An Evaluation of Myers Briggs Type Indicator measuring personality

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ( MBTI ) is a trial designed by Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs for the intents of mensurating personality based on Carl Jung ‘s Theory. A trial takers personality is defined on eight different personality features with the consequences of the trial given in four letters bespeaking a trial takers strongest penchant. The chief issue that the MBTI faces as a trial trades with the truth of the dependability and cogency that the trial manual studies. Due to the inquiry marks environing the MBTI ‘s credibleness the utility of the trial is besides brought into inquiry with many psychologist reasoning a really limited usage for practical guidance.

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An Evaluation of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ( MBTI ) is a psychological trial that was originally designed in the early 1940s by a mother-daughter squad of Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs. Myers and Briggs developed their trial in response to the catastrophe of World War II, because they believed the war was caused by the states involved neglecting to understand each other ‘s differences ( Coe, 1992 ) . The MBTI is designed to mensurate personality, and the footing for this trial comes from the work of personality types as described by Carl Jung ‘s theory. All the information provided in this rating comes from form M of the MBTI.

Purpose, Design and Format of the MBTI

The intent of the MBTI is to sort persons on each of the four degrees as identified in Jung ‘s theory, and so supply them with a description of their personality as a consequence of their trial ( Fleenor, 2001 ) . On each of the four degrees to place a individual there are two options on each degree doing a sum of eight different possibilities that can be used to depict person ‘s personality. Those degrees are: Extraversion v. Introversion, Sensing v. Intuition, Thinking v. Feeling, and Judging v. Perceiving. As defined for the MBTI Extraverts enjoy communicating with others and boom off that contact ; while Introverts tend to non happen any pleasance in their relationships and prefer to be entirely. Detectors use their five senses to garner information about a scenario and see the present for what it is ; in contrast people hiting high in Intuition like to look toward the hereafter and the possibilities that could be. Finally, Judgers use the information available and come to a determination rapidly ; whereas Perceivers tend to be postponers and are ever waiting for more facts before make up one’s minding ( Coe, 1992 ) . It is of import to observe that while the MBTI topographic points trial takers in a class of holding one trait or the other that people do expose features of all eight, but tend to expose one facet on each degree more conspicuously. The grade to which a individual varies on a peculiar attributed is explained upon completion of the trial. The inquiries on the MBTI are besides designed in such a manner that it is impossible to fall in the exact center of a peculiar trait, everyone will change somewhat one way or another ( Fleenor, 2001 ) .

This trial is designed for the general population ages 14 and older, and there is non a specific group who is non eligible to take the MBTI. This is considered a failing by many and will be covered subsequently. There are 93 multiple pick points on the MBTI, and the inquiries are written at a 7th class reading degree to guarantee comprehension of the inquiries ( Fleenor, 2001 ) . Each inquiry is designed so that one inquiry is mensurating merely one type of personality degree for simple and accurate marking. In specifying the norms for this trial a group of 3009 people were administered the MBTI all were grownups from the United States and were 18 old ages and older. The specific demographics of the normative sample are non given, but the sample was lopsided towards females and Caucasians ( Fleenor, 2001 ) .

Psychometric Properties of the MBTI

The dependability of the MBTI has mixed reappraisals and the informations can be slanted one manner to do the dependability seem high or slanted another to do it look low. The information on the internal consistence of the MBTI is really good and has been reported at.90 and higher with the usage of uninterrupted hiting. Using test-retest as a step of dependability for uninterrupted marking has besides produced high dependability, between.83-.97 at a four hebdomad interval ( Fleenor, 2001 ) . However, the nature of the MBTI does non truly allow the usage of uninterrupted marking because the trial is meant to embrace the whole of the person ‘s personality. Therefore, the lone accurate step of dependability will comes from the MBTI ‘s ability to bring forth the same four degrees for the same person. Unfortunately, in a survey of the test-retest dependability for this holistic attack after a four hebdomad interval merely 65 % of the trial takers managed to acquire the same four degrees once more ( Fleenor, 2001 ) . Concentrating on this latter manner of mensurating the dependability can do many to inquire if the dependability is high plenty to see this a good trial of personality.

The cogency measures for the MBTI have produced some strong convergent cogency tonss between the assorted degrees on the MBTI and degrees on different psychological trial mensurating the same properties. For case, Furnham, Moutafi, & A ; Crump ( 2003 ) used the NEO Personality Inventory ( NEO PI-R ) and the MBTI to mensurate the convergent cogency of these two trial. The consequences that follow are all presented on the P & gt ; .001 degree. The correlativity between Neuroticism from the NEO PI-R and Extraversion was r= -.30, and Introversion was r=.31. The correlativity between Extraversion from the NEO PI-R and Extraversion was r=.71 and Introversion was r= -.72. The correlativity between Openness from the NEO PI-R and Sensing was r= -.66 and Intuition was r=.64. The correlativity between Agreeableness from the NEO PI-R and Thinking was r= -.41 and feeling was r=.28. Finally, the correlativity between Conscientiousness from the NEO PI-R and Judgment was r=.46 and Perception was r= -.46 ( Furnham et al. , 2003 ) .

