Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Encyclopedia of Medicine)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a widelyused personality inventory, or test, employed in vocational, educational, and psychotherapy settings to evaluate personality type in adolescents and adults age 14 and older.
In an educational setting, the MBTI may be performed to assess student learning style. Career counselors use the test to help others determine what occupational field they might be best suited for, and it is also used in organizational settings to assess management skills and facilitate teamwork and problem solving. Because the MBTI is also a tool for self-discovery, mental health professionals may administer the test in counseling sessions to provide their patients with insight into their behavior.
The MBTI should only be administered, scored, and interpreted by a professional trained in its use. Cultural and language differences in the test subject may affect performance and may result in inaccurate test results. The test administrator should be informed before testing begins if the test taker is not fluent in English and/or he has a unique cultural background.
In 2000, an estimated two million people took the MBTI, making it the most frequently used personality...
(The entire section is 675 words.)
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Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
A personality test that categorizes people according to stated preferences in thinking and perceiving.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assigns people to one of sixteen different categories or types, based on their answers to 126 questions, such as: "How easy or difficult do you find it to present yourself, consistently, over a long period as a person who is patient?" There are 4 different subscales of the test, which purport to measure different personality tendencies. Extraversion-introversion (E-I) distinguishes between people who are sociable and outgoing, versus those who are more inward looking. Sensing-intuition (S-I) sorts people according to their attention to practical realities as opposed to relying on their imagination. Thinking-feeling (T-F) shows the difference between relying on logic versus intuition when making decisions. Finally, judging-perceiving (J-P) refers to one's tendency to analyze and categorize one's experiences, as opposed to responding spontaneously. Sixteen different types emerge from the combination of the above four pairs of traits.
The MBTI is probably the most popular self-insight psychological test in use today, with at least a million people per year completing it. It is widely used in business, industry, educational settings, and government because of its assumed...
(The entire section is 500 words.)
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Encyclopedia of Children's Health)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a widely used personality inventory, or test, employed in vocational, educational, and psychotherapy settings to evaluate personality type in adolescents and adults age 14 and older.
In an educational setting, the MBTI may be performed to assess student learning style. In a classroom setting, the MBTI may be used to help teens and young adults better understand their learning, communication, and social interaction styles. Guidance counselors also might use the test to help teens determine which occupational field or college major they might be best suited for.
Because the MBTI is also a tool for self-discovery, mental health professionals may administer the test in counseling sessions to provide their patients with insight into their behavior. Among adults, the MBTI is also used in organizational settings to assess management skills and facilitate teamwork and problem solving.
In 2000, an estimated two million people took the MBTI, making it the most frequently used personality inventory available. First introduced in 1942, the test was the work of mother and...
(The entire section is 862 words.)
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (Encyclopedia of Small Business)
The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an instrument designed to evaluate people and provide descriptive profiles of their personality types. Based on the theories of psychologist Carl Jung, it is widely used in the fields of business, education, and psychology.
MBTI was developed by Isabel Briggs Meyers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, during World War II. The two women were acquainted with Jung's theories and sought to apply them to help civilians choose wartime jobs well-suited to their personality preferences. Meyers and Briggs felt that this would make people happier and more productive in their work. Consulting Psychologists, Inc. () bought the rights to MBTI in 1975. The company estimates that it administers MBTI testing to two million people per year worldwide.
The MBTI system begins with a test in which participants respond to questions that provide clues about their basic outlook or personal preferences. These responses are scored to see where participants' preferences lie within four sets of attributes: extroversion/introversion; sensing/intuiting; thinking/feeling; and judging/perceiving.
The attributes extroversion (E) and introversion (I) indicate whether a participant derives his or her mental energy primarily from other people or from within. Similarly, the attributes sensing (S) and intuiting (N) explain whether a participant absorbs information best through data and details or through general patterns. The attributes thinking (T) and feeling (F) show whether a participant tends to make decisions based on logic and objective criteria or based on emotional intelligence. Finally, the attributes judging (J) and perceiving (P) indicate whether a participant makes decisions quickly or prefers to take a more casual approach and leave his or her options open.
The MBTI system organizes the four sets of attributes into a matrix of sixteen different personality types. Each type is indicated by a four-letter code. For example, ESTJ would designate a person whose primary attributes were extroversion, sensing, thinking, and judging. For each personality type, the MBTI system includes a profile which describes the characteristics common to people who fit into that category.
For example, an article in the Harvard Business Review noted that people who fit into the category ISTP tend to be "cool onlookersuiet, reserved, and analytical; usually interested in impersonal principles, how and why mechanical things work; flashes of original humor," while people of type ENFJ are "sociable, popular; sensitive to praise and criticism; responsive and responsible; generally feel real concern for what others think or want."
MBTI is a popular evaluative tool. Many colleges and universities use it in career counseling to help guide students into appropriate fields for their personality types. In the business world, companies use it to make hiring decisions, identify leadership potential among employees, design training for specific employee needs, facilitate team building, and help resolve conflicts between employees. By giving people an increased understanding of their behavior and preferences, MBTI is said to help them increase their productivity, build relationships, and make life choices.
Proponents of MBTI see the testing system as a valuable aid to personal development and growth. But critics of MBTI argue that its personality profiles are so broad and ambiguous that they can be interpreted to fit almost anyone. Some also worry that, once a university career counselor or employer knows a person's "type," that person might tend to be pigeonholed or pushed in a certain direction regardless of his or her desires. Finally, some psychologists have criticized the MBTI system on the grounds of "confirmation bias," meaning that the results are self-fulfilling because people tend to behave in ways that are predicted for them. In other words, a person who learns that he or she is "outgoing" according to MBTI will be more likely to behave that way.
Hirsh, Sandra Krebs, and Jean M. Kummerow. Introduction to Type in Organizations. Consulting Psychologists Press, 2000.
"Identifying How We Think: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument." Harvard Business Review. July-August 1997.
Leonard, Nancy H., Richard W. Scholl, and Kellyann Berube Kowalski. "Information Processing Style and Decision Making." Journal of Organizational Behavior. May 1999.
Quenk, Naomi L. Essentials of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. John Wiley, 1999.
"Type Talk." Inc. July 1998.