Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless


So there’s a 93 question test called the Myers
Briggs type indicator. You’ve probably heard of it. It’s the most
widely used personality test in the world. And the company that makes, CPP, reportedly
earns about $20 million dollars from the 2 million people that take it and companies
that administer it every year. You answer these 93 questions and it tells
you you’re one of these 16 different personality types. But the only problem is that this test is
totally meaningless. Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, anyone
working to understand human behavior who doesn’t have a stake in the financial success of this
test doesn’t believe in it. They don’t use it at all. So, let’s step back a little. In 1921 Carl Jung, an enormously influential
early psychologist, hypothesized that humans fall into a number of different types. There are perceivers and judgers. People who
prefer sensing over intuition. There are thinkers and there are feelers. But even at the time he realized that most
people don’t fit neatly into one category or another. Most people are extroverted in some circumstances
and introverted in others. He wrote: “Every individual is an exception to the rule.” A few decades later a pair of Americans who
had no formal training in psychology, Catherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs-Myers decided to take these ideas and turn them
into what they called a type indicator. In 1942 they first began testing it. They took Jung’s types but slightly altered
the terminology and changed it so that every single person was assigned only one possibility
or another. You couldn’t be a little bit of an extrovert
or a little bit of an introvert. But people don’t actually work that way, so
the results simply aren’t reliable. One study found that as much as 50% of people
who took the test twice arrived at different results even though it was only 5 weeks later. CPP peddles the test as ‘Reliable, valid,
backed by ongoing global research and development investment.’ And a reported 89 of the Fortune 100 companies
and 200 federal agencies use the test to separate employees and potential hires into
‘types’ and assign them appropriate training programs and responsibilities. But multiple studies have shown the test totally
fails to predict people’s success in various jobs. The really strange thing is that there are
leading psychologists on their board and none of them use the test in their personal research. In 2012, Carl Thoresson, a Stanford psychologist,
admitted that it would be questioned by his academic colleagues if he used the Myers Briggs
in his research. “Why is the Myers Briggs so popular?” Well, it really on gives positive results
and it plays into the idea of people fitting neatly into categories. People love categories. You can’t take the test and be told you’re
selfish or lazy or mean. Because the descriptions are vague, they’re
hard to argue with. This is called the Forer effect, and is a
technique long used by purveyors of astrology, fortune-telling, and other sorts of pseudoscience to persuade
people they have accurate information about them. There’s something really attractive about
assigning ourselves personalities. That’s why horoscopes are so popular and Buzzfeed
quizzes go viral. But the truth is that human personalities
are really complicated. We all have different facets and different
nuances that make us span a lot of different categories at once. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking
the test as a fun, interesting activity. The Myers-Briggs is useful for one thing:
entertainment.

100 Replies to “Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless”

  1. This video is ignorant. Of course the MBTI test won't be 100% accurate, nothing when it comes to the mind is accurate. but it is very accurate to some extent. This kind of classification is important when identifying one weakness in order to work on them, and ones strengths in order to build on them. If I go in to see if my psychologist, for example, with symptoms of an anxiety disorder, they won't diagnose me with anxiety right away because I might just be struggling with different aspects of my personality type like being intuitive or using my feeling feelings. It's helped a lot; it's done more good than harm. It's explained alot like what kind of people are compatible with each other etc.

  2. All this video shows me is that the people at Vox would rather discredit the relevance of a topic they're unfamiliar with than actually try to learn anything about it

  3. It is not 100 % accurte. But it is the most defintive till now. Need more studies and classufications. But it is really helpful

  4. Dont claim MBTI is inaccurate before you understand cognitive functions. When I was young I was always test as Infp or infj. I was very confused. After I completely understood cognitive function and myself, I found out that Im InFj. I use Introverted intuition mainly and strongly, and Extrovert feeling as second function. I dont need test to confirm anymore.

