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Is MBTI Just Another Personality Quiz?

Jilian Whitehead

Posted on August 13, 2021 21:33

2 users

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is widely known, yet most people aren’t aware of its true origins and just how useful it can be.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers who simplified the original work by Carl Jung. Jung first came up with eight different cognitive functions. These functions are split into either Introverted or Extraverted, then further coupled into Intuition, Sensing, Thinking and Feeling. Each person has a stack of four of these functions, with their dominant function being their most used. So, for example, I’m an INTJ, and my cognitive stack is Introverted Intuition, Extraverted Thinking, Introverted Feeling, and Extraverted Sensing.

That can all be confusing, but I definitely recommend looking into it more because it’s all fascinating.

Here are some basic misconceptions about MBTI —

1.      The tests are accurate.

Many people will take the MBTI test and say, “Wow, this is exactly me!” However, tests aren’t a great way to gather data because they’re dependent on the phrasing of the questions, how the reader interprets them, how they perceive themselves and more. Very few tests can be both valid and reliable, and unfortunately, the most popular MBTI tests usually aren’t.

2.      MBTI is just a pseudoscience, and you can’t even categorize people anyway.

It’s true that you can’t really “prove” MBTI, but that’s not the point. MBTI is a tool to help with self-development and interpersonal communication. You may learn things about yourself you didn’t know, recognize your bad habits, or start to notice other people’s ways of thinking.

3.      You can’t even categorize people into types.

Not everyone will fit into just sixteen types, and Jung himself admits this. However, again, that’s not the point of MBTI.

4.      Extraversion means you’re outgoing and Feelers must be super emotional.

In MBTI, extraversion and introversion doesn’t just mean loud or shy. Because the MBTI test relies on a dichotomy (E vs. I, F vs. T, etc.), some of the original nuances of the cognitive functions have been lost in the process. If you look at the example of my type above, you can see I have both extraverted and introverted functions. The stack does not mean you only use those functions, but that those are the ones you prefer.

5.      MBTI is just another personality test.

MBTI does not, in fact, measure your personality, but seeks instead to classify your thinking process. While the MBTI test is often taken for fun — and you can probably tell I’m not a huge fan of it — it is a good starting point in learning about yourself. Taking a test with a licensed MBTI practitioner or doing some extra research into Jung’s original functions are not only useful, but, well, just fun. Combined with other theories like the Enneagram or the Big Five, MBTI can be a great tool for personal awareness.

So, TLDR: Take the tests with a grain of salt. And if you have time, dig a little deeper! You might just learn something you never knew about yourself.

Jilian Whitehead

Posted on August 13, 2021 21:33

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Source: StyleCaster

Whether for a job interview, college psychology 101, or just for fun, chances are you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®...

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