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Women's & Gender Studies

Women's and Gender Studies research takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of gender, its function in cultures and societies, and its intersections with race and class.

Isabel Briggs Myers holding her two children and books.

Quoth of God: a Study of Honesty; Memorabilia, photographs, and family papers - Page 16

Biography

Isabel Briggs Myers grew up in Washington D.C. in the early twentieth century, daughter to engineer and physicist Lyman J. Briggs, who led the Bureau of Standards under several U.S. Presidents, and author and housewife Katharine Cook Briggs. She was homeschooled with brief intermittent attendance in elementary and high school and attended Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania from 1915 - 1918. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and met her husband Clarence G. Myers with whom she had two children, Peter Briggs Myers (April 24, 1926) and Ann Myers (a.k.a. Ann Myers Hughes, born December 29, 1927).

The MBTI® (Myers Briggs Type Indicator®)

Isabel Briggs Myers is well known for the widely-used personality assessment, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator®, which she began developing with her mother in the 1930s. Katharine had studied the writings of the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) and his conceptualization of eight personality types. Subsequently, Katharine and Isabel developed sixteen categories and they embarked upon a life-long mission of observing and examining peoples’ attitudes, perceptions and judgments about themselves. The first questionnaire was registered in 1943 and from that time, Isabel focused her life’s work toward refining the indicator to allow individuals to learn more about themselves and others through personality type. For years, Isabel Briggs Myers worked on developing Type and the questionnaire at ETS (Educational Testing Service) and later in 1975 she co-founded CAPT (Center for Applications of Psychological Type, Gainesville, Florida) with Mary McCaulley, Ph.D., a psychologist and faculty in Clinical Psychology at University of Florida. The Myers-Briggs Company (formerly CPP) delivers the questionnaire nowadays and CAPT and The Myers & Briggs Foundation continue to conduct research and training on topics and tools related with personality assessment.

UF Digital Collections

The Isabel Briggs Myers Papers digital collection encompasses a large variety of material pertaining to the family life and personal writings of the Briggs and the Myers families from the late nineteenth century until the 1960s. The collection includes mainly handwritten diaries and letters between Isabel Briggs Myers (1897-1980) and her parents Lyman J. Briggs (1874-1963) and Katharine C. Briggs (1875-1968); in addition, it contains correspondence with her husband Clarence G. Myers (1894-1984). [add latest additions] Also accessible within this collection, are personal and published writings by Isabel and Katharine, photographs of family members, postcards from domestic and international travel, as well as some diaries by Peter B. Myers (1927-2018), the oldest son of Isabel B. Myers and donor of the collection to the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries and Archives. Use this link http://ufdc.ufl.edu/myersbriggs to search the collection.

Books by Isabel Briggs Myers

Myers, I. B., Kirby, L. K., & Myers, K. D. (1998). Introduction to type: A guide to understanding your results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Mountain View, Calif: Consulting Psychologists Press. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/40336039

Myers, I. B., & Myers, P. B. (1995). Gifts differing: Understanding personality type. Palo Alto, Calif: Davies-Black Pub. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/32051485

Myers, I. B. (1930). Murder yet to come. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1746769

Books about Isabel and the MBTI

Emre, M. (2018). Personality Brokers: The strange history of Myers -Briggs and the birth of personality testing. New York: Doubleday. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1090760964

Grant, W. H., & Center for Applications of Psychological Type. (1977). Behavior of MBTI types. Gainesville, Fla: Center for Applications of Psychological Type. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/54123602

Harper, K. C. (1989). The Myers-Briggs type indicator: Some implications for worship, piety and spirituality. Evangelical Theological Society papers; ETS-0121. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/674128462

McCaulley, M. H., & Center for Applications of Psychological Type. (1989). The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and leadership. Gainesville, Fla: Center for Applications of Psychological Type. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/910350588

Saunders, F. W. (1991). Katharine and Isabel: Mother's light, daughter's journey. Palo Alto, Calif: Consulting Psychologists Press. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/23870255

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