• Extroverts, sensors, thinkers, and judgers tend to be the most financially successful personality types, according to new research.
  • The researchers surveyed over 72,000 people measuring their personality, income levels, and career-related data.
  • Though personality does play a role, many other factors contribute to income levels, including education, experience and career type.
a chart showing how personality type effects income
he researchers surveyed over 72,000.
Image: Visual Capitalist

How does your personality type affect your income?

You’ve just finished giving a presentation at work, and an outspoken coworker challenges your ideas. Do you:

a) Engage in a friendly debate about the merits of each argument, or

b) Avoid a conflict by agreeing or changing the subject?

The way you approach this type of situation may influence how much money you earn.

Today’s infographic comes to us from Truity, and it outlines the potential relationship between personality type and income.

Through the Myers-Briggs lens

The Myers-Briggs personality test serves as a robust framework for analyzing the connection between personality and income, in a way that is easily understood and familiar to many people.

The theory outlines four personality dimensions that are described using opposing traits.

Extraversion vs. Introversion: Extroverts gain energy by interacting with others, while introverts draw energy from spending time alone.

Sensing vs. Intuition: Sensors prefer concrete and factual information, while intuitive types use their imagination or wider patterns to interpret information.

Thinking vs. Feeling: Thinkers make rational decisions based on logic, while feelers make empathetic decisions considering the needs of others.

Judging vs. Perceiving: Judging types organize their life in a structured manner, while perceiving types are more flexible and spontaneous.

For example, someone who aligns with extraversion, sensing, thinking, and judging would be described as an ESTJ type.

The researchers surveyed over 72,000 people to measure these four personality preferences, as well as 23 unique facets of personality, income levels, and career-related data.

Traits with the highest earning potential

Based on the above four dimensions, extroverts, sensors, thinkers, and judgers tend to be the most financially successful. Diving into specific personality characteristics, certain traits are more closely correlated with higher income.

a chat showing  how personality type effects income
Extroverts, sensors, thinkers, and judgers tend to be the most financially successful.
Image: Visual Capitalist

For instance, extroverts are much more likely to have higher incomes if they are quick to share thoughts, have high energy, and like being in the public eye. Thinkers also score high on income potential, especially if they enjoy debates, make rational decisions, and moderate their emotions.

The top earners

Which personality types earn the highest incomes of all? Extroverted thinking types dominate the ranks again.

a chat showing  how personality type effects income
Extroverted thinking types dominate the ranks.
Image: Visual Capitalist

The one exception is INTJs, with 10% earning an annual salary of $150K or more in their peak earning years.

Personality and the gender pay gap

With all these factors in mind, the researchers analyzed whether personality differences would affect the gender pay gap.

When the average salaries were separated for men and women, the results were clear: men of almost all personality types earn more than the average income for the sample overall, while all but two personality types of women earned less than the average.

a chat showing  how personality type effects income
Women with high-earning personality types still earn less than men who do not possess those traits.
Image: Visual Capitalist

In fact, women with high-earning personality types still earn less than men who do not possess those traits. For example, extroverted women earn about $55,000 annually, while introverted men earn an average of over $64,000.

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the gender gap?

The World Economic Forum has been measuring gender gaps since 2006 in the annual Global Gender Gap Report.

The Global Gender Gap Report tracks progress towards closing gender gaps on a national level. To turn these insights into concrete action and national progress, we have developed the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerators model for public private collaboration.

These accelerators have been convened in ten countries across three regions. Accelerators are established in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Panama in partnership with the InterAmerican Development Bank in Latin America and the Caribbean, Egypt and Jordan in the Middle East and North Africa, and Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

All Country Accelerators, along with Knowledge Partner countries demonstrating global leadership in closing gender gaps, are part of a wider ecosystem, the Global Learning Network, that facilitates exchange of insights and experiences through the Forum’s platform.

In 2019 Egypt became the first country in the Middle East and Africa to launch a Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator. While more women than men are now enrolled in university, women represent only a little over a third of professional and technical workers in Egypt. Women who are in the workforce are also less likely to be paid the same as their male colleagues for equivalent work or to reach senior management roles.

In these countries CEOs and ministers are working together in a three-year time frame on policies that help to further close the economic gender gaps in their countries. This includes extended parental leave, subsidized childcare and removing unconscious bias in recruitment, retention and promotion practices.

If you are a business in one of the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator countries you can join the local membership base.

If you are a business or government in a country where we currently do not have a Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator you can reach out to us to explore opportunities for setting one up.

Maximizing your potential

Are the introverted personalities of the world doomed to lower salaries? Not necessarily—while personality does play a role, many other factors contribute to income levels:

Level of education

Years of experience

Local job market

Type of industry

The particular career

Not only that, anyone can work on the two specific personality traits most aligned with higher incomes: set ambitious goals, and face conflict head-on to ensure your voice is heard.