The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is not a model, it is an instrument! It is so popular that it is often confused with the model or the theory upon which it was based. For more information about the model that the MBTI is designed to measure you may also like to read about Cognitive Processes.
What is the MBTI?
The MBTI is one of the most widely used personality instruments in the world today. It has a long history, with more studies done and more extensive revisions than almost any other personality assessment tool worldwide.
History of the MBTI
During World War II, a young woman named Isabel Myers decided to do her part for the war effort by creating a self-report inventory that would make Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types available to more people. At this time self-report instruments were just beginning to be developed. Prior to that time, only psychologists “assessed” personality. Isabel’s goals were two-fold: 1) help people find a better fit for their work and thus make the work in factories and in the military more effective; and 2) promote world peace by helping people develop more appreciation for individual differences and learn to use differences constructively rather than divisively. Her work resulted in worldwide use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
The MBTI reports preferences on four dichotomies, with two opposing preferences on each dichotomy.
REMEMBER: Psychological instruments like the MBTI are only designed to indicate your preferences — they do not determine psychological type with 100% accuracy. An important part of understanding your psychological type is facilitated type discovery.