The expiry of MBTI

MBTI or Myers-Briggs Test Indicator is a psychological test, and is pretty popular among people close to social media. The psychological indicator divides each person into one of 16 personality types.

The first factor is Introversion vs Extroversion

Second, Intuition vs Sensing

Third, Feeling vs Thinking

Fourth, Perception vs Judgement

Each person comes under as example INTJ which means that out of the 16 permutations and combinations available from the choices, that individual belongs to this particular group of INTJ.

Problem

The first and obvious problem is the gross overgeneralization. Humans are not of only 16 different types and saying that INTJ is very different from ISTJ is lame and baseless. Every person shows a mixture of certain traits, which also vary based on the situation they are facing and how much they self-monitor.

Social media frenzy

Social media loves MBTI not because it is valid but because it is a fun way to compare oneself with. Part of the appeal is similar to a Buzzfeed quiz on something like “Which Harry Potter character are you?”. When you get your result, you will right away see personalities (even from fiction) that share the same traits as you do. One might take pleasure in thinking they are the same as Sherlock Holmes and share the same wit but one knows that is far from perfect. Things have gone to the extent of people trying to have actual knowledge about this in detail, which gives off an essence not much different from a person skilled in astrology or gender studies.

Corporations

The unfortunate part is that many good companies still rely on this outdated system for hiring workers. Nearly 89 out of the top 100 Fortune companies use this system. This problem is being highlighted by many and there are alternatives discovered for it which are more sophisticated than a Buzzfeed quiz.

Big Five

The Big Five is the most recent and reliable test indicator. This doesn’t take absolutes but rather takes percentages. The Big Five model comprises of five indicators: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. This can be remembered using OCEAN. This way of understanding helps understand traits deeper and much better than a simple this-vs-that.

After all, the people with understanding of psychology do encourage to go for better metrics than the MBTI. Popular psychologists like Jordan Peterson and Brian Little have all said that MBTI is largely like horoscope. Articles by Forbes, NYTimes, Vox, etc. have all talked about the issue. But just like the comments on the Vox video, one can see that MBTI has become more of a cult than a breakthrough in the field of psychology.

Written by Aman Vaniawala

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