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Q. Are people born with a particular type that remains for life?
A. There is a true type in each of us. Differences in personality type seem
to be noticeable early in our lives. These differences tend to stay with us over
time; for example, one child will be outgoing and open to new experiences, whereas
another child in the same family may be reserved and resistant to change.
Q. Can I change my type?
A. We tend not to change our type, however, our personality type can be developed.
This means that we can recognize our preferences and work with our gifts. It also
means that we can begin to understand those parts of our personality which are
less accessible to us. People with good type development accept who they are and
maximize the potential that exists for their type and its preferences.
Q. Will my type change if I retake the MBTI® Instrument?
A. There are several reasons why MBTI® Instrument results may differ:
- People may think their job expects certain behavior. A supervisor or a trainer
can give an impression that there is a preferred way to be for that organization
before the person takes the MBTI® Instrument. This can adversely effect the
outcome for the individual.
- An individual is looking for a particular kind of a job and answers the MBTI®
Instrument by choosing preferences that may match the desired job instead of answering
in a way that reflects his or her true preferences.
- According to American culture standards, men are "supposed" to be
impersonal and logical while women are "supposed" to be warm and nurturing.
Men and women who, by nature, do not fit the stereotypes may nevertheless answer
the MBTI® Instrument in a way that is reflective of these stereotypes.
- Some people may grow up in family settings where the kind of person they were
by nature was not acceptable. For example, children with a true preference for
Introversion in a family where Extraversion is more common may find that their
natural preference was not nurtured. Early admonishments to be more active and
to socialize more may lead these individuals, as adults, to answer the MBTI®
Instrument as they think they should as Extraverts.
- People may be working on their own type development and may select items that
reflect the direction of their new development.
- People may be experiencing a severe life crisis and may therefore feel confused
Q. Is the MBTI® Instrument reliable? Has it been statistically validated?
A. People scored the same on a subsequent administration of the MBTI®
Instrument about 75 percent of the time. Only about 1 in 1,000 persons will change
on all four scales. When change does occur, it is more likely on those scales
where the original preferences score was slight. Additional factors affecting
test-retest reliability relate to participants' age, reading level, and achievement
as measured on intelligence tests. Older persons, those with higher reading levels
and those with higher IQs, tend to be more consistent from one MBTI® Instrument
administration to another.
Q. Can I retake the MBTI® Instrument and see if my results change?
A. We generally do not encourage people to retake the MBTI® Instrument
but rather work with the concepts to determine what is most accurate for them.
Q. The higher the score, the better the use, ability or skill with the preference?
A. Because the MBTI® Instrument is designed to sort, not to measure,
this is an inaccurate interpretation. Scores indicate clarity of selection. This
is not a test with right or wrong answers!
Q. The questions seem very general? Why?
A. Myers tried to find items that seemed to reflect how people exhibit their
preferences in everyday matters. She realized that people will select preferences
based on what they think they need to do rather than on what they prefer to do
if the issue or matter is of particular importance to them. Therefore, she chose
fairly "superficial" behaviors in order to gather information about
the underlying patterns.
Q. Is every INTJ (or any other type) the same?
A. Myers was concerned about labeling people and giving the impression that
people of one type were all alike. The MBTI® Instrument gives people a framework
to understand human behavior, but types are not carbon copies of each other. There
is a great deal of variation within each type. The MBTI® Instrument and Jungian
theory do not account for all the differences in human behavior?
Q. Is there a best type?
A. In some situations, certain preferences may be valued more than others,
however, there are no best types. We all have different gifts, therefore, the
best type to be is the one you are!
Q. What type makes the best partner for me in a marriage or relationship?
A. All different types can and do enter into relationships with other types.
Very different types, however, may have to work more to bridge their differences.
Isabel Myers studied 375 couples who were not in counseling and found that the
most frequent situation was for the couple to be alike on three of their four
preferences, rather than on only two, as would be expected by chance. She further
found that having two or three preferences in common contributes to the success
of a relationship and lessens the need for counseling.
Q: Can anyone take it?
A: The MBTI® Instrument is most appropriate for adults and students ages
14 and over. We can be reasonably confident of the reported type when using the
Indicator with highs school students and adults who can read at least at the eighth-grade
level. Exercise caution with 12- and 13-year-old students; according to theory,
type is less developed in young people than in mature individuals.
Q: Does Knowyourtype only offer the MBTI® Instrument in English?
A: We offer the MBTI in many different languages including Spanish and Dutch. Contact us for a complete list.
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