The Persistent Attraction of the Myers-Briggs Character Take a look at

The Persistent Attraction of the Myers-Briggs Character Take a look at


A case of “shut sufficient.”
This submit was co-authored by Jenna Zorik and Robert T Muller, Ph.D.

Myers-Briggs take a look at (MBTI) is likely one of the most well-known and far-reaching character exams. At a look, you may simply perceive its reputation. Once I first took the take a look at a couple of 12 months in the past and was assigned INTJ or the “Architect,” a character kind deemed one of many “rarest” and “most succesful,” it felt fairly validating: my bluntness was the “knack for seeing proper via phoniness and hypocrisy” and my low want to foster friendships was merely a seek for an “mental match.”

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MBTI’s reputation spans the likes of books, podcasts, and quite a few web sites, and is usually marketed as a viable software for profession exploration and workforce improvement. However as typically is the case in relation to a extensively consumed product or standard service, a more in-depth have a look at the analysis is warranted.

GDJ/Pixabay, Inventive Commons

MBTI advocates declare that by dividing individuals into classes, the take a look at can assist remove battle, enhance communication and teamwork, emphasize strengths, and encourage self-reflection. Dr. Derek Chapman, affiliate professor on the College of Calgary whose work contains analysis in industrial-organizational psychology, agrees that character exams in employment and hiring will be helpful, as they can assist seize an individual’s “typical” capacity. Chapman cautions, nonetheless, {that a} single character take a look at won’t be helpful throughout all contexts and that there’s a want for the intentional use of character testing within the office.

It’s value noting that even those that use the take a look at are sometimes conscious of its limitations. In an interview with The Trauma and Psychological Well being Report (TMHR), Shawn Bakker, who has written about using psychometric exams within the office, explains that the MBTI was by no means designed to judge job candidates and shouldn’t be used to judge potential candidates for a job. This info, he says, has been clearly and constantly put out by the writer of the MBTI and distributors all over the world: “Makes use of of the MBTI in hiring are misplaced and never all that frequent, however once we are made conscious of it taking place in particular conditions, we attain out to these utilizing the software in error. As a substitute, the MBTI was designed to assist individuals find out about their preferences, not their abilities.”

Bakker additionally feedback that the MBTI strikes a superb steadiness between being complete whereas remaining pretty straightforward to make use of, which additionally serves as a possible rationalization for its reputation. In distinction to Bakker, Chapman warns that the MBTI was designed by individuals who weren’t skilled in psychometrics, and its user-friendly nature ends in its use by many who are usually not correctly knowledgeable.

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Chapman explains that one other concern arises when asking how we are able to assume that the MBTI, a take a look at primarily based on Western theories and assumptions, can apply to everybody worldwide. The overconfident use of the MBTI may end up in tales just like the one advised by Quinisha Jackson-Wright for The New York Instances, the place her expertise with the take a look at uncovered that MBTI screening was extra about cultural match than distinctive {qualifications} she might convey to the job.

Moreover, Chapman and others clarify that the take a look at has very low test-retest reliability, that means outcomes are unstable and prone to change. To check this myself, I took the MBTI once more earlier than penning this submit. As Chapman predicted, the MBTI failed the test-retest: this time I scored as INTP the “Logician,” not my prior rating as INTJ.

MBTI could also be provide useful insights into one’s character, but there are divergent views concerning the validity of its utility in varied contexts. Contemplating each the advantages and limitations of MBTI is advisable.

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