Recently a writer named Merve Emre posted an article on Digg.com titled “Uncovering the Secret History of the Myers-Briggs” that makes numerous assertions about interactions she had with The Myers-Briggs Foundation and the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), both not-for-profit organizations entrusted with continuing the work of Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers.
This article is misleading, and at times downright false.
The attacks on CAPT (and people who attend certification classes) are disturbing. The author of the article did approach CAPT about writing a biography of Isabel Briggs Myers. Impressed with her talent as a writer as well as her scholarly credentials, we welcomed the opportunity to explore the possibility of working with her.
Our standard policy is that any scholar reviewing the archives needs to be thoroughly educated on Myers-Briggs® type in order to contextualize the information contained in these documents. Therefore, as standard procedure with all graduate students we work with, we asked her to undergo MBTI® certification. Contrary to what the article she wrote implies, all fees for this program were waived for her, and she was enrolled in a program where no travel was required. Access to the Isabel’s archives has always been limited, for three reasons:
1. Many documents contain intellectual property related to the development of the Indicator.
2. There is a significant amount of personal information in the form of assessment results that cannot be released for privacy reasons. And there are documents that contain personal information about living people that we have a responsibility to keep private.
3. Many of these historical documents are very fragile and must be handled with great care and kept in a climate controlled environment.
CAPT takes its stewardship of the archives very seriously, and access to documents in the archives is based on CAPT’s ability to keep the documents physically safe and to sort and make available to the public those parts that do not compromise intellectual property or violate the privacy of living individuals.
Evaluating the quite large archival resources to address these concerns is a substantial and ongoing endeavor. Access to documents may thus be restricted because CAPT has not yet determined if a document – or parts of a document – contain proprietary intellectual property or might violate the privacy of a living person.
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