Happy birthday to Isabel Briggs Myers, co-creator of the Myers–Briggs personality test
If you’ve ever taken the widely known and respected Myers-Briggs personality test, then you have this woman to thank for your enlightening results. If you’re unfamiliar with the test, here’s the lowdown.
The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test based on the ideas of philosopher and theorist Carl Jung. The test is meant to help people better understand themselves, their purpose, and their relationships with other people.
Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, developed the test.
The three original pairs of personality traits covered in Jung’s philosophy are Extraversion and Introversion, Sensing and Intuition, and Thinking and Feeling. Briggs Myers herself added a fourth: Judging and Perceiving. The combination of these traits results in a four-letter personality trait. (For example, Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging = an INFJ.)
The possible personality types resulting from the MBTI include:
- ISTJ (Responsible, efficient, practical)
- ISTP (Logical, realistic, observers)
- ESTP (Enthusiastic, hands-on, outgoing)
- ESTJ (Opinionated, dependable, responsible)
- ISFJ (Non-confrontational, harmonious, detail-oriented)
- ISFP (Gentle, sensitive, down-to-earth)
- ESFP (Energetic, spontaneous, outgoing)
- ESFJ (Caring, supportive, tradition-oriented)
- INFJ (Insightful, education-oriented, empathetic)
- INFP (Communicative, idealistic, creative)
- ENFP (Talkative, encouraging, sensitive)
- ENFJ (Charming, peace-keepers, outgoing)
- INTJ (Opinionated, inflexible, insightful)
- INTP (Adaptable, analytical, abstract)
- ENTP (Optimistic, sociable, forward-thinking)
- ENTJ (Logical, big picture-oriented, assertive)
The integrity of this testing system, as well as its basis in Jung’s philosophy, has rendered the MBTI still integral to further studies.
Aside from her work on the MBTI, Isabel was also an author, writing Murder Yet to Come (1929) and Give Me Death (1934).
Here’s to a pioneering woman in philosophy. Why not celebrate by figuring out your own personality type? You can do so here. (That website is the one and only real MBTI assessment.)
P.S., Isabel was an INFJ.