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Myers Briggs Type Indicator

Myers Briggs Type Indicator

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Published by Urooj Khan

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Published by: Urooj Khan on Sep 17, 2010
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Myers-Briggs: An introduction to Personality Types & the MBTI
Personality Type or Psychological Type
are terms most commonly associated with themodel of personality development created by Isabel Briggs Myers (aka Briggs Meyer, MeyerBriggs, Briggs Myers, Myer Briggs) the author of the world's most widely used personalityinventory, the
MBTI
or
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
. ® Myers and her mother,Katharine Briggs, developed their model and inventory around the ideas and theories of psychologist Carl Jung, a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and a leading exponent of Gestaltpersonality theory.Beginning in the early 1940's, Myers & Briggs extended Jung's model with the initialdevelopment of the
MBTI
. They put Jung's concepts into language that could be understoodand used by the average person. Isabel Myers' book
"Gifts Differing" 
, publishedposthumously in 1980, provided a comprehensive introduction to the Jung/Myers theory.Myers' book and her philosophy of celebrating human diversity anticipated the workplacediversity movement.The MBTI is a registered trademark of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust and is published byCPP, Inc (formerly Consulting Psychologist Press) who also distributes the Inventory. TheMBTI is available from CPP and its licensees in approximately 20 foreign languages. Inaddition, alternate versions of the inventory have been scientifically customized andvalidated for other languages and cultures for which a straight translation of Englishlanguage terms would yield inaccurate results.The
C
enter for Applications of Psychological Type (
C
APT)
is a non-profit educationalorganization founded by Myers and psychologist Mary McCaulley to promote continuedresearch into psychological type and application of psychological type to foster enhancedpersonal development, increased human understanding, and improved management of human conflict. Another non-profit organization,
The Association for Psychological Type(APT)
is an international member education and certifying organization for professionalswho use type in their occupations and professional practices. Membership is also open to laypersons who want to enrich their understanding and application of type.
The Basic Model - 2 Kinds of Mental Processes, 2 Kinds of Mental Orientations2 Kinds of Mental Processes
In her studies of people and extensive reading of Jung's theories, Myers concluded therewere four primary ways people differed from one another. She labeled these differences"preferences" - drawing a similarity to "hand preferences" to illustrate that although we alluse both of our hands, most of us have a preference for one over the other and "it" takesthe lead in many of the activities in which we use our hands.The
first
set of mental preferences relates to how people
"Perceive"
or take ininformation. In the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - MBTI Type Code, this is the second letter.Those who prefer
Sensing
Perception favor clear, tangibledata and information that fits in well with their direct here-and-now experience.
 
In contrast, those who prefer
 I 
ntuition
Perception aredrawn to information that is more abstract, conceptual, big-picture, and represents imaginative possibilities for the
 
future.The
second
set of mental preferences identifies how people form
"Judgments"
or makedecisions. In the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - MBTI Type Code, this is the third letter.Those who prefer
 
Th
inking
 
Judgment have a naturalpreference for making decisions in an objective, logical, andanalytical manner with an emphasis on tasks and results tobe accomplished.Those whose preference is for
eeling
Judgment make theirdecisions in a somewhat global, visceral, harmony andvalue-oriented way, paying particular attention to theimpact of decisions and actions on other people.One of the practical applications of the MBTI and understanding these preferences is insupporting better
Teamwork
. Differences in these mental preferences lead to quitedifferent value structures and communication styles, which can hamper mutualunderstanding and cooperation.For example, people who share
Sensing and Thinking
preferences find they are naturallyon the same wavelength; they easily understand one another, making good teammates andpartners. Likewise, people who share
Intuition and Feeling
have a similar kinship amongthem. However, in the "real" world, it is more likely that you'll find a mixed bag of people, avariety of types, in the same work group. While this diversity can be a useful strength,contributing to greater depth and breadth of team competence, there will be naturalcommunication barriers within the team due to their natural mental language differences.Such differences can be overcome, and the communication gap bridged, with mutualrespect and practice learning to "talk" and "think" in a second or third language. A MBTIworkshop can be seen as an introduction to learning the language, habits and culture of other types.
2 Kinds of Mental Orientations
There are two other mental preferences that are part of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicatormodel:
Energy Orientation
and
Outer World Orientation
. The first one is the dimensionof personality discovered by Carl Jung that became widely adopted by general psychology:Extraversion-Introversion. The second is the dimension of personality that is Myers' uniquecontribution to Jung's theory, an element she inferred from Jung's work but was not clearlyaddressed as an essential component of his theory of types. This is the style or orientationone uses in dealing with the external world: Judging or Perceiving.
 
Energy Orientation
pertains to the two forms of 
Energy
C
onsciousness
each of usexperiences on a daily basis. We occupy two mental worlds: one is inwardly turned, theother is outward. One of these worlds is our elemental source of energy; the othersecondary. In the Myers MBTI Type Code, this is the first letter.Those who prefer
 I 
ntroversion
draw their primary energyfrom the inner world of information, thoughts, ideas, andother reflections. When circumstances require an excessiveamount of attention spent in the "outside" world, thosepreferring Introversion find the need to retreat to a moreprivate setting as if to recharge their drained batteries.In contrast, those who prefer
Extraversion
are drawn tothe outside world as their elemental source of energy.Rarely, if ever, do extraverted preference people feel theirenergy batteries are "drained" by excessive amounts of interaction with the outside world. They must engage the
 
things, people, places and activities going on in the outside world fortheir life force.While the E-I dimension was Jung's gift to general psychology, unfortunately it has beenwidely distorted into a well-unwell scale with characteristics of Introversion being cast in anegative light and conversely characteristics of Extraversion cast in a positive light. Thiscultural bias frequently leads natural introverted types to mis-identify their primarypreference as Extraversion.
Extraverted Orientation
relates to which mental preference one relys upon in dealingwith/relating with the
Outside World
. It is the mental function that takes the lead in theExtraverted portion of a person's personality. When this leading function is one of the twoJudging mental preferences, then this orientation is called
Judging
. When this leadingfunction is one of the two Perceiving mental preferences, then this orientation is called
Perceiving
. In the Myers MBTI Type Code, this is the fourth letter.Those who prefer
 J 
udging
rely upon either their
T
or
F
 preference to manage their outer life. This typically leads toa style oriented towards closure, organization, planning, or
 
in some fashion managing the things and or people found inthe external environment. The drive is to order the outsideworld. While some people employ an assertive manner, others"ordering touch" - with respect to people - may be light.Those who prefer
erceiving
rely upon either their
S
or
N
 preference to run their outer life. This typically results in anopen, adaptable, flexible style of relating to the things andpeople found in the outside world. The drive is to experiencethe outside world rather than order it; in general lack of closure is easily tolerated.

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