Volume 1, Number 1                                                                                                                                                           June 1998




Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: A Research Report

Barbara P. Ring



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 theory—though 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 Instrument
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 values—one'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 grain”—a “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 available.
Developmental Issues
 The MBTI manual (Myers & McCaulley, 1985) offers a thorough discussion of the Indicator’s 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 author’s theory cannot accept the author’s 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 instrument’s 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 respondent’s 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, 1985).
Structural Issues
 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.
Standardization Sample
 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 Pearson’s 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 MBTI’s 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 good—average 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 MBTI’s 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 MBTI’s 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 clients—actually a part of counseling—the 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 client’s 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 Holland’s personality types and work environments (Zunker), the many materials based on Holland’s 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 Holland’s 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 leadership practice.
 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).
Multicultural Applications
 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 person’s 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 research.
Critical Analysis
 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 to us…” (Romans 12:4-6a, King James Version).
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