What’s Your Form?: The Strange Background of Myers-Briggs and the Delivery of Identity Testing


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A SPECTATOR Reserve OF THE Year

‘History that reads like biography that reads like a novel – a fluid narrative that defies expectations and plays in opposition to type’ New York Occasions

‘Brilliant and savage’ Philip Hensher

An unparalleled history of the persona examination conceived a century ago by a mother and her daughter – fiction writers with no formal instruction in psychology – and how it insinuated by itself into our boardrooms, classrooms, and outside of.

The Myers-Briggs Style Indicator is the most well known temperament check in the entire world. It has been harnessed by Fortune 100 companies, universities, hospitals, churches, and the armed service. Its language – of extraversion vs. introversion, pondering vs. emotion – has influenced on the web courting platforms and Buzzfeed quizzes alike. And however in spite of the test’s common adoption, gurus in the discipline of psychometric testing, a $500 million field, struggle to account for its success – no significantly less validate its benefits. How did the Myers-Briggs insinuate by itself into our positions, our interactions, our world-wide-web, our lives?

To start with conceived in the 1920s by the mom-daughter team of Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a pair of aspiring novelists and devoted homemakers, the Myers-Briggs was intended to carry the gospel of Carl Jung to the masses. But it would get on a lifestyle of its possess, achieving from the smoke-loaded boardrooms of mid-century New York to Berkeley, California, where it was honed in opposition to some of the 20th century’s biggest artistic minds. It would travel throughout the world to London, Zurich, Cape City, Melbourne, and Tokyo to elementary educational institutions, nunneries, wellness retreats, and the shut-doorway company schooling classes of now.

Drawing from first reporting and by no means-ahead of-revealed documents, What is Your Sort? examines almost nothing a lot less than the definition of the self – our attempts to grasp, categorise and quantify our personalities. Shocking and absorbing, the guide, like the examination at its coronary heart, considers the timeless problem: What helps make you you?