*An Economist Best Book of 2018*
*A Spectator Best Book of 2018*
*A Mental Floss Best Book of 2018*
An unprecedented history of the personality test conceived a century ago by a mother and her daughter--fiction writers with no formal training in psychology--and how it insinuated itself into our boardrooms, classrooms, and beyond
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the most popular personality test in the world. It is used regularly by Fortune 500 companies, universities, hospitals, churches, and the military. Its language of personality types--extraversion and introversion, sensing and intuiting, thinking and feeling, judging and perceiving--has inspired television shows, online dating platforms, and Buzzfeed quizzes. Yet despite the test's widespread adoption, experts in the field of psychometric testing, a $2 billion industry, have struggled to validate its results--no less account for its success. How did Myers-Briggs, a homegrown multiple choice questionnaire, infiltrate our workplaces, our relationships, our Internet, our lives?
First conceived in the 1920s by the mother-daughter team of Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a pair of devoted homemakers, novelists, and amateur psychoanalysts, Myers-Briggs was designed to bring the gospel of Carl Jung to the masses. But it would take on a life entirely its own, reaching from the smoke-filled boardrooms of mid-century New York to Berkeley, California, where it was administered to some of the twentieth century's greatest creative minds. It would travel across the world to London, Zurich, Cape Town, Melbourne, and Tokyo, until it could be found just as easily in elementary schools, nunneries, and wellness retreats as in shadowy political consultancies and on social networks.
Drawing from original reporting and never-before-published documents, The Personality Brokers takes a critical look at the personality indicator that became a cultural icon. Along the way it examines nothing less than the definition of the self--our attempts to grasp, categorize, and quantify our personalities. Surprising and absorbing, the book, like the test at its heart, considers the timeless question: What makes you, you?
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
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Introduction: Speaking Type
Excerpted from "The Personality Brokers"
Copyright © 2018 Merve Emre.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
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Table of Contents
Introduction Speaking Type xi
Chapter 1 The Cosmic Laboratory of Baby Training 1
Chapter 2 Women's Work 20
Chapter 3 Meet Yourself 34
Chapter 4 An Unbroken Series of Successful Gestures 53
Chapter 5 Desperate Amateurs 71
Chapter 6 The Science of Man 89
Chapter 7 The Personality Is Political 105
Chapter 8 Sheep and Buck 120
Chapter 9 A Perfect Spy 140
Chapter 10 People's Capitalism 159
Chapter 11 The House-Party Approach to Testing 177
Chapter 12 That Horrible Woman 201
Chapter 13 The Synchronicity of Life and Death 227
Chapter 14 One in a Million 245
Conclusion True Believers 262
A Note on Sources 273