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Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  1,791 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The classic work on the 16 major personality types as identified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Paperback, 228 pages
Published May 25th 1995 by CPP (first published 1980)
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Community Reviews

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Martha Love
This is an amazing book written by an amazing woman! Back in the 70s, I knew Isabel Myers professionally and met with her a number of times when she would visit the University of Florida Typology lab research. I was always taken by her dedication to the concepts of the MBTI. She always seemed quite professional to me but had no pretenses of intellectualism, and certainly she was very warm and compassionate as you will find in reading her book. The last years of her life were spent writing this b ...more
This is a refreshing, homespun sort of book, but don't be deceived by its apparent simplicity. Myers spent most of her life in a singleminded obsession with her Indicator. Her type-related observations on learning, growing up, occupation, and marriage are an interesting exhibition of the common sense once taken for granted but that has gone the way of the passenger pigeon. The book is worth reading if only for her ideas about learning.

The insights I've gained from Gifts Differing and related mat
The first book I read (probably 25 years ago) that helped me to know there was not something wrong with me just because I was different from the rest of my family (I'm an INFP). It still has a lot of good insight for me as I review it.
I highly recommend this for individuals interested in Myers-Briggs typology (here's a test if you want to take one.) Ever since about my junior year of high school I've researched MBTI independently but this book sharpened my knowledge - after all, it was written by one of the creators of the personality inventory. The first half concerns areas such as perception (Sensing/iNtuition) and judging (Thinking/Feeling), how those two and the other preferences interact, etc. Isabel Briggs Myers explain ...more
Cam S
I am totally obsessed with the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, and this is written by the original creator of the test. There's no quiz contained therein, but you can take short (free) ones in various places online, or find an official testing source and take the real thing. I took the real thing once, many years ago, but the short tests always gives me the same result. I think this one is pretty accurate: (the Jung Typology Test).

Most people ha
Wonderful read. Very interesting. In my estimation, if everyone read this book we'd all be better partners, co-workers, managers, spouses and parents. It's given me a lot to think about in terms of my own life and how I can better communicate with others and strengthen my lesser developed processes (like Feeling...boy, I could use some work on that!)

The only thing that kept this book from being 5 stars were that a couple of the chapters on children seemed to be more focused on general positive p
I chose to read this as I didn't fancy spending the rest of the year ploughing through 600'odd pages of Jungs' Psychological Types to arrive at the same conclusions.In comparison I presumed this to be a more accessible extension of type theory,written by authors who where engaged in a life long study in this particular area,and who tested their theories on thousands of subjects to arrive at the MBTI test,in what I understand to be a more empirical approach than Jungs'.
To me the book seemed to
Bernadeth Petriana
Ever since I read about MBTI, I can hardly stop myself from being obsessed with these 16 personality types. This is a must read for those who want to know more about MBTI since it was written by the original inventor, Isabel Briggs Myers and her son, Peter B. Myers.
I would like to point out my type indicator, ENFP. Reading this makes me realize that I am actually normal. Years ago I've always wondered why even small things could make a huge impact on my emotional stability. I finally figured ou
Apr 02, 2012 Betsy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in understanding personality types.
Recommended to Betsy by: Memie Player
ENFP here!
I delved into this after reading "Please Understand Me" by the Keirseys which offered the test and scoring, which is imperative to understanding the classic Briggs Myers personality types.
I love that stuff! I suppose, primarily, because my resulting personality type was dead on. I then proceeded to test all my friends, family, kids, etc.
It was absolutely fascinating! It made complete sense and was completely eye-opening.

