How we “identify” ourselves is primarily the ego (sense of self) constructing the ‘persona’ (projected image of self).
As such it’s formed and influenced by all manner of conscious and subconscious compulsions. Our self-identity appeases and comforts our insecurities. It’s shaped by our aspirations, whether realistic or not. Our fears and traumas influence it greatly.
In many cases, how we “identify” is not ideally healthy – and can represent an ego defense or emotional disorder; i.e. denial, avoidance, projection etc through the fantasy self-image we create and to cling to.
Personality, as per psychology theory, focuses entirely on preferred cognitive functions. These are the mental processes which determine HOW we absorb (perceive) information and process it (judge) into decisions, values and judgments.
Preferred cognitive functions are consistent over a lifetime – a baseline model of our healthiest and most ideal “best self”. Personality theory does account for people NOT using their preferred cognitive functions ideally. It is exactly this deviance from the ‘ideal’ that allows identification of disorders and other cognitive and emotional un-health.
The ego can easily tempt us to seek identification with the wrong personality type (i.e. mis-type ourselves) for the sake of self-identity. Doing so can not only strengthen unhealthy traits, but also deprives people of knowing their ideal cognitive baseline from which to recognize deviations and problems.
Ego-investment in an MBTI type is often a clear indicator that the person has mistyped through answering an assessment based on their self-identity. Any debate, or question, over that person’s MBTI type will illicit an immediate and obvious ego-defense reaction. From their perspective, it is not their testing accuracy being questioned, but rather they see it as a personal attack on themselves.
Whether that’s conscious or subconscious – it’s a form of denial. Our ego prefers to identify with the wrong type so that we don’t have to recognize or confront our actual issues. In denial, we’ll never experience positive growth.