The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a tool, in the form of a test that can be taken, that helps provide insight on how we perceive, relate to the world, and communicate with others. Preferences in the basic function of personality form early in life. Myers-Briggs can help us identify our own preferences, how we prefer to communicate to others and how others may have different styles of communication. By knowing our own style of communication, by being more aware of how we communicate ourselves, our ability to communicate successfully with others may improve.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality preference instrument developed by mother-daughter team Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Myers based on theory by Carl Jung.
Katharine Cook Briggs was captivated by Jung’s theory of psychological types. However, she recognized that the theory as Jung explained it was too complex for use by regular people. She set out to convey Jung’s ideas in a simple way so that anyone would be able to recognize personality types in everyday life. She felt passionate that through understanding personality types, people would be better able to use their own strengths and appreciate the diverse gifts of others.
Katharine's work was continued by her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, who became interested in the theory as a way to help with the war effort during WWII. Believing that a knowledge of personality preferences would help women who were entering the industrial workforce for the first time to identify the wartime jobs in which they would be most comfortable and effective. Isabel clarified the theory her mother had developed and identified four personality preference scales, or, dichotomies, and sixteen distinct personality types. Katherine and Isabel theorized that individuals naturally prefer one overall combination of type differences. In the same way that writing with the left hand is unnatural for a right-handed person, people tend to find using their opposite psychological preferences more difficult.
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