With countless personality assessments available, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is most often chosen over the others. Based on the theories of Carl Jung, this assessment identifies personality constructs based on four different scales. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is often used to determine the level of leadership ability that an individual possesses. This information can be beneficial in team building in both educational and organizational settings.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Professionals in the field of psychology have countless personality assessment tools at their disposal. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of these instruments. The characteristics, uses, and purposes of this instrument will be described. The relationship between the MBTI and the leadership abilities of individuals will be analyzed. A summation of the research findings, particularly the ability of the MBTI to differentiate between the general population and the target population will be provided. Psychometric properties of the MBTI will be identified. Finally, the adequacy of the MBTI to measure leadership skills will be reviewed. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Brigs Type Indicator is based on the personality theories of Carl Jung. Jung theorized that much of human behavior which appeared to be random in nature was “actually quite orderly and consistent, due to certain basic differences in the way people approach life” (Carlyn, 1977, p. 461). This assessment was developed by Isabel Briggs-Meyers and her mother Katherine Briggs (Jing & Dan-min, 2007). They developed this assessment tool as a means of making the type theory useful to both groups and individuals. Currently, approximately two million individuals in the United States alone are given the MBTI per year. Characteristics
The MBTI is a self-report instrument in that the testtaker marks his or her own responses on the form. This assessment is considered to be in a forced to choice format because the testtaker is forced to choose between certain response options. Two types of items exist with this assessment: phrase items and word items. Phase items contain one question that gives response choices which are in sentence form. Word items are stated as phrases with response choices presented as word pairs (Jing & Dan-min, 2007). Uses
One use of the MBTI is by organizations in their team building efforts (Coe, 1992). Increased communication is also possible through the information gained by the MBTI. This test is useful by organizations in the decision-making process as well. The diagnosis of dysfunctions within the organization can also be done through the use of the MBTI and further disruption can be avoided. Another use of the MBTI is in the training of employees within an organization (Coe, 1992).
As with all testing instruments, the MBTI has the potential to be misused (Coe, 1992). One way this assessment can be misused occurs when used in the selection of employees. Employees should not be chosen solely on their performance on the test because it does not always lead to the best choice for the position. Another misuse is in the typecasting of employees. This can lead to criticism and showing individuals in a negative light (Coe, 1992). Purposes
The MBTI as an assessment of personality has become the most widely used tool in the field (Jing & Dan-min, 2007). Perhaps the reason for such wide use is that the MBTI is useful in so many areas. In educational settings the MBTI allows educators to better understand the personalities of their students and to better tailor their teaching styles. The MBTI is also useful in psychotherapy career development, and organizational behavior. Organizations can also use the MBTI to build teams that are extremely successful and work well together (Jing & Dan-min, 2007). The MBTI and Jung’s Theory of Personality Traits
Carl Jung developed his theory of personality based on two...