So: MBTI. A method for classifying personality. Uses two binary divisions (Intuitive/Sensual, and Thinking/Feeling) plus the division into Extrovert and Introvert, and the division between those who favour the perceptual (Sensual/Intuitive) or the Judgemental (Thinking/Feeling) functions. Thus providing 16 broad types. I find it a useful classificatory tool.
I've got a few opinions about the crew of Serenity and MBTI types. These are just preliminary thoughts, so please let me know if you have a different idea.
I think the women on the crew are all SJ. That is, sensible with strong judgement.
Zoe I take to be ISTJ: sensible, hard nosed and introverted. ISTJs are helpful, alert and sceptical. NB, this is the same personality type as Travis, and it is the archetypal 'sidekick' type. Zoe obviously uses her powers for good.
Kaylee I think is ISFJ (introverted, softhearted): kind, nurturing and self-effacing. ISFJs often work as nurses, and although Kaylee works with machines I think she is a nurturing, nursing, type of mechanic.
Inara I think is an ESFJ (softhearted, sensible, extrovert). She communicates feeling, and brings out other people's feelings. ESFJs are good hosts. I don't think she is an idealist (NF), because although she is obviously very perceptive and intelligent, I think her sensibility is sociable and conventional rather than original.
The men on the crew are by contrast SPs: sensual but without the judgement that restrains the women, therefore more reckless and disorganised.
Mal is ESTP (extrovert, hard nosed, sensual): almost all spaceship captains (except Blake) are this type. They are enthusiastic, brave, engaging and charismatic. Kirk is the archetype here.
Wash on the other hand is ESFP: extrovert, sensual, softy. ESFPs are funny, sociable, erratic, and develop particular skills such as dexterity. Vila is another ESFP, and I think Wash takes a similar role (right down to loving a warrior woman with long legs).
Jayne is ISTP: a more introverted, self sufficient version of Mal's personality type. ISTP are craftsmen and gunfighters. Clint Eastwood is the archetypal ISTP. Self sufficient, aggressive, keen on their tools, and the most physically adept personality type.
I think the three passengers (Simon, River and Book) are Intuitive. They are like the spooky wonky intuition that has been added to the robust sensual crew. Might put more about them in another post.