Myers-Briggs Type Indicator One of the most enduring typological classifications was devised by Jung and has served as the foundation for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Anastasi, 1997). The Myers-Briggs (MBTI) designates one’s personality type, based upon a classification scheme, which consists of four basic scales and two types within each scale. Thus, there are sixteen possible Myers-Briggs personality types. The scheme is based upon the intuitions of Carl Jung, whose gifted insight revealed that all people at all times are best understood in terms of extroversion/introversion, sensation/intuition, and objective/subjective. The latter category has since been subdivided into two classes by revisionists: feeling/thinking, and perceiving/judging.
Classifying people did not originate with Jung. In the middle of the fifth century B.C.E., Hippocrates explained the four temperaments in terms of dominant humors in the body: melancholic, sanguine, phlegmatic, or choleric. The melancholic, he claimed, was dominated by yellow bile in the kidneys, the sanguine by humors in the blood, the phlegmatic by phlegm, and the choleric by the black bile of the liver. Hippocrates was simply adding to the ancient Greek insight that all things reduce to earth, air, water and fire. Each of the four elements had its dualities: hot/cold and dry/moist.
A person-s physical, psychological, and moral qualities could easily be understood by his temperament, his dominant humors, the four basic elements, or whether he was hot and wet or cold and dry. The ancient personality type indicator worked for over one thousand years. Today, most of us have abandoned Hippocrates’ personality scheme because we do not find it to have any meaningful use. In the early 1940`s, Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Cook Briggs began developing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to make Carl Jung`s theory of human personality under-standable and useful in everyday life. The MBTI is based on Jung`s ideas about perception and judgment.
The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the way individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment. Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. The Educational Testing Service first published the MBTI as a research instrument in 1962. In 1977, its use began to multiply.
The main aim of the MBTI is to identify from self-report, the basic preferences of people in regard to perception and judgment, so that the effects of each preference, singly and in combination, can be established by research and put to practical use. If people differ systematically in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only reasonable for them to differ correspondingly in their reactions, interests, values, motivations, and skills (McCaulley, 1995). At the heart of MBTI use is the belief that individuals have naturally occurring preferences for certain attitudes and approaches to the world as well as for certain modes of perceiving it and making judgments or decisions pertaining to it. These preferences should not be equated with abilities. Identifying one`s own preferences can be an aid in seeking work, relationships and so forth, whereby what comes most naturally to the person will be the very thing that will be the most demanded, desirable, appropriated, or appreciated. Understanding other persons` preferences can aid in communication and make working or living together more effective and satisfying (Carskadon, 1994).
McCaulley and Myers (1985) state that the MBTI differs from other personality instruments in these ways: It is designed to implement a theory; therefore the theory must be understood to understand the MBTI. T The theory postulates dichotomies; therefore some of the psychometric properties are unusual. T Based on the theory, there are specific dynamic relationships between the scales, which lead to the descriptions and characteristics of sixteen types. The type descriptions and the theory include a model of development that continues throughout life. The scales are concerned with basic functions of perception and judgment that enter into almost every behavior; therefore, the scope of practical applications is very wide.
The MBTI consists of four separate indices which direct the use of perception and judgment. The Myers Briggs model of personality is based on four preferences, which can be seen in Table 1. These preferences affect what people do in any situation and how they draw conclusions about what they perceive. The preferences are: 1. Where is your primary source of energy? (Introversion/Extroversion) 2.
How do you prefer to take in information? (Sensing/Intuition) 3. How do you prefer to make decisions? (Thinking/Feeling) 4. How do you prefer to organize your life? (Judging/Perceiving) Where is your primary source of energy? Is it from the outer world of activity, and spoken words or from the inner world of thoughts and emotions? If it is from the outer world of activity or words, it is called extroversion, denoted by the letter E. If it is from the inner world of contemplation, or thoughts, it is called introversion, denoted by the letter I. Extro- is a prefix meaning without and intro- is a prefix meaning within.
During each day, people will undoubtedly spend time spontaneously doing or saying things, as well as retreating into the inner world of contemplation and thought. If a persons work day has involved much interaction with the world, even the clearest extrovert may feel at the end of the day that they want to be left alone with their thoughts. Conversely, if an introvert has been working in isolation all day, they may feel that they need to party in the evening to restore some balance. All individuals need a particular balance of both introversion and extroversion. Table 2 lists words and expressions that are often associated with extroversion and introversion. How do you prefer to take in information? Do you prefer in the form of facts and details or in the form of patterns and overviews? If it is in the form of facts or details, it is called sensing, denoted by the letter S.
If it is in the form of patterns or overviews, it is called intuition, denoted by the letter N (N is used to avoid confusion with introversion). The term sensing is used because information is taken in primarily by way of the senses. The term intuition is used because information is perceived primarily in an intuitive fashion. Sensing tends to be interested in concrete reality, focusing on the present, and seeing what is, rather than what might be. At an extreme, sensing can have its feet so well and truly on the ground that it misses out on possibilities for the future.
The preference for intuition gives a greater emphasis on insight and the future, focusing on what might be, rather than what is. At an extreme, intuition can focus so much on possibilities that it loses touch with current realities. Sensing tends to communicate in direct ways, whilst intuition pre …