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:
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.
It is a widely held belief that Isabel Briggs Myers’ type theory is very similar to C.G. Jung’s, and that he endorsed her development of the MBTI® instrument. However, Jung had serious concerns about the popular presentation of his theory (Myers 2012a) and the letter apparently supporting Isabel Briggs Myers was not written by him and did not reflect his opinion (Myers 2012b). Jung expressed his attitude elsewhere by saying “God preserve me from my friends” (Jung 1957, p. 304) and felt the main point of his theory was being missed:
Typology [is] only one side of my book… Most readers have not noticed [the gravamen] of the book because they are first of all led into the temptation of classifying everything typologically, which in itself is a pretty sterile undertaking. (Jung 1935)
For the past few years, I have been pursuing some PhD research into the relationship between personality and mythology. The overall aim is to find ways of promoting religious tolerance. It is based on Jung’s analytical psychology and is now in the final stretch.
I would appreciate your help by completing four online questionnaires, which will take about 30 minutes in total. When you have finished, there will be a report in the form of a PDF file, or Ebook, or you can read the results online. There is more information about the research on the page that introduces the questionnaires, at https://research.myers.co. Thank you, in advance.
If you have any questions or comments, please use my contact page (above).
Myers Briggs theory is very popular. Millions of people every year discover their personality type, using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® or one of a wide range of alternative questionnaires. Often the argument goes that, if you can discover your preferences, you can play to your strengths and develop your individuality.
However, the creator of the theory (C.G. Jung) argued that knowing or using your preferences can lead you in one of two directions – one being cultured, the other barbaric. His view receives support from a perhaps surprising source – the Buddha.