Is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test Bunk?
I read a funny tweet the other day that said, “Myers-Briggs is just astrology for people who went to business school.”
Myers-Briggs is just astrology for people who went to business school
— Drew “No Nazis” 4484 (@Drew4484) January 1, 2018
Made me laugh! And yes, I’ve totally taken Myers-Briggs tests. In fact, more than once over the years. I seem to waffle between ENFJ and INFJ, and I confess, I never remember my score, so if it comes up in conversation, I have to look it up in this earlier blog post. Hah!
In the responses to the tweet, several people said that the science behind Myers-Briggs was no good — that researchers couldn’t get repeatable outcomes. A master’s student in Experimental Psych wrote: “The issue with personality tests like the MB is that it has no reliability (test-retest). If a measure isn’t giving you the same results over and over it isn’t good. A ruler that says 2” one time and 4” next is a crap ruler.”
The issue with personality tests like the MB is that it has no reliability (test-retest). If a measure isn’t giving you the same results over and over it isn’t good. A ruler that says 2” one time and 4” next is a crap ruler.
— Chesko Sebulba (@Tehmdgard) January 2, 2018
Of course, there were lots of Myers-Briggs fans responding too, and some have found the test really helpful in their lives, and learned something about themselves by taking it. I believe them. (If you’d like to take the MB test, here is the official website, which offers a paid version. I’ve only ever taken a free version of the test, so I don’t know if that affects the accuracy of the results.)
There were still other responses that suggested alternatives to Myers-Briggs. Someone pointed to this test and said,”Lipson-Shiu is still the only personality test worth taking.” For a more science-based personality test, people recommended the Big Five Test. One more quiz that I hear people talk about is Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz about habits. I guess it’s not technically a personality test, but I think it relates. I haven’t taken any of these 3 tests so far, but I would be game to.
How about you? What’s your take on all of this? Do you feel strongly one way or the other about astrology (I’m a Gemini), Myers-Briggs, or other personality tests? Do you feel like they’re mostly just for fun — like getting sorted into your Hogwarts House? Or do you find them helpful and valuable? Have any of you had your kids tested for personality? Or do you watch their star signs? Do you have a favorite test or quiz that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear.