Volume 1, Number 1 June 1998
|MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR||16 PERSONALITY TYPES|
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: A Research Report
Barbara P. Ring, R.N., M.A.
This report on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a
psychological assessment instrument based on Jungian personality
type theory, begins with a general introduction to the instrument,
including a brief overview of the underlying theory. It
discusses developmental issues; the structural issues of
standardization, reliability, and validity; and some of its
practical applications in counseling and psychotherapy, career
management and counseling, management and leadership, teams,
education, multicultural use, and health, stress, and coping.
A personal critique concludes the paper.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: A Research Report
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, developed to make C. G. Jung's personality type theory understandable and useful in people's lives (Myers & McCaulley, 1985), has become one of the most popular and widely-used psychometric instruments for assessing personality characteristics in non-psychiatric populations. Applications have been made across a broad spectrum of human experience, including in areas such as counseling and psychotherapy; education, learning styles, and cognitive styles; career counseling; management and leadership in organizations; and health-related issues. Based from its inception upon empirical research, it has spawned its own service and research laboratory, the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), and an independent, self-supporting research journal, the Journal of Psychological Type. At the writing of MBTI Applications, CAPT's MBTI bibliography listed 4,292 entries since the first article was published in 1957 (Hammer, 1996b).
Interestingly, the MBTI has been largely ignored by the professional community, even among proponents of constructing and evaluating psychometric instruments according to personality theorythough it remains one of the few attempts to thus implement the principles of construct development (Wiggins, 1989).
The MBTI has a unique and interesting history. Unlike most personality inventories, initially designed to facilitate research interests and later adapted for general use, Isabel Briggs Myers devoted her entire life to the development of an instrument that would be valuable to the largest possible number of people. Myers' passionate interest in personality type was sparked and cultivated by her mother's (Katharine Briggs) study of personality type and discovery that Jung's typology fit well with her own observations. The devastating effects of World War II aroused a desire in Myers to do something to promote understanding and harmony among people to help avoid destructive conflicts.
In 1942, Briggs and Myers, with no formal training in
psychology or statistics and no academic sponsorship or research
grants, began themselves to develop items to tap attitudes,
perceptions, feelings, and behaviors according to their
understanding of personality type. Myers continued her work
with unflagging energy and devotion, submitting the items to
empirical testing and gathering a vast amount of data, revising
test forms accordingly, publishing the first version of the MBTI
Manual in 1962 (Myers), revising it in 1985 (Myers &
McCaulley), and completing Gifts Differing (Myers with Myers,
1980/1990), a book on personality differences for the general
public, shortly before her death at 83 years of age (Myers with
Myers). Myers' desire for the MBTI is summed up by her
comment to her associate, Dr. Mary McCaulley (1998), "You
psychologists focus on what's wrong with people. The MBTI
is about what's right with people. We must not hurt the
MBTI by making it look like your other clinical instruments."
General Introduction to the
Brief Overview of Underlying Theory
The MBTI is a psychometric instrument designed to sort people into groups of personality types. Jungian theory (Jung, 1971) posits that variation in human behavior is not due to chance, but to basic and observable differences in the ways people prefer to use their minds to gather and process information. Perception is the means by which one becomes aware of people, things, events, and concepts; judgment is the means of coming to conclusions about how to handle the information thus gathered. Sensing perception uses the physical senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling, while iNtuition perceives through an intangible, usually unconscious, sometimes called "sixth" sense. These are measured on the MBTI's SN index. Thinking judgment involves making decisions objectively and impersonally, based on laws, principles, and factual information. Feeling judgement makes decisions subjectively and personally, based on relationships and valuesone's own and those of others. Judgment preferences are reflected in the TF index (Myers, 1980; Myers & McCaulley, 1985; Ring, 1998).
Two other indices deal with orientation and attitude. The EI index indicates Extraversion, an orientation toward the outer world, focusing on people and things, and Introversion, an orientation toward the inner world of concepts and ideas. Myers added a JP index to Jung's original classifications to describe the process used primarily in dealing with the outer world, the extraverted part of life. A J report indicates a preference for using a judgment process (Thinking or Feeling), while a P report indicates a preference for using a process of perception (either Sensing or iNtuition). All four indices are dichotomous, as people tend to develop one preference on the scale at the expense of the other.
An MBTI result consists of a four-letter code, such as ESTJ (Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging), to indicate the personality type of the individual. All possible combinations yield sixteen personality types, each with a distinct descriptive profile of characteristic behavior patterns caused by the dynamic interaction of the individual processes. We all use all of the type preferences and processes at different times, and each is appropriate in certain situations. However, one's inborn preferences will mostly determine which are most used and which will, therefore, be best developed. This gives rise to infinite variation, even among people of the same type (Myers, 1980; Myers & McCaulley, 1985; Ring, 1998).
The MBTI manual (Myers & McCaulley, 1985)
gives an extensive overview of the underlying theory and type
dynamics according to Myers life-long observations
integrated with her understanding of Jungian typology. In
addition, her book (Myers, 1980), written for the general
populace, discusses type development. Optimum use of the
instrument requires a thorough understanding of these by the
person who will interpret the results.
Structure and Administration
The MBTI is a self-report instrument with dichotomous scales intended to sort people into type categories, rather than to measure strengths of individual traits or degrees of type development. The items, though written in a forced-choice format, are less aversive than other forced-choice instruments because each item deals with only one polarity, and the responses reflect opposing, rather than competing, choices (DeVito, 1985). The MBTI is published by Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. It is available in Form G, the standard form of 126 items, Form F, a research form containing 166 items, and Form AV, the Abbreviated Version of only 50 items. Written at an eighth grade reading level, it is appropriate for adults and high school students. The manual (Myers & McCaulley, 1985) advises caution in interpreting results with middle and junior high school students.
The MBTI may be administered individually or
in groups. All necessary instructions are found on the
cover of the question booklets, and answers are marked on
response sheets. For valid results, respondents should be
voluntary and cooperative, and should adopt the attitude of their
most natural, smooth, and effortless functioning, in which they
are not working against the graina shoes-off
self, as expressed in the manual (Myers & McCaulley).
There is no time limit given. Hand scoring is done using
stencils, and computer scoring services and software are
The MBTI manual (Myers & McCaulley, 1985) offers a thorough discussion of the Indicators development, which occurred in a series of stages beginning in 1942, culminating at the publication of Form G in 1977, with continued refinement of validation and interpretation capabilities. The overriding issue for the MBTI is basic to the construct validation approach to test development. When no criterion or universe of content is accepted as entirely adequate to define the quality to be measured (Cronbach & Meehl, as quoted in Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 1982, p. 144), the definition of the construct and development of the instrument must occur simultaneously, requiring collection of a large amount of data pertaining to both convergent and discriminant evidence of validity, with repeated revisions and adjustments (Kaplan & Saccuzzo).
Cronbach & Meehl (as cited in Wiggins, 1989, p. 537) point out a difficulty unique to such an approach: Unless substantially the same nomological net is accepted by the several users of the construct public validation is impossible . A consumer of the test who rejects the authors theory cannot accept the authors validation. Thus the great challenge in the development of the MBTI, designed to ascertain as correctly as possible the true personality preferences of an individual, is that its validity is based upon the validity of the very constructs of type it seeks to identify. For the one who does not accept the basic assumptions inherent in the theory, no amount of data, however vast, will be sufficient support for the instruments validity (Kaplan & Saccuzzo; Wiggins, 1989).
The assumptions of the MBTI are not typical of most psychometric measures. One assumption is that true preferences really exist. However, accurate identification of such preferences by self-report depends upon good type development and accurate self-knowledge. This brings up questions of type developmental progression and maturity, and whether preferences actually are inborn and consistent over time. Consideration was given to evaluation of the samplings to determine which items became less effective as the sample ages decreased. (Myers & McCaulley, 1985).
Another assumption is that, by self-report, persons can indicate, directly or indirectly, preferences that interact to form type. Assuming also that preferences themselves are often unconsciously formulated, the meaning of questions was less important in item selection than indication of the preference that influenced the response. Thus, seemingly trivial questions about simple surface behaviors were designed to tap underlying preferences that might not be elicited directly. Attempts were made to make the alternatives of each item equally appealing to the appropriate types, resulting in responses that may be opposed psychologically, but not logically (Myers & McCaulley, 1985).
Yet another assumption is that the type preferences are dichotomous, rather than extremes on a continuum. This is the rationale for a forced-choice format. Also inherent in type theory is that each dichotomy is a choice between qualities of equal value, with no intrinsic good or bad, right or wrong. Thus the respondent is not made to feel defensive about his own personhood, helping to discourage acquiescent and social desirability response sets. Items are specific only to the targeted preferences, and the alternatives are always presented as forced-choices, rather than separately, to avoid selection of both polarities with no way of determining which is preferred (Myers & McCaulley, 1985).
