How The Myers Briggs Type Indicator® Was Developed
The MBTI® Instrument
is one of most widely used personality typing
assessments in the world, having been translated into
over 30 languages. Individuals and organizations use the
Instrument to enhance communications, development, and
performance. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument is a learning tool
that helps people understand personal differences and
appreciate the value of these differences.
During World War II, a
mother-daughter team, Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs
Myers, expanded on the theory of psychological type
developed by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. The team
effectively used the Instrument for civilian career
development. For over 60 years, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument
has evolved is today a highly valid and reliable
assessment for determining personality type.
The MBTI® Instrument
indicates individual preferences and reflects what comes
naturally to a person. These predictable patterns of
behavior constitute 4 polar opposite dichotomy scales
resulting in 8 preferences. We use all 8 preferences,
but generally fall back on those we prefer.
Extraversion - Introversion
This first dichotomy
indicates where an individual prefers to focus their
attention and how they draw their energy. People who
prefer extraversion direct their energy outward; obtain
their energy through interaction and from taking action.
Individuals with the preference for introversion like to
focus their energy inward and choose reflection over
This second dichotomy
considers how information is taken in. People who prefer
sensing gather facts, are concerned with detail, and
want concrete information. Individuals who prefer
intuition see the big picture, are concerned with
patterns and meanings in data, and are future oriented.
This third dichotomy
considers processing information into decisions. In this
case, thinking does not mean intellectual and feeling
does not mean emotional. The preferences describe the
emphasis individuals give to the different elements of
our unique decision making process. People who prefer to
use thinking rely on logical consequences of a choice or
action; use cause and effect reasoning and solve
problems through analysis. People who prefer to use
feeling consider what is important to themselves and want harmony.
Finally, this fourth
dichotomy considers how an individual organizes and
operates in the external world. People who prefer to use
judging tend to live in a planned, orderly way wanting
to regulate and control life. Individuals who prefer
perceiving tend to be flexible and spontaneous, seeking
to experience and understand life, and live for the
moment rather than control it.
These 4 dichotomies
result in 16 possible personality types: