What is MBTI®?
MBTI = Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Jung's Theory of Psychological Types and the MBTI® Instrument
"The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung (1921/1971) understandable and useful in people's lives. 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. 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 interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills. The MBTI instrument is based on Jung's ideas about perception and judgment, and the attitudes in which these are used in different types of people. The aim of the MBTI instrument is to identify 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 into practical use. The MBTI instrument differs from many other personality instruments in these ways:
- It is designed to implement a theory; therefore the theory must be understood to understand the MBTI instrument.
- The theory postulates dichotomies; therefore some of the psychometric properties are unusual.
- Based on the theory, there are specific dynamic relationships between the scales, which lead to the descriptions and characteristics of sixteen "types."
The MBTI instrument contains four separate indices. Each index reflects one of four basic preferences which, under Jung's theory, direct the use of perception and judgment. The preferences affect not only what people attend to in any given situation, but also how they draw conclusions about what they perceive.
Knowledge of type can be a powerful tool. Once you understand your type, there are multiple ways to put your knowledge to good use. Understanding workplace preferences, manageing stress, reducing conflict, searching for suitable careers, and improving team effectiveness are just a few of the many type-related applications you can explore.