Perhaps the most major issue of the
assumption of dichotomy pertains to whether the two poles of each
preference are true dichotomies, or are, in fact, simply extremes
of a trait continuum. In part, the difficulty lies in the
fact that most statistical methods are applied to continuous
scales. Discontinuous scales would require the use of more
complicated and extensive non-parametric measures (DeVito, 1985).
Although MBTI scores can be expressed as continuous scales, and
these have been used extensively in parametric statistical
studies, considerable effort has been made to gather evidence to
support the assumption of dichotomy. Another difficulty
relates to precision in the center of the scale, so as to be more
likely to achieve accurate classification according to the
respondents true preference. Weighting of scores
based on a prediction ratio that rates discriminatory ability of
each alternative, popularity of response, and gender differences,
was used to balance the sides for greater accuracy in the mid-scale
range. The MBTI was restandardized in 1977 to correct for a
cultural trend toward an increased proportion of feeling types
that had skewed scoring of the TF index (Myers & McCaulley,
The 309 page revised edition of the
manual for the MBTI (Myers & McCaulley, 1985) is, in the
words of one reviewer (DeVito, 1985, p. 1030), extremely
clear and complete. In addition to the usual
information about administration and scoring, and extensive
statistical data pertaining to the standardization sample,
reliability, and validity of the instrument, it contains a full
exposition of the Indicator, the underlying theory, and a history
of its development. A considerable amount of information to
guide interpretation and verification of results and use of type
in counseling, career counseling, and education is also included.
From 1942 to 1944, the first potential MBTI items were developed and tested on an initial criterion group of about twenty friends and relatives of whose types Briggs and Myers were quite certain from their previous years of study and observation. As development progressed, items were tested on increasingly larger samples, mostly adults who could be expected to have more-developed types and therefore clearer preferences. Around 1956, a series of younger-age samplings were introduced and evaluated to determine the efficiency of items as age decreased. In 1957, internal consistency analysis of Form D used a sample of 2,573 Pennsylvania eleventh and twelfth grade males in college preparatory courses, and a similar sample of girls. Between 1975 and 1977, a new standardization of items was done in preparation of publication of Form F to verify for cultural changes and investigate the age at which school children could validly be tested. Samples of 1,114 males and 1,111 females, grades four through twelve in three public schools in Bethesda, Maryland and four private schools in the Philadelphia suburbs were used. Rescoring of a sample of 3,362 University of Florida freshmen tested in 1972 and 1973 was also done.
Myers established an MBTI data bank
generated from the MBTI scoring program at the Center for
Applications of Psychological Type, Inc. (CAPT) in Gainesville,
Florida. At the publication of the second version of the
manual (Myers & McCaulley, 1985), it contained more than 250,000
MBTI records generated from the scoring program at CAPT.
These data form the basis of many of the analyses reported
throughout the manual (Myers & McCaulley).
Early reviews (Mendelsohn, 1965; Sundberg, 1965), based on the first version of the MBTI manual (Myers, 1962), give internal consistency reliabilities for the four scales ranging from .75-.85 with a low coefficient of .44 for the TF index, and test-retest correlations of about .70 for three of the scales and .48 for the TF. They found these statistics comparable to the leading personality inventories at the time, but stated the need for more reliability studies.
The current manual (Myers & McCaulley, 1985) provides an extensive discussion of reliability with seven tables of data. Internal consistency was measured by the split-half method, with reliabilities again consistent with those of other personality inventories with longer scales. Estimates varied according to respondent characteristics, with generally lower, though still adequate, reliabilities in younger respondents and other populations of people regarded to be functioning at lower levels of achievement or type development. Alpha and Pearsons r coefficiencies for internal consistency were comparable.
Phi coefficients, statistics for categorical data, corrected using the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula, could be expected to underestimate reliabilities of type categories because the MBTI data are not true categories, but rather a result of scoring. Tetrachoric r correlations, also corrected with Spearman-Brown, are not affected by extreme scores, thus giving greater measurement precision in the mid-scale range, which, containing the cutting point, is critical for accuracy in type classification. However, the tetrachoric r assumes a normal distribution. Since MBTI data are not normally distributed, the tetrachoric r could be expected to overestimate reliabilities. Comparing results of the two methods showed differences of the same order of magnitude, which was interpreted to be evidence in support of adequate reliability in the mid-scale range of continuous scores, and therefore, for reliability of the type categories (Myers & McCaulley, 1985).
