The Myers Briggs Type Indicator
Most of us have probably taken more than one personality test in our lives –in a doctor’s office, trying to decide on a career path, or just to satisfy our own curiosity. Many are quite interested in finding out what makes us tick; we keep asking questions and demanding elusive answers. Why is it that some people are more open to new things than others? Why are some able to make quick decisions, while others cannot do so even when pressed? In short: how does „personality” work?
One of the most popular personality tests that attempt to answer some of these questions is The Myers Briggs Type Indicator – in short, MBTI. While its accuracy is, as far as I’m aware, definitely not 100% confirmed, it’s a test that’s sometimes used by corporations, psychologists and a myriad of other people – supposedly, approximately two millions of U. S. adults complete it every year.
How does it work?
The MBTI was created by Isabel Myers and her mother, Katherine Briggs, based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types. Based on a number of questions (93 in the North American verison, 88 in the European one), people are identified as having one of 16 personality types. As the Myers Briggs Foundation’s website states:
„The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people's lives.”
It is stressed that each type is equal – there is no „best” one.
The questionnaire is made uo of four different scales:
1) Extroversion/Introversion: first explored by Jung in his theory of personality types, concering how people respond and interact with the world around them. You can read about introverts/extroverts and anxiety in this: neurotics-united.deviantart.co… article!
2) Sensing/Intuition: revolves around how people see the world. Sensors prefer reality and hands-on experiences; intuitives pay more attention to patterns and impressions.
3) Thinking/Feeling: based on how people make decisions. Quite obviously, those who fall on the „thinking” part of the scale prefer to consider facts and objective data; those who fall on the other end would rather consider emotions and people.
4) Judging/Perceiving: revolves around how people deal with the outside world. Those who lean toward judging prefer structure and firm decisions. People who lean toward perceiving are more open, flexible and adaptable.
Each type is is then listed by a four letter code, for example: ENFP, INTJ, ISFP etc.
I’ve always been interested in psychology and liked personality tests – they are not always accurate, but I’ve considered them fun. The MBTI is, at least for me, the most accurate of all of them – even though supposedly up to 50% of people receive different results each time they take the test, it hasn’t happened to me – I’ve found an online version a few years ago and each time I completed it– I’m always INTJ. I agree with most descriptions of the type I’ve read – they always include traits like „analytical”, phrases like „strategic thinking” and, very accurately, „lousy when it comes to emotions”.
How can I take the test?
Sadly, the only „certified” versions of the test can only be administred by pracitcioners accepted by the Myers Briggs Foundation or through a link on their website, where they want you to pay 50 bucks. Fear not, though – there are many free online versions which may not be „certified”, but it’s still fun to see the results . One of the websites – and one with extensive descriptions of each type – is www.16personalities.com/. If you’d like to try out a different one, there’s also for example www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/j… and countess others scattered around the web.
1. What is your MBTI type?
2. How accurate do you think it is?
3. Do you think a presonality test can make you understand yourself better?