Background of the MBTI Test * or MBTI ® Personality Assessment
While sometimes referred to as the MBTI test or Myers-Briggs Personality Test, the Briggs Myers personality test, or Myers Briggs Test , the MBTI ® is not a personality test but a personality inventory or instrument in which there are no right or wrong answers.
Personality Type or Psychological Type are terms most commonly associated with the model of personality development created by Isabel Briggs Myers (aka Briggs Meyer, Meyer Briggs, Briggs Myers, Myer Briggs) the author of the world's most widely used personality inventory or personality assessment, 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 Gestalt personality theory.
Beginning in the early 1940's, Myers & Briggs extended Jung's model with the initial development of the MBTI assessment. They put Jung's concepts into language that could be understood and used by the average person. Isabel Myers' book "Gifts Differing", published posthumously in 1980, provided a comprehensive introduction to the Jung/Myers theory. Still relevant today, Myers' book and her philosophy of celebrating human diversity anticipated the workplace diversity movement.
Take our online self-scoring "Personality Test" and learn more about Personality Types
Over the seventy years since its inception in 1943, the MBTI or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ® continues to be the "gold standard" among assessments of normal personality differences. It been perfected and evolved through continual test research and development of ever more accurate questions. Many, many millions of people have taken the test* (actually the Indicator is an inventory or psychological assessment rather than a test - as a test suggests right and wrong answers. All answer choices in the MBTI are equally desired). The subtle enhancements to "M" edition of the inventory were the product of a landmark normative study involving thousands of people and over two years of work by a team of experts in the field of psychometrics (psychological testing). The MBTI research data base is huge and provides important data on career choice and human relations.
Katherine and Isabel:
Mother's Light, Daughter's Journey
A fascinating look at the role Isabel's mother
played in the creation of the MBTI and of
Isabel's early education on the patterns
of differences among people. How a fascinating
family hobby turned into a life-long quest to
explore the nature of people differences and their differing gifts.
To order see our MBTI Recommended Books page
Since it is considered a breach of professional ethics to administer an MBTI ® without person-to-person follow-up verification by a qualified practitioner, none of the free personality tests purporting to determine your MBTI or Myers Briggs Personality Type on the Web are the "real thing." The Web is replete with "inventories" that purport to measure personality types, psychological type or the 16 Myers Briggs personality types (like the David Keirsey type-temperament indicator)! Besides only being approximations of the "real thing," I am aware of none that have met commonly accepted psychometric standards for reliability and validity. Bottom-line. While every inventory has room for improvement, the genuine MBTI ® is the "gold standard."
Recently, the instrument publisher, CPP, Inc. (formerly Consulting Psychologists Press), has developed an online system for administering and interpreting the MBTI ® called "MBTI ® Complete." This new system allows individuals to take the inventory online and get a professional interpretation. It also can be used by Qualified MBTI practitioners who use the online administration process as a supplement to their counseling or coaching practice. One source of practitioners trained and certified to use the MBTI, including official online versions, is the MBTI Master Practitioner Referral Network.
The Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT) is a non-profit educational organization founded by Myers and psychologist Mary McCaulley to promote continued research into psychological type and application of psychological type to foster enhanced personal 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 professionals who use type in their occupations and professional practices. Membership is also open to lay persons who want to enrich their understanding and application of type.
While our own online Personality Type Test1 provides guidance on identifying your MBTI Personality Type, know that the best way to understand your personality or psychological type is to take an official MBTI ® ( Myers Briggs Type Indicator ) instrument from a professional who has met the standards necessary to be "qualified" to administer the "test." An excellent resource for "qualified" persons is the Association for Psychological Type. Through their web site at www.aptinternational.org you can learn about APT chapters and members in your area.
® MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Meyers Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries (aka meyers briggs, briggs myers or myer briggs).
1.The Cognitive Style Inventory is NOT the (MBTI) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The exclusive publisher of the MBTI is CPP, Inc., a publishing conglomerate who authorizes and certifies professionals in the use of this instrument. The MBTI is not a Personality Test; it is an assessment instrument. Information on its use can be obtained at the website of the Myers & Briggs Foundation. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers Briggs, MBTI, the MBTI logo, Step I, Step II and Step III are trademarks or registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc.