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About

 

All About the Myers-Briggs®
(MBTI®) Assessment

 

The MBTI® is a tool to enrich people’s understanding of themselves and others. With it, we aim to inspire the world, one world at a time. From Stephen Colbert to business leaders, Oprah’s interview with Nicole Kidman to universities around the world, people are fascinated with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, aka the MBTI. But what is it, really? A fun personality assessment? Or a serious business tool? It’s both. And it’s a scientifically-validated psychometric assessment.

 

What is it?

 

The MBTI® assessment is a psychometric tool that gives you insight into what makes you you. By developing a clearer sense of self-awareness and awareness of others, you’re able to better frame decisions, reduce miscommunication, and understand personal needs more effectively. And that’s a good skill to have.

 

 

Why is it so popular?

 

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was created to help people better understand themselves and those around them. It allows people to appreciate and respect differences for better communications, relationships, teamwork and a better life.

 

It’s popular because it does what it was designed to do – help people live better, more self-aware lives. It doesn’t measure performance, but instead measures core personality preferences that make us similar, different and unique.

 

    • What it can do:

       

      • Measure your personality preferences in the MBTI framework
      • Provide career insight into what jobs you’ll find interesting
      • Help you understand behavior and personality preferences
      • Give you insight into communication habits
      • Help you better understand other people
      • and so, so much more…
    • What it can't do:

       

      • Measure or predict job performance
      • Tell you about your aptitude for a job
      • Reveal your perfect companion
      • Predict the future
      • Match you with celebrity personality types
      • Tell companies who they should hire

 

Who uses it?

 

Global organizations such as 88 of the Fortune 100 companies, government agencies, universities and colleges, small businesses, NGOs, independent consultants, and companies like these:

 

    • Marriott

      Global hotel chain leads the way to customer satisfaction utilising the MBTI assessment in staff development.

    • Ernst & Young

      International accounting firm strengthens new leadership using the MBTI instrument.

    • National Australia Bank

      Bank builds trust in teams and develops stronger leaders with the MBTI assessment.

 

    • University of Alberta

      MBTI tool helps University of Alberta MBAs master themselves.

    • U.S. Air Force

      Air Force Acquisition Integration Group leverages assessments to increase self-awareness and improve leadership.

    • Beauty Kitchen

      How to lead the market for sustainable beauty products.

 

Who else uses it? Experts like...

 

 

 

More popular than ever - MBTI in the world and online

 

 

Articles:

 

    • Human Resources Director

      How the 'always-on' culture is impacting you

    • HR Reporter

      Introverts, extraverts respond differently to pandemic

    • Forbes

      Will Gen Z usher in a new generation of work-related conflict?

 

    • CNBC

      Workers feel survivor's guilt as pandemic continues and layoffs deepen

    • Introvert, Dear

      How to ask your boss to let you keep working from home

    • TechSeries

      Inclusion and diversity - don't forget personality

 

    • Recruiter.com

      Growth mindset and the MBTI: Your personality type is not the whole story

    • PsychCentral.com

      Discovering your gifts, appreciating differences: Therapeutic use of psychological type and the MBTI by Dr. Raymond C. Hawkins II, Ph.D., ABPP

    • TEDx

      What's your type by Jean Kummerow: MBTI certified practitioner talks about basics of the Myers-Briggs personality assessment its positive uses

 

Science or pseudoscience?

 

Yes, it’s science. And it provides a scientifically valid measure of personality preferences. When you’re the world’s most popular personality assessment, you’re going to have skeptics. And with information comes misinformation. Let’s set the record straight and dispel the myths about Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment.

 

 

Does the MBTI® assessment describe my whole personality?

 

The MBTI® assessment was not designed to describe every aspect of personality. It focuses on four preference pairs:

 

  • Extraversion–Introversion (E–I): From where you get your energy
  • Sensing–Intuition (S–N): What information you prefer to gather and trust
  • Thinking–Feeling (T–F): The process you prefer to use in making decisions
  • Judging–Perceiving (J–P): How you deal with the world around you

 

This isn’t to say that everyone who has a preference for Sensing, for example, is alike in every aspect. Personality is more complex than that! However, sorting people into the 16 types based on certain aspects of personality can illustrate how people are alike and how they are different. Looking at personality in this way is useful for certain purposes.

 

No personality assessment measures all aspects of personality or completely describes an individual. All personality assessments are using a model (some based on theory, some lacking a theory) to summarise large groups of individuals in a relatively small number of useful descriptors.

 

Is the MBTI® assessment available for free online?

 

No. The genuine MBTI® assessment is copyrighted and only accessible by individuals who are MBTI certified and available through MBTIonline.com, which allows you to complete the assessment and provides a self-directed interpretation.

