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Step 2 explained

Using  MBTI™ STEP 2 for a deeper understanding of preferences

The MBTI form Step 2 was formerly called the Expanded Analysis Report. It was devised to give more detailed information on an individual’s preferences than is possible with the MBTI. 

Step 2 takes each of the four MBTI preference scales (E/I S/N T/F J/P) and divides them into 5 subscales. This gives 20 subscales in all. As the information yielded is so complex, an individual’s results must be computer scored.

Much of the initial work on Step 2 was undertaken by Isobel Briggs Myers herself. Her intention was to devise an instrument which gave more insight into the precise nature of an individual’s preferences. This individualised snapshot is useful as it helps us to understand how people can share the same type letters and yet still vary in substantial ways. Step 2 is also useful in helping individuals who have no clear preferences to understand why this is the case and to help clarify their whole type.

Step 2 is a complex instrument which affords some fascinating insights for individuals but it is intended to be used alongside the mainstream MBTI and is not a replacement for it. Understanding the four broad MBTI preference scales is much more important than understanding the 20 subscales.

Step 2 is useful in cases where individuals are unsure of their preferences or where they just want to deepen their understanding of the MBTI and what it means for them. It is also useful for teams who already know the MBTI and who want to examine more closely how individuals, with similar type preferences, still differ from one another. It is not practical for us to explain the twenty subscales but here are two examples of how Step 2 can be useful in clarifying preferences. For example, an N may  score high in Step 2 in their liking for practicality. This is not usual for Ns yet this individual in all other respects has a preference for intuition. Step 2 would highlight this “out of pattern” response for this individual who could be described as a “practical N”.  Ns who judge ideas on the basis of practicality often come across to others as Ss. A common out of pattern response – or OOPS as they are known – is what’s known as “questioning Fs”. These are people who are typical feelers except that they will become questioning, and even difficult, if they think truth or accuracy may be compromised in some way.


© Carol Craig

MBTI, Myers-Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries; OPP Ltd. has exclusive rights to these trademarks in the U.K.

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