Personality tests

The best-known personality test: Myers-Briggs (MBTI)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is the best-known and most trusted personality assessment tool available today. As many as 1.5 million assessments are administered annually to individuals, including to employees of most Fortune 500 companies.

The Myers-Briggs® assessment has its roots in Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type. Katharine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, developed Jung’s theory and the first forms of the instrument, sharing a vision “to enable individuals to grow through an understanding and appreciation of individual differences in healthy personality and to enhance harmony and productivity among diverse groups.”

In developing their assessment, Briggs and Myers aimed to sort personality preferences using the three dichotomies explicitly described in Jung’s writing, along with a fourth dichotomy made explicit by Briggs and Myers. These four dichotomies are:

  • Extraversion (E) and Introversion (I): differentiating people who direct their energy primarily outward toward other people and events, from people who direct their energy primarily inward toward their inner environment, thoughts, and experiences
  • Sensing (S) and Intuition (N): differentiating people who take in information primarily through the five senses and immediate experience, from people who take in information primarily through hunches and impressions and are more interested in future possibilities
  • Thinking (T) and Feeling (F): differentiating people who make decisions primarily based on logic and objectivity, from people who make decisions primarily based on personal values and the effects their decisions will have on others
  • Judging (J) and Perceiving (P): differentiating people who prefer structure, plans, and achieving closure quickly from those who prefer flexibility, spontaneity, and keeping their options open.


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