Outline Background of the MBTI Type Descriptions Reliability and Validity Utility of the Test Ethical Considerations
Background The MBTI instrument Based on Jung's ideas about perception and judgment, and the attitudes in which these are used in different types of people. The essence of the theory is that random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the way individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment. The aim of the MBTI instrument is to identify, from self-report of easily recognized reactions, the basic preferences of people in regard to perception and judgment, so that the effects of each preference, singly and in combination, can be established by research and put into practical use.
Background The MBTI instrument differs from many other personality instruments in these ways: It is designed to implement a theory; therefore the theory must be understood to understand the MBTI instrument. The theory postulates dichotomies; therefore some of the psychometric properties are unusual. Based on the theory, there are specific dynamic relationships between the scales, which lead to the descriptions and characteristics of sixteen "types."
Type Descriptions The MBTI instrument contains four separate indices. Each index reflects one of four basic preferences which, under Jung's theory, direct the use of perception and judgment. Extraversion v. Introversion Sensing v. Intuition Thinking v. Feeling Judgment v. Perception
Type Descriptions (E-I) Extroversion: Refers to the preference of directing your energy to dealing with people, things, situations, or "the outer world.” Introversion: Refers to the preference of directing your energy to deal with ideas, information, explanations or beliefs, or "the inner world.”
Type Descriptions (E-I) The E–I index is designed to reflect whether a person is an extravert or an introvert. Extraverts are oriented primarily toward the outer world; thus they tend to focus their perception and judgment on people and objects. Introverts are oriented primarily toward the inner world; thus they tend to focus their perception and judgment upon concepts and ideas.
Type Descriptions (S- I) Sensing: Refers to the preference of dealing with facts, what you know, to have clarity, or to describe what you see. Intuition: Refers to the preference of dealing with ideas, looking into the unknown, generating new possibilities or anticipating what is not obvious.
Type Descriptions (S-I) The S–N index is designed to reflect a person's preference between two opposite ways of perceiving One may rely primarily upon the process of sensing (S), which reports observable facts or happenings through one or more of the five senses One may rely upon the less obvious process of intuition (N), which reports meanings, relationships and/or possibilities that have been worked out beyond the reach of the conscious mind.
Type Descriptions (T-F) Thinking: Refers to the preference of deciding on the basis of objective logic, using an analytic and detached approach. Feeling: Refers to the preference of deciding to use values and/or personal beliefs, on the basis of what you believe is important or what you or others care about.
Type Descriptions (T-F) The T–F index is designed to reflect a person's preference between two contrasting ways of judgment. A person may rely primarily through thinking (T) to decide impersonally on the basis of logical consequences A person may rely primarily on feelings (F) to decide primarily on the basis of personal or social values.
Type Descriptions (J-P) Judgment: Refers to the preference of life being planned, stable and organized. Perception: Refers to the preference of going with the flow, maintaining flexibility and responding to things as they arise.
Type Descriptions (J-P) The J–P index is designed to describe the process a person uses primarily in dealing with the outer world (the extraverted part of life). A person who prefers judgment (J) has reported a preference for using a judgment process (either thinking or feeling) for dealing with the outer world. A person who prefers perception (P) has reported a preference for using a perceptive process (either S or N) for dealing with the outer world.
Your Personal Code When you put these four letters together, you get your personality type code, and there are sixteen combinations. For example, INTJ indicates that you prefer Introversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judging *Remember, this indicates preferences only - an INTJ also uses Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perception.
Reliability of the MBTI Reliabilities (when scores are treated as continuous scores, as in most other psychological instruments) are as good or better than other personality instruments. On retest, people come out with three to four type preferences the same 75-90% of the time.
Reliability of the MBTI The reliabilities are quite good across age and ethnic groups, although reliabilities on some scales with some groups may be somewhat lower. The T-F scale tends to have the lowest reliability of the four scales. There are some groups for whom reliabilities are especially low, and caution needs to be exercised in thinking about using the MBTI® instrument with these groups. (For example, children)
Validity of the MBTI Can you use an individual’s type indicator to predict people’s behavior or job performance? In general… Introversion/Extroversion scale of MBTI receives moderate marks from researchers on all three major tests of validity. Sensing/Intuition and Thinking/Feeling scales show generally weak validity.
Validity of the MBTI In summary… It appears that the MBTI does not conform to many of the basic standards expected of psychological tests. Many very specific predictions about the MBTI have not been confirmed or have been proved wrong. There is no obvious evidence that there are 16 unique categories in which all people can be placed. There is no evidence that scores generated by the MBTI reflect the stable and unchanging personality traits that are claimed to be measured. Finally, there is no evidence that the MBTI measures anything of value.
MBTI & the Big 5 ExtraversionOpennessAgreeablenessConscientiousnessNeuroticism E-I-.74.03-.03.08.16 S-N.10.72.04-.15-.06 T-F.19.02.44-.15.06 J-P.15.30-.06-.49.11 The closer the number is to 1.0 or -1.0, the higher the degree of correlation.correlation
So…Who Uses This?!?! The MBTI is used in the areas of: Education Career Counseling Parenting and Family Dynamics Organizational Development Counseling and Psychotherapy
Ethical Considerations Taking the instrument is always voluntary. The information is not to be used to label, evaluate, or limit any individual in any way. Providing feedback to the individual and or group is intended to enhance rather than to limit or restrict the functioning of the individual or group. The administrator must use terms and descriptors that are non-judgmental and describe type attributes as tendencies, preferences, or inclinations rather than as absolutes.
Ethical Considerations The administrator should be careful not to over generalize or over simplify results and imply that all people of a certain type behave the same way. One should not state or imply that type explains everything. Type does not reflect an individual's ability, intelligence, likelihood of success, emotions, or normalcy. It is unethical and in many cases illegal to require job applicants to take the Indicator if the results will be used to screen out applicants.
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