Test-retest reliabilities of type categories, derived from
product-moment correlations of samples from seventh grade to
medical school, show consistency over time. Reported
changes are likely to occur in only a single preference, and most
often in scales where the preference was low in the first testing
(Myers & McCaulley, 1985).
Harvey (1996) has evaluated and summarized results of research on the MBTIs reliability and validity done in the ten years following the 1985 publication of the second version of the manual. Results of meta-analytic studies, using generally accepted standards applied to instruments with continuous scores, show the reliabilities of the MBTI continuous scores to be quite goodaverage overall reliabilities of .84 and .86 for internal consistency measures, and .76 for temporal stability.
These compare quite well with reliabilities of even the most well-established and respected trait-based instruments (Harvey, p.24). Respondents with strong preference clarity are classified the same across the four scales 92% of the time on retesting; those of medium preference clarity are classified identically 81% of the time. The issues of type stability for respondents with low preference clarity and need for increased measurement precision at the type cutoffs remain among the most pressing problems related to the MBTIs reliability. Harvey discusses the advantages of item response theory (IRT) over classic test theory (CTT) in evaluating the psychometric precision of the MBTI, and points to recent IRT-based research as having the potential for resolving these issues.
Because the MBTI is based on theory, its validity must be evaluated according to how well it demonstrates relationships and predicts outcomes posited by that theory. While the Mental Measurement Yearbooks reviewers of early MBTI forms (Coan, 1978; Mendelsohn, 1965; Siegel, 1965; and, Sundberg 1965) expressed considerable reservations about its validity, one even stating that it did not represent a successful operationalization of Jungian concepts (Mendelsohn, p. 322), all were positive about its potential value in personality assessment. The second version of the MBTI manual presents a lengthy discussion of validity with considerable data. Because item selection was based only on empirical evidence of type-sorting ability, convergent, divergent, and predictive validities are the focus of consideration.
Research evidence was gathered by a variety of approaches. Type tables, which might on the surface seem to be merely descriptive, actually provide evidence for construct validity by showing a significantly higher percentage of certain types in a specific area of interest (such as occupational preference) than could be expected by chance. A 29 page table in the manual gives data of convergent validity research in many samples comparing MBTI constructs to similar constructs tapped by various other personality instruments.
Citing the limitations of such correlations due to consideration only of the four preferences without the dynamics of whole type, and the problems of confounding direction and strength of the preferences, Myers & McCaulley (1985) note that the correlations could be expected to underestimate the magnitude of the relationships. Correlations with the Jungian Type Survey (JTS), the only other instrument that purports to identify Jungian types, indicates a significant comonality of constructs being tapped by both, though with more consistency for the EI and SN scales than the TF (E = .68, I = .66, S = .54, N = .47, T = .33, and F = .23. The JP index, not an original Jungian concept, is specific to the MBTI.)
The manual also reports evidence supportive of construct validity both from comparisons of MBTI results with self-estimates of type based on brief type descriptions, and studies of behavioral observation of differences according to reported type. Other studies relating specific characteristics to type, such as creativity and originality, various aspects of memory, orientation to time, fantasy and imagery, anxiety and conformity, optimism and pessimism, and preference for privacy are reported in the manual.
Harvey (1996) summarizes the expansion of validation research and increasing empirical evidence in support of the MBTIs convergent, divergent, and predictive qualities in the decade following publication of the second version of the manual. Of particular interest is the growing number of exploratory and confirmatory factor analytic studies. Several large sample exploratory factor analyses have produced four-factor structures that are almost identical to the pattern of loadings hypothesized according to the preference scoring system. Other studies, using the confirmatory approach, have compared the MBTI four-factor model with competing models. In one case, two five-factor models proposed by trait-based advocates were effectively ruled out, while validity of the four-factor structure was very strongly supported. For those same models, convergent validity has been found to exist between four of the factors of each and the MBTI preference scales.
Utility and Applications
Reliability and validity are at the
heart of the MBTI, for it promises great usefulness if it is,
indeed, a dependable instrument. Because personality type
pertains to every human interaction, applications for the MBTI
are limited only by understanding of the underlying theory and
the desire to implement it in practical situations.
