MBTI® Code of Ethics

A feature of the Myers-Briggs® system that sets it apart from all other personality systems are the ethical principles that guide the use of the instruments. Myers & Briggs Foundation is committed to the adherence of ethical standards that protect and preserve client rights, uphold the integrity of the instrument, and promote professionalism in the administration of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® tool.

Professionals from many fields such as psychology, education, social work, medicine, and law use the MBTI® instrument. Individuals eligible or certified to administer the MBTI assessment may belong to one or more organizations with a code of ethics specific to that profession or discipline. The following guidelines exclusively pertain to the administration and use of the MBTI tool across professions. Read guidelines on how to gain permission for various uses of the instrument and trademarks.

Administering and Providing Results

  1. Results are to be given directly to the respondent, whether as an individual or part of a group. Feedback regarding results should include a general explanation of Myers-Briggs theory and type preferences. Results should be given in a way that is personal and allows for questions, clarification and interaction with the respondent. Results are available only to the respondent, unless specific permission has been given to share the information with a third party. Each person will decide whether to reveal his or her type preferences with others.
  2. The respondent should be informed in advance as to the purpose of taking the instrument and how results will be used. Taking the instrument is always voluntary. The information is not to be used to label, evaluate, or limit an individual in any way.
  3. The respondent should be given an opportunity to clarify their best fit type with the certified MBTI practitioner. Each respondent should be provided with a description of their verified type and a description of all sixteen types.
  4. In using the instrument for research purposes only, it is not necessary to provide individual results to the respondents.
  5. Providing feedback is intended to enhance rather than to limit or restrict the functioning of the individual or group.
  6. The MBTI instrument should be used according to professional standards in the MBTI Certification Program.
  7. The MBTI instrument should be used with age-appropriate populations.

Interpreting MBTI Results

  1. The MBTI certified practitioner must use terms and descriptors that are nonjudgmental and describe type attributes as tendencies, preferences, or inclinations rather than as absolutes. Biased terms may slant interpretation or send messages that a particular preference is "good" or "not desirable."
  2. The practitioner should be careful not to over generalize or oversimplify results and imply that all people of a certain type behave the same way.
  3. One should not state or imply that type explains everything. Type does not reflect an individual's ability, intelligence, likelihood of success, emotions, or normalcy. Type is one important component of the complex human personality.
  4. The practitioner should not impose the results on the respondent nor become defensive if the respondent disagrees with the reported results or does not believe they are accurate. One should explore the perceived differences and help the respondent to be comfortable with themselves.
  5. Practitioners need to be aware of, and sensitive to their own type biases and exert every effort to present feedback in an objective way.
  6. It is unethical practice to use results on the MBTI instrument to screen job applicants' employment or positions. The practitioner should not counsel a person to, or away from, a particular career, personal relationship or activity based solely upon type information.
  7. Practitioners should continually upgrade their knowledge of the Myers-Briggs theory and advances in the understanding and application of type through education (workshops, seminars, conferences), reading, or other means.