  5. I think they argued their point wrong. It's not for entertainment purposes; it's outdated and should be updated/replaced with the 'big 5 test' that introduces a spectrum scale instead of a binary scale of 'you're either at this end or that end'. You need to explore your personality type and understand where you fit and what parts of information fit into your life. It's about self-exploration and discovery, not 'oh cool I got this personality type, so I guess I live my entire life based off this one test'. It's a guide; not an answer.

    But then again it's Vox, which is basically Vice and BuzzFeed anyway

  6. The reason some people get different types every time is because you’re not supposed to take the test again within a certain amount of time, you are supposed to answer based on how you act not how you imagine you think or act so you have to take time and not rush through the test without thinking, and you shouldn’t be feeling sad/depressed OR hyped up on something like caffeine or something that could impact your response with strong emotions and that could give you inaccurate results. I always answer the questions with thought and take my time and I always get the same answer: INFP. So you know what if you want to believe it’s bs go ahead but the explanation I got was almost creepily accurate to how I actually feel, act, and think. Even the negative qualities of my personality were very accurate. Don’t come at me I said what I said.

  7. Well, I took the test 6 times from different websites and I ALWAYS got the same result. So it works for me.
    I know it probably has no meaning, but I did it because I've always been fascinated by these kind of tests that can give you more info about yourself. And when I read the result of the test, I thought everything it said was true. I read about other personality types and didn't fit at all, but with mine… It was mind-blowing!
    So I think it's a useful tool to learn more about how you function, if you use it for your self-development there's nothing wrong with it.
    Obviously every person is different, but I believe we can have similar traits and that's the "type".

  8. This video says nothing about the actual test or cognitive functions, Carl Jung or really anything. If you really want to know if this tests means anything, don't just look at the test but look at cognitive functions under Jungian analytical psychology. I think you'll find there is something more to it than this video leads on…. This video is horrible.

  9. MBTI definetly has a problem that it is not suited for taking tests for many different reasons some of which are shown in the video. In my opinion, it is a good typology because most people fit very well in one of personality types and if you know someone good and thus can estimate their personality it is a good chance they will fit very good in one of models ,but using it as a test gives rise to many different problems.

  10. I'm barely a teen! But I know that it makes sense! It wasn't meaningless and the purpose isn't only for Entertainment, it helps others including Me. Understand my self more. Though, it doesn't define who you are 100%, It's still accurate in some way.

    I'm glad that the comment section shows that there are still people's that have an Open Mind.

  11. I was gonna reply and attempt a rebuttal but then realized it’s Vox, so this video is without actual thought or any value to anyone. Glad to see you’re consistent though!

  12. My conclusion on why some doesn't get the same type whenever they take the test again.

    Maybe, (MAYBE) your answer depends on your current mood or Situation.

  13. Just from reading the comments, I know I don't have to waste my time watching the video – Thanks commentators 😉🙂

  14. Well. I am INTJ but there is any INTJ like me. I don't feel good with all the person who are INTJ but all the person I'm feeling good with are INTJ except my girlfriend that is ENTP but she the person who looks the most like me.

    The test just says the big lines but not who you are so it is accurate for what it is… as long as you answered honestly.

  15. SHOUT OUT TO the ISTJ who produced this! Keep refusing to understand that people wanting insight into their personality don't have sufficient knowledge of self to test accurately – duh!

  16. Why this video is totally meaningless… I’m just kidding. I couldn’t watch it because the guy said “uh” too many times. Anything can be meaningless if you’re a killjoy

  17. As an ISTP, I would have never understood why I felt like such a societal anomaly without the Myers Briggs test. Nor would I have realised where I was going wrong as a person

  18. I think saying it's just for entertainment is a little too damning. I think it offers more insight than that. To point out the outcome is always positive is a fair critique however.

