Hello everyone! 

 First off, for those of you who celebrate Easter, Happy Easter! I hope you all enjoy this round of research. In this round, I focussed on the reliability of the MBTI personalities and the possible flaws with the test.  Here is what I found: 

  Many people have taken the MBTI test - it is so popular, nearly 2.5 million people a year (1) take it! Of course, it is impossible to create a perfect personality test, (4) however, this test is more controversial than I imagined. Some psychologists have even "cautioned future users" (2) as if they believe the test is dangerous. Organizations such as The US Office of Strategic Services, as well as The US Educational Testing Service do not believe the MBTI test is valid. (9) Some psychologists have even claim it is "one of the worst personality tests in existence." (3) There are a variety of reasons why some psychologists despise this personality test so deeply. 

  The test is poorly constructed, poorly worded, and repetitive. The questions are apparently "confusing," and some questions are irrelevant and do not contribute anything to the test. Some questions even give false information. (3) Psychology Today says, "There are many serious psychometric problems associated with MBTI." (4) Many questions within the test also repeat themselves (as some people mentioned in the comments of my last round, they often ask the same question twice, but phrase it differently!) Psychologists also believe the test has "...not been clearly established using factor analytic techniques." (5)

   

  Image source: (2.1) 

  There is also little to no scientific evidence to support the MBTI test (which I found surprising) and it is often compared to pseudosciences such as astrology. (3) (9) 

  The test overlooks important parts of a person's personality. (6) People cannot be purely one thing or another - "personalities are continuous." (5) A personality is made up of both letters in an MBTI pairing - everybody simply just has more of one than the other. For instance, I am both introverted and extroverted, but I am definitely more of an introvert. Merve Emre, an English professor at Oxford University, concludes that the test “annihilates individuality” by simply trying to fit people into boxes. (9) The test also appears to use a "forced choice format," (5) meaning the client can only choose one answer or the other; it doesn't "depend on the situation." 

Image: (2.2) 

  MBTI focuses more on preferences than personality. All the MBTI types are based around preferences. (6) Do you prefer to live a structured lifestyle? Your result for the J/P pair is likely Judging. Do you prefer to make decisions based on emotions? Your result for the T/F pair is likely Feeling. With that said, workplaces often use the MBTI test to determine whether or not a candidate would be satisfied with a particular position. (7) 

Image: (2.3) 

  The MBTI test only represents the person at one point in time. Personalities change over time, so there's no way a personality test would represent who a person is their entire life. (8) A personality changes with life experiences, interests, and of course, results would be very different if the test was administered before, during, and after puberty - somebody could have a very different result at eleven years old than if they took the test again at eighteen years old. (4) 

Image: (2.4) 

The test is biased. In many cases, people who take this test choose answers that reflect the person they want to be seen as, rather than the person they truly are. (8) However, even though this isn't entirely the test's fault, the test is "built on the creator's subjective feelings about personality." (3) Many tests are influenced by the opinions of whoever created it.

  The test heavily relies on self-reported data - the MBTI simply uses information from whomever is taking the test, rather than gathering data from outside. I am unsure of how data can be collected from outside without being invasive. True, the client has to be honest with their answers, however, the test allows them to choose whatever answer they want rather than choosing the best answer. 

 Lastly, the mother-daughter duo who created the test had no formal training in psychology to begin with. Myers and Briggs designed the questions based around Jung's psychological types. (10) 

  So, the MBTI test is not necessarily a reliable personality test. That doesn't mean it isn't a fun activity to do! It is always interesting to try different personality tests and see what they may say about you, and it is totally okay to use the test as a tool for self-reflection. (4) However, psychologists encourage folks not to take the test too seriously.

  I encourage anyone who is interested to explore the MBTI test for fun, to reflect on who you are, or to gain knowledge about it, but not necessarily to believe everything it says. Remember, it is only placing your personality in a box - you may not feel it best represents you because there are several more layers to who you are! 

Sources: 

(1) https://www.psychologytoday.co...ti-the-fad-won-t-die

(2) https://www.tandfonline.com/do...7/s15327752jpa4803_4

(3) https://www.scientificamerican...e-personality-tests/

(4) https://www.psychologytoday.co...t-myers-briggs-types

(5) https://www.researchgate.net/p...riggs_Type_Indicator

(6) https://www.psychometric-succe...-tests-how-they-work    

(7) https://www.theguardian.com/ca...nality-test-accurate  

(8) https://www.medicaldaily.com/p...-not-reliable-416652  

(9) https://www.forbes.com/sites/m...owners/#55acef02fb31 

(10) https://knowledge.wharton.upen...gs-test-really-work/

Pictures from top to bottom: 

(2.1) https://www.google.com/search?...mgrc=ui8i5O2WSIc82M:

(2.2) https://www.google.com/url?sa=...ust=1555830444915909

(2.3) http://www.clker.com/clipart-532694.html

(2.4) https://www.123rf.com/photo_55...up-illustration.html

 That's all I have for now! In my next round, I will be looking at some interesting ways in which the test is used, and the concept of test-retest reliability. As well, I will be looking at an alternative personality test I learned about along the way. After that, I will start to conduct surveys. Thank you all for reading, and as usual, all comments are welcome! 