I would only recommend this book if you already know your jungian
Maris Mckay
I've been fascinated by Myers-Briggs types for years, and I am so glad I finally read this book. It is amazing that two woman with no formal training in psychology came up with the most widely used personality test in the the world, all based on Jung's theories (which are from what I've heard are hard to understand for psychologists who have devoted their lives to studying his work). The theories helpful not only for discovering your own personality type, but for understanding how other people t ...more
Insightful,intriguing and incredibly thought-provoking; I can't get enough of this theory! A thorough analysis based on decades' worth of research and investigation, Gifts Differing provides a logical, statistical evidence for the validity of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Discussed are the factors contributing to the development of each type, ranging from the somatic to the socio-environmental. Throughout this book, Myers paints a detailed summary portraying the essence of each type by referr ...more
Jeroen De Dauw
Very interesting. The depth of insight this book provides in applicability of the MBTI to various topics is very useful to understanding and appreciating differences in other people, and thus being able to communicate and work with them more effectively. Also recommended to people into self improvement.
Jessica Hall
This is a wonderful book that helps the reader understand the gifts and talents unique to their individual personality type. From this book I learned to more deeply love and appreciate my personality and to find ways to value what makes us different.
Marjorie Towers
This is the Bible for understanding the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Not only will you have a good insight into your own God given personality but it will help you in your relationships with others. Highly recommend.
Aileen Bernadette Urquhart
Best boook on MBTI I have ever read. Starts with how we take in information, and how we act on it, then it builds up to profiling, rather than giving a cameo description of type first. Clear and logical.
Although it seems a little simplistic and far too easily accepted as absolute fact by believers—what psychological theory isn't?—there is a lot of truth in the theory. It is far too consistent to be the result of coincidence or some kid of cognitive bias.

Regardless of the level of completeness of the theory itself, Myers demonstrates a clear understanding of human personality, with a strong emphasis on "human". This is a clearly a book of understanding and appreciation: of ourselves, of each oth
Very good attempt to explain the similarities and characteristics among the different personality types. Interesting theory is developed about introverted types namely the idea that they show the auxiliary type to the outer world while there is a dominant type which stays hidden to the inner world. There are also different chapters for children, jobs, marriage, but those are rather written too short and general. Overall not too much new information contained in the book for someone who is alread ...more
Paul Johnson
If you want to understand why some people seem so different than you and learn how to get along and work with them, read this book.
Donna Bruton
This book was life-changing for me. I don't often feel that way about non-fiction. Understanding how I am wired is affirming and helpful - one of those light-bulbs moments. Understanding that other people, particularly family and close friends, are wired differently was just as eye-opening! Identifying differences in people doesn't always make them easier to live with but it makes it easier to change your expectations and show empathy, and easier to talk about. I wish everyone could have this kn ...more
Laura Carter
I really liked this book, and I remember reading it when I was much younger. I even took the Myers-Briggs test again and scored differently, though my sister disagrees (we compromised). It's a helpful Jungian approach in a world of Freudian and other theories that discount the more creative personalities that may live in the world. The fact that this book pins Freud as an extravert lets me in on some things that I always wondered about from all the Freud I read in school.
Aditya Arolkar
Great insight into how people work and a scaringly accurate system. While it has its flaws, it's a system that boasts various benefits for psychological analysis of what makes a person tick.
Insightful look into the different personality types and a great point of reference for anyone interested in learnig about the MBTI.
The starting point for understanding MBTI.
A rather deeper than average book on the Myers-Briggs personality type system. The book looks at how and why we develop, with insights into characteristics, inherent preferences, and observed generalities.

Not really a good introduction to personality typing, but well worth reading for anyone wanting to understand the functions a bit better, and to know something of the history of the Myers-Briggs system.
John G.
One of the better books I've read concerning personality type. It is a very warm book, not clinical at all, and takes the tone of a friend wanting to impart beneficial wisdom. I'm a believer is the MBTI and this is the first book I've read from the original creators (other than Jung). Helped me to understand myself and other much better. I truly feel the authors gave this to us all as a gift.
Michelle Shank
It is interesting to learn how many of our behaviors and attitudes stem from our basic personality. Once we understand this, it is so much easier to relate to others and even be more accepting of ourselves. In that way, I appreciate this book and others like it. "The Personality Tree" and "The Spirit Controlled Temperament" are 2 others that shed light on this subject.
by one of the persons who developed Jung's theory of personality into the Myers Briggs Personality Inventory and her son - excellent for a lay person's use
Nov 20, 2012 Jean added it
Shelves: non-fiction

This was the detailed personality type analysis I have been looking for. I found many of the later chapters useless, but overall the books delves into functions more thoroughly than anything else I have read, not trying to dumb it down for the casual reader.
I first read this in the eighth grade on the recommendation of my guidance counselor...the first time I heard anyone explain why I needed a lot of time alone. I'm INTJ by the way.
Feb 04, 2009 Patrick added it
Shelves: books-i-own
This is really the book to read on the subject of Myers-Briggs personality typing. Unlike the others, it's actually written by one of the creators of it, and is a lot less "pop psycho-babble" that most are.
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