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Established History Meets Modernized Reporting: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

May 19, 2015

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has inundated the general population – you can find people discussing their results everywhere from workplace teambuilding seminars, to online dating profiles. It is not surprising that there is a strong belief in this personality assessment: we are prone to like what we understand and are familiar with, and the MBTI has maintained a strong presence in the world of personality assessment since its inception in 1943.

The main aspect of this tool that makes it so attractive to the population is its capability to illuminate our personality types by placing us into buckets based upon our preferences among four dichotomies—Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I), Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N), Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), and Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P). The simplicity of placing individuals into their respective categories allows test takers to easily manage and understand their typologies, which equips them with the knowledge to apply the results to their everyday behavior.

Finding out one’s own personality typology may also have benefits for job seekers. A recent article published in the Business Insider (Smith, 2015) discusses the association between personality types and happiness on-the-job. The article highlights a study conducted by researchers at Truity Psychometrics and suggests that “Feelers” are happier at work than their “Thinker” counterparts. This makes me wonder, what is a potential reasoning behind this finding? The researchers found that “Feelers” hold an inclination to self-select into organizations that are in alignment with their own personal values. In other words, it is hypothesized that “Feelers” are more likely to place a higher importance on the person-organization fit (P-O fit) than are “Thinkers.” “Thinkers” tend to gravitate toward jobs that place greater prioritization on professional achievements such as salary, status, and power rather, than focusing upon jobs that may fit with their own values and beliefs. Given that high P-O fit has been linked to increases in performance and job satisfaction, as well as a decrease in turnover, organizations should consider how assessments such as the MBTI might help them identify employees who are a match for their culture.

In an effort to stay up-to-date and maintain presence in the market of personality assessment, CPP, the exclusive publisher of the MBTI, released updated reports of the assessment on May 2, 2015. The newly designed and revised reports are appealing, as they make the MBTI even more intuitive by allowing for test takers to extend their knowledge about their typologies with ease. Additionally, the enhanced look is sure to spike an interest in test taker’s assessment of their fit with potential employers. While some may argue that the tried and true test may have seen its day, I advise that a test which holds the potential for increasing assessment of employee-organization fit should never go out of style.

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