MBTI: Unveiling the Personality Test’s Past, Present, and Pitfalls

  There is a popular question on the Internet: Do you support colleges and universities using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test to allocate dormitories? Of course, this is just a small microcosm of the controversy surrounding the MBTI personality test in reality, and discussions about it have remained high.
The past and present life of MBTI

  The difference between E and I people who are very popular in society today comes from the MBTI personality test. There is a simple way to distinguish between E person and I person – E person: How can you recognize them without speaking? Person I: How can I talk if I don’t know you? Tony Leung and Carina Lau once appeared together at the Golden Rooster Awards Ceremony. The two had various interesting interactions, which can be called a classic dialogue between the “social fear tribe” and the “social bull tribe”. The two became “representatives of the I and E people” . The MBTI personality test divides people into 16 different personality types. Many people mistakenly believe that it was founded by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, but in fact Jung only provided the theoretical basis. Moreover, Jung did not divide people into 16 types, only 8 psychological types.
  In 1913, Jung proposed two attitude types: extroversion (E) and introversion (I). In 1921, Jung proposed four functional types in his book “Psychological Types”: Sensing (S), Intuition (I) N), thinking (T) and emotion (F). Later, he combined 2 attitude types and 4 functional types to form 8 personality types: Extraverted Sensing (ES); Extraverted Intuition (EN); Extraverted Thinking (ET); Extraverted Feeling (EF) ) and Introverted Sensing (IS); Introverted Intuition (IN); Introverted Thinking (IT); Introverted Feeling (IF).
  American Catherine Cook Briggs read Jung’s “Psychological Types” in 1923 and was deeply inspired. She and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers developed the MBTI. Based on the theory, the dimensions of “judgment (J)-perception (P)” were added to form 16 different types of subjects’ personality, and the earliest MBTI scale was launched in 1942. Therefore, the full name of MBTI is named after the mother and daughter’s surnames, and has no direct relationship with Jung. According to MBTI theory, personality type can be determined from 4 basic dimensions:
  extroversion (E) – introversion (I); feeling (S) – intuition (N); thinking (T) – feeling (F); judging (J) —Perception (P).
  Each dimension is composed of two opposing levels, which are finally combined into 16 types of personality. Each personality has its own corresponding traits and tendencies. Although this set of theories and tests has a “subtle” origin, it is easy to understand and clear enough that anyone can use it directly, so its popularity and promotion rate are quite high. It can be said that this mother and daughter stood on the shoulders of giants and put Jung’s theory of psychological types into practice, which directly led to MBTI becoming more famous than Jung himself.
The results of MBTI

  MBTI has indeed become somewhat popular in recent years and has become a new social symbol for young people. If you scroll through social media, you can see a bunch of personality analysis videos everywhere. In this complicated world full of uncertainties, we are so eager to know ourselves. In addition, we are accustomed to birds of a feather flocking together, and we are too eager to find “similar people” and carve out a safe territory for ourselves in a common circle. Humans are such complex creatures. They say they hate being labeled and reject stereotypes, but in action they are keen on labeling and seeking definition.
  Driven by such contradictory psychological needs, after more than 80 years of practice and development, MBTI has now become a common personality test in the world. It is widely used in career planning and professional selection around the world, so it is also called ” Occupational Personality Test”. Many companies use it as a “killer weapon” in employment selection. “10 minutes, 28 questions, see what kind of job you are suitable for!” 》——”People’s Daily” also published Weibo related to the MBTI test in 2015.
  There are 28 self-assessment multiple-choice questions. The number of questions is not large and the question type is very simple. From this, 16 personality types are distinguished, and type analysis and references for suitable fields and occupations are given. Through MBTI, people can understand their own behavior patterns, career tendencies, and how they interact with others to a certain extent. This personality theory quickly became popular and widely used, playing an important role not only in the field of psychology, but also in fields such as education, career counseling, and human resource management. Nowadays, in addition to employment tests, personality tests have also begun to be used for dating and dating, which shows its great influence.

  When facing the MBTI test results, we need to pay attention to some “traps”.

  Some people say: Although MBTI provides everyone with 16 labels, each label is understandable, but the social division of labor is different. There is no superiority or inferiority in itself. It does not bring pressure and does not offend anyone. You can be a serious and responsible ISTJ, suitable for working in the industrial and commercial fields, and government agencies; you can be a loyal, dedicated and considerate ISFJ, suitable for the medical field, and the service industry; you can be an enthusiastic, cheerful, naive and straightforward ESFP, suitable for trade, commerce, Work hard in the cultural and sports industries; you can also be an ENTP who is unconventional, innovative and confident, suitable for children’s education, psychologists, designers, etc. In short, each type is unique and has irreplaceable advantages and specialties. There are no natural losers, only geniuses who have been misplaced in their fields.
  The MBTI personality test can, to a certain extent, become the starting line for self-awareness, helping confused people find a breakthrough, and providing a basis for psychological taste for the confused and eager to divide camps who have nowhere to settle. There is naturally a market for personality test questionnaires that can respond to needs concisely and clearly.
Is MBTI worth fully trusting?

  Although MBTI is one of the most successful test systems, it has also been pointed out that it has loopholes and shortcomings. The controversy surrounding it is as high as its popularity. Some people feel that character positioning is too simplistic and ignores the complexity of people and the fluidity of personality.
  Can the MBTI personality test really define us? Putting aside the accuracy of MBTI itself, you must know that the test is dead and the person is alive. In fact, there are many factors that will affect the accuracy of MBTI: the mood of the test at the time, the fluidity of the psychological state, the purpose of the tester, Conformity and likability factors…these are all worth weighing and exploring.
  MBTI satisfies the public’s curiosity and expectations for personality description and matches each test taker with a proprietary personality model. However, when facing the MBTI test results, we need to pay attention to some of the “traps” involved.
  Beware of the “Barnum Effect.” Whenever the MBTI test results come out, most of the people being tested will marvel at why the test is so accurate. In fact, this is the psychological phenomenon of the “Barnum Effect” at work. The Barnum Effect is a psychological phenomenon proven through experiments by American psychologist Bertram Fowler. He believes that everyone will easily believe it. A general and general personality description is particularly suitable for you. Even if this description is very empty, you still think it reflects your personality, even if you are not such a person at all. Various mind-reading techniques that are popular in online space and circles of friends, quizzes on your past, present and future, and zodiac predictions are all the most typical manifestations of the “Barnum Effect”. Blindly “acting yourself” according to the test results will be counterproductive and lead to limited personal development.
  Beware of “labeling.” The MBTI test results will make you form a fixed mindset. Simply dividing everyone into 16 types will intensify young people’s habit of “labeling” others, thus ignoring the richness and complexity of human nature. Each person’s personality is made up of countless details and cannot be completely defined by just four letters. There is a good reference method on Douban, and almost every MBTI personality type has its own group. Each member of the group has the same test results, but they will not fight too much with the MBTI test results. Instead, they will turn the conversation to more real inner thoughts and more specific real-life situations. This allows each living individual to grow together through communication.
  The main purpose of developing MBTI by Catherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers is to inspire people and make people correctly understand the differences between people, so strictly speaking MBTI is A type of “metric” rather than “assessment”, the emphasis is on “enlightenment” rather than “testing”. Flexible thinking is very important. Making MBTI work for yourself without being led astray is the core. We long to be defined, but we should not be defined.

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