Questions? - Frequently Asked Questions

Is this the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument?

No. We have developed a similar questionnaire. The TypeFocusTM Personality Profile, which is our own instrument, reliably estimates one's personality type using the familiar preference pairs: Extravert/Introvert; Sensing/Intuition; Thinking/Feeling; Judgment/Perception.

Our program is totally original and approaches the challenge of providing helpful information in a creative and imaginative manner. There will be a similarity of form between instruments measuring personality type because all are based on the theory of personality proposed by CG Jung and later fine-tuned by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers.

The theory and empirical findings are all in the public domain.

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Reliability and Validity statistics of the TypeFocusTM Personality Profile

The research indicates excellent reliability and validity scores. We have received very positive reviews from many professionals and at least one major university is using the TypeFocusTM Personality Profile instrument in their own research. Click here for reliability/validity statistics.

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Do you have to be qualified to use it?

Yes, in the sense that you understand enough personality type theory to adequately explain the ideas and ensure a positive experience for users. To empower the user, we've built in over 70 help screens that describe the concepts as they work through the program.

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What about copyright?

Copyright is not an issue because our program is totally original and approaches the challenge of providing helpful information in a creative and imaginative manner. There is a similarity of form because, along with others, we use common personality type concepts, language and personality type research to help people understand themselves better.

The concepts and research findings are all in the public domain.

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Is this material appropriate for high school students?

Most 15 year-olds have differentiated their personality enough so that measuring it is meaningful.

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Is this a psychological test?

The term "psychological test" carries a lot of baggage. It implies that someone (i.e., the professional) "knows" something about the client in a way that transcends the clients own awareness and more importantly carries more weight than the client's self-perception. The professional confers upon the client certain attributes that can have serious consequences for the client.

Considering the above perspective, the TypeFocusTM Personality Profile (TPP) is not a psychological test because the client has the final say as to what personality type actually fits them best. The quality of the TPP is excellent - as measured by the usual reliability and validity measures associated with psychological tests - however, it is not used as a psychological test and therefore we do not consider it as such.

We consider the TypeFocusTM Personality Profile to be a tool for self-awareness.

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How does personality type differ from temperament or True Colors?

David Keirsey popularized temperament when he wrote the best seller "Please Understand Me." He states that "we must abandon Jung's idea of 'functions'." By doing so, he distances himself from Jung's approach and at its core, there is very little overlap between type and temperament. However, in the practical application, there is much overlap because Keirsey goes on to say, "But in giving up Jung's 'functions' we must not abandon his behavior descriptions, for they have great predictive value."

This creates an interesting hybrid because Keirsey accepts four basic temperaments, which just happen to relate to four groups of four personality factors. For example, one of the temperaments, the Epimethean, which is almost always known by the easier-to-remember "type" name of SJ, has no basis in type theory. In other words, you can't use type theory to derive an SJ personality cluster, like you can, for example, as ST or SF cluster. The SJ cluster fits one of the four classic temperament descriptions. It is a descriptive, rather than a theoretical model. This one temperament (SJ) or color embodies all four types: ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ESFJ.

On the other hand, there is a lot of difference between an ISTJ and an ESFJ, and yet both are SJ's. So, type offers a more detailed and research-backed model of human behavior. After all, you are dealing with 16 personality types as opposed to four temperaments. For instance, both ISTJ and ESFJ are well represented by teachers. However, the ISTJ teacher tends to teach math and technical subjects whereas the ESFJ teacher tends to teach the younger grades and more often selects teaching areas that offer help and support.

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Does personality change over time?

Theoretically no. However, one's ability to express one's personality can mature and strengthen over time. Personality by definition is long lasting, as compared to mood, which can swing daily. Most people intuitively know this - we are basically the "same" person we were a number of years ago.

What often happens is that a person may have a balanced score on any one preference. For example, a person might be an ESTJ but their Extravert score is almost zero - if they had answered one question differently, they would have scored as an Introvert. If this person assesses their personality in a day or two, they might score as an Introvert. Have they changed from being an Extravert to an Introvert in one day? No . . . they are simply reflecting what was obvious at the start - they do not have a clear preference on the Extraversion-Introversion factor.

Another reason people can swing from one factor to another is that they answered the questions not as they feel they are but as they think their job demands them to be or as they want to be. This muddies the waters and therefore the reported personality would change as one's mind-set changed when answering the questions.

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Does personality type explain everything?

Of course not . . . in fact, it probably accounts for only a 10% increase in effectiveness.

For teamwork, it is more important to have clearly defined goals, roles and procedures, than knowledge of everyone's personality type.

For relationships, it is more important to be honest and communicate well than to know everyone's type.

However, when the team does have clear goals and the relationship is built on a solid foundation, knowing one's personality type DOES give you that extra 10% - and it's an important 10%!

When teambuilding - it directs synergy.

In relationships - it provides a positive model for understanding individual differences.

For career selection - it guides one into the "right ballpark" and sharpens the focus.

*Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and MBTI are registered trademarks of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. TypeFocusTM is a trademark of TypeFocusTM Internet.

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