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Myers Briggs Type Indicator

Myers Briggs Type Indicator

Order a custom research paper on The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, which is a 126 self-assessment inventory that provides the individual with some insight into his or her personality. While this assessment is not the definitive answer to understanding a particular individual, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator provides a mechanism for self-understanding, career counseling, leadership development and a myriad of other personality defining situations. Research papers show because the Myers Briggs Indicator has become such an integral part of self-understanding, the test is not only utilized by psychiatrists and psychologists but also, it is often administered by employers and post-secondary institutions and as a means to gage the personality of an individual.

Although the Myers Briggs Indicator was originally built on a unique set of ideas and principles about personality, it seems that over the course of modern psychology a number of programs have attempted to link the sixteen personality types from the Myers Briggs Indicator to building programs that are effective for every individual. To illustrate this point, one only needs to consider the four leadership types from the National Outdoor Leadership School: architect and analysts, drivers, relationship masters, and spontaneous motivators. By comparing the sixteen Myers Briggs personality types with the four different types of outdoor leadership styles, a clear comparison between personality and leadership can be discerned.

Jung described a number of components that were related to cognitive style and impacted an individual's behavior. He believed that cognitive style could be studied in terms of how an individual approaches life and becomes aware of and reaches conclusions concerning the world. Jung also believed that an individual's personality was an open system, influenced by inputs and interactions, and that past experiences and expectations concerning the future influenced personality.

Based upon this foundation and the work performed by Myers and Briggs, the MBTI identifies and measures eight different preferences for performing tasks and handling input from the surrounding world. These eight preferences are categorized into four groups, each of which possesses two opposing, or dichotomous, preferences, and each of which influences an individual's behavior and decision-making processes. These four pairs can then be combined in different ways to produce 16 types, 36 triads, or 24 pairs. MBTI theory makes a distinction between preferences and types. Preferences refer to an individual feeling comfortable with a particular way of behaving or experiencing the world. Types, on the other hand, refer to personality traits that are regarded as opposite another trait. Individuals differ not only in the degree of expression of a trait, but also on the kind of trait expressed.

The eight preferences measured by the MBTI encompass two attitudes towards the external world, two attitudes related to the way individuals evaluate, structure, and control the world, and four psychological functions involving perception and judgment.

  1. Introversion (I)
  2. Extroversion (E)

These two attitudes towards the external world, refer to where an individual's attention is focused. The introvert focuses primarily upon him or herself, while the extrovert's attention is directed outward towards others. Extroverts can be described as social, active, friendly, and likely to enjoy group social activities. These individuals are open about themselves, enjoy speaking with and listening to other people, and are often likely to be the center of attention. Introverts, on the other hand, can be characterized as quiet, private, calm, and reserved around others. These individuals are more likely to enjoy a few close, personal relationships rather than join a group. Also, introverts often prefer to communicate through writing rather than speaking and seek solitude, existing in the background rather than being the center of attention.

  1. Judging (J)
  2. Perceiving (P)

Judging and perceiving are two attitudes regarding the way an individual evaluates and structures the external world. The judging attitude involves decisiveness, organization, seeking out of all available information prior to making a decision, and logical analysis. Individuals with this preference tend to be organized and systematic, are methodical in creating detailed plans, and prefer routines and procedures. In contrast, the perceiving attitude focuses upon new experiences and possibilities, spontaneity, and adaptability. These individuals are easy-going, flexible, and enjoy the challenge of last-minute situations. Also, the perceiving preference describes people who tend to "wing it," trusting that a solution to a problem will somehow emerge.

The four psychological functions determine an individual's reaction to information from the environment:

  • Sensing (S)
  • Thinking (T)
  • Intuition (N)
  • Feeling (F)

While sensing involves using the five senses to examine reality, intuition involves uncovering patterns and developing creative or abstract insights to understand the world. Individuals with the sensing preference like to deal with concrete, tangible facts in a sensible, matter-of-fact manner. These people also are practical, results-oriented, realistic, and prefer to use conventional methods in understanding the world. Individuals who prefer intuition, on the other hand, are more abstract and imaginative, and interested in knowledge for the sake of understanding rather than achieving results. Also, intuitive people prefer theory and patterns to empirical understandings, and utilize unconventional or idiosyncratic methods to understand the world.

Thinking is an objective function, using logical inferences to structure the environment, while feeling is a subjective and personal way to process information from the surrounding world. Both are judgment functions, which involve the evaluation of external information. Individuals possessing the thinking preference tend to be logical, reasonable, skeptical, and impartial. Additionally, these individuals are intellectually independent and tend to be firm with others. In contrast, the feeling preference describes individuals who tend to be empathetic, compassionate, uncritical, and accommodating of others. These people are tolerant of others, quick to forgive, concerned with being liked by others, and enjoy helping others to feel good.

The most current form of the MBTI, Form M, contains 93 forced-choice format questions in which respondents are asked to choose between one of two possible answers. Each question is designed to measure one pair of preferences, and upon analysis of test results, a four-letter type is generated. For example, an individual whose scores indicate a greater preference for extroversion, intuition, feeling, and perceiving would receive the four-letter type ENFP


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