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Original Post

Hey Sophie!


Great round of research! It's so unique and every reader can also go and see exactly what you're researching by taking the quiz and forming their own opinions based off of the results. You brought up some very good points that I wouldn't've considered, such as the fact that the results aren't truly reliable as our personality changes and is shaped by our experiences and our interactions, so the immediate result we get may not apply at different instances in our lives. One point that you made, however, I had some different views on. You discussed how the test repeated some things a lot, oftentimes with different wording, and this could be viewed as a 'filler'. However, I think that the creators are trying to confirm the result that they have based on your previous answer, to see that you will continue to select similar options and therefore confirm your personality type. This way, I actually think that the test is more reputable/believable.

Anyways, just a few comments on this really interesting research you're doing, keep up the hard work ! : )

Juliana Nunes (Charles Best) posted:

Hey Sophie!


Great round of research! It's so unique and every reader can also go and see exactly what you're researching by taking the quiz and forming their own opinions based off of the results. You brought up some very good points that I wouldn't've considered, such as the fact that the results aren't truly reliable as our personality changes and is shaped by our experiences and our interactions, so the immediate result we get may not apply at different instances in our lives. One point that you made, however, I had some different views on. You discussed how the test repeated some things a lot, oftentimes with different wording, and this could be viewed as a 'filler'. However, I think that the creators are trying to confirm the result that they have based on your previous answer, to see that you will continue to select similar options and therefore confirm your personality type. This way, I actually think that the test is more reputable/believable.

Anyways, just a few comments on this really interesting research you're doing, keep up the hard work ! : )

Hi Juliana! 

 Thanks for your comment. I like your theory about the test repeating itself to confirm the personality type - I didn’t think of that at all! I figured most of the questions would confirm the personality type answers by asking different questions related to the same thing, but your theory seems possible. I’ll have to look at it a bit more in my next round. 

  Thank you so much for commenting! 

Hey Sophie,

Your research this week was very fascinating to read. For example, I had no idea the people who made the test had no formal training in psychology--that's mind-boggling. Additionally, there's no science backing up the test? Wow. I agree with the source that says the test focuses more on preferences than personality, I found that too. Because I don't like being the center of attention, I am automatically labelled as an introvert, regardless of whether or not I like to be around people to recharge or not. It would be neat if you looked into some remedies on how to make this test more science-backed and personality-based. Perhaps you could even develop a mini-test of your own!

Good luck with your research, I really look forward to reading what you find next time
-Joanna

Hi Sophie,

That was a really enlightening round of research! I didn't know that Myers and Briggs were not trained psychologists, and it was interesting to think about how our personalities change over time. I think, as Joanna said, that the test focuses on preference rather than personality. However, I do believe that most people retain their core or primary values, regardless of how their facade may change. If there were a test that asked questions revealing people's true inert nature that could be repeated periodically throughout their lifetime, it may be more 'accurate'. I think a lot of people who have read your research also took the Myers-Brigg test, so when you start surveying, maybe you could make your own version of the test using your acquired knowledge that you believe is less biased and backed by more facts.

Good luck!

Hi Sophie,

Fantastic round of research! Your research flowed really nicely and it was super interesting to read and learn about the different reasons why the MBTI personality test isn't entirely reliable. I definitely agree that the test gets rid of any individuality by placing people into certain boxes, because personality is much more complex than that. Furthermore, there are sometimes questions that I have difficulties answering because, like you said, it depends on the situation. Therefore, not all the questions might be answered accurately, in addition to the fact that it's easy for someone to answer the questions based on the person they want to be and not the person that they really are. However, I don't think that this test should necessarily be something to be "despised", I just think that people need to know to not take their results too seriously. One thing that I'm interested in is how these test results can affect some people, in terms of lifestyle, career choices and perception of oneself. 

Here are some websites you might want to give a read:

https://www.psychologytoday.co...t-myers-briggs-types

https://www.psychologytoday.co...ty-test-can-hurt-you

Good luck!

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