Personality measures under focus: The NEO-PI-R and the MBTI

Frida Johnsson


The concept of personality has for a long time attracted the interests of psychologists. As a result there are numerous theoretical approaches to the measurement of personality. This report will present two of these approaches and further discuss, compare, and contrast a personality measure of each approach. The personality  approaches and measures under focus are the well known trait model, Big Five and its widely used measure, the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Personality Inventory Revised (NEO-PI-R) (Costa & McCrae, 1992), and the also commonly applied, but at the same time often criticized, Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (Myers, 1962), which is based on Carl Jung’s type theory (1921, as cited in Jung, 1971). In this paper, a brief description of the personality concept and the usefulness of personality measures are initially presented. Following this, a general discussion of the Big Five model and the MBTI will be presented. In the following sections, the NEO-PI-R and MBTI measures are described in more detail, concluding with a comparison between these two measures.

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