What the MBTI measures

The Myers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) is based on Jungian typology and looks specifically at the different ways we prefer to take in information and make decisions.

There are four pairs of preferences:

  • Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I) (Focus and source of energy)
  • Sensing (S) or Intuiting (N) (Preference for acquiring information)
  • Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) (Preference for making decisions)
  • Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) (Preferred way of interacting with the world)

In total there are 16 patterns or types each of which is identified by a four letter code derived from the above pairs.

How the MBTI is typically used

MBTI Type theory states that we prefer one within each set of pairs. For some people this preference is abundantly clear and for others it might be only slightly clear. In a similar fashion to handedness, typically, we are either right handed or left handed even if we can use both hands in certain circumstances.

The way our preferences work together directly relates to how we are predisposed to a certain way of communicating and interacting with the world. The theory behind the MBTI is that while our behavior may seem random, there are patterns that are consistent, based on basic differences in the ways we prefer to use our 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." Excerpted from the MBTI® Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
Why is it useful?
  • Provides a framework for understanding human behaviour
  • Provides a vehicle for self knowledge and self development
  • Improves our interaction with others
  • Identifies the strengths and "blindspots" of an individaul and/or a team
More about this model

Each type has a function that is dominant and is similar to the habitual native language that we speak. It is where we go first in our processing. The best way to identify your MBTI preferences is through a certified MBTI type professional, who will help you to self identify and verify what is important for you to understand about the results of your MBTI instrument. You can preview a sample report at http://www.psychometrics.com/docs/mbti_st2_p.pdf?LanguageID=EN-US