Skip to comments.Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless
Posted on 07/17/2014 8:52:34 AM PDT by EveningStar
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is probably the most widely used personality test in the world.
An estimated 2 million people take it annually, at the behest of corporate HR departments, colleges, and even government agencies. The company that makes and markets the test makes somewhere around $20 million each year.
The only problem? The test is completely meaningless.
(Excerpt) Read more at vox.com ...
I am right on the edge of introvert/extrovert ... so much so that different versions of the test have me on different sides of the line.
Is that anything like the Briggs-Stratton test?
“Meaningless” is a meaningless term.
When I was in college, our entire Computer Science class took the Meyers-Briggs. Over 50 students. Every last one of them scored INTJ. I was the closest to an exception, getting nearly 50-50 on I vs E and P vs J.
Comp Sci people are bound to be INTJ; it fits the demands of the discipline. Does this mean you should say, “So, you’re INTJ.. you should be a Comp Sci major”? No. I guess that makes it “meaningless” to the author. But it DOES mean that there is some validity to the testing. And the presence of that validity means that there must be some use.
Its not a personality test used by clinicians because it is a test of personality preferences with no clinical value. The most common clinical tests of personally functioning are the MMPI-2 and the MCMI-3.
I looked for citations of multiple studies failing to show any efficacy of MB but didn’t see any in the article.
It’s actually pretty standard that when people take the test multiple times they get different results. It’s one of the reasons the test is considered meaningless, any psych test that can give different results on different days is at best a parlor game.
I was cool with the test until they asked me about my Mother.
Suggested career paths:
President of Bolivia
BTW, HR people are IMNVHO, the scum of the corporate world. When did they get away from making sure restrooms were properly marked and figuring out vacation schedules into corporate policy?
OMG, I know, I know, it is hard work coming up with good candidates. That perfect Asian/Hispanic/Afro-American Transexual with Bi-Polar Issues, a Single Mom/Dad, some Native American Ancestry, and Programming Skills is just not out there sometimes. (Hint: Try India?) But the hardest part is coming up with HR jargon to defend ignoring qualified male causasian candidates over 40.
Perfect HR Candidate? Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. or II.
No. The Briggs-Stratton test conclusively determines whether you are two stroke or four stroke.
I always have trouble with this test when it comes time to mow the damned lawn...
I remember when my employer had a bunch of us take the test. The results showed the majority to be subservient. In other words, it was a nice gimmick for the employer to use to tell employees they didn’t have the personality to think on their own or challenge their boss.
I wouldn’t even call Carl Jung “anti-Christian.” He had beliefs which conflicted with Christianity, but he did not blame terrible things on Christianity, or find it on the whole to be more harmful to the human race than any organic substitute would be. In fact, he probably took some of the anti-Christian edges off of Freudian psychology and made much of it useful to Christianity. For instance: Freud blamed Christian “repression” for subconscious motivations; minus that bias, the subconscious can be seen as the mechanism for concupiscence.
“Subservient” is NOT one of the Myers-Briggs personality test. If someone is characterizing a Myers-Briggs trait, or some combination of them, as subservient, that is their own invention.
I worked at a hi tech company (1990) where the HR VP decided she would slot everyone in a database with their Meyers Briggs type for who knows what use....without permission...I told her ADMIN to get me off that list...and shortly thereafter left....I HATE being TYPED....btw...I THINK I was INTP...on the day I took the test...
If someone gets different results, that can only mean they changed their answers. You can’t blame a test which asks about preferences for fickleness; you can only note that such fickleness decreases the accuracy (which is an entirely different measure than validity).
I just skimmed the article, and that appears to be the flaw: Meyer-Briggs (arguably) is a good indicator of one’s personality-type, but anyone using its results to predict future performance is engaging in what Hayek alluded-to when he created the term, “fatal conceit.”
That one tests your horsepower
These lawnmower gizmos are designed NOT to start when operated by people wearing flip-flops. It's an OSHA thing.
