Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsIn the last session, we considered OCEAN. I want to consider another measure of personality which is used an awful lot in business. This is known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI for short. MBTI is slightly different to OCEAN, certainly in the way it was developed as a tool. And its origins can actually be traced back to Karl Jung, the student and colleague of Freud, who actually developed a particular way of thinking about the human psyche in terms of how the inner world, what happened in here, reacted to the actual world out there. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator actually is concerned with the different ways we process and think about sensory information from the outside world.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 secondsThe way it works is that there are four scales, each of which have two extremes. And the test basically will assess where on each of these scales you fall down. And the scales are represented by their two extremes and those are represented by two letters. So the first scale is at one extreme we use the letter I and at the other extreme we use the letter E. When we do the measurement, we basically are given a four letter code. And each of those letters indicates for each of the four scales whether we're towards one extreme or towards the other. So let's go through the four different scales first.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 secondsAnd then we can explore how they combine together to give an overall personality type. So the first scale we have to consider is the EI dimension. E stands for extrovert. And I stands for introvert. Now in the OCEAN, we used introversion and extroversion in their common everyday language. In Myers-Briggs, E and I take on a particular meaning. And this relates to Jung's theory as to where we actually find the prime aspects of our understanding of the world. Does it occur in the inner world, ie, do we reflect and consider, or does it occur in the external world?

Skip to 2 minutes and 41 secondsSo for example, if we are an I, we are going to be the sort of person who likes to work things out for ourselves. If we are an E, we are concerned to sort of process our evidence from the wider world. I'd like to read to you some of the things people talk about when people are extremely E or are particularly I. So an extrovert likes variety and action. They're good at greeting people. They can be impatient with slow jobs. They enjoy talking on the phone. They like to have people around with them. So an E, you would actually like to put in an open plan office, in a buzzy office, as opposed to Is.

Skip to 3 minutes and 28 secondsI's like quiet time for concentration. They're interested in the ideas behind jobs. They don't like to be interrupted. They're quite happy to work alone. And perhaps you want to place these people in an office by themselves. The next dimension is the SN dimension. S stands for sensing. And N stands for intuiting, where the emphasis is on the second letter then, the N. Sensing types are primarily concerned with what they actually experience through their senses in the world. N types are more concerned with their intuition, what they understand is happening out there. So sensing types are much more concerned with facts and figures, which they've absorbed, with experience, with precedents.

Skip to 4 minutes and 33 secondsThey tend to be people who like to apply what they've learned. They work steadily. They're very careful about facts and figures, whereas those who rely much more on intuition are aware of differences, of challenges. They think about possibilities. They think about how things could be improved. They like to learn new skills and do things in a different way. Moving on to the third dimension, this is the TF dimension, or the thinking-feeling dimension. The thinking dimension is more concerned with analysis. The feeling dimension is more concerned with people and reactions. So thinking types, you want to put them into situations where they can use their analytic abilities. Feeling types you want to put into situations where personal relationships matter.

Skip to 5 minutes and 42 secondsThe final, the fourth dimension, is the JP dimension. J stands for judgmental. P stands for perception. And a good way to understand the difference between a P and a J is to ask people to what extent they know what they're going to do this weekend. A P type is much more happy-go-lucky. They'll wait for things to happen. A J type is much more likely to have the weekend planned. J types don't like making decisions rapidly. They like to be confident. Now you don't have to be strongly at one end or the other. And the other thing to remember is that these are preferences.

Skip to 6 minutes and 26 secondsThese are the sorts of things you would prefer to do when you're processing information about the world. They are not something which you will automatically do. And this brings us to this important point that personality types can be overridden by cognitive processes. So Myers-Briggs, doing the questionnaire, we get this four-letter description of what we are. I myself am an INFP. And I'd like to read to you what I'm meant to be like. And I think it's relatively accurate. INFPs are described as the idealists. We're full of enthusiasm and loyalty. But we seldom talk about these until we know something well. We care about learning, ideas, and language.

Skip to 7 minutes and 19 secondsAnd we like to be independent and have independent projects that we can work through ourselves. We tend to undertake too much. But somehow, we manage to get everything done. We're friendly. But at times we can be a little distracted, too absorbed in their own world to actually engage with people fully. But we're quite happy to do so in the right situations. We don't really care too much about positions. It's ideas and principles that matter to us. Now it's interesting, my wife is actually an ISTJ. And perhaps I can read her description too. ISTJs are serious, quiet, earn success by concentration and thoroughness. They're practical, orderly, matter-of-fact, logical, realistic, and dependable. They see to it that everything is well organised.

Skip to 8 minutes and 20 secondsThey take responsibility. They make up their own minds as to what should be accomplished and work towards it steadily, regardless of protests and of distractions. My wife, by the way, is a lawyer, though she teaches law. Now it's interesting looking at these two different profiles, because they illustrate one of the other key uses of the MBTI, Myers-Briggs, in organisation, which is to understand how different personality types can clash. For example, I'm a P. My wife's a J. I'm more happy-go-lucky. She likes to have things planned. We could potentially clash. We don't actually clash, because we actually are so different to each other that we can understand each other's differences and work with this.

Skip to 9 minutes and 10 secondsBut sometimes in organisations, you can see the feeling-thinking type. You can get people who are strongly F types, who say, we must consider the people involved, as opposed to the P types, who take a more analytic approach. So we've been through the Myers-Briggs. We've seen the different four dimensions. We've seen how the profile combines all four. And we've begun to explore how different profiles can struggle to understand each other. And we'll explore some of these ideas in activities. But we'll leave it for now when we're exploring personality. We have one more video session on this week, where we're actually going to look at how psychometrics are used in business.

The Myers-Briggs type indicator

We now turn our attention to the Myers-Briggs type indicator (or MBTI). The origins of MBTI can be traced back to the theories of Carl Jung, a 20th century psychiatrist and student of Sigmund Freud. MBTI is concerned with how we process and think about sensory information from the outside world. It works by outlining a series of scales that are each marked by two extremes, which are explained in this video.

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This video is from the free online course:

Managing People: Understanding Individual Differences

University of Reading