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
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.”
For a description of your MBTI type, place your cursor over the
box containing your four-letter type code. You may also wish to
browse through all of the 16 type descriptions.
If you do not know your MBTI type, you may wish to take
Type tables can also be used to
gather and facilitate analysis of information about teams or specific
groups of people.
All types are equal:
The goal of knowing about personality type is to understand and
appreciate differences between people. As all types are equal,
there is no best type.
The MBTI instrument sorts for preferences and does not measure
trait, ability, or character. The MBTI tool is different from
many other psychological instruments
and also different from other personality
The best reason to choose the MBTI instrument to discover your
personality type is that hundreds of studies over the past 40
years have proven the instrument to be both valid
and reliable. In other words, it measures what it says it
does (validity) and produces the same results when given more
than once (reliability). When you want an accurate profile of
your personality type, ask if the instrument you plan to use has
The theory of psychological type was introduced in the 1920s
by Carl G. Jung. The MBTI tool was
developed in the 1940s by Isabel Briggs
Myers and the original research
was done in the 1940s and '50s. This research is ongoing, providing
users with updated and new information about psychological type
and its applications. Millions of people worldwide
have taken the Indicator each year since its first publication in 1962.