Getting to Know the MBTI
By Yuan Cheng
Contains 93 questions that deduce your personality
Developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Meyer
The MBTI test, also known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, is one of the most widely known personality tests. It is popular amongst potential employers and school administrators who are seeking to learn about their applicants, as well as individuals who just want to know themselves a little better. Containing 93 multiple choice questions, it asks you to assess your personal beliefs and actions on a provided scale ranging from “completely disagree” to “agree.” Then, based on your responses, it categorizes you into 1 of the 16 distinct personality types explained on the website.
There are 16 available personality types, and they are all permutations of several foundational elements:
Where does your attention go? Category: Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
How do you process data and information? Category: Sensing (S) or INtuition (N)
How do you decide on the choices you make? Category: Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
How do you react to the world around you and the society at large? Category: Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
The name of each personality type is constructed of some variation of the four letters from these key elements. For example, an INFJ is an introvert that processes information based mostly on their intuition, and is more emotional as well as more judgemental towards society.
The most common personality type is ISFJ, which currently makes up 13.8% of test-takers.
After completing the survey and receiving the results, the MBTI website presents additional information about the nuances of each personality type. It lists the common traits of that personality type’s dating life, career path, platonic relationships, etc, as well as offers advice on individual shortcomings.
Of course, the final result could be skewed, and it could feel as if it does not represent you at all. It should also be noted that not all traits talked about on the website apply to each individual person, even if they are of that specific personality type. But as long as you answer each question honestly, without deliberately trying to achieve or avoid a certain result, it should be relatively accurate.
Around the 1950s, Katharine Cook Briggs and daughter Isabel Briggs Myers began to develop the idea for this test. After meeting her son-in-law, Katharine Briggs observed that they had different world views. She did not further expound on the idea until she read Carl G Jung’s 1921 work Psychological Types: The Psychology of Individuation, and realized that Jung had gone in depth regarding this notion that she was just beginning to develop. The production of the idea was also heavily influenced by the Second World War. The war made Briggs feel the urgency to have people cooperate and understand each other in order to resolve matters peacefully.
In 1962, after 20 years of careful drafting, the Myer-Briggs personality test was finally published. It had been continuously updated as time went on.
Especially during the pandemic, many can no longer conduct in-person interviews or hangouts to get to know the person on the other side of the line. The need to dig deeper about yourself and those around you often finds itself materialized virtually and through means such as the MBTI test. The next time you encounter this test, whether it is shared in the friend group Group Chat or in an email from your boss, take a moment to answer honestly and reflect about the different aspects of you.
You can take the test online here: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test.