Q1. What does the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator measure?
Ans: Since there is some confusion over this topic, it is perhaps better to start the answer to this question by stating what the
MBTI does not do. First, the folks at MBTI publishing headquarters in Palo Alto, California are nicely insistent that the MBTI not
be called a test, because it isn't - and that it doesn't "measure" anything. On both points, we agree wholeheartedly. Here's why.
A test has right and wrong answers, and the MBTI, of course, does not. That's why, it is constantly referred to as an
assessment or an instrument. Another thing the MBTI doesn't do is "measure" (as in a linear measurement) like on a ruler. In
other words, it doesn't rate you a "Extrovert" or an "Introvert" on a percentage basis. Other things the MBTI is not looking to
measure...in fact not looking for at all...are: trait, ability (like achievement tests do), and aptitude (potential) - like the SATs and
Q2. So, given the above, what does the MBTI do?
Ans: It "clusters" cognitive and behavioral preferences. The closest it comes to the measurement of anything is that it places
your preferences into four gradations: slight, moderate, clear and very clear. Very specifically, the MBTI shows whether a person
- extroverted or introverted - E/I
- is more apt to see the fine details of their environment (like an accountant) or sees the big picture and naturally connects
the dots (like an architect) - S/N (sensing or iNtuitive)
- whether a person makes decisions based upon objectiveness or personal/emotional values - T/F (thinking or feeling)
- whether a person places more emphasis on bringing things to closure or would rather remain open to alternatives -
Q3. What is the MBTI based upon?
Ans: It is based upon a hybrid of the psychology of psychologist Carl Jung and the mother-daughter team of astute people
watchers, Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. Once, when asked why she called her assessment the "Indicator,
Isabel responded by saying that it was indicating something that was already there. She went on to say, these are not some
esoteric concepts. That is, people all over the world and in every culture instantly recognize type preferences from their own
life's experiences. They know there are active people and quiet people (extroverts and introverts); they know there are practical
folks and dreamers (sensors and intuitives); they know there are hard heads and soft hearts (thinkers and feelers); and they
know there are people who seek order, a system and closure, while others are eternally curious, flexible and who like to go with
the flow (Js and Ps).
Q4. What about the Strong Interest Inventory? What does it measure? What's it based on?
Ans: Answering this in a similar manner as the above questions, the Strong Interest Inventory also, is not a test, in the sense of
right and wrong answers. As well, it does not measure your abilities or skills. It does not tell you the jobs you should go into
because you're supposedly good at a particular talent. As it's name suggests, it is literally an inventory of your interests.
At its core level, the SII is based on the idea that individuals are more satisfied and productive when they work in jobs or at
tasks that they find interesting and when they work with people whose interests are similar to their own. To say it in another
way, a person's interests are compared to nearly 100,000 individuals who report 1) being happy in their jobs and 2) report
themselves as successful in that job. On the surface, correlating these two items may not jump out at you. However, whether it
was 1927 when psychologist Edward K. Strong first introduced his instrument or 2004 after having undergone its newest
revision, the Strong Interest Inventory is considered to be the gold standard in career development. As far as the questions are
concerned, the SII asks you to indicate your preference for a wide range of occupations, school subjects, activities and types of
Here are samples of three questions:
For an in-depth treatment of the background and history of MBTI and the Strong, please click below.
Q5. How does the whole process work...how do I actually go about taking the MBTI and/or the Strong...and
how are the results delivered on-line...and how much time does it take?
Ans: It's better to answer that question in stages, but first it's important to emphasize that 100% of this process is done on-
Stage 1. Once you have paid for the version(s) of the MBTI and/or the Strong you intend to take, our computers are notified of
this - and of course, your computer receives confirmation that you have paid. At that point, we will send you the password to
enter the web-site of CPP (Consulting Psychologists Press) - the publisher and owner of both the MBTI and the Strong Interest
Inventory. They are located in Palo Alto, California. Once you are inside their web-site, you begin taking the assessment(s).
Stage 1a. Before we go any further, what's the policy on money back - if you've already paid and then change
Ans: It depends on when you change your mind. If you change your mind early enough, you will receive 100% of your money
back. To digress, let's say for example, you have paid us and you start taking the assessment. On the (very important) condition
that you have not yet completed the assessment - while you are in the middle of taking the MBTI or Strong, you come to the
conclusion, "this is not for me" and wish to withdraw from the whole process. Under those circumstances, you will receive
100% of your money back. To repeat, if you have not completed the MBTI or Strong up to that point - you're okay. Once,
however, you have completed the MBTI and/or Strong and all your data has been processed and sent into CPP's server in
California, and readied for downloading, then the answer to the preceeding question is you will be charged. With the credit/debit
card companies, the standard operating procedure is that your money will be channeled to the exact same account from which it
was originally charged. This, according to them, will take 3 to 4 business days. Seems "funny" they subtract any monies you
spend via credit/debit cards instantaneously, but it takes them 3 to 4 days to get it back into your account. Hummmm....
Stage 2. Once you are finished taking the MBTI and/or Strong, CPP's server notifies our computer that you have completed it.
