What are Jane Goodall’s Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Personality Types?

Scientist, conservationist and peacemaker, Jane Goodall is best known for her 60-year study of chimpanzees and is considered the world’s foremost expert on the animal. Her legendary research on chimpanzees has forever changed the way humans view the species. 

Private, independent, and always focused on developing a better world for tomorrow, Jane Goodall exhibits many personality traits similar to those of the Enneagram 5 and INFJ personality types

Enneagram Type 5 “The Investigator” 

Competent and independent, Fives are often pioneers in their fields and are generally regarded as integral to the intellectual advancement of society. This is undoubtedly true of Jane Goodall, the world's leading expert on chimpanzees. A life-long learner, Jane has dedicated her life to research, conservation, and animal welfare issues. 

Type 5: Outer Traits 

  • Inquisitive and curious. Jane’s curiosity and love of learning are core parts of her personality. According to a Live Science article, “When she was 4, [Jane’s] parents reported her missing, but she was discovered hours later in the henhouse, where, she explained, she was watching the hens to see how they laid eggs.” 
  • Insightful. Fives can see complex issues with clarity and precision. This trait gives them the ability to catalyze change in the world. Jane Goodall is known for her incredibly insightful observations and conclusions, which have significantly influenced how we see and understand animals. 
  • Stoic and detached. Fives prefer to spend time alone working on their projects and research. Jane spent more than 26 years primarily alone in the jungle studying chimpanzees. 

Type 5: Inner Experiences 

  • Fascinated by the unknown. At the age of 26, Jane left the comforts of home to explore the unknown. She took an unorthodox approach to her research, immersing herself in her environment to understand chimpanzees holistically. 
  • Analytical. With Jane’s analytical mind and unique perspective, Jane shook the scientific world and forever changed how we look at apes. She discovered that chimpanzees hunt and eat meat, wage war, use tools, bond with their young and show compassion toward others. 

TypeFinder Personality: INFJ “The Counselor” 

While Enneagram Fives are frequently associated with Thinking types (specifically, INTJs and INTPs), part of what makes Jane Goodall unique and influential is her immense compassion and idealistic hope for the future, despite seeing and acknowledging the many obstacles in the way. Reserved, forward-thinking and insightful, Jane embodies many characteristics of an INFJ personality type. 

I: Jane spent 26 years in a remote rainforest in Tanzania. Much of this time in Africa was spent alone, observing chimpanzees. As an introvert, this was a transformational period for her. She said of the experience, “It was an unparalleled period when aloneness was a way of life… For those who have experienced the joy of being alone with nature, there is really little need for me to say much more; for those who have not, no words of mine can even describe the powerful, almost mystical knowledge of beauty and eternity that come, suddenly, and all unexpected.” 

N: Jane tends to focus on the forest rather than the trees. Her groundbreaking work as a primatologist has revolutionized how people think about animals and nature. Rather than focusing on details, Jane has remained focused on her bigger picture goals and ideas. 

F: Jane advocates for the ethical treatment of animals and believes that above all, it is our responsibility as humans to show care and compassion toward other living beings. She says of chimpanzees, “In what terms should we think of these beings, nonhuman yet possessing so very many human-like characteristics? How should we treat them? Surely we should treat them with the same consideration and kindness as we show to other humans, and as we recognize human rights, so too should we recognize the rights of the great apes? Yes.” 

J: Dedicated and responsible, it is in Jane’s nature to follow through on her commitments. While Perceivers enjoy exploring a broad range of hobbies and ideas, as a Judger, Jane has committed her life to the greater understanding of a single topic. 

Cognitive Functions 

Ni: With Introverted Intuition as her dominant function, Jane is forward-thinking and future-focused. She’s an honorary member of the World Future Council, and her advocacy and teaching focus on creating a better world for future generations. “We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place — or not to bother,” she’s said. 

Fe: Jane is profoundly compassionate and aware of the emotions of others, including the chimpanzees. Her empathetic, humanistic approach to her work makes it stand out among others in her field. “Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, we shall be saved,” Jane said. Outside of her work with apes, Jane works to empower young people to create change in their communities through her Roots and Shoots program.

Ti: Jane is a lifelong learner, fascinated by discoveries of how things work. These traits, which could be attributed to her Introverted Thinking, make her a natural scientist. She’s said of her work in the wild, “I wanted to learn things that no one else knew, uncover secrets through patient observation. I wanted to come as close to talking to animals as I could."

Se: With most of her early work focused on studying apes in the wild, Jane observed empathetically while fully immersing herself in her environment. “All the time, I was getting closer to animals and nature, and as a result, closer to myself and more and more in tune with the spiritual power that I felt all around,” she said. 

More Facts About INFJs: 

  • INFJs make up 2% of the general population. 
  • On personality trait scales, scored as Sincere, Sympathetic, Unassuming, Submissive, Easygoing, Reserved and Patient.
  • Among the highest of all types in college GPA.
  • Most likely of all types to cope with stress by seeing a therapist.
  • Personal values include Spirituality, Learning, and Community Service. 
Megan Malone

Megan is a freelance writer and brand marketing consultant at Truity. She is passionate about helping people improve their relationships, careers, and quality of life using personality psychology. An INFJ and Enneagram 9, Megan lives quietly in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and two pups. You can chat with her on Twitter @meganmmalone.

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