Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®)

The Myers-Briggs Indicator, MBTI®, is a self-report questionnaire that assesses how people perceive the environment and make decisions. It was created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers during World War II, and the criteria used are based on the proposals that Carl Gustav Jung published in his work Psychological Types.

Personality Types - MBTI®

What is the personality type?

Jung developed his ideas about personality type in an effort to explain the normal and natural differences between healthy people.

Based on his observations, Jung concluded that differences in attitudes and behaviors result from the natural tendencies people have to use their minds in different ways. As people act on their natural tendencies, they develop corresponding patterns of behavior that they find satisfying and fulfilling. Jung's theory of personality types defines eight different patterns of behavior, which he called types, and provided a detailed description of how they develop.

Jung's personality image

Jung observed that when people's minds are active, they are engaged in one of two opposing and basic mental processes:

Perceive: to grasp or collect information

Judging: reaching conclusions and making decisions about what they have perceived.

The two opposite ways of assimilating information are called Sensation and Intuition. The opposite ways of reaching conclusions and making decisions are called Thinking and Feeling.

Jung also saw that people tend to focus their attention and become more energized by interacting with the external world of people, things, and activities, or more by reflecting on the internal world of ideas, thoughts, and observations. He called these two energy orientations Extraversion and Introversion.

While each of the four mental processes (perception, intuition, thinking and feeling) has its own predictable characteristics, each also takes on a different character depending on whether the process focuses more on the extraverted outer world or the introverted inner world.

The 16 Myers-Briggs types do not define personality as 16 static boxes. Rather, they describe a dynamic energy system of interacting personality preferences that are expressed as pairs of opposites. Everyone tends to prefer one of each pair of opposites over the other.

Your Myers-Briggs personality type represents your natural preferences in the four personality aspects described, which account for the natural differences between people. There is no right or wrong in these preferences. Each identifies normal and valuable human behaviors.

E EXTRAVERSION or I INTROVERSION

Opposing ways of directing and receiving energy.

S SENSATION or N INTUITION

Opposing ways of assimilating information

T THINK or F FEEL

Opposing ways of deciding and drawing conclusions.

J JUDGE or P PERCEIVE

Opposing ways of approaching the outside world

While the names of some of the MBTI preferences are familiar words, their MBTI meaning is somewhat different from their everyday meaning.

Note: Extraversion does not mean talkative or loud; Introversion does not mean shy or inhibited; Feeling does not mean emotional; Judging does not mean judgmental; Perceiving does not mean perceptive.

The Myers-Briggs Indicator, MBTI® uses four scales, called dichotomies, defined as opposing pairs between eight categories: I introversion - E extraversion, S sensation - N intuition, T thinking - F feeling, J judgment - P perception.

Each category is symbolized by a letter, so that the result is shown with a combination of four letters, among the sixteen possible ones, which is intended to define the subject's personality.

After decades of research, MBTI® is the world's most widely used tool for understanding personality differences among people globally.

Its application is wide:

  • Self-knowledge and personal development
  • Team building
  • Management and leadership training
  • Coaching
  • Organizational development
  • Diversity and multicultural training
  • Troubleshooting
  • Professional development and exploration
  • Academic advising
  • Education and curriculum development
  • Relationship counseling