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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meaning of Unclear MBTI® Type

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Written by Catherine Rains

During the past 14 years, I have traveled the U.S. teaching MBTI® and Strong Interest Inventory® assessment workshops to college career counselors. What do you think is the number one question counselors have asked me about the MBTI assessment?

Probably the same question you get as well. It goes something like this: “I can’t decide whether I am an E or an I (or an S or an N, etc) because I do both! How can I be just one of these?" Or how about, "Do I really have to be one or the other?” I love this one, don’t you?

For the next month, we’re going to look at this question in detail. Let’s begin with what an unclear result looks like on the MBTI report. Also known as a slight result, it is a score of 5 or less in either direction for a particular scale such as Extraversion/Introversion. This basically means that your student chose an almost equal number of answers on both sides of a certain scale, resulting in a report that says they are an E or an I. But because the score is so low, the student isn’t quite sure the result reflects who they really are, or what it really means to have a score so close to the middle. Some questions to ask are:
  • Do they do both equally well? 
  • Could they really be both? Do they need to choose at all?
  • Are they less Extraverted than their friend who got a score of 30?
  • If they don’t know their type, how can they choose a career that fits their type?
Starting next week, we’re going to look at the common misconceptions about slight scores, followed by a discussion on strategies to help students discover their true or best fit type. Until next week…

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