Counseling and Psychotherapy
According to Quenk and Quenk (1986) in a review of research on the use of the MBTI in counseling and psychotherapy, a national survey of counselors in community-based treatment settings rated the MBTI as the fourth most frequently used standardized test, after the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Strong Interest Inventory, and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R). Clinical reports and case studies, they say, give evidence regarding the benefits of type knowledge in counseling and psychotherapy. In addition to lengthy instructions for interpreting the MBTI to clientsactually a part of counselingthe manual (1985) devotes an entire chapter to its use in individual, marriage, and family counseling.
Myers and McCaulley give many insightful principles for
understanding the clients perspective, needs, and
motivation according to type, applying therapist self-knowledge
of type therapeutically in the counseling process, modeling and
teaching clients to understand personality differences in others
and how they interact with their own types, specific counseling
issues to consider with each type, and using type theory for
effective communication. Quenk and Quenk consider preferred
models of counseling and psychotherapy, the relationship of type
to supervision in counseling programs, type characteristics of
users of psychological services, practitioner type and the
therapeutic process, type and therapy outcomes, type and couples,
and type and substance abuse.
Career Management and Counseling
In career counseling, The MBTI is useful for self-concept development so important to career maturity (Zunker, 1994). The manual (Myers & McCaulley) discusses type and occupational choices, including tabular data of correlations with a variety of other personality, opinion, attitude, and interest scales. Specifically, the General Occupational Themes of the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory (SCII) are correlated with the MBTI; when used together, the SCII points to specific careers of interest, and the MBTI shows why those careers are of interest.
Since the SCII corresponds with Hollands personality types and work environments (Zunker), the many materials based on Hollands theory are accessible and can be used within the MBTI personality type context. Extensive data regarding occupational choice and personality type have been gathered over the years of MBTI usage, and statistics have been compiled into lists of occupations and the types represented (Myers & McCaulley). These are coded to correlate with the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (1991), thus making the vast amount of career-related information of the U. S. Department of Labor relevant to personality types.
Introduction to Type and Careers (Hammer,
1993) is a booklet that guides the use of type for setting goals,
gathering information, making contacts, and making decisions in
the career exploration process. Hammer (1996a) states the
MBTI is among the three most widely used instruments in college
career counseling settings, along with the Strong Interest
Inventory and Hollands Self-Directed Search. He identifies
three levels of intervention using type: the static level,
which addresses the matching hypothesis; the dynamic level,
primarily used in career exploration and decision making; and the
developmental level, which applies knowledge of differential type
development to the sixteen different type paths for career
development, useful in understanding issues of midlife career
transitions and long-term career development issues. He
discusses the large amount of career-related research generated
by the MBTI in the decade since publication of the second version
of the manual accordingly.
Management and Leadership
While Walck (1996), in reviewing
research on use of the MBTI in management and leadership, found
attempts to predict behavior from type to produce mixed results,
30 years of research support a few conclusions. All four
functions appear to have some impact on all steps in the decision
making process. Evidence does not support the idea that
leadership style is a function of type. While type does not
appear to be able to predict success in organizations, it may
predict how people spend their time. There is some evidence
of an STJ managerial culture which all types in
management learn to value. Despite disappointing empirical
results, for which Walck faults difficulties in methodology of
research, she remains optimistic that new research paradigms will
allow type to have a significant impact on management and
Teams have become an integral part of most
organizational environments. The underlying assumption is
that the diversity of resources inherent in a team of individuals
will enhance the solving of organizational problems (Hammer &
Huszczo, 1986). The publication of team building materials
and training programs by Hirsh (e.g., 1985) has provided tools
for using type that have made the MBTI a popular tool with
organizational development consultants. In using the MBTI, it is
assumed that understanding of individual differences will enable
teams to identify the skills and abilities each team member
brings to a task, and that this knowledge will help minimize
conflict by viewing potential sources of misunderstanding as
simply natural individual differences. Hammer & Huszczo,
in reviewing the literature, suggest that the very interesting
research involving complex dynamics and relationships might
better be done by studying patterns of meaning and directions of
relationships than by mechanical statistical significance testing.
