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WHAT IS THE MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR?

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The MBTI is an indicator of preferences.  There are no correct or incorrect answers.  When you take the MBTI, you indicate the way you prefer to direct your energy, to take in information, to make decisions and to orient your life.

 

The MBTI does not measure, it sorts.  It helps people sort themselves into one of two equally valid options.  High preference scores do not imply strength or excellence in the use of a particular preference; rather, high preference scores only indicate that you were clear in your choices. 

 

The MBTI is well researched.  It has been subjected to rigorous research tests.  Currently, there are approximately 600 dissertations and masters theses, and 925 articles related to the MBTI.  Over 1,600 bibliographic entries exist at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), the research center for the MBTI, founded in 1971.

 

The MBTI is practical.  Isabel Myers, who studied people in their day-to-day lives for over 20 years, developed the MBTI.  Its focus is on the gifts of each personality type.  Besides being applied in business, classroom, team building and workshop settings, it has also been useful to people in career and marriage counseling.  It has assisted in the matching of college roommates, business partners, parole officers and offenders, and foster children and prospective families.  Government, religious and educational institutions all find it effective.

 

The MBTI is based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types.  Carl Jung (1875-1961), was a Swiss psychologist who based his life’s work more on wellness than on illness – that is to say, normal rather than abnormal psychology.  He believed that we are born with a predisposition to certain personality preferences.  He also believed that healthy development was based on lifelong nurturing of those preferences, not on working to change them.  The maturing process for Jung meant being able to deal more effectively with, and being less threatened by, the preferences you do not choose.

 

The MBTI has an unusual history.  Two women – a mother and a daughter, without advanced degrees or special credentials and without the benefit of research grants, funds, graduate students or computers – developed this very sophisticated and useful tool to help people understand their differences.  These two women, Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, read many biographies and observed their family and a small group of twenty people whose types were known to them.  Later, they researched many different professional groups.  For example, Isabel Myers administered the Indicator to over 5,300 medical students and 10,000 nurses in 45 medical schools.  Their combined research spanned over 50 years.

 

The MBTI is modestly priced and can only be administered by those who are professionally qualified to use it.  Professionals who use the MBTI are required to have a college degree, complete an intensive week-long training workshop instituted in 1985 by the Association of Psychological Type (APT), and pass a qualifying exam developed by the Consulting Psychologists Press (CPP, publishers of the MBTI). 

 

The MBTI is international in application.  It is used worldwide. It has been translated into more than 30 languages, including French, French-Canadian, German, Japanese, Spanish and Turkish.  It is estimated that 5 million people will complete the MBTI this year. 

Teddi Treybig, M.A., Certified Administrator and Interpreter of
the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

 

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Teddi Treybig, M.A.  
   813-545-7103    
teddi@personalitydynamics.net
©  Copyright 2006