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About the MBTI®

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator&® (MBTI®)
Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine C. Briggs

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory measures the dynamic interrelationships of preferences. Isabel Myers' unique implementation of Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type, the MBTI provides a method of measuring individual modes of information gathering and decision making. These preferences can be used to better understand the actions of individuals and groups with respect to customary reactions, values, motivations, skills, and interests. The MBTI measures individual preferences on four bipolar scales, which are reported as a four-letter code or “type.” Descriptions of the types are easily understood and useful in self-exploration.


MBTI scales indicate relative preferences for:

• Extraversion-Introversion (EI): The EI index is designed to reflect whether a person is oriented primarily toward the outer world (E) or toward the inner world of ideas (I).

• Sensing-Intuitive (SN): The SN index describes an interest in perceiving the objects, events, and details of the present moment (S) or the possibilities, abstractions, and insights imagined in the future (N).

• Thinking-Feeling (TF): The TF index describes a preference for making rational judgments by using objective and logical analysis (T) or by weighing feelings and person-centered values (F).

• Judging-Perceiving (JP): The JP index describes a preference for organizing and controlling events of the outside world (J) or for observing and understanding such events (P).

The various combinations of these preferences result in sixteen specific personality types. The MBTI's wide-ranging applications promote growth and development in many organizational settings, including business, counseling, and education.

Administrative Information

The instrument is scored using item response theory (IRT), one of the most powerful item-rating methods in modern test theory, ensuring the most accurate predictions of a person's true type.

The MBTI can be administered in 25 minutes. The required reading level is seventh grade. The MBTI can be used with individuals from age 14 through adulthood.


• Widely used
• Researched extensively
• Item content is straightforward, interesting, and non-threatening
• Provides extensive information on each “type,” presented in a positive, constructive way
• Has no time limit
• Uses easily understood terms in reporting results
• Includes a variety of helpful interpretive materials
• The MBTI is an indicator, not a test. There are no right or wrong answers. No type is “good” or “bad;” all types are valuable.
• The MBTI has numerous uses in counseling practices, organizational consulting, educational settings, and career guidance applications.

Counseling Uses

• Help individuals identify and appreciate their unique strengths
• Teach couples and families the values of their similarities and differences
• Assist in conflict resolution
• Improve the quality of relationships and interactions

Organizational Uses

• Improve communication
• Identify leadership styles
• Improve teamwork
• Support career development

Career Guidance Uses

• Guide school major, occupation, and leisure interests
• Recognize compatible work settings
• Relate job types to preferred mode of interacting and perceiving 

Help clients make important business, career, and personal decisions.

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