Education, Learning Styles, and Cognitive Styles
The MBTI has been used extensively in
education. Myers and McCaulley (1985) discuss implications
of type for different levels of student aptitude, initiative,
interest, and achievement. Type differences in learning,
teaching, and administrative styles are also discussed, with many
helpful pointers in applying type knowledge to teaching and
administrative methods to maximize student learning. People
Types and Tiger Stripes (Lawrence, 1993) introduces teachers to
type theory and its use in the classroom. In an overview of
the voluminous research on type and education in the last decade,
DiTiberio (1996) states that learner characteristics consistently
confirm predictions of type theory. Studies seem to
indicate that optimal teacher-learner interactions are more
complicated than matching like types, and that learning may
actually be better facilitated by similar but complementary types
between instructor and student. More research is needed in
this area. Considerable research has confirmed earlier
findings reported in the 1985 manual. The MBTI also has
been applied to current issues in education, such as culture and
gender, vocational education, nontraditional education, and
computer-assisted instruction (DiTiberio).
As the modern world moves toward a more global society, interest in multicultural use of the MBTI has exploded. Both Jung and Myers felt that psychological type is universal. If so, the implications of promoting understanding between cultures and increasing appreciation of diversity within a culture are significant. Consulting Psychological Press currently (Kirby & Barger, 1996) lists 14 commercial translations and 15 translations being tested as research instruments. One important problem in developing translations is separation of underlying type patterns from culturally influenced behaviors.
When it is used with appropriate explanation of psychological type, significant success has been reported by practitioners using the MBTI in a wide variety of cultures and cocultures, both in developing nations and industrialized societies. Reliability and validity studies to date indicate significant reliability when used with English-speaking populations or those with a reasonable command of English, and that the MBTI does indicate respondents Jungian type preferences in the cultures in which it is being used. Research issues include the investigation of whole type multiculturally as well as individual preferences, and the dynamics of interaction of individuals and their cultures. Though these are difficult challenges, the rewards promise to be great (Kirby & Barger).
Health, Stress, and Coping
A decade of sophisticated
research (Shelton, 1986, p. 197) has produced conclusive
evidence that personality factors, as well as biological factors,
play a significant role in the disease process. The MBTI is an
important tool in investigating health, stress, and coping
variables, and in using knowledge thus gained to tailor
prevention and treatment programs to the persons type.
Shelton reviews research using the MBTI to study physiological
differences according to type, to relate the incidence of several
disease processes and type, to relate stress and coping to type,
and to study the outcome of a stress reduction treatment program.
He presents an interesting discussion of explanations of results
hypothesizing both relationships of type to susceptibility to
stress-related disease, and reaction to stress as a function of
type. This appears to be a fertile ground for future
In reliability and validity, the MBTI appears to be at least comparable to other personality measures currently available. Its expanding and successful applications in a variety of settings suggest its versatility as an assessment instrument. It is easy to use and relatively inexpensive (a 1996 Consulting Psychologists Press catalog lists Form G item booklets at $20.25 for 25 reusable booklets, hand scorable answer sheets at $11.00 per 25, individual report forms at $7.50 per 25, and scoring keys for $24.00 each set). The information reported is geared toward client benefit, whether for issues of immediate interest, or for deeper study to enhance personal growth and enrich interpersonal relationships in all areas of life. Its positive view of the value of all types, each with its own gifts and strengths, and each person a unique and dynamic blend of these characteristics, is particularly attractive to normal populations. It is, as well, a strong validation of individual personhood.
I began this report with a bias toward the MBTI from fourteen years of personal experience with it and the underlying theory. My family and I have benefited immeasurably in terms of appreciating individual differences, learning to express love in the language of each, and openly discussing type differences in human interactions of all kinds. Research on the instrument has increased my respect for it psychometrically, and stimulated possibilities for its use in my counseling practice. I believe it to be of particular value for those individuals whose types are underrepresented in the general population of our culture and who, having been required to live and work against their natural tendencies, have suffered physically or psychically. For these people, simply to learn that their differences are not pathological, but simply a matter of type, brings healing and motivation to grow.
Since I am systems-oriented, I find the
structure of MBTI types and type dynamics to be a useful
conceptual organization of human behaviors. Of considerable
importance, its view of individual uniqueness and corporate
diversity fits into my Christian world and life view.
Scripture exhorts us to make a sober assessment of ourselves (Romans
12:3, King James Version). So we, being many, are one
body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given
(Romans 12:4-6a, King James Version).
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