Katharine Cook Briggs
The test was invented by a team of mother and daughter. One of the inventors, Katharine Cook (married name Briggs), the mother of Isabel Briggs Myers, was an American writer born in 1875. Having been home schooled by her father, Katharine went to college at the age of 14 and earned a degree in agriculture.
Although Briggs was expected to lead a life as a traditional housewife after graduation, her desire to learn remained insatiable. She put much of her energy into educating her daughter, Isabel, who would later help her develop the famous test as an adult.
After graduation, Katharine remained inquisitive and began writing fiction that sparked her interest in personality types. She sought to understand the details of human personality and behavior in order to create richer characters for her fiction.
Isabel MyersIn 1923 Katharine read the work of Carl Jung and introduced it to her daughter, Isabel. His theory focused on the innate differences between people in their decision making and assimilation of information. Initially, Isabel was not interested in typology research, but she changed her mind when she came across work that attempted to determine the type of work appropriate for a person’s character. She decided to join her mother’s efforts. By supplementing Jung’s ideas with her own findings, Isabel created a paper survey that eventually became the MBTI. The MBTI tool was developed in the 1940s and the original research was conducted in the 1940s and 1950s. This research continues, providing users with updated and new information about psychological types and their applications. Isabel and her mother, Katharine, aimed to make the insights of type theory accessible to individuals and groups. It took them 20 years to fully develop a test that is commonly used today to assess personality types.
Military Personality Test
Did you know that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was actually developed to help women find suitable war-related occupations during World War II?
With the passage of the GI Bill and a new influx of working women, World War II saw a blossoming of the American workforce. Many women entered the industrial workforce for the first time. Isabel noticed that many people took war-related jobs out of patriotism, but hated the tasks that went against their grain – instead of using their talents.
Taking a cue from her mother’s early work, Isabel developed a test to help people find the “most comfortable and effective” wartime job.
Isabel adapted her mother’s personality tests and presented them to a consultant named Edward N. Hay, arguing that they could help entry-level workers find their most suitable job. Edward Hay gave the MBTI a big boost, but there is little doubt that the Indicator also proved very valuable in the war effort itself.
Can Your Personality Type Change?
“If you retake the test after only a five-week gap, there’s around a 50 percent chance that you will fall into a different personality category compared to the first time you took the test,” philosopher Roman Krznaric wrote for Fortune.
So can your personality type change? The answer is yes and no. In general, your personality type is relatively stable once you reach your early 20s.
However, there are some circumstances and extreme life experiences where your personality type can change in adulthood. For example, if you experience a major life event such as a divorce or the death of a loved one, your personality type may change.
So, while your personality type is generally stable, there are some extreme circumstances which can cause your personality to change.
Myers Briggs Test Accuracy
The first thing you have to keep in mind is that the MBTI is statistically unreliable. That means that it’s not a 100% accurate test. It’s just a guideline to help you better understand yourself, your personality, and others.
And that’s why it’s important to remember that the MBTI doesn’t give you a percentage or tell you that you’re 85% shy and 15% outgoing. Instead, it gives you a general idea of your personality.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is an interesting and insightful test that can help you understand yourself and others better.
Despite MBTI being widely criticized by professional psychologists as pseudoscience, it is still popular with HR and career counselors around the world.
Remember that everyone is different. Your friend is not you. Your co-worker is not you. You are you. And the same is true for them.
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