The Meyers Briggs
Well I found out I'm most like Kermit the Frog, my inner animal is a
badger, I'm compatible with my wife, and of all the Osborne's, I'm
most like Ozzie. Of semi comfort is the knowledge that if the apocalypse
comes in my lifetime, I'd last about one and one half weeks, which I'm
told is more than most people. Yeah I know I went a bit overboard on
finding out about myself but I was curious, which I'm told by the Meyers
Briggs personality test, is quite in keeping with my character.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator was developed by Katharine Cook
Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It is based on the work of
noted psychologist Carl Jung.
The essence of Jung's theory is that much seemingly random variation in
behaviour is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic
difference in the way people prefer to use their perception and
judgment. Based on their work, Meyers and Briggs developed a
questionnaire, the outcome of which was a description of where people
draw energy from, how they absorb information and make and implement
decisions, and behave in groups, among other things.
According to its publisher, CPP Inc., Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
is translated into 16 languages and widely used by government,
institutions, and Fortune 500 companies to "help improve individual and
team performance, nurture and retain top talent, develop leadership at
every level of an organization, reduce workplace conflict, and explore
the world of work".
There is an on line test here,
Human Metrics After knowing your
"score", a lot about yourself can be found by simply typing your four
letter character type into Google.
The MBTI outcome is four letters and four numbers that indicate the
strength or prevalence of the characteristic. It categorizes people
according the the following parameters:
Extroverts and Introverts E or I
Sensing and Intuition S or N
Thinking and Feeling T or F
Judging and Perceiving J or P
From these four pairs comes sixteen types, and each type has a wealth of
information available about it that was gathered Myers and Briggs from
thousands of interviews, and augmented over its fifty some years of use.
I found out, after taking the fifteen or so minute on line version of
the test, that I'm an INTJ.
Note it is not meant to be a hiring screen, rather, to provide added
information about people. For various reasons it is not always entirely
accurate, still many advocate its use to assemble teams for projects on
the theory that the personality types each bring strengths and
weaknesses with them that can destroy or enhance the effectiveness of
As for casting the type, the test certainly has nay sayers, but I took
an on line test and was astounded by what it revealed, how it
articulated things about me that were hauntingly familiar and deeply
personal. I also had friends and clients take it and everyone agreed
with their profiles. This is not unsurprising because CPP Inc claims
most people do.
What it really did for me was open up a new world in relating to people.
It explained such things as why I gave my teachers a rough time in
school, and why I attacked ideas and loved to argue, sometimes taking
sides simply for sport. What it gave me was the ability to say "he or
she is simply behaving in this manner to, in their own way, gain energy,
gather information, decide what to do based on that information, and
deal with the world around them. They are not "bad" or "good", simply
acting according to they way they see the world.
Note too the Meyers Briggs test is not in any way an intelligence test.
It does not test knowledge or capabilities, rather, the questions
uncover preferences, describing a set of circumstances, and asking yes
no questions about what you may do, think, or prefer in that
circumstance. The "reactions" are then scored by letter and number. The
higher the number, the "stronger" the preference in direction of the
Very briefly, Extroverts focus on the outside world and people to gain
energy while Introverts gain energy from their inner world and ideas,
dreams, fantasies etc. Sensing types are step-by-step operators, basing
everything on facts, details, and the real word while Intuitive people
see and think in the Big-Picture arena, and actively use their
imagination and creativity when they do things. Thinkers make decisions
using logical, objective analysis while Feelers think in terms of how
people are affected. Judgers plan and schedule methodically and try to
meet their standards while Perceivers are spontaneous, opportunistic,
and don't mind being late.
Of course there's much much more to it. And others have built on it and
refined it. The Keirsey Temperament is a good example where foundations
laid by Meyers and Briggs were refined.
All in all a great eye opener if you've never heard of it before, and it
can be free! Check it out here
Of course if the outcome
is important to you, pay the professionals to handle the testing,
scoring and reporting back. Free is, after all, not always a good thing.
© 2015 John B Voorpostel CPA, CA, CMB