What is the Myers Briggs Personality Types Test?

Myers Briggs Personality Test

Based on Carl Jung’s study of perso­nali­ties, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a popular and well-known personality test used by career profes­si­onals, employees and many more in the world of work.

Devised in the 1940s by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs, this test is a self-assessment that aims to categorise personality types, based on a range of different factors. Despite various criticisms, this personality test is used to gain an insight into how a person operates and helps people identify their own strengths and weaknesses.

History of Myers Briggs Personality Test

During the early 1920s, Katherine Briggs studied in the field of perso­nali­ties and types. During the same decade, Carl Jung’s book on the same subject (“Psycho­logical Types” – 1923) was translated into English from the original German. After reading and studying the book herself, Briggs realised that Jung’s theory had given more detail than her own. After writing papers on his work, Briggs and her daughter began working on their theory and began to develop their now-famous personality test.

What are the Myers Briggs Types?

In the Myers Briggs Theory, there are 16 personality types based on four different categories, with each category divided into two types. To determine which of the two types a person is, each participant will answer a series of questions that relate to thoughts, feelings, behaviours, thought processes and more.

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

1. Are you Inward or Outwardly Focused?

If you...

  • Described as Talkative, Outgoing
  • Like to be in a Fast-Paced Environment
  • Working out Ideas Aloud/With Others
  • Enjoy being Centre of Attention

then you are...

E - Extroverted

If you...

  • Described as Reserved, Private
  • Prefer a Slower Pace for Contem­pla­tion
  • Think things through Internally
  • Would rather Observe a Situation

then you are...

I - Introverted

2. How Do you Prefer to take in Information?

If you...

  • Focus on the Reality of a Situation
  • Pay Attention to Facts & Details
  • Prefer Ideas with Practical Application
  • Like to Describe things Literally

then you are...

S - Sensing

If you...

  • Imagine the Possi­bili­ties of Situations
  • Notices the Bigger Picture
  • Enjoys Ideas for their Own Sake
  • Describes things in a Poetic way

then you are...

N - Intuition

3. How Do you Prefer to Make Decisions?

If you...

  • Impersonal, Logical Reasoning
  • Values Justice and Fairness
  • Enjoys finding Flaws in Arguments
  • Reasonable and Level-Headed

then you are...

T - Thinking

If you...

  • Decisions based on Personal Values
  • Values Harmony and Forgiveness
  • Like to Please Others & Find the Best
  • Described as Warm & Empathetic

then you are...

F - Feeling

4. How Do you Prefer to Live you Life?

If you...

  • Prefer to Settle Matters
  • Rules & Deadlines to be Respected
  • Prefers Detailed, Step-by-Step Tasks 
  • Likes to Make Plans

then you prefer...

J - Judging

If you...

  • Prefer to Leave Options Open
  • See Rules & Deadlines as Flexible
  • Likes to Improvise, on-the-spot
  • Spontaneous, enjoys New Situations

then you are...

P - Perceiving

Criticism of the Myers-Briggs Test

Although this indication test is still used widely across companies and businesses worldwide, a number of criticisms of the test have arisen since its creation. For example, it is regularly said that the test’s results are too narrow; it is almost impossible to classify someone as strictly extroverted or introverted. Another common criticism is the accuracy of answers provided; as this is a self-directed test that’s used to determine suitable job roles and respon­sibi­lities, results can be skewed when participants answer untruthfully or exaggerate in their responses. Despite this, it can still be used as a great insight tool for self-improvement.

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