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How Accurate Is The Myers-Briggs Personality Test?

Personality Tests

Personality tests are commonly used by universities and employers. They are designed to test a person’s interpersonal skills, their thought process, and their emotional capabilities. These traits are often used to evaluate a person’s ability to the right fit for a job or an exceptional student.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Each year 1.5 million people take the Myers-Briggs Personality Test online. Hundreds of universities require potential students to take the test, and 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies use it during the hiring process. Even fictional characters, including Darth Vader, Harry Potter, and the Disney Princesses have taken the test. Despite the popularity of the test, there are some people who aren’t sure if the test has any value, and if the results are accurate. There are even some psychologists who question the validity of the test. Exactly how accurate is the Myers-Briggs personality test?

What Is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test All About?

This test was invented in 1942 by a woman named Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. Katharine was always a keen observer of people and their different personalities. She was also inspired by the work and theories of Carl Jung, who spoke a lot about the differences between introverts and extroverts. The mother and daughter team worked together to create a test that can indicate the personality of different people and helping people understand their tendencies.

What Traits Are Assessed in the Myers-Briggs Test?

The test is designed to access a number of traits. There are 93 questions on the test, and they determine if you are an introvert or an extrovert. They also assess if a person is intuitive or sensory. Thinking versus feeling are tested, as well as judging versus perceiving. When the person is done taking the test, they would be assigned to one of 16 different labels.

Why Do Some Psychologists Doubt the Validity of the Test?

Many psychologists have an issue with the lack of science behind the test. Many people believe that the test isn’t valid because the same person can get different results if they retake the test. If the results of the test change each time a person takes it, the results are not valid. Also, people change over time. This means that their answers will also change. If an employer is using the test to determine whether or not a person is right for a job, they could pass the test the first time and get hired. If they take the test a few years later and the results show that they aren’t qualified for the job, it will be too late. They could be great at their job regardless of the new findings. Many people believe that there is no continuity to this test.

It’s Not All Black and White

Many researchers and psychologists suggest that the test isn’t valid because the categories are not all black and white. A person can be an introvert in some situations, but an extrovert in others. A person can be a judger when it comes to some things, and a feeler when it comes to others. The people who don’t believe in the test say that it isn’t responsible to put people into tidy boxes. People are much more complicated than being placed in one of two categories. Experts believe that humans are much more complex than this.

Personality Differences

Another reason why people aren’t sure if this test is truly accurate is that it tests for only four personality differences. A few years after the test was introduced, it was determined that there were at leave five personality dimension. More recently, that number changed to six. If the test isn’t covering every personality difference, it won’t give you an accurate result.

Understanding Your True Self

This test is not entirely useless. It can be useful in helping you understand your true self a bit more. The questions actually get you thinking about yourself, your behavior, and then why you feel the way you do and the things you do. Just the fact that you start thinking about these things can be beneficial. Even if the test doesn’t tell you exactly who you are and why it will make you start asking the questions When the questions are out there in your mind, you start asking yourself questions that you have never asked before. This, in itself, can be beneficial.

Split Decision

Not all psychologists disagree with the validity of these tests. Some believe that they can be very helpful in learning a bit about an employee or a student before bringing them on. This is why the test is still so popular today.

Taking the Test

If you are asked by an employer or an educator to take the test, you will be forced to. However, you should also consider taking it on your own. It isn’t going to answer all of the questions that you ever had about yourself, but it will get you thinking about who you really are.

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