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The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing

Categories: Goodreads Reviews

The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing
author: Merve Emre
name: Elaine
average rating: 3.41
book published: 2018
rating: 4
read at: 2019/01/12
date added: 2019/01/12
shelves: history, non-fiction, psychology
review:
There was a very good article going around about the history of the MBTI: this is the book-length version, after the author got so intrigued that she had to keep going. And it’s a fascinating story, all tied up in the birth of both modern psychology and the white-collar workplace, a story of two women who married ideas that wouldn’t seem to go together at all, and yet by the time I was a babby professional, were EVERYWHERE.

I really wish she’d had access to the official archives of the organization that owns MBTI, because I think the last third of the book could have been so much richer for it. My other wish is that she’d covered more about where other personality testing went in the 60s and later; it seems like the MBTI is in dialogue with so many other personality testing systems and I would have liked to have known more.

(But honestly, the entirety of this book was made by two extremely weird facts: Briggs having written Reader/Jung fanfic, and type testing having been carried out on an entire high school without the parents’ knowledge or permission.)

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