What Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type Says About You (According To Actual Science)

Short answer: It means absolutely nothing.
Flickr / Biblioteca General Antonio Macha…
Flickr / Biblioteca General Antonio Macha…

For those of you who want a little more information, here we go. The Myers-Briggs is an invalidated personality measure with very low (if any) psychometric qualities. It has continuously received criticism for having low statistical validity (meaning that it doesn’t do what it says it’s going to do when the math is done).

It’s also been demonstrated that it doesn’t actually measure specific personality components. Most studies showing significant findings using the measure are filled with methodological issues. Recent evidence has demonstrated that types aren’t actually that different and the measure doesn’t accurately code people. It’s not even good at being consistently bad.

There’s a really good reason why you can’t use an online tool to accurately assess the Myers-Briggs. Again, plain and simple: there is no accurate measure.

When the Myers-Briggs slots people into their pseudoscience-based categories, it does it in such a way that one person could receive different categories based on each time they answer the questions. In short, it’s not reliable whatsoever. Personality (past the early twenties) is considered to be a relatively stable construct, and therefore, not being able to measure it consistently is a major red flag.

So then what does this mean for your life? It means that even if you identify as a ISTJ, or a ESFP, or whatever letters there are, that according to science, you’re no better off than saying you’re a BFG or even a NEPTR.

It means that even if you give yourself that label, you’ll still know absolutely nothing about yourself. You won’t know how to help yourself when you’re in a rut. You won’t be able to spot other personality types on Facebook or learn about the strengths of each type, or even how each type acts on Tinder.

Sorry to break the news, but it’s just not a thing. The types in no way exist or actually capture accurate, evidence-based personality type assessment.

So next time you want to learn about what personality type you want to attract, or waste time reading up on fatal relationship flaws of each personality type, what should you do? If you want to continue on the pseudoscience route, I would recommend palm reading, horoscopes, or even the “science” of phrenology. I hear tea-leaf-reading is quite inconsistent for personality assessment.

If you want to actually learn something about yourself, use the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), an evidence-based personality assessment which—coincidentally—you need an actual psychologist to administer. Shocking. TC mark

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