  19. INTJ, for the longest time I would score as an ENTP. Then I realized I had three undiagnosed learning disabilities in reading, writing, and math and undiagnosed ADD. I didn't have the option the receive information from written texts, so I learnt from other people through debates and discuss. Once I started taking ADD medication and taught myself how to read, I now only consistently score INTJ on tests. I've had two administered professional by medical physicians and both times have been concluded to be an INTJ. Sometimes involuntary circumstances which activate coping mechanisms are why people get different results, at least that was the case for me. Things like learning disabilities, mental illnesses, family situations can greatly impact how a person perceives themselves and alterations of their natural ways of navigating the world which can lead to people not full knowing or understand themselves. This test heavily relies on introspective self-awareness which few people truly have (roughly 10%). That doesn't make the test inaccurate, you're just failing to see contributing external factors.

  20. I don't know about you guys, but talking to my therapist, who is an actual licensed professional on the area, she told me that having that kind of test publicly disposed out there is pretty irresponsable, as it is supposed to be taken by someone what is doing (like a therapist for say), and that it could be damaging to the psyche of someone getting an description on the internet like that

  21. Yes it’s fun and entertaining but it’s not all completely meaningless because it makes us self reflect. Ofc personality is complex and everybody changes over time so just like horoscopes it help us study our character and forces us to objectively think about subjective decisions that affect our lives. I agree the results is just some flimsy title but if you actually take the questions seriously and reflect on past experiences maybe you’ll actually learn something about yourself and find ways to better yourself for you and the ones around you. It’s a practice.

  22. This video is so annoying. The test actually says you’re more introverted than extroverted. Not that you’re only introverted. So it doesn’t give absolutes, so you’re all quite wrong.

  23. 1:36 Even in the test it says you are a spectrum of extrovert or introvert… so I donno why you are falsely saying that they indicate you can only be one or the other. WRONG

  24. For me (somehow): INTJ-INTJ-INTJ-ENTP-ENTJ-INTP-INTJ (following several tests at several occassions)

    …Well suppose I am an xNTx but I think I’m more heavily an INTP

  25. Its all comes down to environment. For example a friend of mine is considered an INFP but yet he is the most Extroverted guy I have ever known plus he owns companies. So either he lied on his MBTI test of he is living a double life. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  26. The MBTI test shows your preference wich changes over time. It serves as a tool for understanding human behaviour patterns. It might not be useful for everyone but it is useful for those who do relate and fit into a predictable patter of behaviour and does represent their tendencies very accurately. In my case I'm an ENFP and everything listed in my results its accurate and has been consistently for many years. it helps me as a reminder why I prefer serten things and it makes it easyer to explain to others why I tend to behave in some ways. This video is very one sided and it leaves people on the dark about personality patterns. Imagine if scientists just ignored patterns in human behaviour when creating artificial intelligence just because they dont fully understand why the brain does what it does. From the attitude shown in this video I get the impression that some people simply dont like their mbti score or truly dont fall in a specifil group in that case it might not be as clear. But that doesnt mean that every result is unclear. Seems like some people dont want to be but in a category specially when they dont like other to know their preferences.

  27. My results from this test are accurate so don’t put the pseudoscience label on it until you read and research about it. I bet that personality types can even mix and be called something new but we haven’t looked into that

  28. I don't really sure about MBTI test. When I first took the test, or the second time i took it, I always get INTJ as my result.. then suddenly i vary between INTJ and INTP.. recently I got ISTJ as my result. And now I know there is no scientific findings that prove the validity of this test.. I decide to stop believing the MBTI and start taking other more reliable personality test.

  29. There are three things in this video that are incorrect. 1 They don’t allow for the spectrum of each personality type, now all the test account for that. 2 They dismiss Meyers and Briggs just because that were not psychologists. 3 This system corresponds with the four temperaments of the Greeks, and are meant to be general not specific personality types. Upbringing, relatives, and culture all have an influence on people’s personality’s, it’s still a good general idea.