The strength of the face cogency of the MBTI is pretty strong and many experts do believe it is a valid trial if used in the proper state of affairss ( Coe, 1992 ; Mastrangelo, 2001 ; Fleenor, 2001 ) . Some believe that the simple, easy to understand, and easy to hit nature of the trial adds to the strength of the face cogency ( Mastrangelo, 2001 ) . The inquiries are consecutive frontward and to many the MBTI seem to correlate rather nicely with the different traits that it claims to mensurate. Besides some strong grounds for the face cogency is that in one specific analyze 78 % of the trial takers agreed that their four missive personality appraisal was the best tantrum for them ( Mastrangelo, 2001 ) .

Use of MBTI in Clinical Settings

The MBTI is a perfect trial that can be used for bettering hapless, or misunderstood communicating that may be impacting or decelerating down a work environment. The first illustration of a scenario that the MBTI was able to assist repair was at a fire section. The Fair Labor Standards Act came to the fire section and told them that organisational alterations had to be made. Problem was that the senior directors at the fire section were 85 % feeling judgers and by trade felt threatened by this thought of alteration and were strongly opposed. After taking the MBTI and detecting that these directors were feeling judgers the apprehensiveness was able to be decreased by implementing a controlled scheme to assist ease these alterations. The alterations to the fire section were made much easier with the cognition that had been provided by the MBTI ( Coe, 1992 ) .

Another illustration of the MBTI at work really occurred at a guidance centre focused on cut downing household force. The caput of this guidance centre was an unknown percipient who by nature took his clip devising determinations and ever wanted to do certain he had all the facts before manus. Alas, the six counsellors under his supervising were judgers and could non stand the fact that it took their foreman what seemed similar everlastingly to do a determination. Advisers who were brought in used the MBTI to place those differences, and program was implemented to assist decide any future struggle that may ensue due to their personality differences ( Coe, 1992 ) . These two illustrations are really similar because the MBTI was able to work out what may hold mounted into a much bigger issue. In both these state of affairss one time the colleagues and directors were able to understand themselves and those around them better the jobs were merely solved by implementing a simple program of action. Unfortunately, as the following subdivision will explicate, relevant information like this from the MBTI may be the exclusion as opposed to the regulation.

Strengths and Weakness of the MBTI

The strengths of the MBTI are non every bit many as the reader may believe based off the huge popularity the trial has with the populace. However, there are some strengths that can be derived from the MBTI. First, the trial happens to be really simple to administrate, and hiting can be done by a computing machine so it requires small work of a trained professional. The reading of the different degrees of the MBTI besides is simple to understand, and although it is recommended that the trial taker have at least a small background in Jungian Therapy it is non necessary for basic comprehension ( Mastrangelo, 2001 ) . In add-on as noted from the illustrations of possible utilizations the MBTI can be a great beginning for colleague dealingss and can give employers a better apprehension of what makes their employees tick ( Coe, 1992 ) . Finally, the dependability and cogency can besides be seen as a strength every bit long as uninterrupted marking is being implemented ( Mastrangelo, 2001 ) .

Unfortunately, the dependability and cogency can besides be seen as a really damaging failing to this trial. As declared early, the MBTI is meant to be looked at as a whole and non a amount of its parts. Basically, the intent of this trial is to mensurate a individual ‘s whole personality, so if the dependability and cogency are merely looking at the trial broken down into parts so the trial is non being examined decently ( Mastrangelo, 2001 ; Edwards, Lanning, & A ; Hooker, 2002 ) . This alteration from holding really high dependability and cogency to non is a large concern, and because of this many psychologist disregard the MBTI raw ( Pittenger, 2005 ) . Besides harmonizing to some research, the different personality typologies in the trial are non adequately defined and many of the personality traits bunch together ( Pittenger, 2005 ; Edwards et al. , 2002 ) . A large concern that some people besides have with this trial is the fact that it does non know apart for any individual. An illustration of why this is a job is because based on that claim a individual with a terrible psychological pathology, such as schizophrenic disorder, can take this trial and be classified as holding the same personality as a “ normal ” individual ( Pittenger, 2005 ) . Pittenger ( 2005 ) besides believes that there is really small grounds demoing the MBTI ‘s utility in a guidance scene. In decision, the MBTI is best served being used for self consciousness of personality traits, and should non be used to do important determinations about the make-up of a individual ( Mastrangelo, 2001 ) .


Coe, C. K. ( 1992 ) . The MBTI: Potential utilizations and abuses in forces disposal. Public Personnel Management, 21 ( 4 ) , 511-522.

Edwards, J.A. , Lanning, K. , & A ; Hooker, K. ( 2002 ) . The MBTI and societal information processing: An incremental cogency survey. Journal of Personality Assessment, 78 ( 3 ) , 432-450.

Fleenor, J. W. ( 2001 ) . Review of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Form M. In The 14 mental measurings yearbook. Retrieved September 14, 2010, from EBSCO Mental Measurements Yearbook database.

Furnham, A. , Moutafi, J. , & A ; Crump, J. ( 2003 ) . The relationship between the revised neo-personality stock list and the myers-briggs type index. Social Behavior and Personality, 31 ( 6 ) , 577-584.

Mastrangelo, P. M. ( 2001 ) . Review of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Form M. In The 14 mental measurings yearbook. Retrieved September 14, 2010, from EBSCO Mental Measurements Yearbook database.

Pittenger, D. J. ( 2005 ) . Cautionary remarks sing the myers-briggs type index. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 57 ( 3 ) , 210-221.


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