 

The MBTI assessment is backed up by 75 years of research and continues to be refined and updated. The assessment also has considerable evidence for its reliability and validity, much of which is reported in its manual. You may find free questionnaires that are based on Jung and Myers and Briggs' theory and that talk about the four preference pairs. But free personality assessments typically lack evidence showing they are reliable and valid measures.

 

Does the MBTI® assessment have a scientific basis?

 

Yes. Four editions (1962, 1985, 1998, 2018) of its manual have been published, providing a wealth of research-based evidence on its reliability and validity. The manual also explains the theory behind the assessment, its construction, and the data collection and analysis of the scales.

 

It is well established that the Myers-Briggs® assessment meets all requirements for educational and psychological tests, and you can access information on its validity and reliability. Scientists have been scrutinising it for more than 50 years, and it has been cited and reviewed thousands of times (a Google Scholar search for “MBTI” found over 31,000 records). The Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT) also publishes helpful information on the reliability and validity of the Myers-Briggs assessment.

 

For more information, Dr. Rich Thompson, The Myers-Briggs Company’s head of research, deconstructs common criticisms of the MBTI assessment.

 

Sources of scientific research on the MBTI® assessment

 

When psychologists or practitioners evaluate a psychometric test or questionnaire, they usually ask two main questions: “Is it reliable?” and “Is it valid?” On both of these criteria, the MBTI assessment performs well. Reputable psychometric tools have been developed through years of rigorous research, and The Myers-Briggs Company makes these research findings available via the MBTI® Manual for the Global Step I and Step II Assessments (Myers, McCaulley, Quenk, & Hammer, 2018). This manual is provided to all certified practitioners as part of their certification materials. Major findings are also published in data supplements that can be downloaded from The Myers-Briggs Company website for the current commercial version and prior commercial versions.

 

In addition, there are many articles by independent researchers in established journals. Interested parties can find hundreds of these on a free searchable database published by the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), called Mary and Isabel’s Library Online (MILO), at www.capt.org/MILO.

 

Finally, the MBTI assessment meets the stringent requirements for psychological assessments in psychology societies around the world (e.g., the British Psychological Society, The Health Professions Council of South Africa, and Sistema de Avaliação de Testes Psicológicos in Brazil). Furthermore, the MBTI assessment has been voluntarily submitted to organizations in the United States for independent review such as those provided in Buros Mental Measurements Yearbook, in Psyctests by the American Psychological Association, and in the Comprehensive Guide to Career Assessment (7th ed.) published by the National Career Development Association (NCDA). Note that the American Psychological Association (APA) does not approve or disapprove the use of assessments in the United States. Instead, the APA provides ethical guidelines that put the onus on the users of assessments to evaluate their reliability, validity, and appropriateness.

 

References

  • Myers, I. B. (1962). Manual: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
  • Myers, I. B., & McCaulley, M. H. (1985). Manual: A guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (2nd ed.). Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.
  • Myers, I. B., McCaulley, M. H., Quenk, N. L., & Hammer, A. L. (1998). MBTI® manual: A guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument (3rd ed.). Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.
  • Myers, I. B., McCaulley, M. H., Quenk, N. L., & Hammer, A. L. (2018). MBTI® manual for the Global Step I™ and Step II™ assessments (4th ed.). Sunnyvale, CA: The Myers-Briggs Company.
  • Psyctests. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2, 2019, from https://www.apa.org/pubs/databases/psyctests/.
  • Stoltz, K. B., & Barclay, S. R. (2019). A Comprehensive Guide to Career Assessment. Broken Arrow, OK: National Career Development Association.
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (n.d.). Mental Measurements Yearbook. Retrieved October 2, 2019, from https://buros.org/mental-measurements-yearbook.

 

 

    • MBTI reliable and valid
    • MBTI Assessment Validity Infographic

      Want to see exactly what the reliability and validity data is for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment? Click on the thumbnail to view the infographic.

       

      Get more answers to common MBTI questions on the MBTI Facts page.

 

     

    Free webinars illustrating how to use the MBTI® assessment

     

     

     

    Who are we?

     

    The Myers-Briggs Company is a global provider of people development solutions for individuals, organisations and educational institutions. From our headquarters in northern California, offices in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, and Singapore, and international network of partners, we provide the tools and insights to enhance performance and help people lead more successful and fulfilling lives.

     

     

    Proud to be a B Corp

     

      • We’re one of thousands of organisations around the world choosing to use business as a force for good. As a Certified B Corporation® we aim to make a positive impact in everything we do, and to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

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