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09 Dec

How iWAM is different from MBTI


The first major difference between these assessments is their age. Since iWAM was developed as recently as 2000, it incorporates the latest findings in cognitive science to measure work attitude and motivation, while the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) dates back to 1943. MBTI is based on the old theory of personality types introduced by Jung in 1922.

The iWAM is a 21st century tool.
Another difference is their philosophical foundation. MBTI was created to measure an individual’s personality. The concept of “Personality,” however, presupposes that a person will react the same way in every situation—an idea that was proven incorrect by cognitive psychologists in the 1980s. iWAM, on the other hand, measures a person’s preferences and motivations in the context of work. It describes what factors influence and motivate people the most, while allowing for individual circumstances.
As you can read in books such as Gifts Differing (Myers & Myers, 1980), MBTI only measures four pairs of patterns:

  • Extraversion vs. Introversion;
  • Sensing vs. Intuitive;
  • Thinking vs.Feeling; and
  • Perception vs.Judgment.

By combining these four traits, people are then categorized into one of just 16 groups.


iWAM is specific to the work context, measures 48 patterns, and describes a person’s preferences, without putting them into a category. While MBTI might be useful in teaching people that not everybody is the
same, iWAM will shows exactly how two people differ and will be precise at explaining the consequences of these differences at work. Hence, iWAM is much better suited than the MBTI to applications involving pre-employment testing, coaching, or team-building.