Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Definition

The term Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is used to describe a personality test that classifies individuals into four type pairings: extroversion versus introversion, sensing versus intuition, thinking versus feeling, and judging versus perceiving.

Explanation

Developed by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), can provide useful insights into the personalities of individuals as well as teams.  For example, MBTI is commonly used in the business world for career counseling.  It's also used by teams to gain a better understanding of their teammate's strengths.

The test classifies individuals into four sets of dichotomies, resulting in sixteen possible personality types based on individual preferences.

  • Favorite World:  determines if the individual prefers to focus on their external world (extroversion) or inner world (introversion).
  • Information Gathering: assesses if the individual prefers to focus on the most basic of information (sensing) or if they prefer to analyze and interpret the data (intuition).
  • Decisions:  measures an individual's preference for making decisions based on logic and reasoning (thinking) or if they would prefer to examine the impact on people and their surroundings (feeling).
  • Structure:  when the individual interacts with others they may prefer to make quick and lasting decisions (judging) or they may prefer to keep their options open (perceiving).

Note:  MBTI does not classify personality types as good or bad, the goal is to understand, leverage, and appreciate diversity in the workplace.

Related Terms

work environment, corporate culture, interpersonal skills, glass ceiling