From: The Myers & Briggs Foundation
The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways 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.”
In developing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [instrument], the aim of Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs, was to make the insights of type theory accessible to individuals and groups. They addressed the two related goals in the developments and application of the MBTI instrument:
The identification of basic preferences of each of the four dichotomies specified or implicit in Jung’s theory.
The identification and description of the 16 distinctive personality types that result from the interactions among the preferences.”
Excerpted with permission from the MBTI® Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
Your Personality Type: When you decide on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a code with four letters.
The 16 personality types of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument are listed here as they are often shown in what is called a “type table.”
Personality Types | 16Personalities
And, from Wikipedia…
Myers–Briggs Type Indicator – Wikipedia
The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire with the purpose of indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions.
The original versions of the MBTI were constructed by two Americans, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. The MBTI is based on the conceptual theory proposed by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who had speculated that people experience the world using four principal psychological functions – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking – and that one of these four functions is dominant for a person most of the time. The four categories are Introversion/Extraversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, Judging/Perception. Each person is said to have one preferred quality from each category, producing 16 unique types. The Center for Applications of Psychological Type states that the MBTI is “scientifically supported”, but most of the research on it is done through its own journal, the Journal of Psychological Type, raising questions of bias.
The MBTI was constructed for normal populations and emphasizes the value of naturally occurring differences. “The underlying assumption of the MBTI is that we all have specific preferences in the way we construe our experiences, and these preferences underlie our interests, needs, values, and motivation.”
Though the MBTI resembles some psychological theories, it is commonly classified as pseudoscience, especially as it pertains to its supposed predictive abilities. The test exhibits significant scientific (psychometric) deficiencies, notably including poor validity (i.e. not measuring what it purports to measure, not having predictive power or not having items that can be generalized), poor reliability (giving different results for the same person on different occasions), measuring categories that are not independent (some dichotomous traits have been noted to correlate with each other), and not being comprehensive (due to missing neuroticism). The four scales used in the MBTI have some correlation with four of the Big Five personality traits, which are a more commonly accepted framework.
The test and all those of its kind, categorized in medical journals as one of many self-discovery ‘fads’. Owes its sustained popularity and is categorized together as within the same class of suggestion of ‘which chakra or zodiac sign is dominant’, with the “tests” use of binary questioning and the similar popularity of the MBPT, as akin to all others, specifically relies on the exploitation of the Barnum effect, a mix of flattery, followed by confirmation bias, with participants then proceeding to searchingly attempt to ‘fit the prediction’.