Creating Clarity Around the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Press Release from CPP Inc./Davies Black

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CPP, Inc., the publisher of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment today announced "Creating Clarity: Addressing Misconceptions about the MBTI® Assessment".The new white paper and accompanying webinar by noted author and MBTI Master Practitioner Patrick Kerwin discusses the history and most common misconceptions about the MBTI assessment, which today is used in 115 countries by 88 of the Fortune 100, is available in 29 languages, and is taken by millions of people worldwide.

CPP–The Myers-Briggs Company announces the “Creating Clarity: Addressing Misconceptions about the MBTI® Assessment” white paper. The new white paper and accompanying webinar by noted author and MBTI Master Practitioner Patrick Kerwin discusses the most common misconceptions about the MBTI assessment, many of which can be traced back to statistics of older versions of the assessment, intended uses, or biases about personality assessments altogether.

Watch the webinar and download the white paper at https://www.cpp.com/en-US/Resources/Creating-Clarity-Addressing-Misconceptions-of-MBTI.

Answering the MBTI critics
Kerwin directly addresses criticisms of the MBTI, many of which can be traced back to misconceptions about the instrument, its framework, intended uses, or biases about personality assessments altogether. The paper answers the most pressing questions regarding the assessment, including:

"The MBTI assessment isn't reliable".Articles that criticize the MBTI assessment often quote a statistic from David Pittenger that claims a 50 percent retest rate over a 5-week retest period. Yet this widely circulated number originates from a 1993 study citing an even older 19791 study based on an outdated form of the MBTI, not the current version of the instrument. Research in the MBTI Manualshows that over a 4-week retest period, 65 percent of respondents had all four preferences the same, and 93 percent had three or four the same.2 The MBTI Form M Manual Supplement (2009)shows test-retest reliabilities up to four years ranging from .57 to .81 and one-month test-reliabilities of .94 to .97.3

"Psychologists don't use the MBTI assessment".Clinical psychology is largely focused on the diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology. The MBTI assessment is designed to be descriptive of the typical characteristics of people with different personality types, not to be diagnostic. Today thousands of psychologists use the MBTI assessment for appropriate non-diagnostic applications.

"Neither Katharine Briggs or Isabel Briggs Myers was a psychologist".Katharine Briggs obtained a Bachelor's degree with honors in Agriculture from the Michigan Agricultural College and Isabel Myers achieved a Bachelor's degree with honors in Political Science from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Both spent years studying Jung's theory of psychological types, and join the ranks of people like Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison and Jane Goodall, who made lasting contributions to their fields despite lack of formal training.

"The MBTI assessment isn't predictive".The MBTI assessment is designed to be descriptive,not predictive. Organizations that wrongly use the MBTI assessment for hiring decisions are confusing preference with skill, and are doing themselves a disservice in their hiring process by screening out potentially qualified applicants (not to mention running the risk of litigation).

When MBTI type alone is used to direct individuals into occupations or careers, the same disservice occurs. The research of occupational attraction does indeed show that certain types are attracted to certain careers.4

But data showing attraction to an occupation should not be interpreted as being indicative of high performancein that occupation. While the MBTI assessment can be misused for hiring, performance, and indicating relationship compatibility (among other inappropriate purposes) that speaks to the misuse of the tool rather than to its validity or efficacy.

A brief history of the Myers-Briggs assessment
In the paper, Kerwin traces the development of the MBTI assessment over its 75-year history, from its inception by Katherine Briggs based on Carl Jung's theory and development by Isabel Myers until her death, to the on-going development today by teams of psychologists including CPP's research team and its 40 years of use by top organizations, institutions, and agencies:

  • 1943: the first version of the MBTI assessment was developed
  • 1962: Educational Testing Services (ETS) published an updated form of the MBTI
  • 1977: CPP releases the original commercial version of the MBTI assessment, Form G
  • 1998: CPP releases the current version of the MBTI assessment, Form M
  • 2001: CPP releases the MBTI Step II™ assessment
  • 2018: CPP will release an international revision to replace the Form M that will more accurately assess personality type across different countries and cultures globally

About CPP–The Myers-Briggs® Company
Unlock your organization's potential and solve your most challenging workplace issues with CPP–The Myers-Briggs®Company. Our solutions improve individual and team performance, addressing issues from communication to conflict management, and supporting leadership development, career decisions, selection, and retention. Perhaps that's why millions of organizations, large and small, partner with us, including the majority of Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, government agencies, and training and development consultants.

For more than 50 years, we have provided world-renowned brands that include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®(MBTI®), Strong Interest Inventory®, Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI®), FIRO®, and California Psychological Inventory (CPI) assessments. Contact us at www.cpp.com.

800-624-1765 : www.cpp.com : CPP—The Myers-Briggs® Company.

Contact:
Michael Burke
MSR Communications
michael@msrcommunications.com
415-989-9000

Melissa Summer
CPP, Inc.
msummer@cpp.com
650-691-9105

1Howes, R. J. and Carskadon, T. G. (1979). Test-Retest Reliabilities of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a Function of Mood Changes. Research in Psychological Type, Vol. 2, No. 1, 67-72.

2Myers, I. B., McCaulley, M. H., Quenk, N. L., & Hammer, A. L. (1998). MBTI® Manual. CPP, Inc., 164.

3Schaubhut, N. A., Herk., N. A, & Thompson, R. C. (2009). MBTI® Form M Manual Supplement. CPP, Inc., 7.

4Schaubhut, N. A. & Thompson, R. C. (2012). MBTI® Type Tables for Occupations. CPP, Inc.

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