  30. The test gives you scales on where you land in it. It's not 100% accurate bit it gives a good general idea and as far as i know it's the most accurate one that exists

  31. I’ve never disliked a vox video before, but I think the test does actually illustrate personality traits. I agree that it shouldn’t be used for hiring, but I think it teaches people about their personality traits to an extent

  32. I don’t think the test is flawless but I think it’s a really neat way to understand yourself and the people around you. I make an effort to take it at least two times a year, and have been doing so for the past five years and have always gotten the same type. With the exception that if I’m really sad my results show introvert instead of extrovert. I think it’s really important for the test to be taken correctly as well. I’ve had many friends come to me saying the test results were bs and didn’t relate to them, and than I prompt them to take the test again, but only take maybe 5 seconds per question and rapid fire their answers, and than they are amazed at how accurate they are. I totally understand why it’s not scientifically credible in the fact that people change and the results can differ based on your mood, age, etc. but I think we as people feel a need to categorize ourselves and this helps significantly. And like others have said it’s a spectrum not a binary.

  33. Wouldn’t having results change after a 5 week period be a good thing? It could be a good indicator of how you personally feel at that time and whether or not you’ve progressed or regressed

  34. To hire a bunch of people who haven't done much research then post an opinionated video is beyond me. This video is meaningless.

  35. This video makes a good argument and a good point. But the closing statement was wrong. People relying on this test as the center of all knowledge of who they are is wrong, yes, but it's not just entertainment. As long as you understand the limits of the test and that you can be a more in between then a specific title, take the results with a grain of salt, and view it as more of a general idea of how your brain works, it can help you figure out the rest for yourself.

  36. I took this test 20 years ago. And I took this test two nights ago to see if I still have the same results . I still have the same results. I think it's pretty much right on. If you answer the questions honestly you can get truthful results. And there are studies now out to look for your unhealthy personality type.

  37. Jesus Christ, this comment section… Be real, people! Myers-Briggs tests are comparable to those that determine “Which Disney princess are you?”

    Are you really so fooled by this personality test’s feedback, feedback designed to make you feel special? So fooled, that you refuse to note that this test is almost totally debunked and discredited, and that it has no credibility within the academic field that once put it forth, half a century ago??

  38. The MBTI does definitely only focus on positives, ISTP, I'm an ****ole, prone to addictions more then other types. Prone to thought manipulation, especially from ENFPs. I'm lazy around household chores, I have a blind spot for malicious intent to me, especially when it comes to contracts. I take risks all the time. I sometimes make impulsive decisions and it gets me into the ****. All positive traits yep!

  39. Whomever made this video obviously didn't dig deep into the mbti. 90% of the problems they claim are false.
    The test specifically says each person is a blend of all types. Even when you take the test and your results are an "E" it shows an 80% "E".
    The video says "it won't say your lazy". We'll it most definition does! My type is in certain ways and it tells me exactly where I am lazy and is 100% accurate.

    Further it's kind blowing how accurate it is. Maybe a person taking the test will get the wrong result, but once a person reads their 2 or 3 possible types they find the one that IS them. Afterwards if they are honest in reading the type it is really 80% -90% accurate.

  40. This is true about a lot more than you'd be comfortable acknowledging. Here's another: why YouTube videos are totally incapable of making the world a better place.

  41. I think a great place to start is the book gifts differing by Isabel Briggs Myers, she addresses all of Vox’s critiques and backs up the theory with a multitude of statistically sound studies. She really fleshes out the entire theory and goes into ALL of the cognitive functions. The argument that they aren’t from academia so they have nothing useful to say says more about academia than it does about the theory itself and the fact that Vox uses that as a point is elitist. Vox has a history of simmering down a complex argument with intricate nuances to a quirky little video that definitively rejects a theory based on flawed logic to appeal to someone performing a google search such as “MBTI Bad” and give them what they think is ammunition to make their point. Before accepting any overarching theory it’s important to do one’s own open source reasearch.

  42. I’ve taken multiple versions of the Meyers Briggs test online and over a pretty wide timespan, I come back ENFP every single time and what it’s says about me is right both as strengths and weaknesses. Bogged down by details, much better at coming up with big ideas than executing them etc are both true and useful to acknowledge.

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