Hello lovely people, 

 This is going to be my last "traditional" research round, because in the next few weeks I am going to be conducting surveys. I will keep you all up to date on the data I acquire and I will absolutely continue to post. Anyways, back to the research. 

Is it possible to make the MBTI test more reliable?  “Personality is qualitative." (1) It doesn’t have exact numbers, but it’s more about qualities, so it is often difficult to find concrete answers to any personality test. Of course, The Myers and Briggs Foundation claims “the MBTI instrument meets and exceeds the standards for psychological instruments in terms of its reliability," (1) and that the “Reliability [of the test] is as good or better than other personality instruments,” which is something we would obviously expect them to do. However, The Myers and Briggs Foundation also firmly believes in "Test-retest reliability," or taking the test multiple times to see if it is reliable.   

 There is some evidence as to why the test-retest reliability theory could be reliable. “On retests, people come out with three to four type preferences the same 75-90% of the time.” (1)  As well, when a pair changes in a retest, “it is usually [only] one of the dichotomous pairs” (ex. They may get I the first time and E the second time.) (1) 

The Myers and Briggs Foundation also argues that “if personality [types are] real, then we should be able to use MBTI to understand and predict people’s behaviours to some degree.” (1)

 “Reliability is how consistently a test measures.” The goal of test-retest reliability is for the person to come out with the exact same answer both times. (1) But, since often one or more of the dichotomous letter pairings will be different, there is no way to prove that test-retest reliability is plausible. 

  Is there an alternative personality test that is more valid?  Psychologists study personality by looking at traits of an individual and how the traits apply in a certain context. “Reliability does improve if using a numeric score instead of a category. Ex. if you’re 56% extroverted, you’re an extrovert.” (2) Most people don’t extremely identify with one category, they’re usually somewhere in the middle. “The MBTI test can predict how people answer questionnaires, but not how they react in real-life situations.” (2) As well, the MBTI traits “tend to change in different situations.” (2) 

Psychologists have developed other ways of determining personality, such as “Asking hundreds of questions and coming up with key, consistent personality traits based on their answers," as well as determining personality based on these five categories: “The Big Five.”

  • Openness to new experiences
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

 “Personality tests that measure where you fall on the spectrum with these traits tend to be more reliable then MBTI.” (2) The Big Five focuses on consistent, real-life situations. It won’t assign a personality type, but it's evidence-based and has more scientific research to support it’s credibility. It focuses on individual thoughts, feelings and actions. (2) It compiles every word that could be considered a personality trait, and asks simple, straightforward questions about them. The Big Five mostly shows where you land on a spectrum of personality traits comparison to others who have taken the test.(3) Psychologists support theories like The Big Five that conclude “we all have similar personality traits or characteristics, but the extent to which we possess the trait differs.” (4) 

Despite the MBTI theory being challenged, what are some possible uses for it, or ways it has been used? 

 In WWI, military were supposed to study mental problems and personality, and USA military used personality tests to filter out soldiers who weren’t mentally fit to fly aircraft. (3) 

MBTI has also been used commonly when hiring new employees. (5) (6) Isabel Briggs-Myers was intrigued by how personalities affect the workplace - she called the test an “indicator” because “test” sounded like it was separating good from bad. Briggs-Myers thought personality test would help sort people into jobs they would be suited for. (6) In the past, the test has worked and been successful because it’s simple. Psychologist Dr. Dean Burnett, disagrees with the test’s reliability because there is little scientific foundation/evidence that supports it, and believes that many people only take it because they know or know of people who have taken it.

  Human Resources representative Ben Newman believes the test is reliable and builds self-awareness, allowing the individual to understand how they interact with others. Also believes MBTI “[tackles] social stigma” and that “extroversion is one of the biggest misunderstandings in the workplace” and that the MBTI test has helped employees to understand what it truly means - extroverts don’t necessarily have better social skills than introverts. He also supports the test because of its simplicity. Newman also believes that personality does fluctuate, so it is completely likely that a personality may change at different times - however, this supports the theory that the test may not be reliable because it only reflects the person’s personality at one point in time. (7) 

 MBTI has also been used when “matching” couples for online dating sites. But, the test doesn’t have any scientific evidence to decide whether or not a couple is compatible. (5) (6) 

 

Additionally, Katherine Briggs was interested in the use of the MBTI test as a parenting tool. She was intrigued by how a person can find out which personality type their child is and realize what their strengths and weaknesses are. (6) 

“Perhaps the best use for MBTI is for self-reflection.” - Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D (5) 

Sources: 

(1) https://www.myersbriggs.org/my...-validity.htm?bhcp=1 (VERY biased.) 

