- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: CPP; Reprint edition (January 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 089106074X
- ISBN-13: 978-0891060741
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type Reprint Edition
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Ringing with practical implications, Gifts Differing both educates and inspires.―Judy Waterman, Principal, Career Management Group --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
The late Isabel Briggs Myers devoted her life to the observation, study, and measurement of personality. With her mother, Katharine Briggs, she authored the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality inventory. Peter B. Myers, Ph.D., continues research work on the development and application of personality type. Former staff director of the National Academy of Science, he is currently extending the use of the MBTI® instrument worldwide. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
Overall, I liked this one much better because it didn't completely focus on the four temperaments.
The book is split into four sections: Theory, Effects of the Preferences on Personality, Practical Implications of Type, and Dynamics of Type development.
The theory part is good for anyone who wants to know the theoretical grounding for the MBTI and the linkage to Jung's theories. It's definitely more geared towards people unfamiliar with the MBTI, because it more or less tries to give validity to the theories by referring to Jung, who is much more respected and well-known.
The second part, Effects of the Preferences on Personality, goes through the effects of each of the preferences: E/I, S/N, T/F, and J/P. The descriptions of each of the types themselves are really nothing special; you can find them online anywhere. However, the book includes a fascinating statistical analysis on the effects of type on career choice. For example, people who study law are overwhelmingly T, while science students are overwhelming N. I personally found the descriptions of the cognitive functions themselves to be fairly good, although I have heard that Beren's books are more specialized in that topic.
The third part, Practical Implications of Type, talks about the implications of type on marriage, learning styles, child development, all the while emphasizing the need for people of different types to work together to balance each other's weaknesses. Most of this information you can find on the internet nowadays, but Myers' analysis goes a little bit deeper than what you would find online.
The last part, Dynamics of Type Development, really just emphasizes one important concept: healthy personal development requires the development of an auxiliary function. Most of this section shows you the negative implications for not developing a strong auxiliary.
The MBTI is really not everybody's cup of tea. As someone who types ISTJ, I have always been highly skeptical that "personality tests" have any validity at all. The MBTI is really no different: there's no real empirical evidence to prove that the theoretical portions are valid. However, I cannot deny the positive impact studying these theories have had on my attitudes toward people. I would approach all these theories (MBTI, Big 5, Socionics, etc) with a healthy dose of skepticism, but I have learned that it also pays to be open-minded to the possibilities these theories offer.
My biggest complaint about the book is that the chapters on Type and Marriage along with Learning Styles left me wanting. They were broad, general, and felt like random thoughts. Maybe that's just my "J" wanting things settled. Or maybe it's that I wanted Isabel Briggs Myers to tell me which personality type would best complement my INFJness in marriage.
Anyway, the biggest benefit to reading this book is that you'll at least kind of know what you're talking about when Myers-Briggs personality types come up in conversation instead of just making stuff up and hoping no one asks you a question exposing the fact that you don't know what you're talking about when it comes to Myers-Briggs personality types.
So, if you only choose one book to help you understand the Myers-Briggs personality types, Gifts Differing is it.