MBTI criticisms – whose side would Jung be on?

Since the 1990s, academic psychologists have put forward a number of MBTI criticisms. These have persisted and not been resolved. This year is the centenary celebration of Jung’s publication of Psychologische Typen. The British Association of Psychological Type (BAPT) therefore organised a symposium (1-3, 7-9 June 2021) to discuss these criticisms.

Whose side would Jung be on?

My presentation opened the symposium. It considered how Jung’s views related to the academic psychologists’ criticisms of the MBTI. It also compared the three main paradigms of academic psychology, Myers-Briggs typology, and Jungian/Post-Jungian theory (or analytical psychology). BAPT have published the recording (also below) on the their youtube channel. The presentation lasts just under an hour.

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Video intro to Jung’s typology

A new video explains Jung’s theory of typology and compares it with the popular interpretation developed by Isabel Briggs Myers. It examines the aspect of typological theory that Jung often complained was overlooked. The video lasts just over 50 minutes and covers:

  • Historical background
  • Foundational principles
  • Typology as exemplar
  • Typological functions
  • Type as a problem
  • Jung’s solution
  • The axiom of Maria
  • The divergence of theories

The video is available at https://myers.co/typology.

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Free webinar 8pm Tue 3rd Sep ‘In Conversation’ with BAPT

For those with an advanced interest in Myers-Briggs typology and Jungian theory, there was a free 45-minute live webinar on Tue 3rd Sept as part of the BAPT ‘In Conversation’ series.

BAPT is the British Association of Psychological Type, primarily for those who use the MBTI® or alternative instruments in commercial applications (coaching, leadership development, team building, etc.). There was a discussion between BAPT’s Richard Owen and myself about the differences between Myers-Briggs and Jungian theory, and the future of typology. The webinar can be viewed at https://myers.co/baptconversation

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Jung's letter on Myers-Briggs typology

The misleading letter from Jung on Myers-Briggs typology

There is a popular misunderstanding that C.G. Jung approved of Isabel Briggs Myers’ work. However, he repeatedly objected to the popular interpretation of his book Psychological Types and research based on the MBTI® instrument. There was a rift between I.B. Myers and C.G. Jung which has been hidden for more than half a century from those who use Myers-Briggs typology (Myers, S. 2019).

The misunderstanding is largely due to a complimentary letter from Jung to Myers in 1950. However, Jung did not write it and it did not represent his opinion. It was written by his secretary who couched it in diplomatic language to conceal Jung’s disapproval.

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New book comparing Myers-Briggs typology and Jungian theory

Image of new book cover. Myers Briggs typology vs Jungian individuationI’m pleased to announce that Routledge have started production of my book, which will be released on November 12th, 2018. The book is a re-examination of Psychological Types, in view of Jung’s complaints that most readers misunderstood it. There has been a significant divergence between the central message of Psychological Types and its popular interpretation.

The book is going to be controversial, both for users of Myers-Briggs typology and Jungian theory, though for different reasons. It challenges many of the assumptions that have long been held by users of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and similar instruments. To communicate Jung’s ideas clearly, it simplifies them.

The list price of the book is £26.99 but there is a discount code you can use to reduce the price of advance orders by 20% to £21.59. You can find more details of the book, and how to order your advance copy with the discount, below.

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