Personality types in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) are like a psychological horoscope: both are based on belief rather than science. While MBTI testing is regarded as a pseudoscience, it is still a useful tool in understanding personality types.
Books on MBTI questions and personality types are popular, but some of them are better than others. Below are the top 10 Myers-Briggs books offering valuable insights on personality type theory, so you know what book to buy.
1. Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
- Well written with examples of each type
- Each chapter ends with questions to help readers relate their personalities
- Comprehensive discussion about Jungian theories of personality
- Written by a well-respected MBTI author
- Available in print and Kindle/Amazon formats
- A great comprehensive introduction to personality tests
- Doesn't play to the more fun aspects of personality tests
- No test is included
- Does not play to the recent popular trend of MBTI in recent years
The above book is both a comprehensive personality test and introduction to personality tests. It is written by one of the most respected MBTI authors, and it is interesting and fun to read. The author explains many of the theories of Jung, and discusses the historical contexts of the Myers-Briggs theory.
This is a more detailed (though not too technical) discussion of personality tests than our other recommendation, which is perhaps why it doesn’t get as many mentions. It is a great guide for those curious about personality tests.
2. Personality Hacker: Harness the Power of Your Personality Type to Transform Your Work
- Easy writing style
- Great descriptions of the traits and types
- Great at presenting new ideas
- Healthy relationship advice
- Can be applied to different arenas of life
- No information on the new type (MBTI Step II: Cognitive Process Test)
- This book is about a shift that is happening in the online world that is helping people better understand their personalities and take control of their lives through the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI).
Using this forum you can analyze the different areas of your life and understand why you think and act the way you do. Personality Hacker gives you the weapons to change your life according to your true personality. You can use this information to identify and avoid harmful relationships, find a better career, and lead a healthier life focused on your values. By taking control you can live a life based on your true values.
3. Please Understand Me II: Temperament
- Great book to help determine if you are an INFP, ENTJ, and more
- INTPs are known to love this book
- Deep insights into the mind of an individual personality type
- Things you learned in school never tell you about the reality of what you are
- Both INTP and INTJ personalities get enraged when reading this book
- Makes you think you are a scientist
Have you ever wondered why people are the way that they are? Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are? Well the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator exists to determine how you act in life and how you think about the world around you. It categorizes your personality type and allows you to see where you fit.
Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David Keirsey is the successor to David Keirsey’s first book Please Understand Me. Keirsey analyzes the personalities to help guide people in understanding others and themselves. It is an amazing book that is full of personality insights that you never knew you needed.
4. MBTI Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- Extensive information on the MBTI
- For a beginning to intermediate users
- Valuable for people wanting an in-depth understanding of the MBTI application
- An excellent resource for MBTI practitioners
- A good compliment to the MBTI in general
- More of a mental exercise than an MBTI book
- In-depth system that is not for the faint of heart
The MBTI Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a book written by Katharine and Isabel Myers, the two people solely responsible for the foundation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
The book highlights exactly what the title implies. There are tips for developing the MBTI, a step-by-step process, as well as a guide to applying the MBTI in written materials.
The book will not go in depth about the details of the MBTI, but it does offer a good intro to anyone interested in learning about the MBTI…just remember that the MBTI Manual is for people that truly want to get under the hood of the MBTI, otherwise, a book such as the Manual might be a bit too complex.
5. The 16 Personality Types: Profiles
- Based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- Very affordable
- Some readers may object to some of the author's descriptions
- Material is a bit simplistic for some
6. Just Your Type: Create the Relationship You've Always Wanted Using the Secrets of Personality Type
- Gives insights into different types
- Gives advice on how to approach things with different types
- Gives exercises on improving relationships
By Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger
In 1692, the renowned psychologist, William Moulton Marston, created a new personality theory called the DISC scale.
Based on two-thousand different studies the DISC scale attempts to categorize all human personality types and then predict how you will react in different life situations.
7. Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live
- Great for beginners
- Great for job seekers
- Concise description of each type
- Practical suggestions for improving communication with others
- Self-assessment checklist
- Personality type descriptions for parents to understand their children
- Addressing psychological health issues
- Only focuses on 16 personality types
- Overly chatty tone
By Marti Olsen Laney, Ph.D.
Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work is an insightful book written by Marti Olsen Laney, Ph.D that helps readers better understand themselves and others.
