8 Things You Might Not Know About the Myers-Briggs Test


Most of us have taken the Myers-Briggs test at one time or another (INFP here). Teachers, professors, managers – they all seem to think that the results are interesting not only, but that they might be able to provide insight into their workgroups that will make the days, months, and years easier to navigate.

Is that true?

The psychological community has been quick to point out that the test is only one of many that measures a person’s “type” when it comes to dealing with others, how they view decisions and decision-making, and communication skills…but that hasn’t stopped most people from treating the test a little bit like the Harry Potter sorting hat.

If you’re curious about the test and want to know more, these 8 facts are a good place to start.

8. It’s a popular tool used in the hiring – and firing – of employees.

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Officials in the U.S. Army, as well as bigwigs with General Electric, Standard Oil, and Bell Telephone were some of the firs to be convinced that being able to spot the right people for the right jobs could help reduce turnover, but having test results in hand also led to some people being reassigned or even fired, based on their “type.”

7. The test was developed by a mother-daughter team.

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Yesterday I received my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment results. I assessed myself prior as an ENFJ and out of a possible 16 Personalities I came out as an ENFJ. Looking at the results it is clear this is me. Thank you to @hels_moody and @alanacolenso for making yesterday such an enjoyable day. So much information to get through and so much to utilise in my day to day role. #myersbriggs #myersbriggstypeindicator

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Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, developed the test together.

6. Psychologists refer to the test as a “fortune cookie.”

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When expectations hurt: #infj #infjboy #infjlife #infjgirl #infjprobs#infjpersonalitytype #infjproblems#infjpersonality #personality #personalitytypes#introvert #introverted #introvertproblems#introvertedintuition #NiFe #NiFeTiSe#myersbriggs #myersbriggstypeindicator#mbtitypes #mbtitypes #quote #quotes#quoteoftheday #16personalities #jungian#jungianpsychology #sociallyawkward #anxiety#nerdgirl #outgoingintrovert #enfj

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Though it was long taken as gospel, researchers today argue that the Briggs women misread Carl Jung’s work on types, which led to “an act of irresponsible armchair philosophy and “a Jungian horoscope” that amounts to “little more than an elaborate Chinese fortune cookie.”

The test is still used by a majority of Fortune 100 companies and earns around $20 million a year.

5. Katharine Cook-Briggs was inspired by her future son-in-law (or love for her daughter, depending on how you look at it).

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ENTP: The only known cure to ENTJs #adhd #mbti #mbtimemes #enfp #entp #infp #intp #enfj #entj #infj #intj #esfp #estp #isfp #istp #esfj #estj #isfj #istj #dankmemes #memes #personalitytypes #personality #myersbriggs #art

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When Isabel Briggs returned home from Swarthmore College with her new beau – law student Clarence “Chief” Myers – in tow, Katharine was fasciated by his personality, which was completely unlike everyone else’s in her family.

The desire to understand it – and the man who would eventually propose to her daughter – led to her study of the psychology of personalities.

4. It’s statistically unreliable.

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The Myers-Briggs test suffers from low reliability, which means that if you take the test more than twice, there’s a high chance your classification will change – and if you retake the test with more than a 5-week gap between testings, there’s a 50% chance your classification will be different.

Scientifically speaking, that’s not good.

3. The test was inspired by Carl Jung.

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ENFP aka Campaigner Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving (rare 7%) ENFPs are both "idea"-people and "people"-people, who see everyone and everything as part of a cosmic whole. They want to both help and to be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. This is rarely a problem for the ENFP, as they are outgoing and warm, and genuinely likepeople. Some ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality. ENFPs often have strong, if sometimes surprising, values and viewpoints. They tend to try to use their social skills and contacts to persuade others gently (though enthusiastically) of the rightness of these views; this sometimes results in the ENFP neglecting their nearest and dearest while caught up their efforts to change the world. ENFPs can be the warmest, kindest, and most sympathetic of mates; affectionate, demonstrative, and spontaneous. Many in relationships with an ENFP literally say, "They light up my life." But there is usually a trade-off: the partner must be willing to deal with the practical and financial aspects of the relationship, and the ENFP must be allowed the freedom to follow their latest path, whatever that entails. For some ENFPs, relationships can be seriously tested by their short attention spans and emotional needs. They are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances, forgetting their older and more familiar emotional ties for long stretches at a time. And the less mature ENFP may need to feel they’re the constant center of attention, to confirm their image of themselves as a wonderful and fascinating person. In the workplace, ENFPs are pleasant and friendly, and interact in a positive and creative manner with both their co-workers and the public. ENFPs are also a major asset in brainstorming sessions; follow-through on projects can be a problem, however. ENFPs do get distracted, especially if another interesting issue comes along. They also tend towards procrastination, and dislike performing small, uninteresting tasks. #myersbriggs #campaigner #enfp

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When Katharine Briggs discovered Jung’s 1921 treatise Psychological Types, her world changed forever. In it, Jung argues that humans have two perceiving “function-types” and two judging “function-types,” both of which are moderated by a person’s introversion or extraversion.

2. It’s not based on any formal psychology.

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For the first time in years, my personality typing has changed. For my time in the military and after, I have always been an ESFJ and am now typed as INFJ-T. This is a significant change and tells me a lot about my growth and change as an individual. The following is a description of INFJ type personalities and I believe suits me to a tee. INFJ: The Advocate personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. Advocates have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is that they are not idle dreamers. These individuals are capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact. People with this personality type tend to see helping others as their purpose in life. Advocates can often be found engaging in rescue efforts and doing charity work. However, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all. Advocates indeed share a unique combination of traits. Though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain. Advocates will act with creativity, imagination, conviction, and sensitivity not to create an advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to Advocate personalities. Advocates find it easy to make connections with others. They have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact. #myersbriggs #personality #personalitytypes #infj #infjpersonality #advocate #passionate #justice #karma #decisive #helpingothers #change #changeisgood #growth #understanding

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Neither Katharine Briggs nor Isabel Myers had any formal education in psychology or psychometrics, or any real professional training at all. Though Katharine would have said “one need not be a psychologist in order to collect and identify types any more than one needs to be a botanist to collect and identify plants,” many disagree.

1. The first test was immersed in the world of the WWII job market.

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Just a friendly reminder, good morning ? Also, somebody asked about doing a face reveal. Maybe at 1000 followers? . . . . #mbti #meme #mbtimemes #myersbriggs #16personalities #entp #estp #enfp #esfp #entj #estj #esfj #enfj #intp #istp #infp #isfp #intj #istj #isfj #infj

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World War II created a change in the American workforce that’s never been repeated. Women were working, the GI Bill was passed, and many career consultants went into the new era with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator firmly in hand. The idea was that it would help people be matched with the best job for them, but with hindsight, many wonder if that ended up being true.

So go ahead and enjoy your results – just know that no one test defines you!