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Opinions about Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?

Does anyone have experience with MBTI? I have taken the test and feel like it’s very accurate for me. I have heard some say it’s pseudoscience. What’s your type? I’m INFJ.

babsy 6 Apr 9

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I administered the Myers-Briggs for a number of years. I think it is very useful for certain applications, primarily improving communications. It is based on the theories and philosophies of Carl Jung. To be most helpful one must spend some time getting to an understanding of what Jung meant by (for example) "introversion verses extroversion". The definitions of these terms as used by Jung are not the "run of the mill" street definitions and to not understand that renders the results fairly missleading. As to the pseudoscience label. This gets into knowing the difference bewteen Validity and reliability. The MBTI is a highly reliable measurement tool. This does NOT mean one can "rely" on the results to make decisions. It simply means that if you give the test over and over to the same group of people you will get the same results - if you take it once and are an INFJ, it is Very likely you will be an INFJ every time you take it. So from a "scientific/research" point of view it is damn good at measuring what it measures. However, it is VALIDITY not reliability that tells you if what it measures is what you think it measures. The validity of an instrument is much more difficult to establish than the reliability. The reason for this is that while reliability can be established simply by observing that an instrument gives repeatable/consistent results, validity can only be determined through comparing the results to SOME OTHER instrument (or procedures) that proports to measure the same thing. If a paper and pencil test says it measures math skills but all the problems are "word problems" it may in fact be mesuring reading ability. If a selection instrument says it can tell who should be hired for a cooks position, it could be validated by seeing if those with high scores can in fact cook. So what does the MBTI proport to measure? In general it propors to measure personality types. More Specifically: 1) How you are energized, 2) what you pay attention to, 3) How you make decisions 4) Your adopted life style. It then groups every one on earth into 16 categories, much like horiscopes divided the world into 12ths. I say it in this "dramatic" fashion simply to illustrate that if you are trying to squeeze billions of people into 16 categories they have to be fairly general categories. There is some agreement between the MBTI and other measures of personality, but correlations are (not unexpectedly) low. And there's the rub - measuring personalities is nothing like measuring math ability or cooking ability or anything else where there is some objective standard to measure against. Personality is to math as jello is to a rock - you know when you are hit with either one, but tyring to get your hands around the projectile is very different. If the standard for "science" is the rock then yes measuring jello is pseudoscience. However, that does not say anything about the usefullness of pseudoscience. The MBTI is very useful if use correctly. I am an ISTJ psychologist

@babsy well, my Ph.D. dissertation was on the reliability and validity of personnel selection instruments so you happened to ask a question I knew something about 🙂

As someone who has apparently done a lot of study on the subject, what do you think of the idea that each of the functions represents a spectrum, and therefore a third, intermediate designation for each of the eight functions would make the test more accurate. Whenever I have taken the test I find myself unable to answer a third or so of the questions. This occurred when I recently took a 5 minute online test. The result came back as INTP. However, a co-worker of mine whom I worked with daily for several months who was very much "into" MBTI, insists I am an ISTP.

@Rossy92 well, without getting overly technical let me say that the whole point of what is referred to as a "forced choice" instrument is to force you to think enough to make the choice. Adding a third choice would simply have no end because any delineation can be further sub divided. There are actually only 4 functions in the Myers Briggs, not 8. By dictotomizing the four scales into OPPOSITES, 8 categories are created. The number of combinations possible when 4 scales each have 2 options is 4 squared or 16. IF as you suggest there was a third choice then rather than 16 possible "descriptions" there would be 64 (2 raised to the third power). No one would be able to either remember or tell the difference between the 64 categories. Addressing your INTP vs ISTP. That can occur simply by answering 1 or 2 questions in the reverse direction from one time to the next - it is only an indicator that at times you prefer to use the input from your five senses and at other time you let your intuition guide you. Your friend is not as smart as she thinks she is (or he) if she thinks she knows you better than you know yourself. ANYONE who uses the MBTI to direct any portion of their life is missing the whole point of the instrument. That would be about as ridiculous as using a horoscope (horrorscope) to pick stocks or tell you who to pick as a life partner.

