April 19, 2014

3 Important Trends in the Use of the MBTI and Psychological Type

The venerable MBTI turns 70 years old next year.  In that time,  the MBTI has become one of the most researched, respected and widely used personality inventories in history.  It has remained relevant over 7 decades despite the emergence of other meritorious personality instruments. One reason for this is that there is always something new in the area of psychological type.

Here are 3 trends that I like:

1.  Increased emphasis on the introverted verus the extraverted manifestation of the mental functions (The 8 Cognitive Functions):  Rather than stating that an individual simply has a psychological preference for intuition vs sensing or thinking vs feeling, the distinction is regularly  being made about whether this is the an extraverted or introverted process.   For instance, introverted intuition is the process of internal visioning or imagining whereas external intuition is more like classic brainstorming.   These distinctions aren’t new,  but the nature of these distinctions are becoming more important and more clearly defined than ever before. This is no small difference especially because there is neuro data to back up these distinctions.

2. The EEG findings of Dario Nardi on brain activity based on the 8 cognitive functions.   Thanks to brain mapping and neuroimaging techniques, many theories about how the brain works have been confirmed or modified. A certain validation by skeptics is often bestowed if a concept of the mind, cognition or personality can be connected to findings in neuroscience using tools such as EEG, fMRI, PET scan. Dr. Dario Nardi has used EEG to measure the brain activity of  college students performing a variety of activities and solidly correlated these findings with the 8 cognitive processes.  (Read more).

3. The MBTI Step III.  It has long been acknowledged that the MBTI and/or the concepts of psychological type serve as a dynamic model of personal growth.   Your brain does not remain static in your type.  All of the recent data on neuroplasticity confirms that your brain continues to learn, adapt and form new connections.  The psychological type model asserts that healthy type development is defined by both well-developed natural strengths as well as knowing when one needs to operate out of preference.  The MBTI Step III is a recently released assessment tool that explores type development. (Read more).

These are my favorite important trends in the area of psychological type.   What are yours?