In reading this book, you will not only learn about the 16 different personality types but also discover how to improve your relationships and work life by taking personality differences into consideration.
8. Neuroscience of Personality: Brain Savvy Insights
By Bernardo J. Carducci and Debra L. Palmer
In this book, you'll learn about all things related to brain science and personality. The authors explain the many ways in which your brain type affects your personality, and how to use this information to your advantage.
They also teach you how to deal with people who are very different from you (for their different brain types). This is an interesting and worthwhile read for every personality type.
9. Personality Type: An Owner's Manual: A Practical Guide to Understanding Yourself and Others Through Typology
- Highly rated on Amazon
- Great reviews on Amazon
- Very detailed book
Many personality tests are worthless. The MBTI is the best personality test you can do to determine areas of strength and weakness. This book is detailed and gives you concrete actions to take to understand the tendencies of your personality.
Personality type is not something that can be changed or altered but more a language and a lens to see the world with and personalities are always changing.
The MBTI is one of the best validated personality tests available and is used all over the world (used in business for hiring, etc.).
10. Psychological Types
- Inspires deep reflection on our human nature
- Helps examine oneself and world from different perspectives
- Gives detailed description of 8 measurements of attitudes and values
Carl Gustav Jung’s Psychological Types is one of the most widely read and discussed books on personality theory, test, observations, life, and cultural application. He draws heavily from the work of Freud, as well as the psychoanalytical theory of the unconscious and behaviors relating to libido.
The book draws on the premise that each individual falls into one of two categories: introverts or extroverts and how they metabolize the world in different ways. It’s one of the best books on personality types and is still in use by professionals today in the field of psychology.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What personality type makes the best doctor?
Caring, kind, and patient people make the best doctors. Doctors, like all people, come in all shapes and personality types, of course.
As much as possible though, the ideal doctor should be empathetic, not judgmental, and have a certain… let’s say lack of ego. It helps if they do not consider themselves above anyone or thing else. However, it’s also important to have someone who is headstrong, a hard worker and a perfectionist. The perfect doctor’s personality should include a bit of both.
What is the most loyal personality type?
"The most loyal personality type?"
Actually there are two Myers-Briggs Personality Types that are typically voted as being the most loyal personality types: The ISTJ (the Inspector) and the ENFJ (the Counselor).
The Inspector (ISTJ) is thought of as the most loyal personality type because of their ability to be a true friend once they find the right person. This is from their preference of Introversion, which is a preference to be alone. This is a determined preference rather than an attempt to merely avoid becoming overly emotional or close to others. With this preference, they enjoy time by themselves to recharge and get away from the hustle and bustle of the day. But once they commit to someone, they stick with them through thick and thin.
What is the rarest MBTI personality type?
According to a study that was spearheaded by David Keirsey, due to the test’s relative difficulty, introverted iNtuitive types are by far the rarest to find. However, this might be because the test is harder to pass. (Many think it measures the wrong cognitive preferences.) It’s also important to note that your Myers-Briggs type does not provide you with the same traits and characteristics as your personality type. You can have two personality types, each with different traits and characteristics.
One facet of the test is your Jungian personality predisposition, which uses a different set of numbers, letters, and symbols. For example, INFJs (who are introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging) can also be classified as P types (which use the letters), or ESFJs (introverted, sensing, feeling, and judging).
What MBTI personality type is Donald Trump?
Although it's been widely reported that Donald Trump has an INTJ personality type, he has repeatedly and strenuously denied it. He apparently prefers to think of himself as an ESTP, which he calls a "loyalist." It seems very unlikely that there's a serious element of truth in this, since the SAINT (Strongly Agree, Agree, Neither, Disagree, Strongly Disagree) classification system strongly implies that almost certainly could not be the case when Trump was classified as a "Disagree" for the first four scales.
To summarize, the Myers-Briggs system is not a proper mechanism to evaluate people. Myers-Briggs types are best used as a way to understand yourself and others you know better. Myers-Briggs is the best system to know yourself and be aware of your natural strengths and weaknesses.
This list of books offers great advice and guidance for anyone interested in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and is based on the knowledge of the personality preferences in the test. Our recommended books will help to provide a greater understanding of how to interpret the results of the MBTI and to use the information to improve interactions in the workplace and in personal relationships.