The first time I took the Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test I was 17. Like most teenagers the extent of my self-understanding was through trial and error and vague horoscopes via my Teen Vogue magazine subscription. Thinking back I feel lucky that I discovered the MBTI test at a relatively young age. If only every teenager -and adult for that matter- could self-discover through the MBTI test, there would certainly be a lot more understanding amongst not only ourselves but with our peers, family, and colleagues. While MBTI is by no means the end-all-be-all to self-realization, it can be quite helpful to those who want to delve into a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. It can be especially helpful to those who are trying to figure out their career path and is even used by HR departments as part of the interview process.
What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?
In short, it’s a psychological questionnaire that helps us understand our motivations and how we perceive the world. Personality types are broken up into 16 types based on the preferences of each individual’s four primary psychological functions: sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. The theory was first realized by psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung in 1921 and published in his book Psychological Types. After extensive research of Jung’s original theories Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers developed the 16 personality types. They published their first questionnaire in 1962 officially known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
How can it help?
Unlike horoscopes or other “mystical” self-help outlets, MBTI is based on research and personalized preferences. The questionnaire is extensive (usually about 75 questions) and can really help you delve into your core motivations and feelings. The key to getting an accurate result is to answer the questions as honestly as possible. Always go with the first answer that comes to mind for best results and do no over- think the questions. Go with your gut reaction.
Here’s what you can discover through MBTI:
- Career possibilities
- How you can improve
- Work environment preferences
- Social interactions
- Relationship compatibility
- Notable people who are similar to you
Best of all, there is extensive information online about all the personality types. Once you know your type you’ll find a wealth of information to delve into, including dedicated websites to each personality type. A good place to start is the official Myers-Briggs Foundation website: www.myersbriggs.org
Ready to discover your personality type?
Go here to take the questionnaire.