What is the MBTI® Instrument?
The MBTI® Insrument (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®) is a self-report personality type questionnaire. It was designed by Katherine Briggs (1875-1968) and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers (1897-1980) to make the Swiss Psychiatrist, Carl Jung's (1875-1961) theory of personality types understandable and useful in everyday life. (Briggs Myers, 2015)
What makes the MBTI® Personality Type assessment different from other assessments?
One important facet that sets the theory behind the MBTI® assessment tool aside is that is anchored in personality types as opposed to traits. For example, while other assessment tools may tell you how “motivated” or “dominant” you are and measure your characteristics on a spectrum, the Myers-Briggs® tool is fundamentally different. Rather, Carl Jung believed that there are valuable differences between people; innate natural preferences that determine how you direct your energy, process information, and draw conclusions. Ideally, you want to, at least, come across as being "a natural" at everything, but we all find certain tasks effortless while others not so much.
Once you are able to understand and recognize your own preferences, you can acknowledge your blind spots (where you need to grow) and learn to appreciate, communicate, and work more effectively with different personality types.
I've seen free versions out there. Why should I pay for a MBTI® assessment?
This is a great question.
The shared vision of Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers in developing an accessible tool based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type was, “…to enable individuals to grow through an understanding and appreciation of individual differences in healthy personality and to enhance harmony and productivity among groups… Their mission was to give the individual access to the benefits of this understanding. ” (Briggs Myers et. al., 2009, Forward xv)
In order to do this successfully, “…the accuracy of the indicated type by the respondent is essential. MBTI® results do not “tell” a person who she or he is. Rather, individual respondents are viewed as experts who are best qualified to judge the accuracy of the type descriptions that result from their self-report.” (Briggs Myers et. al., 2009, pg. 5)
Therefore, the only way that the assessment is useful to you is if you are given the proper tools and resources to understand all of the different preferences and dichotomies that make up the 16 4 letter “dynamic types” by a certified practitioner.
While the self-report questionnaire is an essential component in discerning your 4 letter type, there are a number of influences that may skew the “clarity” of the preference indicator. Therefore, when attending a one-on-one assessment or a workshop, after developing an understanding of the preferences, you will self-report your type before receiving your confidential questionnaire results. The process to determine your type moves on from there.
Briggs Myers, I. (2015). Introduction to Myers-Briggs® Type. (7thed.). Santa Clara County, CA: CPP, Inc.
Briggs Myers, I., Mccaulley, M. H., Quenk, N. L., & Hammer, A. L. (2009). MBTI® Manual.(3rded.). Santa Clara County, CA: CPP, Inc.
For more information,