Who Are You?
Are you introverted or extroverted? Sensing or intuiting? How about a thinker or a feeler? For some, these questions are really simple. We know where we lean when it comes to the binary of personality descriptors, but what happens to the rest of us? Those who feel a bit like this
when it comes to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Those of us who can take the test three times within a week and get three different results.
Well, people are not quite so distinct. Quite simply, people don’t fit on the MBTI and it’s not a very good indicator of personality. Ask your neighborhood psychologist or psychiatrist and they will tell you they do not use the MBTI in their work.
So how did these supposed personality types come into being? Carl Jung, a psychiatrist and psychologist from Switzerland, thought that people generally fall into eight different descriptors. In his book, Psychological Types, he places people into two attitudes — extroverted, or focused on the outer world, and introverted, or inward focused. After that, comes four functions — thinking, sensation, intuition, and feeling — and while they may vary depending on the circumstance, there will usually be one superior function and one acting behind the scenes as an inferior function.
But with all of that, Jung also stated, “My typology is far rather a critical apparatus serving to sort out and organize the welter of empirical material, but not in any sense to stick labels on people.” And he also said, “…every individual is an exception to the rule.”
Despite all of that, in 1944, Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers created a type indicator extrapolated from Jung’s work meant to help women entering the workforce for the first time select suitable jobs to aid in the war effort.
Fast forward to today and contrary to evidence that shows that the test does not correspond to how personalities are in actuality, employers and friends alike take the test to determine information about someone.
So why does this test produce $20 million yearly for its creators? Why is it so dang popular if the science is stacked against it? Well, you can’t really get a negative test answer and the results are vague enough to where you think you maybe fit in to a particular category.
While this test may not be able to tell you a whole lot, or anything at all, about your personality, it is p fun to take and compare with your friends. Just rely on it as you would a Buzzfeed quiz about your socks defining you or your monthly love horoscope.