MYERS BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR (MBTI®)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. These preferences were extrapolated from the typological theories proposed by Carl G Jung and first published in his 1921 book Psychological Types (English edition, 1923).

Jung's typological model regards psychological type as similar to left or right handedness: individuals are either born with, or develop, certain preferred ways of thinking and acting. The MBTI® sorts some of these psychological differences into four opposite pairs, or dichotomies, with a resulting 16 possible psychological types. None of these types are better or worse; however, Briggs and Myers theorized that individuals naturally prefer one overall combination of type differences. In the same way that writing with the left hand is hard work for a right-hander, so people tend to find using their opposite psychological preferences more difficult, even if they can become more proficient (and therefore behaviorally flexible) with practice and development.

The original developers of the personality inventory were Katharine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Myers. They began creating the indicator during World War II, believing that knowledge of personality preferences would help women who were entering the industrial workforce for the first time to identify the sort of war-time jobs where they would be "most comfortable and effective". The initial questionnaire grew into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, which was first published in 1962. The MBTI® focuses on normal populations and emphasizes the value of naturally occurring differences.

CPP Inc., the publisher of the MBTI® instrument, calls it "the world's most widely used personality assessment" with as many as two million assessments administered annually.

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