Katniss Everdeen: surprisingly, I’d say she’s ESTP.

Okay, so my boyfriend – who is ISTP – was kind of grudgingly saying there are no clear ISTPs playing main characters in popular movies and/or series. I thought for a moment and then came up with Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games. Online, opinions seem divided between her being INTJ (most popular notion, god knows why), ISTP and ISTJ. So then I started typing this post, trying to argue why she’s an ISTP. However, surprisingly, halfway I got an interesting idea: what if Katniss is not an ISTP? What if she’s a disfunctional ESTP?

Introvert or extravert?

The internet isn’t divided on this one: everybody claims Katniss is an introvert. She is a loner. She’s very comfortable by herself (nightmares aside). On the other hand, this is the one point where I personally have room for doubt. She could also be a highly disfunctional extravert. For example, take this quote from book 1:

In the woods waits the only person with whom I can be myself. Gale.

Some might say this is a sign of her introversion. However, I think this is more of situational behavior.

I wonder if Katniss would be extravert in a different environment. She does seem to bond easily with people: Haymitch, Rue, Peetah, Cinna, etc, etc… Of course, introverts can bond with people just fine as well, but I’m kind of hesitant if her introvert behavior is due to nature or due to her need to survive.

At this point, I still thought it could be either way…

Sensor or Intuitive?

People say Katniss has many intuitive traits, but quite honestly I don’t see any. She’s staying very much in the moment, she’s a quick thinker. Most of her inner monologue even centers around what’s going on, not dreams and ideals. Example: conversation between her and Gale in book 1:

“I never want to have kids,” I say.

“I might, if I didn’t live here,” says Gale.

“But you do,” I say, irritated.

It’s not that she completely lacks intuition, it’s there, but it’s not very prominent. Rather, she uses analysis to arrive to conclusions that might seem intuitive.

Thinker or Feeler?

Not something that’s up for debate, but in case you need some argumentation, Katniss clearly won’t let herself be guided by feelings. Consider this quote from book 1:

“His rage seems pointless to me, although I never say so. It’s not that I don’t agree with him. I do. But what good is yelling about the Capitol in the middle of the woods? It doesn’t change anything.”

Perceiver or Judger

This is really surprising. Apparently, the internet is highly divided on this one, while in my opinion Katniss is very clearly a perceiver, dealing with situations as they arise, no regards for traditions or planning. Here’s just a couple of examples (SPOILERS ALERT for all movies) showing she is clearly P, not J:

  • Book 1, beginning: spontaneous decision to take Prim’s place.
  • Book 1, end: spontaneous decision to pretend to eat the berries.
  • Book 2, beginning: her decision to stand up for what she believes in with respect to Rue.
  • Book 3, end: her decision to kill president Coin.

Cognitive stack

Interestingly, when we look at the cognitive stack (I borrowed the quotes from thoughtcatalog’s descriptions for this), this is what comes up:

For ISTP:

  • Primary Ti: “I must figure out exactly how everything logistically works in relation to everything else.”
    I haven’t noticed her doing this.
  • Auxiliary Se: “I want to go live out the experiences that I have determined to be the best or most enjoyable and see what happens as a result.”
    Could be.
  • Tertiary Ni: How can I improve upon – or even perfect – the approach that I regularly take toward my main passion or interest?
    Could be, though hard to say given the context.
  • Inferior Fe: “Feelings make me freeze with anxiety because I don’t know how to moderate them. I am terrified of accidentally offending someone.”
    Uhmm… no. Definitely not Katniss. She is so blunt. She doesn’t seem terrified of offending at all.

Okay, I guess that’s possible…

Let’s look at the ESTP function stack though:

  • Primary Se: “I want to sample all of the experiences that are immediately available to me and see where those experiences lead me!”
    This is the impulsiveness that is so strong with Katniss. Even though she does consider her actions, she acts on impulse a lot.
  • Auxiliary Ti: “How can I manipulate the way that this object or situation works so that it instead works the way I’d like it to?”
    Berries, anyone?
  • Tertiary Fe: “I will assess the feelings of those around me to determine whether or not I can get what I want from them.”
    Katniss’ negotiation with Coin, for instance.
  • Inferior Ni: “Everyone needs to stop over-analyzing everything, the answers are literally right in front of us.”
    Katniss’ impatience to act.

This second stack seems to fit Katniss’ performance, so much better!

My conclusion: Katniss Everdeen is ESTP

Prove me wrong. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

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