Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI is a widely used psychological assessment tool that categorizes individuals into one of 16 personality types based on their preferences in four dichotomies. Developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, the MBTI is based on the theories of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung.

Purpose and Role

The primary purpose of the MBTI is to help individuals understand their personality preferences and how these preferences influence their behavior, communication, decision-making, and interactions with others. The MBTI can be applied in various settings, such as:

  • Self-awareness: Individuals can use their MBTI results to gain insights into their strengths and weaknesses, improving personal growth and development.
  • Career development: The MBTI can assist individuals in identifying careers that align with their personality preferences, leading to greater job satisfaction and success.
  • Relationships: Understanding the differences in personality types can help improve communication and reduce conflict in personal and professional relationships.
  • Team-building: By identifying team members' personality types, organizations can create more balanced and effective teams.

The Four Dichotomies

The MBTI is based on four dichotomies, each representing a pair of opposing preferences:

  • Extraversion (E) - Introversion (I): This dichotomy reflects how individuals gain energy and where they focus their attention. Extraverts are energized by interacting with others and external stimuli, while introverts recharge through solitude and introspection.
  • Sensing (S) - Intuition (N): This dichotomy represents how individuals gather information. Sensing types prefer concrete, factual information and pay attention to details, while intuitive types prefer abstract concepts and look for patterns and possibilities.
  • Thinking (T) - Feeling (F): This dichotomy indicates how individuals make decisions. Thinking types rely on objective criteria and logical analysis, while feeling types consider personal values and the impact on others.
  • Judging (J) - Perceiving (P): This dichotomy describes how individuals approach structure and organization in their lives. Judging types prefer planning and order, while perceiving types are more spontaneous and adaptable.

By combining these preferences, the MBTI defines 16 distinct personality types, represented by a four-letter code (e.g., INFP, ESTJ).

Pros and Cons


  • Self-awareness: The MBTI can provide valuable insights into one's personality and preferences, aiding personal growth.
  • Improved communication: Understanding different personality types can lead to better communication and conflict resolution.
  • Career guidance: The MBTI can help individuals identify careers that align with their personality preferences.


  • Limited scientific validity: Critics argue that the MBTI lacks empirical support and does not meet the criteria for psychometric validity and reliability.
  • Simplification: The MBTI may oversimplify complex personalities by categorizing individuals into one of 16 types.
  • Potential for misuse: The MBTI results should not be used as the sole basis for hiring or promotion decisions, as this could lead to discrimination and limit diversity in the workplace.

In summary, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can be a useful tool for self-awareness, career development, and relationship improvement. However, it is essential to recognize its limitations and avoid using the MBTI results as the only basis for making important decisions.

See Also