The Center for Applications of Psychological Type, CAPT, was founded in 1975 by Isabel Briggs Myers and Dr. Mary McCaulley, but the seeds of its creation were planted six years earlier when those two women met for the first time.
In 1968, Mary McCaulley, a psychologist then on the faculty of the University of Florida Department of Clinical Psychology, discovered the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument in the Buros Mental Measurements Yearbook. She became fascinated with the Indicator and Jung’s concepts of type and began testing it with her students and clients.
Her growing interest in the MBTI instrument led Dr. McCaulley to contact Isabel Myers for information about a book mentioned in the MBTI Manual. The history of CAPT really began with the first conversation that took place between these two women. In the year that followed they corresponded regularly and were finally able to meet a year later in person.
The collaborative relationship between Mary McCaulley and Isabel Myers continued to grow over the next five years. It was during this time that they created the first computer scoring program for the MBTI instrument, conducted research studies of more than 3000 students, and developed the first training programs for professionals, teaching them how to use the Indicator.
By 1975, it became clear to both women that their growing type research and training programs warranted an educational center of its own—and the Center for Applications of Psychological Type was created. In its fledgling stage, CAPT began as a field office of the Medical Student Association Foundation, and four years later became an independent not for profit organization. CAPT has been located in Gainesville, Florida since its inception.
The MBTI instrument was originally published by Educational Testing Service (ETS). When ETS decided to no longer publish the MBTI instrument, it was important that another publisher be found. Mary McCaulley made contact with a psychologist at Stanford University, Jack Black, who had recently started a publishing company, CPP, Inc. In 1976 CPP became the new publisher for the Indicator. Today, the MBTI instrument is still published by CPP and has gone from a little known instrument to one that has gained worldwide acclaim.
CAPT has also flourished over the past thirty plus years, attracting a dynamic and devoted practitioner base, as the interest in and understanding of psychological type has grown. CAPT’s research data bank holds more than a million records from people who have taken the Indicator. The MBTI bibliography has more than 10,000 entries, and the Isabel Briggs Myers Memorial Library has developed into the largest collection of MBTI publications, dissertations and theses in the world.
Isabel Myers and Mary McCaulley met because of a shared interest in people, a fascination with the differences that make us unique, and a desire to understand how those differences can be used constructively to understand and appreciate others and ourselves. CAPT is committed to continuing the mission of these two extraordinary women—to learn more about and to teach the inherent value of our differences, those which make life, as Isabel Myers put it, “more amusing, more interesting and more of a daily adventure than it could possibly be if everyone were alike.”