Healthy Living

Myers-Briggs Personality Types Put To The Test; Used To Score Business, Romantic, And Social Relationships

Personality Test Results Can Change Depending on Your Mood
The most thorough personality test on the market has proven to shine insight on our lives. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

As one of the oldest and most widely used and relied upon personality tests in the world, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has been both scrutinized and glorified. Every year, two million people take the 93-question assessment exam that’s been translated into 30 different languages to evaluate personalities for their career, education, management or leadership roles, relationships, counseling, parenting, team development, or simply for their own personal curiosity.

The test was designed by two psychological theorists, Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a mother-daughter team, during World War II as a way to measure the cognitive preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. The test’s typological theories were originally proposed by Carl Gustav Jung in 1921, who divided an individual’s psychological functions into four different categories, which produced 16 different personality types. After years of studying his work, Briggs and Myers constructed a type indicator test that could assess the normal population with the assumption that we derive our preferences from the way we perceive our experiences, interests, needs, values, and motivations.

The MBTI went through three decades of revisions based on the test results they collected from thousands of people in order to make the test as accurate as possible, and by 1975 the Consulting Psychologists Press Inc., published the test and made MBTI accessible to the public. It asks a wide range of questions based on Jung’s thoroughly tested theory that the seemingly random variation of our behaviors is actually orderly and consistent when seen through a self-reflecting lens.

Each person is given a four-letter acronym formula at the end of their exam, which gives them a score for each category they were tested in, according to the MBTI Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

The first letter represents your “favorite world” and reveals if you prefer to focus on the outer world, which would score you an “E” for extraversion, or if you focus on your inner world, would score you an “I” for introversion. The next category is “information," which scores your preference to interpret and add meaning.

The letters represent one of two options, giving you a total of four different letters and a chance to fit into 16 different personality types. Each letter is given a percentage, indicating how strongly you fit that letter. For example, if you score 10 percent extraversion, you don’t fall into that category as strongly as a 90 percent extraversion person does, making it difficult for two people to reach the exact same scores. The test evaluates the following categories and provides a total score that can tell you about how your four mental functions interact and which ones dominate your personality.

Favorite World:

  • Extraversion (E): Outgoing, engaging, friendly, energetic, enthusiastic, vivacious, communicative, and warm
  • Introversion (I): Independent, thoughtful, controled, deliberate, reserved, self-motivated, self-reliant, and focused

Information:

  • Sensing (S): Practical, hands-on, realistic, down-to-earth, sensual, detail-oriented, traditional, physical, observant, and factual
  • Intuition (N): Innovative, complex, forward-thinking, idealistic, visionary, sees patterns, unconventional, imaginative, and theoretical

Decisions:

  • Thinking (T): Analytical, objective, rational, unsentimental, levelheaded, logical, pragmatic, outspoken, and tough-minded
  • Feeling (F): Compassionate, warm, caring, personable, expressive, sympathetic, ethical, and humanitarian

Structure:

  • Judging: Organized, hardworking, methodical, orderly, determined, authoritative, ambitious, dedicated, and decisive
  • Perceiving: Tolerant, open-minded, responsive, spontaneous, adaptable, adventurous, changeable, and unstructured

 

In order to test the efficacy of Jung’s theory and the execution of Myers and Briggs, the writers and editors at Medical Daily took the test. The test has become a psychological assessment owned by CPP and used by certified professionals that must be distributed by trained instructors at testing centers or colleges and universities. However, there is one test accessible online that is provided by Human Metrics, called the “Jung Typology Test,” which uses the same typology formula Jung and Myers used for their personality assessments. Do we put too much faith and reliance into man-made personality exams or is the test an accurate reflection of who we are, how we act, and why?

After 13 Medical Daily staff members were given the 70-question Human Metrics exam, they were asked whether or not they agreed with the results and if they believed it was an accurate assessment of their personality. Generally, people agreed with their results, but that doesn’t mean everyone put as much credence as others.

“As for how legitimate the test is, I’m torn,” said Chris Weller, who scored as an INTJ in the Human Metrics Jung Typology Test. “It certainly makes it easy to answer how you’d like to see yourself. Maybe as you get older the test grows to reflect the added life experience, making it more accurate. But people are fallible no matter how old they are, so who knows?”

People were asked to answer yes or no to questions they agreed with the most, such as “You are almost never late for your appointments” or “You often contemplate the complexity of life.” The consistency in which they answered similar questions provided them with a percentage for each four-letter type with its own reflective title.

“I think personality tests capture the essence of who you are and how you feel that particular day you take the test, but I don’t think they are 100 percent valid descriptions,” said Lizette Borreli, who scored as an ENFJ in the Human Metrics Jung Typology Test. “People’s personalities tend to change and evolve throughout the years, so these results, in my opinion, could only be applied to who you are in that given point in time.”

In-Office Results:

3 ISFJ, “the protector,” makes up 14 percent of the general population and his/her ideal career would be in medicine, counseling, or teaching. In romantic relationships, he takes the role as the communicator, appreciates tradition, is considerate, and wants a relationship that allows him to be helpful and dutiful to his loved ones. Famous people of this personality type include: Mother Teresa, Kate Middleton, Ed Bradley, and J.P. Morgan.

3 INTJ, “the mastermind,” makes up two percent of the general population and his/her ideal career would be in medicine, technical writing, or finance. In romantic relationships, his communication is detached and although he can be difficult to read, he has an unwavering pursuit of the ideal mate. Famous people of this personality type include: Stephen Hawking, Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, and Sir Isaac Newton.

2 ISTJ, “the inspector,” makes up 12 percent of the general population and his/her ideal career would be in medicine, engineering, or management. In romantic relationships, he is loyal, reliable, and often assumes the typical gender role while providing the stability in his home. Famous people of this personality type include: Queen Elizabeth II, Harry Truman, George H.W. Bush, and J.D. Rockefeller.

2 ENFJ, “the teacher,” makes up three percent of the general population and his/her ideal career would be in medicine, administration, or writing. In romantic relationships, he is warm and a compassionate partner with significant insight, who prioritizes harmony even at the expense of himself. Famous people of this personality type include: Oprah Winfrey, Pope John Paul II, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Phil McGraw.

1 ENFP, “the champion,” makes up eight percent of the general population and his/her ideal career would be in editorial work, design, or therapy. In romantic relationships, he is collaborative and with his high empathy, he enjoys understanding his partner’s motivations. While he can seem unreliable, he is really emotionally connected and places great importance on pursuing dreams. Famous people of this personality type include: Dr. Seuss, Robin Williams, Bill Clinton, and Mark Twain.

1 ESFP, “the performer,” makes up nine percent of the general population and his/her ideal career would be in medicine, teaching, and sales. In romantic relationships, he is enthusiastic, lighthearted and avoids conflict, which can make him seem less serious, but he prioritizes socialization along with his loved one’s affection. Famous people of this personality type include: Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, and Paul McCartney.

1 INFP, “the healer,” makes up two percent of the general population and his ideal career would be in medicine, teaching, or litigation. In romantic relationships, he is supportive and loving along with his good sense of integrity. He craves harmony and emotional engagement, and respects and values his partner deeply. Famous people of this personality type include Mohandas Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Emily Bronte, and Jimmy Carter.

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