Myers Briggs Personality Test
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, sometimes referred to as the Myers-Briggs® personality test, is a psychometric personality assessment that gives a four-letter code indicating personality type based upon a test-taker’s self reports. The assessment is trademarked by a company named CPP, but similar, albeit unofficial and unaffiliated, tests based on Jungian personality types are available online. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® is based on the notion that there are psychological preferences for how people develop their worldview and make decisions.
What Is the Myers-Briggs® Test?
The test uses four personality dichotomies to measure personality. Each letter in a test-taker’s personality type score indicates that he or she exhibits one part of a dichotomy more frequently than the other part.
The four dichotomies are:
- Extraversion/Introversion. Extroverts tend to be more social, and to prefer more frequent and varied contact with people. Introverts, by contrast, prefer substantive, one-on-one contact. A person who agreed with the statement, “I like to be the life of the party” might rank as an extrovert on the test.
- Sensing/Intuition. This dichotomy characterizes how a person perceives information. People with a sensing orientation tend to like concrete, empirical information, while people with an intuitive orientation tend to work on hunches.
- Thinking/Feeling. This dichotomy refers to the kind of judgments a person is more likely to use. A thinking person might prefer justice to fairness, while a feeling person might be more in tune with her emotions and the emotions of others.
- Judging/Perceiving. This refers to whether people are more likely to use their perceiving function (sensing vs. Intuition) or their judging function (thinking vs. feeling)
People are assigned a personality acronym at the end of the test. For example, an ENFJ is an extroverted, intuitive, feeling person who prefers his/her judgment orientation of feeling.
History of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® was created by Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It was based on research from Carl Jung’s book Psychological Types, published in 1921. The two conducted research to create the tool throughout the 1940s and 1950s and first published the MBTI® instrument in 1962. Today, the MBTI® instrument is used for a wide range of applications including:
- Helping people in relationships communicate better and deal with conflicts
- Career guidance
- Understanding how various personality types learn and interpret information
- Spiritual guidance
- Developing workplace cohesion
- The MBTI® instrument can be useful for some counseling situations by helping people understand how they make decisions
Is Myers-Briggs® Accurate?
Like most personality tests, the Myers-Briggs® test relies on self-reports. If a person incorrectly reports information about him or herself, he/she will not get an accurate result. Myers-Briggs® personality assessments are somewhat stable across the life span, but mood can affect the way a person answers questions. Some elements of the test cannot apply context. For example, a person might be an extrovert at work and an introvert at parties, which might result in a score that was halfway between the two traits.
Where Can I Take the MBTI®?
- The Myers & Briggs Foundation provides links to certified MBTI® practitioners and CPP’s MBTI® instrument.
- HumanMetrics offers a free Jung Typology Test based on Jungian personality types. WARNING: This test is not administered by a certified professional and should only be used to learn more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and personality types. It is not an official version of the assessment and contains no version of CPP’s trademarked MBTI® instrument.
- My MBTI Personality Type – MBTI Basics. (n.d.). The Meyers & Briggs Foundation. Retrieved August 29, 2014, from http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/
- Pittenger, D. J. (1993). The Utility of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Review of Educational Research, 63(4), 467. doi: 10.2307/1170497
*Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers-Briggs, and MBTI are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Myers & Briggs Foundation in the United States and other countries.
Last Updated: 08-12-2015
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