Interview with Professor Dario Nardi, PhD

World renowned neuroscience expert and personality consultant Dario Nardi, joined me to discuss his new book and many other topics around MBTI. As a fellow INTJ, Dario and I got along very well.

His Latest Book

The Magic Diamond is Dr. Nardi’s newest book. It is a combination of the last 10 years of research proceeding the release of his magnum opus, The Neuroscience of Personality. Dario has been a student in the Jungian tradition for 30 years, and The Magic Diamond is an amalgamation of all that wisdom. The concept of the Magic diamond is one of integration that, over your lifetime, combines your best and worst cognitive functions into a fully realized Self.

The Magic Diamond: Jung's 8 Paths for Self-Coaching: Nardi, Dario:  9798682551965: Books
The Magic Diamond by Dario Nardi

Career Impact on People’s Brains

An intriguing revelation from Dario’s research is the extent to which a person’s occupation impacts brain function and activity. Workplace stressors and pressures to engage a part of your personality that is not your true nature, can STILL affect results on an EEG machine. As MBTI practitioners, this fact should compel us to spend more time with our clients to truly get to the bottom of our client’s true nature.

CT and Brain Imaging; My Brain Lab Session with Dario Nardi – Cognitive  Typology
Each part of the brain labeled by module and activity

Personality Hacker 

In the interview, Personality Hacker was mentioned briefly. Dario has done an exclusive 12-week course through their paid membership page. Also, Personality Hacker created what I would consider the best model for understanding the top 4 cognitive functions, which is known as the Car Model.

Personality Development Tools: The Car Model — Personality Type and  Personal Growth | Personality Hacker

I would also recommend their podcast which covers every conceivable aspect of MBTI you could possibly imagine.

Brains are Different by Culture 

Interesting enough, and hardly ever talked about, is the fact that culturally, brains develop differently and have distinct patterns and energies. Did you also know that brain scans show up completely differently with left-handed and right-handed people?

Ethical Standards within MBTI Community 

The Type community has always maintained that you never tell someone what their Type is. “You are an ENTJ; You are an ISFP,” are huge No-Nos in the professional Typology community. The client is always the final arbiter of their Type. Dario makes it clear that it’s not our job as analysts to tell people their Type, but to have the client discover their most likely patterns and tendencies themselves.

MBTI in Relation to DiSC and Five Factor Model 

Dario makes an outstanding case for the superiority of MBTI over other assessments such as Five Factor Model and DiSC due to their lack of a “development path.” MBTI, and the underlying theory of Jung, looks at personality through the lens of developing yourself over your lifetime. When you push aside the corporate MBTI model, you discover a huge gulf of knowledge around developing your personality that is sadly lacking in other personality assessments.

What Do The Letters in DiSC Stand For? – Resources Unlimited: Human  Resources Training & Consulting
DiSC model

Type Gives us a Lens to See Through 

We don’t often seek to examine how we look at ourselves and others. If we do, we don’t have a way to define the method or framework. “The unexamined life is not worth living” is a great starting point, but what tool will we use to examine our life? MBTI is the tool to do just that. Unique as we all are, there are repeatable and demonstrable traits that we all exhibit within a certain personality Type. Having a shared language and model to work within, then gives us a way to start implementing the many type development plans that exist within MBTI.

Jung vs Modern-Day Type Literature

Being a true scholar of Jung, Dario was quick to point out that the current Type literature that exists deviates from Jung in one specific way: it’s overly positive. If you read Psychological Types, the descriptions of the 8 cognitive functions are essentially 80% good and 20% bad. Jung was mostly concerned about how these functions could manifest in a negative way, and being cautious about overstating the positive. In today’s modern MBTI literature, the opposite is expressed: “Most people are generally psychologically healthy, so here’s one line at the bottom of the page that describes a potential way things could go wrong with your Type.”

Biography of Carl Jung: Founder of Analytical Psychology
Carl Gustav Jung

Using Type with Newbies 

Dario says that he does not roll out the cognitive functions model to newbies right away when introducing Type. This is generally in line with the corporate MBTI methodology. Personally, understanding the cognitive functions took me an entire 2 years of self-study before it solidified in my head. It is best to nail down an understanding of the dichotomies first, before diving deeper into the “function stack.”

360 Assessment 

I have made this same point in my presentations to clients– if you get a result from the MBTI assessment that you aren’t quite sure about, go and ask your mom, spouse, colleague or confidant if the results match. Likely, they will be able to instantly say yay/nay to the result. The paradox of psychology is that it’s tough to use your own brain to evaluate itself– let someone else objectively evaluate the assessment results.

Neuroscience of Personality 2.0 

Dario is working on a 2nd book that is compiling even more data than his 2011 best seller. After almost 10 more years of data has been collected, the time has come to expound and expand on his previous work. Though this book will be “less Type oriented than some Typologists would like,” he assures us that it will have plenty of Type in it! 

Please check out the links below and find a way to connect with Dr. Nardi. 


The Magic Diamond

Neuroscience of Personality

8 Keys to Self-Leadership

Best links to Find Dario (people can find various articles by Dario here) 

Neurosciences et Typologie – Conférence de Dario Nardi, PhD (in English)

To book me for MBTI consultations–find my Calendly on the sidebar or here!

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