Myers-Briggs Type Indicators
Ethel M. Willard-Crews
Wayland Baptist University Virtual Campus
Myers-Briggs Type Indicators Article
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most widely used and recognized personality preference instruments (Filbeck, Hatfield, & Horvath, 2005). The MBTI is essentially a personality typology using four pairs of contrasting traits to create 16 personality patterns (Abrams, 2011) (Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013, p. 58). The MBTI was created by Isabel Briggs Myers along with her mother, Catherine Cooks Briggs. They integrated their concepts and research along with psychiatrist Carl Jung’s theory of personality. The purpose behind the MBTI is to assess an individual’s perceptions and judgments while providing a framework to examine similarities and differences in personality traits. The MBTI utilizes self-reporting to determine an individual’s dominant preferences on four opposing dimensions: extroversion-introversion (E-I), sensation-intuition (S-N), thinking-feeling (T-F), and judgment-perception (J-P) (Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013, p. 58).
The Extroversion-Introversion (E-I) portion of the personality test reflects on how individuals prefer to focus their attention. Just like the name says: extraverts focus on the outside world whereas introverts focus on the inside world. Extroverts get their energy from the outside world and introverts get their energy from the inside world. Extroverts are action and people-oriented, prefer oral communication, and speak freely with others. Introverts are contemplative, quiet concentration, work for long periods of time on one project, and are careful with details.
The Sensing-Intuition portion of the personality test reflects on how individuals perceive the world and acquire information from their surroundings. If a person has sensing preferences deals with concrete details and relies on their senses. If a person has an intuitive preference, they look at the overall picture, relying on a sixth sense (hunches or insight) versus their five senses. An intuitive enjoys novelty, change, and the unusual.
The Thinking-Feeling portion of the personality test reflects on individuals who make decisions, process data, and evaluate perceptions. An individual with a thinking preference uses logic, facts, and fairness while striving for objectivity and the application of principles when making decisions. An individual with a feeling preference uses social or personal values during their decision-making so their decisions are subjective in nature and consider how their decisions impact others.
The Judging-Perceiving portion of the personality test reflects on how individuals prefer to orient and organize themselves in the outside world. An individual with a judging preference, they focus on leading an orderly and organized life. They are action-oriented, decisive, see things in black and white which can cause them to have a closed-minded attitude. An individual with a perceiving preference are spontaneous and open to new ideas. They are flexible, go with the flow, resent constraints, and are open-minded.
A final relationship between the Myers-Briggs indicators is shown between judging and thinking, and therefore between perceiving and feeling (r = .16, p< .01). Surprisingly, none of the variables displayed a significant relationship with locus of control (Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013, p. 63). The results signify that individuals with judging and thinking personality traits are more orderly and deal mainly in the facts versus individuals with perceiving and feeling personality traits who are spontaneous and deal with how their decisions impact others. However, personality type was significantly related to the Myers-Briggs judging versus perceiving dimension. Specifically, Type A personalities were more closely associated with the