the Myers-Briggs indicator is one of the most popular personality tests today, among other things, for the ambition of its proposal.
Unlike other personality measurement instruments, which measure very specific aspects of our behavior and thought patterns, the Myers-Briggs Indicator was developed to explore the most important and unique aspects that would serve to describe the how each individual is through 16 personality types.
The latter means that the Myers-Briggs indicator was designed with the intention of describing personality holistically, instead of taking action on very specific aspects of how people are. This idea, based on what are commonly referred to as “holistic” approaches, is very appealing to many people who see this personality test. a way of knowing the most essential people, which defines them in a more complete sense.
However, today the Myers-Briggs indicator has reviews that point to the validity and usefulness of the test and therefore of the 16 personality types it offers. Let’s see what the defense and negative criticism of this personality classification system is based on.
What is the Myers-Briggs indicator?
The MBTI, as it is called in English, is a personality test based on the work of Carl Gustav Jung and the personality types it offers.
The Myers-Briggs indicator borrows 8 of the psychological functions Jung used to theorize about different personality types and provides a system of questions to study how people’s preferences and their way of being fit into these categories.
If you want to know more about these ideas from Carl Jung, you can read this article:
The 8 personality types according to Carl Gustav Jung
How does the MBTI work?
The Myers-Briggs indicator uses four dichotomies with two extremities each to study personality. These factors are:
- Extraversion (E) or Intraversion (I)
- Intuition (N) or Sensation (S)
- Thought (T) or Feeling (F)
- Judgment (J) or Perception (P)
Each person responds to the questions asked in the test by reflecting on their way of being, thinking and feeling, making it a measurement tool based on introspection. Based on these answers, the data obtained are grouped together and in this way it is established which of the 16 personality types it serves to better describe their way of being and their preferences.
The 16 personality types
From the crossing of the data of these 8 variables established in the 4 dichotomies, the 16 personality types of the Myers-Briggs indicator are formulated. They are as follows.
1. ESTJ (thought of extroverted sensing thought)
People who like to be in control of what is going on around themThey always research how everything works as it should and, if necessary, implement it themselves.
2. ESTP ((Thought perception with extrovert sensing)
People who fall into this category are spontaneous, cheerful and activeBut like what happens with ESTJs, they tend to exert dominance over others, in this case through their ability to observe and their charisma.
3. ESFJ (Judging the extroverted feeling)
These are people who are very focused on meeting the needs of others., Especially if they are part of their close circle: family and friends. That is why whenever they can help and ensure that their close social circles always remain stable and healthy. This is why they tend to avoid strong conflicts and are diplomatic when there are conflicts of interest.
4.ESFP (Extroverted Sense of Perception)
They are cheerful and spontaneous people who like to entertain and entertain others.. Pleasure is one of the most important pillars of their life, and they are treated closely and with a warm temperament. They like novelty and talk about personal experiences.
5. ISTJ (Introverted Sensation Thought Perception)
A personality type defined by his keen sense of morality and duty. They enjoy planning and implementing rule systems that allow teams and organizations to operate with clear logic and order. They place great importance on rules and the need for reality to match the way things should be. Although they are introverts, they don’t hesitate to interact with others.
6. ISTP (Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving)
They are reserved people, practical and pragmatic solutions to everyday problems. They are also defined by their tendency to logical thinking, their spontaneity and their autonomy. They enjoy exploring environments and discovering ways to interact with them.
7. ISFJ (Judging Introverted Feelings)
They are people defined primarily by their desire to protect and help others and ultimately be trustworthy for others. They strive to do everything that is expected of them, but they don’t have high aspirations or are very ambitious. They tend to think that it is wrong to ask for compensation or increases in exchange for the sacrifices they make when working, as that should be a goal in itself.
8. ISFP (Introverted Perceptual Sensation)
People who live totally in the here and now, in constant search of novelties and stimulating sensory situations. They are reserved, but also cheerful, spontaneous and warm with their friends, they have a special talent in the art world.
9. ENTJ (judging extroverted intuitive thinking)
It is one of the 16 personality types most related to leadership and assertiveness.. People described in this category are communicative, agile and analytical, and predisposed to lead teams and organizations. They adapt well to change and also shape their strategies whenever the environment changes. Plus, they almost always know how to tell their projects or stories in a way that interests others, which makes for very appropriate advertisements.
