Tools & Assessment

Psychometrics - what are they?

Psychometrics, are tools that help individuals understand themselves better so that they can take positive action in business, career and personal decisions.


The Myers Briggs Type Indicator instrument (MBTI) is a questionnaire based on the Myers Briggs model of personality.

The purpose of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by Carl Jung (1921-1971) understandable and useful in people’s lives

The essence of Jung’s theory is that much seemingly random variation in behaviour is actually quite orderly and consistent.

In the 1980’s, Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers found Jung’s types and functions so revealing of people’s personalities that they decided to develop this theory further and conducted over 4,000 research papers. From these they wrote a paper-and-pencil questionnaire that reflected their findings.

Myers Briggs Type Indicator is one of the most popular, and most studied, psychological instruments around.

The value of this theory is that we begin to acknowledge the specific differences in specific people and to cope and deal with those differences.

So, Jung’s theory of physiological types explains that the seemingly chance variation in the way humans behave, is not in fact due to chance. It is the logical result of a few basic observable preferences.


David Keirsey introduced the Temperament Sorter after being introduced to MBTI by a friend; however, Keirsey traces the idea of temperament back to the ancient Greeks. Hippo-crates, the Greek physician who lived from 460 – 377 B.C., proposed the four humours which are related to the four temperaments.

By reading Isabel Myers’ very brief portraits of sixteen types of high school students, which were based on Isabel’s observations of real individuals in conjunction of her understanding of Jung’s eight types, Keirsey found that by combining Sensing with the perceiving functions, (SP and SJ), and iNtuition with the judging functions, (NF and NT), he had descriptions similar to his four temperaments.

These two methods of psychometric profiling can support individuals and organizations in:

  • Team development
  • Leadership development
  • Career planning
  • Change management
  • Communication management
  • Problem solving
  • Relationship building
  • Understanding your child


Psychometric testing falls into three main types:

Ability tests measure a persons potential, for instance to learn the skills needed for a new job or to cope with the demands of a training course, for example Saville Wave.

Aptitude – there is no widely accepted definition of the difference between ability and aptitude. Most people would agree that to some extent the two terms refer to the same thing: aptitude referring to specific ability, and ability referring to general aptitude. A useful tool we use is the Saville Aptitude test.

Personality is a term commonly used in everyday language but which has been given a particular technical meaning by psychologists. When we discuss personality we must remember that it is not a single independent mechanism but closely related to other human cognitive and emotional systems. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter are useful tools to identify personality preference.

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