@pilotlight11 I apologize for perhaps not stating my first question with enough clarity. I was pondering, for instance, a person that scores nearly equally on I and E. Instead of labeling them one or the other, might it not be better to have a third, or perhaps even a fourth and fifth designation, which indicates that one particular trait is not significantly dominant over its opposite, or has a relatively weaker or stronger dominance. So instead of a designation of just I or E, there would be three designations I, I/E, E, or perhaps four or five designations II, I, I/E, E, EE? I do believe the my friend's particular neuroticisms may skew the way she perceives me, but a part of me hopes she is correct because based upon the stereotypes of each, I would prefer to be an ISTP. This is all fairly new to me though, and I do realize it should not be taken too seriously.


INFP/INTP, here.

I find it fascinating, but I'm aware of the criticisms. I think it might be somewhere between astrology and OCEAN.

I dig it, deeply, but I try not to put too much stock in it.


I'm an INFJ too! Took it twice...same result both times.

Lani Level 5 Apr 9, 2018

I took the test but forgot the result. I think I’m a FFFT!

skado Level 8 Apr 9, 2018

It's a nifty tool but I've seen it used as an end all be all instead of a nifty tool..... but I can't really argue with my repeated INTJ results lol

INTJ's are a rare breed I think. Me being one... I think it fits.


The main risk, as I see it, other than wasted money and time and more meetings, is overcategorization of complex people. Labels based on short tests can lead to generalization and disconnection.

That said, mbti and other indicators like it do offer language for understanding how one communicates/ thrives and how that affects those around you.


I have taken it more than once and have gotten the same: INFJ. I have to say, it made me feel better.....It was validating. I don't know how scientific it is but I agree with my result.


INTJ here. The description pretty much fits my personality. I definitely identify myself as such.


I'm an INTP, but I'm pretty close to the T/F and P/J center. I think it describes my orientations pretty well. I don't think you can put anyone's behavior in a box and stick a label on it though....


I came out ENTJ-A Commander. About where I ususlly end up on a leadership matrix.


I think the basic criticism comes from a lot of the online tests not being thorough enough or really accurate...


ENFJ here. I worked in rhe training and organizational cjange field most of my career and found it extremely useful.


I have taken a couple of the online tests and have been an INTJ/P in them.


This podcast does a pretty good analysis of the historical origins and scientific evidence for M-B:
In a nutshell, it's better than astrology, but not by much. Everytime I take it I get different results on 3 of the 4 domains.


ENTP. It's a good way to put people into generalized buckets but does not account for personality quirks of an individual. Once you get into the NT types people have their own distinctive weirdness that sets them apart from the buckets. Also people tend to vacillate between classifications and flip letters depending on mood. I can be ENTJ or INTP sometimes (I have tested as both) as I work wirth those kind of people and have many as friends. Kind of a chameleon effect when we try to fit in or relate to others. So it's a good starting point for putting yourself into context but not a hard bound indicator of personality.


It was big 20 or so years ago,
I put no thought into it at all. May as well be astrology to me.


I've taken the test 3 times in the past 3 years. The first two times I was INFP, and this last time the results were ESFP, with the E and S at barely above the I and N, and noting that I share traits with INFP.

My experience is that it is quite accurate, if you answer the questions honestly.

So you passed all three times? Is there a prize for such consistency?

@Jacar Lol. Well I'm convinced there's something to it, personally. Nice profile, btw. I like what you did there.


I'm in flux in the testing and results. They always seem acurate, I'm just a bit fluid though.


I have a blank copy of an old form. Looked at it recently.

  1. Does the idea of making a list of what you should get done over a weekend
    😇 appeal to you, or
    🍺 leave you cold, or
    ☕ positivley depress you?

I think that is a trick question.

Jacar Level 8 Apr 9, 2018

How is it a trick question?

Appeals to me!

@pilotlight11 The correct answer is: "All of the above."

@Jacar I understand your point, but that is the whole point of a forced choice instrument - to make you choose, and thus, at least in theory, to reveal something about yourself.


It is totally made up and is BS.


Each time I take it I get a different result.


Where do I study for that? lol

Just did a quick test ENTJ whatever that means.

@babsy If I have all the answers my curiosity would be crushed.


From what I have read it has a lot of critics for accurate results for people on average, but it may by coincidence work well for some people. Much like a newspaper horoscope might seem to have nailed it for 10 people and be useless for 100. People do not have specific barriers and their personality characteristics are on a wide spectrum. For each section the results might be close but they throw you to one side or the other.
I just did it and it said I am an INFJ-A so maybe we think alike. Or again it was just coincidence! 🙂


WTFE here

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