The Meyers-Briggs vs. the New Personality Self-Portrait
- December 09, 2022
- Comparing personality tests
BY JOHN M. OLDHAM, MD & LOIS B. MORRIS
Given the success of the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), why does the world need another personality test? A recent obituary got us thinking about the MBTI versus the New Personality Self-Portrait (NPSP25).
The New York Times periodically runs “Overlooked,” a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths they did not report. A recent one focused on Katharine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Myers, developers of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Myers, working as a Red Cross nurse in the World War II years, felt the need for a “people-sorting instrument” that could help fit the right people to the right jobs.
Introverts and extroverts
Myers consulted her mother. Mom was fascinated with Carl Jung’s ideas about broad personality types he referred to as introverts or extroverts. With ingenuity and savvy, the mother-daughter team developed the MBTI. Their goal was to help people recognize their special strengths and talents, to guide them to occupational and personal success. And did they ever succeed! The MBTI is now utilized worldwide in industry, the military, professional organizations, and the population at large.
Modern psychiatric thinking
Given the success and durability of the MBTI, was there really a need for a new approach? We believed so, not to “compete” with the MBTI, but to provide a new educational option derived from the modern field of personality studies. Our goal was to enlighten users about their unique personality patterns. We described 14 normal personality styles, based on current personality classification systems. Each of us has a unique combination of these styles. The result is an individual Personality Self-Portrait. No two are identical.
“Unlike the Myers-Briggs which types a person into 16 behavioral preferences, the PSP has 52,623,240,685,682,700 possible combinations,” commented a blogger who completed a previous, predigital version of the test back in 2010. If that calculation is correct, one’s Personality Self-Portrait truly is like a fingerprint.
MBTI and NPSP25
It’s great to have both educational options. If you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs, you might like to take the NPSP25 and see how the two systems compare. “What I find is that the PSP gives me personality, while the MBTI gives me the default behaviors inside that personality,” commented the erstwhile blogger.
Our guess is that by viewing yourself through these two different lenses, you’ll find some common ground, but you might also learn something that neither test alone would reveal. Let us know.