The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator

Topics: Personality psychology, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Socionics Pages: 5 (1387 words) Published: May 14, 2011
Literature Review – The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most widely used personality assessment instrument in the world. More than two million people complete it annually in the world (Robbins & Barnwell, 2008). The reliability of the MBTI instrument for management is supported by over fifty years of research and use, proving to be a reliable tool for management and human resource development, both personal and career counselling, and even for team-building and improving communication. Comprising 100 personality tests, it assesses how people act and feel in various situations (Michael & William, 2009). MBTI test results present an individual’s personality preferences thus helping individuals better understand themselves and assisting them in making career choices. Possible applications for the MBTI include communication, conflict resolution, personal growth and development, decision making and problem solving (Thompson, 2010, p19). Also the MBTI helps management to encourage groups of individuals to learn about themselves, each other, and better organize group resources to achieve group goals.

On the basis of the answers individuals give to the test, the MBTI classifies individuals into sixteen unique personality based on four dimensions (Robins, 2009). They are Extroverted or Introverted (E or I), Sensing or Intuitive (S or N), Thinking or Feeling (T or F), and Judging or Perceiving (J or P).

Extroverted-Introverted – method of functioning. Extroverted individuals are outgoing, sociable and assertive, they tend to act, then reflect, and then act again to gather information and reflect on it before arriving at a decision. Introverts are quiet and shy, prefer to reflect, then act, then reflect again to discuss possible alternatives before arriving at a decision (Michael & William, 2009)

Sensing-Intuitive - how individuals take in information. Individuals who are sensing are more likely focus on detail and what is actually present, are practical and prefer routine and order. They always trust their experience and focus on what is real here and now. By contrast, individuals who prefer intuition rely on unconscious processes and tend to trust information that is more abstract or theoretical, to focus more on implications and inferences, to look at the “big picture” to gather information (Robins, 2009).

Thinking-Feeling - how individuals make decision. Those who prefer thinking are more logical, causal, and more consistent in their perspective. They measure decision by what seems reasonable and tend to use an analytical approach to problem solving. Conversely, those who prefer feeling tend to introduce their own values and emotions into the decision making process. However, where situations differ, their value and emotion can be variable. Therefore, their decision-making is based on the situation and their emotional involvement in that situation (Mohammad, 2009).

Judgment-perceiving - individual’s lifestyle. Judgment types desire control and prefer their worlds to be orderly, planned and scheduled – everything in its place. By contrast, those who are perception orientated prefer an open, flexible, and unstructured lifestyle (Michael & William, 2009).

According to the research by McCare and John (2002) strong relation exists between individual personality and performance in teams. The four dimensions can classify individuals into sixteen personality type. ESTJs are the organisers in the team. They are realistic, practical and prefer order, like use reason and logic to handle problems. They have a natural head for business or group dynamics. Consequently, they like to organise and run activities (Carlopio & Andrewartha, 2008). INTJs are the monitors and the evaluators in the team. They usually have original minds and strongly focus on their own ideas and purposes. Additionally, they are critical, independent, determined and often stubborn. The ENTPs are...
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