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Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment instrument that is used to measure the decisions that affect their day to day activities that they are engaged in their lives (UMI, 2001). It is a questionnaire that detects the psychological preference on how people behave and make key decisions.
These preferences were borrowed from the theories formulated by Carl Gustav Jung in his book, Psychological Types, published in the year 1921 (Derreck, 2011). Using these theories, the personality inventory was developed by Myers Briggs and her mother, Cook Briggs after the Second World War.
They developed this personality assessment tool as an aid to help women find war-jobs which they were comfortable with during and after the Second World War. In 1962, the original questionnaire was made and mainly focused on normal populations and the differences that naturally occur within this group.
There has been a lot of debate on the validity of MBTI as a psychometric tool. This is due to the fact that the available statistics do not support the method as one of the most effective personality assessment tools in the world.
More than one third of the studies which have been conducted concerning MBTI have either been presented in psychological conferences or published in peer reviewed journals and magazines of psychology. In most cases, the results do not have a practical application in the society.
This is because limited number of studies has been conducted to show its applicability to the public. As a result, many scholars have stated that the method should undergo a lot of scrutiny for it to be valid.
The method has failed to come up with the expected outcomes which researchers hoped for. For example, the results of most studies have bimodal distribution with peaks being displayed at the sides of the graph; contrary to what scientists were expecting. For the study to be reliable, it should have a central peak with both sides being even. This therefore classifies one side of the peak as one type and the other side of the peak another type.
Another factor that affects the validity of MBTI is the level of honesty received from the respondents. This method mainly relies on self reporting honesty from respondents.
Although the questions are designed to minimize the chances of dishonesty from the respondents, the measures which have been put in place are not reliable. As a result, respondents may find it easy to give out false information which affects the outcome of the study and its validity and effectiveness in overall.
Other personality measurement methods have a validity scale that detects exaggerated or false information from respondents. Others like the Personality Assessment Inventory has incorporated the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire lie scale that can detect the presence and level of lies from respondents (UMI, 2011).
Despite the criticisms that this method is facing, other scientists have find it to be quite reliable and applicable in several situations. A study that was conducted about MBTI revealed that the methods dichotomies show a good split-half validity and reliability (UMI, 2011).
The level of correlation between studies that are conducted over a given period of time is also high. This therefore proves that the study can be relied on in a number of situations.
In terms of cultural utility, Myers found that the proportion of people with different personalities varied depending on the professional courses which the tool or the careers which they are pursuing.
However, examining each type of MBTI in varying professions, scientists have discovered that the proportion of each type in every population is relatively similar, thus showing some level of similarity among the different professions. Some researchers attribute this relatedness to the level of job satisfaction that is enjoyed by individuals of different professions.
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This is a psychological test in where the subjects perceptions are recorded using inkblot (Brittany, 2011). The interpretations and analysis of these results are done using psychological methods that are derived from complex scientific algorithms.
This method is mainly used by scientist to determine the characteristics, emotions and behavior of individuals. The test is designed to detect underlying thought disorder. This therefore ensures that it can detect lies and formulate theories that ensure that the information which the subject is giving is true. As a result, this method of personal assessment is more reliable than MBTI.
The test was named after the person who found it; Herman Rorschach, a Swiss psychologist. It finds a lot of application in projective tests especially during the 1960s. During that time, it was ranked 8th among all the personal assessment tests that were being administered to mental patients in U.S. mental hospitals.
Consequently, it is the second widely used tests by the Society of personality Assessment and is always prescribed in over 25% of forensic cases in the U.S that mainly involve forensic battery (Brittany, 2011).
A survey that was conducted in the United States revealed that the test is used from as low as 20% by correctional psychologists to a high of 80% by clinical psychologists and psychologist graduates t assess the personality of individuals (Brittany, 2011).
However, when the results of the tests are ranked as a projective test, their verifiability is very poor. To address this, the Exner System of Scoring was developed in the 1960s and has been in operation since then. Pyscholgosts claimed that the this system of scoring has undergone a lot of scrutiny and research to ensure that scores results that arise from the study are reliable and verifiable.
It makes use of every factor, whether it is a color, shape or outline that is produce by the inkblot with regards to the subjects comments that have been put to the test. Despite all this, some scientists still refute the outcome of this test system. The Exner system uses a rigorous scoring system to give out its results which is disagreed most of the time by scientists as being ineffective.
