SCMI is committed to the adherence of ethical standards that: protect and preserve client rights, uphold the integrity of the instrument, and promote professionalism in the administration of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument.
Professionals from many fields such as psychology, education, social work, medicine, and law use the MBTI® instrument. Individuals eligible or certified to administer the MBTI® instrument may belong to one or more organizations with a code of ethics specific to that profession or discipline. The following guidelines exclusively pertain to the administration and use of the MBTI® instrument as a personality assessment tool, rather than to a single profession.
Confidentiality in Administering and Providing Results
- Results are to be given directly to the respondent, whether as an individual or part of a group. Feedback regarding results should include a general explanation of MBTI® theory and preferences and is most ideally given in face-to-face settings. Results should be given in a way that is personal and allows for questions, clarification and interaction with the respondent. Mechanized methods of feedback are not acceptable. Results are available only to the respondent, unless specific permission has been given to share the information with a third party. Each person will decide whether or not to reveal his or her type preferences with others.
- The respondent should be informed in advance as to the purpose of taking the instrument and how results will be used. Taking the instrument is always voluntary. The information is not to be used to label, evaluate, or limit any individual in any way.
- The respondent should be given an opportunity to clarify their indicated type with the MBTI administrator. Each respondent should be provided a written description of their indicated type and preferably a written description of all sixteen types.
- In using the instrument for research purposes only, it is not necessary to provide individual results to the respondents. Providing feedback as an option for those requesting it is encouraged.
- Providing feedback to the individual and or group is intended to enhance rather than to limit or restrict the functioning of the individual or group.
- The Indicator should be used according to the instructions on the booklet and in the Manual.
- Specific questions should not be taken from the Indicator to get a "quick reading" on a particular preference scale.
- The Indicator should be used with appropriate populations and results used as suggested in the Manual.
Interpreting MBTI® Results
- The administrator must use terms and descriptors that are nonjudgmental and describe type attributes as tendencies, preferences, or inclinations rather than as absolutes. Biased terms may slant interpretation or send messages that a particular preference is "good" or "not desirable".
- The administrator should be careful not to over generalize or over simplify results and imply that all people of a certain type behave the same way.
- One should not state or imply that type explains everything. Type does not reflect an individual's ability, intelligence, likelihood of success, emotions, or normalcy. Type is one important component of the complex human personality.
- The administrator should not impose the results on the respondent nor become defensive if the respondent disagrees with the reported results or does not believe they are accurate. One should explore the perceived differences and help the respondent to be comfortable with themselves.
- Administrators need to be aware of, and sensitive to their own type biases and exert every effort to present feedback in an objective way.
- It is unethical and in many cases illegal to require job applicants to take the Indicator if the results will be used to screen out applicants. The administrator should not counsel a person to, or away from, a particular career, personal relationship or activity based solely upon type information.
- Administrators should accurately represent their competence and experience to clients.
- Administrators should continually upgrade their knowledge of the Indicator and advances in the understanding and application of type through education (workshops, seminars, conferences), reading, or other means.
- Administrators should provide the respondent with materials that describe all 16 types.