidance scale appeared strongly linked to the patients’ level of depression.

Conclusion: Significant differences in personality exist between bipolar disorder and unipolar depressed patients.