The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Basics
The theories of personality have been studied for well over a hundred years. The trait theory approach is one of several theories which psychologists have used to explain individual personality. It is based on the idea that a person's personality is made up of traits, which are relatively stable characteristics that influence a person's behavior. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist was the first (1920s) to propose the concept of extraverted and introverted personality types. His work on psychological type was the base for the continued research and creation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers (a mother-daughter team) during the 1940s and 1950s.The MBTI was developed during World War II to assist men and women in identifying jobs that would best suit individual personality preferences. The MBTI has over 60 years of research and is used by 2.5 million Americans a year. Eighty-nine of Fortune 100 Companies use the MBTI.
Why Take The MBTI
The MBTI is an excellent tool for individuals, teams, and organizations looking to get the most out of themselves and those they work with. It can help individuals discover their strengths and possible blinds spots that are holding them back. Knowing how your preferences affect your choices and motivation, you can set yourself up to succeed by creating strategies to manage time, make better decisions, and handle stress. Organizations use the MBTI to help manage multiple personality types, employee placement, develop leadership skills, create effective teams, motivate employees, and deal with employee stress. Using the MBTI for career coaching can help identify possible careers choices, best work environments and create effective career planning strategies, whether you are in high school or a seasoned professional.
16 Personality Types
The MBTI looks at four separate dichotomies which make up the four letter type code. The first letter refers to where a person focuses their attention, which can be either an E for Extraversion or an I for Introversion. The second letter looks at the way a person takes in information. This letter will either be an S for Sensing or an N for Intuition. The third letter examines the way a person makes decisions, a T for Thinking or a F for Feeling. Finally, the fourth letter identifies how a person deals with the outer world. This letter will be either a J for Judging or a P for Perceiving.
The combination of these four dichotomies create 16 different personality types.
There are several important points to keep in mind when reviewing personality type. First, the words that describe the four dichotomies don't mean the same thing they do when in their normal context. For example, if a person has a Feeling preference this doesn't mean they are emotional, yet it does mean that these individuals will make decisions that are based on values and subjective person-centered concerns. A person with a Judging preference is not judgmental but instead prefer to plan and organize the world they live in.
Secondly, it is also critical to understand that one preference or personality type is not better or worse than another. Each personality type has its own inherent strengths and weaknesses. By understanding that we all view and operate within the world in different ways we can appreciate each other. We are able to acknowledge our strengths and work on our weaknesses to live richer fuller lives.
Lastly, while a person can learn a lot about themselves and others by reviewing the enormous amounts of information on the internet about the static 16 personality types, there is a lot more that can be learned by those individuals that have been certified to administer and provide more in-depth interpretations of the 16 types. Understanding the complexity of the letter combinations and how they relate to each other can provide a much more meaningful interpretation than a four letter type review would provide.