Which books are best to learn about the Myers-Briggs 16 personality types (MBTI or Jungian theory)? That’s a great question. I’ve been reading some great books the past year, and I thought I’d share my list for those interested in learning more about the theory behind Myers-Briggs typology.
I’ll give you my complete list below, but I’ll probably add more as time goes on. Also, if any of you have read some really good books on MBTI or the cognitive functions, I’d love to hear of your suggestions and thoughts about them.
In addition, you can view the actual MBTI books here.
Best Books for Myers-Briggs (MBTI) and Jungian Theory
- Psychological Types, by Carl G. Jung. Jung covers some of the psychological types through a historical lens, and he discusses his framework on functions such as introverted thinking vs extroverted thinking.
- Please Understand Me and Please Understand Me II, by David Keirsey (co-author Marilyn Bates for the first book). Keirsey focuses on type descriptions, relationship compatibility, and the temperaments. He doesn’t go into cognitive functions, but his books are very informative and interesting.
- MBTI Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Third Edition, by Isabel Briggs Myers, Mary H. McCaulley, Naomi L. Quenk, and Allen L. Hammer. This book is quite thick and contains lots of useful information about the sixteen personality types. It has interesting factoids about each type, as well as studies and research on the different dichotomies (introvert vs extrovert, etc.). This book does not talk much about the functions, however.
- Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual, by Lenore Thomson. This book covers the dichotomies, functions, and an overview of the sixteen types.
- Gifts Differing, by Isabel Briggs Myers (with Peter B. Myers). This book has useful information about the types, the dichotomies, and a little bit about the functions. Isabel was an INFP, and I believe that her mother was an INFJ. Carl Jung was also an INFJ. It’s incredible to consider how much the NFs have done for personality theory!
- Building Blocks of Personality Type, by Leona Haas and Mark Hunziker. This book gives a great and concise background on Jungian theory, as well as excellent descriptions of the functions. I enjoyed this book very much.
- Functions of Type, by Gary Hartzler and Margaret Hartzler. This book covers the cognitive functions of MBTI and has some exercises on how to develop them. The only downside is that it is a rather short book.
- Dynamics of Personality Type: Understanding and Applying Jung’s Cognitive Process, by Linda V. Berens. This is another great book that focuses on the cognitive functions. It is also very short (almost like a workbook), but it is a very easy read.
My Favorite MBTI Books
Any of the books above are useful if you want to learn more about MBTI (Myers-Briggs). Some cover the functions, and some don’t. If I had to pick some recommendations, this is what I’d recommend:
- Get the MBTI Manual to learn a lot of useful information about the different types.
- Get either (or both) of David Keirsey’s books (Please Understand Me) if you want some interesting insights into the temperaments and descriptions of the 16 types.
- Get Building Blocks of Personality Type if you want to learn and explore the cognitive functions of MBTI/Jungian theory.
Those are my very favorite books, but again, all of them are worth reading.
What about you? Do you have any favorites that explain the types or functions well? Please share by commenting on my channel.