The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – Explained

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was developed by Isabel Briggs Myers (1987) and her mother Kathleen Briggs. It is one of the most popular personality assessments today, especially in the business and career counseling sector. The MBTI is relatively quite simple.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a 100 question based on Carl Jung’s personality types uses to assess personality. The MBTI questions are formulated to get the responses or choices of how an individual feels or acts in a particular situation. The questionnaire contains questions like “Do you usually value sentiment more than logic, or value logic more than sentiments?”

Then when scoring the questionnaire, the preferences of the individual is counted up, and labeled as thinking or feeling (T or F), extrovert or introvert (E or I), sensing or intuitive (S or N), and judging or perceiving (J or P) type. The responses are given back to the person in complimentary terms. For example, feeling types are told they are sensitive to values and sympathetic, appreciative, tactful. The thinking types are told that they prefer objective standards of truth and are good at analyzing.

The description of terms used in Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is as follows:

  • Thinking Vs. Feeling (T or F) – Thinking types use justification and logic to handle problems. Feeling types have faith on own values and emotions.
  • Extrovert Vs. Introvert (E or I) – Extroverts are sociable, talkative, practical, and assertive. Introverts are quiet, secretive, prefer solitude, rigid, touchy, and shy.
  • Sensing Vs. Intuitive (S or N) – Individuals labeled as sensing are realistic, practical, and prefer a habitual order. INtuitive rely on unconscious processes, and have an immediate understanding of the problem, learning things without the conscious use of reasoning.
  • Judging Vs. Perceiving (J or P) – Judging individuals forms ideas and opinions in an ordered and structured style. Perceiving individuals show flexibility and have spontaneous personality traits.

After the responses, the personality of an individual is then combined into 16 personality types. For example, ENTP represents a conceptualizer. These individuals are inventive, multitalented, and individualistic, and have commercial ideas. ESTJ’s are organizers. They are pragmatic, reasonable, critical, decisive, and have the original creative talent for business. Pointing out these 16 MBTI types,

  1. ISTJ – The Inspector
  2. ISTP – The Crafter
  3. ISFJ – The Protector
  4. ISFP – The Artist
  5. INFJ – The Advocate
  6. INFP – The Mediator
  7. INTJ – The Architect
  8. INTP – The Thinker
  9. ESTP – The Persuader
  10. ESTJ – The Director
  11. ESFP – The Performer
  12. ESFJ – The Caregiver
  13. ENFP – The Champion
  14. ENFJ – The Giver
  15. ENTP – The Conceptualizer
  16. ENTJ – The Commander

Most people agree with the reported profile type. MBTI is taken as a basis for being matched with work partners and tasks that suit their temperament. A study done by Landrum (1993) showed super successful firms like Sony, Honda motors, and Microsoft were created by intuitive thinkers. The popularity of this instrument is growing and is widely practiced. Many renowned business firms, multinational organizations, hospitals, and educational institutions are using MBTI as a predictor of job performance. Even though MBTI is increasing its wide scope, to be a valuable tool, MBTI is still lacking a proven scientific worth and a valid measure of personality.

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