10. ENTP (Perception of Intuitive Extroverted Thinking)
People particularly moved by curiosity and challenges which, to be resolved, require facing intellectually stimulating questions. Their mental agility and their ease in detecting logical inconsistencies make them people predisposed to be interested in science or philosophy. In addition, their tendency to be competitive makes them very active during the day, always trying to find innovative solutions to complex problems.
11. ENFJ (Judging the intuitive extrovert feeling)
People who are constantly learning all areas of knowledge (Or a good chunk of them) and help others learn, guiding their own development. They enjoy offering guardianship and counseling and are very good at influencing the behavior of others. They focus on their values and ideals and do their best to improve the well-being of as many people as possible through their ideas and actions.
12. ENFP (Perception of Intuitive Extroverted Sensation)
One of the 16 personality types with the greatest propensity for creative thinking, the arts, and sociability. They are cheerful, enjoy interacting with others, and act with their position in mind as part of a “whole” formed by humanity, and are not individualistic. In fact, they often engage in collective tasks to help others, reflecting on the social impact of their actions. However, they are also easily distracted and often postpone tasks that they find boring or too simple and routine.
13. INTJ (Judging Intuitive Introverted Thinking)
A personality type geared towards solving specific problems based on analytical reasoning. The people described in this category are people who are very focused on their own ideas and theories of how the world works, which means they analyze their environment by focusing on their ideas of how it works. They are aware of their own abilities and they rely on their own judgment, even if it goes against certain superiors.
it is very common for them to become experts in a very specific area of knowledge, as they like to have enough knowledge about something to be able to take into account all the factors that come into play in its functioning and, from here on out , know what can be done or what will happen in the future.
14. INTP (introverted perception of intuitive thinking)
One of the 16 most defined personality types for the propensity to think. These people love theories that can explain anything that can happen in a system, and their tendency towards perfectionism leads them to correct others over and over. They value precision in theoretical terms more than pragmatism and problem solving.
15. INFJ (Intuitive Introverted Judgment)
Very sensitive people, reserved and moved by very defined ideals and that in addition, they feel the need to share these ideals with others. This makes them prone to both thought and action, which can lead to overwork by having too much responsibility. They show a great ability to successfully interpret other people’s mental states and try to use this information to help them before the other person asks.
16. INFP (Intuitive Intuitive Sensation That You Perceive)
Less moralistic than INFJs, INFPs are also very concerned about helping others of their position as reserved people. They demonstrate an aesthetic and artistic sensitivity that makes them creative.
Criticisms of the Myers-Briggs indicator
There are many researchers and scholars who deny the idea that MBTI has any value for science, mainly because it is based on ideas (those of Carl Jung) that did not originate with the help of science. ‘use of the scientific method and because, in addition, they consider the 16 personality types to be too ambiguous and too abstract so that it can be used to predict thought or behavior patterns.
In other words, anyone could read the descriptions of these personality categories and see them reflected in several of them at once, being so general. This phenomenon is an example of the Forer effect, according to which when the personality categories are sufficiently ambiguous, everyone can identify with them to the point of believing that they fit well in their way of being and not in that. others. In turn, this is a case of confirmation bias.
So … isn’t that useful?
The problem of the ambiguity of the personality categories with which the Myers-Briggs indicator works is also posed in a similar way, for example in the personality proposition of Carl Jung. It is assumed that a personality model must lay the groundwork in order to be able to isolate relevant psychological variables and that in some research tangan to a predictive value (That is, to allay doubts about what will happen, for example, if a person with high levels of neuroticism starts working in an environment facing the public and under a lot of pressure.
When the popularity of a personality model is based on the Forer effect, not much is to be expected of its usefulness as a research tool, as everyone is capable of feeling identified by virtually anyone. any type of personality and the end result. It will depend on unimportant factors. , like the personality style description you read earlier, for example.
This is why, although the Myers-Briggs indicator is still used in organizational contexts to select staff or assess the possibility of someone rising, in the field of research this tool has been so harshly criticized that its use is a rarity.
However, that doesn’t mean that, in its own way, there may be certain uses for the Myers-Briggs Indicator. For example, the ability to inspire us, to make us think about how our personality is structured and how these aspects of personality relate to each other.