I must admit, as far as pedicures go, it looks like, you know, could be really quick?
INTP's hate being typed, incidentally. :)
People like it because it is simple to "interpret," easy to take, and like horoscopes, has a positive interpretation for every outcome. Important when you have 20 million dollars in earnings at stake.
Oh, baby, do you have THAT right! I have never worked for a firm in which the HR people were anything less that stupid, venal, craven and useless for anything except protecting their own phony-baloney jobs.
[ Gracie, You has failed your Briggs-Stratton Test! ]
Taht’s not a pic of me, I usually wear some actual Boots when I mow the lawn, however I usually end up in that stance when the mower won’t start.... I need a new mower...
They do change their answers, that’s part of the problem. The questions are vague enough and subject enough to the whims of your mood that your answers won’t stay the same from day to day. And that’s most definitely a problem with the test. A good psych exam a person will answer the questions the same way over and over and over (barring long term changes in personality of course) because the questions are focused on core personality traits that don’t change. Simply how much sleep you have will change your MB results, go take the test now and retake it right before bed time, you will probably have different results. Which makes it very much NOT a personality test.
Could the rise of HR departments can be traced the glut of government regulation of employer/employee interaction? You need an entire department to merely keep track of it all.
Since you agree with me, Doc, why you must be OK! But we mustn't be cruel. HR may serve some purpose, after all. HR is often the place where corporations stash Affirmative Action Ani who could wreak havoc in the financially productive sectors of the operation.
Again, Barack Hussein Obama is the perfect HR candidate. This gay jackass would be hired at any American corporation with an HR Department in a heartbeat. You? I don't know.
I bounce between ISTJ and INTJ depending on the exact wording of the questions.
Complain to the EPA. Ethanol in our fuel is the death of many a small engine.
I'm CPSS (Choke Pull Stutter Start) on the Briggs-Stratton test.
So, at a former job, a million years ago, I needed to take one of these tests (not a Myers-Briggs, but one like it) for a three-day, off-site work retreat.
I didn't particularly like the job or the people, and I wasn't planning to stick around for very long, so I read over what the test measured. One of the measures was "Dominance", so when I took the test, I made sure that my answers would score high in that category ... figuring that it would give me carte blanche to be a complete a$$ to everyone for three days. :-)
Instead, senior management looked at the results and said "Hmmmm. I see that you score high in "Dominance". How would you like to be a manager? It comes with a nice promotion and this large pile of money." ....So, I said "Allrighty, guess I'm 'dominant'"....and I managed their field team for a couple of years until I moved on to greener pastures.
True story. Also shows the value (or total lack thereof) of tests like this.
The only value i got out of this test was learning why the department manager in the equities division was such a POS.
INTJ with Scorpio rising.
What in the world is cagoule? How about “could” instead.
I now see where Obama is an ENTP according to this, but I think the author misreads Obama as a discontented centrist would, rather than as someone familiar with his Alinskyite tactics would.
Fascinating post on INTJ’s clustered in computer science.
I am INTJ, but not a techie. Writer and developmental editor. Also close to center in I vs E, depending upon what’s going on in my life at the time. Working as a department head, I was much closer to E; retired, definitely I. I’ve seen this categorized as XNTJ.
INTJ’s comprise only .03% of the female population. I share this distinction with Hitlery, if certain analysts are to be believed. Big sigh.
I favor the ancient Greek’s quadrant approach (Galen’s four types: cholerics, melancholics, phlegmatics, and sanguines). Add that there only two types of humans (conscious and unconscious, relating to recognizing why they do what they do), and you have a very useful sorting system.
One would think that preferences would dictate actions. As an INTJ, I'm inclined to seek certain lines of work. Anyone who hired me to deal with the public would be very sorry very soon, and so would I. But give me a research project, and I'm happy as a clam. Clam being the operative word.
Brilliant! Your original work?