At that point, as soon as we can (almost never more than six hours) we send you your results via a PDF file. As you probably
know by now, PDF files are so common that it's relatively uncommon that an (on-line) computer owner has not yet downloaded
(for free) the capacity to read and display PDF files. Just as Microsoft Word is the overwhelming choice for word processing,
Adobe.com is the primary PDF distributor.
*note: convenience-wise, we all know that we live in an age of high expectations and quick responses on the part of businesses
- especially after you've paid your money! With that in mind, allow us to say that we respond as quickly as we can. The fact is,
however, for the moment - we must manually see (by looking at it on our computer screens) that you have paid and accordingly,
respond by sending you the password to access CPP's web-site to begin the MBTI and/or Strong.
Equally as important, after you have completed the assessment and CPP's server notifies us that you have done so, we also
become aware of this in the same manner. Truth be told...for some people, waiting for up to six hours for each of these things
to happen doesn't sit well. And for this we apologize in advance. Toward this end, please understand that we give the six hour
number as a buffer. In the majority of cases, that six hour number only happens during the overnight on the east coast of the U.
S. The actual elapsed time for these things to take place is usually very much less. Moreover, you noticed we used the phrase
(above) "at the moment". All this will change in about two to three months. The programmers at the company that hosts our
web-site are engaged in a robust effort of writing computer code so that in the very near future, all of this will indeed be
(nearly) instantaneous. We hope you understand and know that we're a very reputable company.
Q6. When I'm on-line, taking the MBTI and/or the Strong, is it required that I complete it all-in-one-session?
Ans: The good news is no - you are not required to finish any of these assessments all in one episode. You can stop anytime
and come back whenever you want. When you temporarily log-off, your progress is automatically entered and (this is quite
important), you will be given an I. D. number. Be sure to write down this I.D. number as you will absolutely need it to log back
on to resume where you had previously stopped.
Q7. You say everyone's results are delivered electronically (on-line) - I'm guessing that if customers want hard
copies - it's basically up to them to print it out on their home computer. Is that correct? Is there any way
around this? Can I have you send me physical copies of my results?
Ans: regarding the first part of the question - this assumption is correct. Everything is designed to be swift - and at the same
time, economical. If you need physical copies and are not in a situation where you can print them out, yes of course, we can get
them to you. However, there will be an extra charge of $25 if you are located inside the continental United States; $35 for
Alaska, Hawaii and Canada; and $58 for anywhere else in the world. In all cases, we use FedEx, UPS, and DHL for these
Q8. I noticed in your offerings, there are nine different MBTIs - and that they range from $27 to $96 in price.
How do I sort all this out?
Ans: The best way to see the differences is to go to the individual pages where (unlike most web-sites), the differences are
carefully explained...even to the exact amount of pages in each report. However, a "quick and easy" way to get a pulse on
these offerings is as follows:
In terms of how deep and comprehensively it interprets things, the MBTI is divided into two categories Step I and Step II. All
Step I MBTIs are located on the two pages entitled: MBTI basic and MBTI special use. As you might expect, "special use" MBTIs
are reports that have been specially crafted for a narrower focus such as Career Report, Work Styles and to bring light to the
working environments within Organizations. All of our Step I MBTI offerings give you the basic four letter dichotomies of your
personality, e.g. INFP (introverted - intuitive-feeling and perceiving) and vast insights toward what that means in real life.
Step II MBTIs are the "Rolls-Royces" of our offerings and are priced accordingly. These two MBTIs are located on the "MBTI
advanced use" page. Again, Step I describes in detail, one's four letter personality type. Step II goes much-much farther and
deeper. It sub-divides each of these four letters into five sub-scales regarding your personality profile. That's 20 sub-scales in
all. Examples of these sub-scales are as follows: expressiveness and gregariousness are sub-scales of extroversion, whereas
reflectiveness is a sub-scale of introversion. In this vein, it is quite common for customers to report back that they are in awe of
the accuracy and the depth of the Step II MBTIs. Our typical response to them is to say that, no doubt, this is the result of 65+
years of research...and (perhaps) the reason why 89 out of the Fortune 100 Companies use the MBTI in some capacity
(Newsweek, January 17, 2005, page 45). Please note that you must be 18+ years old to take the MBTI Step-II.
Q9. Along the same lines as the above question: what about the three versions of the Strong Interest
Inventories? I notice all three are the same price. Are there any differences in the actual questions
Ans: No. In all three versions of the Strong (Standard, College, and High School editions), there are no differences in the actual
questions themselves. Re-stated, all 291 questions are exactly the same for all three versions. What is different in each version
are the last four pages of each interpretive report. That is, each one is written so that each person's highly individualized results
are interwoven and targeted toward each of these groups and their situational variables in life. That stated, it is quite important
to emphasize that these last four pages are not fluff. Quite the contrary.
They are scored on what is known in the world of
psychology as: the Leikert Scale. The image below is a
bit blurry, but if you look closely, you can see the
SL = strong like
S = like
I = indifferent (neutral)
D = dislike
SD = strong dislike
|In addition to these FAQs,
you are encouraged to
have a look at another
page which is entirely
dedicated to the two
words the world of
testing lives and
reliability & validity
|FAQs - frequently asked questions