Volume 5: the Myer’s-Briggs Personality

The Myer’s-Briggs Personality
The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Instrument (MBTI) personality assessment is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people's lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.

Myers-Briggs Personality Type Instrument (MBTI) personality assessment is the most widely used personality instrument in history. Based on 70 years of research and development, the MBTI tool has a sound and proven record as a successful instrument in the field of human psychology and development. As such, it has worldwide acceptance as the gold standard of personality assessments. The MBTI has been translated into 23 different languages and is the most widely used instrument in the world for understanding differences, with well over 1 million yearly global administrations.
In essence, the MBTI instrument is:

  • An assessment that gives people access to their psychological type, or the way in which they process information
  • A self-report questionnaire, the results of which are validated by the person taking the instrument
  • A non-judgmental assessment that has no right or wrong answers
  • Constructed using questions that have been researched and tested to accurately indicate innate preferences or mental patterns on four dichotomies resulting in 16 different personality types
The Jung/Myers model is The Psychology That Work; it provides a framework, or model for how people are hardwired to be who they are; it gets to the root of behaviors – to the way we think – helping individuals come to a deeper understanding of themselves and an appreciation for differences in others.

The MBTI Type Indicator maintains its commanding popularity among psychological instruments because it has a strong theoretical foundation and is a sound and researched model.

The MBTI questionnaire and psychological type are valuable tools in any human situation or interaction. Millions of people worldwide who have taken the assessment have not only had the “aha” experience of validating who they really are, but have come to a profound understanding of the why behind their behavior. The MBTI inventory and knowledge of ones’ type:
  • Promotes self-awareness and personal choice
  • Helps to identify differences between normal healthy individuals
  • Fosters appreciation for differences between people
  • Assists in identifying unique gifts and areas for growth and development
  • Promotes understanding and effective cooperation between people
  • Facilitates individuals and groups to make constructive use of these differences
Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people differ systematically in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only reasonable for them to differ correspondingly in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills."

In developing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [instrument], the aim of Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs, was to make the insights of type theory accessible to individuals and groups. They addressed the two related goals in the developments and application of the MBTI instrument:

The identification of basic preferences of each of the four dichotomies specified or implicit in Jung's theory.

The identification and description of the 16 distinctive personality types that result from the interactions among the preferences:
  • Excerpted with permission from the MBTI Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
  • Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
  • Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  • Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
  • Your Personality Type: When you decide on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a code with four letters.
However, the best reason to choose the MBTI instrument to discover your personality type is that hundreds of studies over the past 40 years have proven the instrument to be both valid and reliable. In other words, it measures what it says it does (validity) and produces the same results when given more than once (reliability). When you want an accurate profile of your personality type, ask if the instrument you plan to use has been validated.


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