Using the PMAI® and the MBTI® Instruments Together



"This failure to holistically harmonize the types with the archetypes is
the central intellectual cause of the split in the Jungian family."
JOHN GIANNINI, Compass of the Soul

Millions of people around the world know their "type"—the result of completing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® assessment. The MBTI® instrument is a tool created by Isabel Myers, based on Carl Jung's personality type theories.

Others know Carl Jung for his concept of the archetype, and consider archetypes to be the "principal structural idea" of Jung's psychology.

CAPT publishes the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator® (PMAI®) which applies the same successful assessment approach of the MBTI instrument to the assessment of archetypes. The PMAI® assessment measures the influence of twelve archetypal themes for individuals, and when used in conjunction with knowledge of psychological type preferences gives greater insight into the complexities of being human.

PMAI and MBTI Logo

Type and Archetypes - Differences and Similarities

Because type and archetype are concerned with different aspects of the total psyche, an individual who takes both the PMAI and MBTI instruments will gain a deeper self-understanding. Some of the key differences in the information provided by learning both one's type and archetype preferences include:

    1) Type is more descriptive of our cognitive style. Type describes "how" we prefer to function. Archetypes are more concerned with the forces that motivate our functioning.

    2) Type has fewer dimensions. There are only four dimensions of type as measured by the MBTI instrument, but, as Jung wrote, "there are as many archetypes as there are situations in life." The PMAI instrument looks at twelve important archetypes.

    3) Archetype profiles change. Type theory maintains that preferences are inborn and lifelong. Because there are so many archetypes available in our collective unconscious, however, different ones are likely to be more influential at certain stages or situations of life. Assessing both type and archetype, therefore, provides more information, encompassing both dispositional and situational influences upon personality.

    4) Archetypes are very influenced by culture. People who share type preferences perceive and judge in similar ways, regardless of their countries of origin. In contrast, archetypes are influenced by "a person's culture, setting, and time in history" (Pearson & Marr, 2002). Thus, both societal culture and smaller subcultures can profoundly influence archetypes.

    5) Archetypes link to our unconscious. Psychological type is partly, if not primarily, a conscious activity, with type functions either described as "modes of consciousness" (Hillman, 1974, p. 84) or ranked from "most conscious" to the "essentially unconscious" inferior function (Quenk, 2002) In contrast, archetypes are the "contents of the unconscious." Assessing archetypal influence, therefore, can provide a window into our deepest inner levels.

Using the PMAI and the MBTI Instruments Together

By studying results from the MBTI and PMAI instruments used in combination, CAPT has confirmed predicted relationships between these two measures. For example, per Pearson & Marr (2002), the Seeker archetype is largely concerned with potential—visualizing and pursuing possibilities. High Seeker scores on the PMAI assessment are associated with a preference for Intuition on the MBTI measure (McPeek, 2008).

But combining MBTI and PMAI results might tell us something important and unique about our Seeker. A judging function preference for Thinking would orient a Seeker towards facts, accuracy, and knowledge—a "search for truth." A Seeker with a preference for Feeling will be concerned with harmony, contentment, and human values—more like a "search for bliss." Each may thus seek different goals or follow divergent career paths—for example, a truth Seeker as a cancer researcher and a harmony Seeker as a marriage counselor.

There are many more examples of the interaction of type and archetype preferences. Measuring both affords a deeper self-awareness, encompassing both conscious and unconscious processes, lifelong and life-situational tendencies, and preferences for behavior that range from fundamental to nuanced.

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