The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is a style of personality test that many like to take to establish some characteristics that they may carry. There has been much debate since its debut in 1962 about whether or not this test is fully reliable at determining the type of personality someone has, and today we are going to discuss this assessment and whether it has any validity to it.
What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or the MBTI, is a test that claims to measure the personality styles of individuals who fill out the questions that it asks. There are different versions of the tests and the questions can be modified, and the person taking it should try to answer these questions as truthfully as possible. The test attempts to determine different facets of one’s complete personality by assigning them with a four-letter “type,” and there are a total of sixteen different types that one can receive. The four letters correspond to inclinations of introversion (I) or extraversion (E), sensing (S) or intuition (N), thinking (T) or feeling (F), and judging (J) or perceiving (P). The test will assimilate the answers you provide and conclude which letter you receive within each category.
Is This Test Reliable?
While the Myers-Briggs test is often referenced within the psychology community, it is also often questioned whether or not this test is actually reliable at all. The MBTI has been used plenty over the years to determine how one may fit into a certain job, but many critics say this is not enough of a predictor of that. An issue that arises with this test is the fact that personality is quite the subjective topic, as an individual can feel differently on any given day that they take the MBTI and could potentially answer the questions they are given in varying ways each time it is taken. Due to this, many do receive a different type after retaking the MBTI, especially if the questions happened to have changed at all.
When is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Useful?
The Myers-Briggs test does have its own tendency to be useful in certain situations. The MBTI is still a fun way to learn particular aspects about oneself and to compare scores with your friends to see how you may be similar or completely different. Most people do not need the MBTI to tell them whether they are an introverted or extroverted individual, but seeing the final type combination is nonetheless interesting and you could very easily learn something about yourself that you did not realize before.
While the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can be an entertaining activity to help one understand some facets of themselves a bit better, it is not a test that one should completely base their idea of themselves off of or the sort of career they should definitively have. The MBTI is an enjoyable test and tool to utilize occasionally, but it is certainly not the end all be all.
I’m a psychology major and have a huge passion for the field and I love being able to incorporate this passion into my writing!