But the problem with that idea is the fact that the test is notoriously inconsistent. Research has found that as many as 50 percent of people arrive at a different result the second time they take a test, even if it’s just five weeks later.
Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless
“There’s just no evidence behind it,” says Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who’s written about the shortcomings of the Myers-Briggs previously. “The characteristics measured by the test have almost no predictive power on how happy you’ll be in a situation, how you’ll perform at your job, or how happy you’ll be in your marriage.”
The test claims that based on 93 questions, it can group all the people of the world into 16 different discrete “types” — and in doing so, serve as “a powerful framework for building better relationships, driving positive change, harnessing innovation, and achieving excellence.” Most of the faithful think of it primarily as a tool for telling you your proper career choice.
But the test was developed in the 1940s based on the totally untested theories of Carl Jung and is now thoroughly disregarded by the psychology community . Even Jung warned that his personality “types” were just rough tendencies he’d observed, rather than strict classifications. Several analyses have shown the test is totally ineffective at predicting people’s success in various jobs, and that about half of the people who take it twice get different results each time.
Yet you’ve probably heard people telling you that they’re an ENFJ (extroverted intuitive feeling judging), an INTP (introverted intuitive thinking perceiving), or another one of the 16 types drawn from Jung’s work, and you may have even been given this test in a professional setting. Here’s an explanation of why these labels are so meaningless — and why no organization in the 21st century should rely on the test for anything.
An Overview of the Test
Based on the answers to the questions on the inventory, people are identified as having one of 16 personality types. The goal of the MBTI is to allow respondents to further explore and understand their own personalities including their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, possible career preferences, and compatibility with other people.
No one personality type is “best” or “better” than another. It isn’t a tool designed to look for dysfunction or abnormality. Instead, its goal is simply to help you learn more about yourself. The questionnaire itself is made up of four different scales.
Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)
The extraversion-introversion dichotomy was first explored by Jung in his theory of personality types as a way to describe how people respond and interact with the world around them. While these terms are familiar to most people, the way in which they are used in the MBTI differs somewhat from their popular usage.
Extraverts (also often spelled extroverts) are “outward-turning” and tend to be action-oriented, enjoy more frequent social interaction, and feel energized after spending time with other people. Introverts are “inward-turning” and tend to be thought-oriented, enjoy deep and meaningful social interactions, and feel recharged after spending time alone.
Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)
This scale involves looking at how people gather information from the world around them. Just like with extraversion and introversion, all people spend some time sensing and intuiting depending on the situation. According to the MBTI, people tend to be dominant in one area or the other.
People who prefer sensing tend to pay a great deal of attention to reality, particularly to what they can learn from their own senses. They tend to focus on facts and details and enjoy getting hands-on experience. Those who prefer intuition pay more attention to things like patterns and impressions. They enjoy thinking about possibilities, imagining the future, and abstract theories.
Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)
This scale focuses on how people make decisions based on the information that they gathered from their sensing or intuition functions. People who prefer thinking place a greater emphasis on facts and objective data.
Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)
The final scale involves how people tend to deal with the outside world. Those who lean toward judging prefer structure and firm decisions. People who lean toward perceiving are more open, flexible, and adaptable. These two tendencies interact with the other scales.
Remember, all people at least spend some time engaged in extraverted activities. The judging-perceiving scale helps describe whether you behave like an extravert when you are taking in new information (sensing and intuiting) or when you are making decisions (thinking and feeling).
Other Personality Tests, Insights, and Variations of the Myers Briggs Test
The Myers Briggs test is one of the most popular personality tests, but it’s far from the only personality tests. Other tests and methods for assessing personality and compatibility are used in the workplace, among friends, and in popular culture!
Type A vs. Type B
The Big Five test is one of the most studied personality tests in psychology. It is the result of many psychologists trying to determine how many “traits” define a person’s personality. The “Big Five” stand for Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Like the Myers Briggs test, each trait has an “opposite” trait. A person may display high agreeableness, for example, and low extraversion. These traits are also used to describe entire cultures and communities.
The DiSC Assessment was actually in the works years before the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment, but hasn’t seen as much popularity outside of the workplace. Many leaders use this assessment to discover how they and their team members work together. Test results put you in one of four categories: D (dominance,) i (influence,) S (steadiness,) or C (conscientiousness.)
Are you a helper, reformer, or a loyalist? Peacemaker, challenger, enthusiast? What about an investigator, individualist, or achiever? These are the nine personality types laid out by the enneagram. The personality types are strategically numbered and placed to create personality “sub types” that further reveals a person’s personality. A 2w3, for example, is a type two with a three wing. The person’s main personality type is 2, the “Helper” with elements of 3, the “Achiever.” Like the DiSC assessment and Myers-Briggs Personality Types, the enneagram is not a science-based personality test, but very popular!
No need to take a test – just know the time, date, and place of your birth! Forms of astrology have been around for almost 2,500 years. It may not be based in Western science, but it has certainly stood the test of time. By knowing your birth chart, you can learn a lot about how you approach relationships, work, and yourself! A full birth chart doesn’t just show you your star or moon sign either. You will see what sign you are for each of the planets, offering deeper information about yourself and what might be in store for you over the period of days, months, or even years.
Not all personality tests reveal the positive traits of your personality. The Dark Triad test reveals how much three negative traits may impact your relationships. These traits are Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Yeah, not exactly a score you want. The results of this test show how you compare to the rest of the population. Everyone has some good and some bad in them!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Myers Briggs test and detail page. Feel free to leave a comment below of any questions you have! I promise soon I’ll have a free printable myers-briggs personality test link added to this page, and you’ll be able to download it soon. I’m actually hiring a designer to make it very appealing and easy to take.