(2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN6_K6ALeZI

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

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

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

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

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

Pictures from top to bottom: 

(1) https://www.militaryfactory.co...aft/ww1-aircraft.asp

(2) https://pngtree.com/freepng/fr...ication_2370177.html

(3) https://www.google.com/url?sa=...ust=1556492799327431

(4) https://www.gograph.com/vector...hildren-dancing.html

  Thanks for reading! Next time, I will be starting to conduct surveys and create questions. In terms of a presentation in the future, I am thinking of creating my own personality test based on the research I've gathered, so if anybody has suggestions for that, please let me know. Comments are always welcome! 

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Hi Sophie,

Great round of research! It was interesting to see more than one perspective on the MBTI personality test, and how receiving numeric scores may be more valid than being placed in certain categories. In addition, while I had heard about personality tests being used for employment and career choices before, I had no idea that it was also used for the US military during World War 1, so I learned something new! I think it's a really good idea you have to create your own personality test, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Here are some websites that might help you with that:

https://www.truity.com/blog/how-personality-test-made

https://www.psychologytoday.co...-personality-testing

https://courses.lumenlearning....sessing-personality/

Good luck!

Hey Sophie, 

I really liked this round of research! I thought that your closing quote was very impactful, because of its truth. Personality tests are really just a basis for self-reflection, and being categorized isn't necessarily a be-all end-all. People are always changing, so a test capturing your personality in one moment actually may spur you to change your perspective, and this may change your test results. I'm really excited to try your personality test if you choose to make it. Good luck!

Hey Sophie!

Another great round! Like Maiya, I was really impacted by the quote you included at the end of your research - I really do agree with it. Based on your research and my own test-taking, I've realized that self-reflection is the best use of these tests. People can't fit into categories and basing job, war, and romantic decisions based on these made-up categories does seem a bit ridiculous. Nevertheless, I do enjoy reading the results of these personality tests - but I still consider them with a grain of salt. 

Also, I really love the idea of making your own version of an MBTI test - I'd definitely be interested if you decide to do that!

Great job on this round and good luck with the next one!

Hellloooo @Sophie Holland (LFAS) - Alumni

MBTI. Personality traits. A really cool concept! Especially when nowadays it's even more well researched and looked at that a lot of tests are really accurate. Of course these personalities generalize and only *portions* apply to a person. Still really amazing for the progress in this area.

What I found interesting from this round was about the dating apps. We see psychologists really getting involved with companies in games and advertising. Dating apps logically makes sense this would be an area psychologists are working in as well! Technological era has just begun, wonder how many years from now will we have a higher yield in accurate matchmaking? 

At last, your quote at the end that its "for self reflecting" might be the safeguard route for now. Using it as a way to consider and think about yourself. Which can lead to the betterment and improvement of you. 

Can't wait to see your posts of updates on the data from what you find! 

~Jim
CA
CBSS

Hi Sophie!
Great research round! I really like how you formatted it in a way with pictures that made it especially interesting to read. To me, one of the most intriguing parts was how they test soldiers to see if they are mentally fit to do things such as flying planes. It makes me wonder what types of personalities are considered “good” or “bad” for the job and how they know it just wouldn’t work. Maybe if your interested, you could sort out what personalities are good for different jobs and why they are.
Here’s some websites to help you out:

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/ww...-articl/mb-simpl.htm

https://www.truity.com/view/types

Good luck!

Hello Sophie,
Great “traditional” round of research! If you do make a personality test, I’d be interested in taking it. The fact that they use to for jobs though I don’t think makes much sense personally because of the fact that personalities are much much more diverse than a few general adjectives, and even then written tests for reactions in real life aren’t the best at identifying how people would actually react or mix in. I really like how you formatted your post though, all of the pictures, bolding and coloring of lines really helped to draw attention to important details. If you do decide to do the survey, one of the questions that might help maybe if the person prefers indoor or outdoors.

Hopefully, these websites help:
https://theconversation.com/wh...schoolchildren-94125
https://www.scientificamerican...e-personality-tests/
https://sapa-project.org/ #This one was actually just an interesting personality test I found while looking up websites
https://www.newyorker.com/maga...tests-really-deliver

Hi Sophie! 

This is a great research idea! I recently took the MBTI personality test for a planning 10 assignment, and I was surprised by how accurate some of the results were, however, I did disagree with several of the thing the website said about me. Because of this, I find MBTI tests to be unfit in judging what job someone should have or how they react in the workplace. As you said, it's more for self reflection. 

I thought that your portion about dating apps was very interesting, and I have always wondered how the app pares people together. Does it go off of similarities? Or does it use the opposites attract theory? There are a lot of ways to go about matching people, but technology is still advancing, so I don't think there is a right or wrong answer yet.

Her is a website that explains the algorithm of dating websites, if anyone else is interested: https://hypepotamus.com/commun...ating-app-algorithm/

Great job on your research so far, and I look forward to taking your personality test!

-Jasmine P

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