They still view the latitude scoring system as the best method to interpret the results from. Also, the clinical write up of the results varies a lot as it depends on the individuality of the psychologists who makes it. It is therefore subjected to a lot of individuality and biasness.
However, there is some element of reliability of the results that have been collected from several studies. These results show a lot of generalizations, reliability and similarity when their scores are considered. The R scale is a good example that shows the total number of responses intelligent people tend to have the same results on pathology scales.
This is due to the fact that many scales do not correct for a high R. thus, if a subject gives double responses in total, there is a high chance that these results will seem to be somewhat pathological. Other scales that are correlated with intelligence include: organization activity, quality of forms, human figure responses and organizational activities (Squidoo, 2010).
The reliability of these scales have made this method to be used to detect conditions like schizophrenia, thought disorders and other disorders that affect the personality of individuals. Due to its success, Rorschach test has been very reliable and widely applicable in psychology.
The reliability of the tests also depends on the testing procedure that has been established between the tester and the subject. During the session, the tester ensures that the subject is comfortable.
He makes sure that the sitting arrangement, the manner in which he introduces the session, verbal and nonverbal responses of the subject and how his/her responses are recorded are in the most convenient way to ensure that the subject is at ease and develops trust for the tester.
This increases the chances of the subject giving out relevant and true information for the study, making the results to be very reliable. With these results, it is easier for the tester to determine the personality of the subject without a lot of difficulties.
This is a complex development that aims at improving a number of factors that affect and determine the status and personality of an individual (UMI, 2011). These factors include: talents and potentials of an individual, awareness and identity and enhancement of quality of life and the development and realization of dreams and aspirations. They act as motivators that make life to be worth living.
Without them, an individual may develop an attitude which might kill his desire to live. It is therefore important for individuals to have these factors so that they can achieve the goals and objectives which they desire in life. This concept therefore includes formal and informal methods and procedures which aim at developing an individual.
Self-help books involve practice and research. In practice, they incorporate methods that assist in personal developments, systems for assessment, and learning programmes tools and techniques. In research, they utilize the topics and issues that are found on peer reviewed psychological and other scientific journals, higher education reviews, business publications and so on.
In any form of development, there has to be indicator that shows whether change has taken place or not. Unlike other personal assessment instruments, the subject of the study is the one who assesses himself in the course of the programme. However, there is a standard criterion that has to be followed so that the results that are obtained become more reliable and free from bias.
The personal development frameworks should include goals and objectives that have been set by the subject, the strategies which the subject will use to achieve them and means of measuring progress, levels that define the stages of development along the path of achieving goals or objectives and finally a means through which one can report the changes that have occurred in the course of development and assessment.
Like other assessment instruments that have been discussed, the validity of self-help books has a lot of criticisms. The fact that an individual is the one who assesses his/her development has raised a lot of questions on the reliability of the results.
Scientist and other academicians view this to be a weak point to the instrument because it is difficult for someone to monitor his/her development especially in subjective studies like personal assessment. Most people lack the discipline and character to adhere to the rules and regulations that should be followed. Lack of supervision and guidance thus makes the situation to become even worse.
The method has been applicable in several studies that have been conducted by psychologist, scientists and even individuals. Due to its simplicity, the method has found a lot of application by individual of all ages from all around the world. However, the instrument has mainly been used in America and Asia.
This instrument originated from ancient religions in the Middle East and Asia such as Hinduism and Abrahamic religions and includes practices such as prayer, fasting, meditation, dancing, singing and sports and so on (UMI, 2011).
Due to its openness, it has found a lot of applicability in many cultures all around the world. People have adapted this instrument to develop and improve their personalities so that they can stand a better chance of achieving their desires in life.
This method has been used to develop personalities of individuals in different places and situations. It has been used to improve the personality of individuals at work places so that the employees can work together as a team and achieve the goals and objectives of the organization.
It has also been used to develop the personality of an individual according to religion or spirituality. Individuals who utilize this method want to achieve desirable characters, behaviors and emotions which will make them to be more successful in life.
Brittany, M. (2011). Demystifying the Rorschach Inkblot Test. Helping Psychology. Web.
Derreck, M. (2011). Personality Theories, Types and Tests. Businessballs.com. Web.
Squidoo. (2010). Rorschach Inkblots. Squidoo.com. Web.
UMI. (2001). Dissertation abstracts international: The humanities and social sciences. London: University Microfilms International.