History of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicatory 

The Theory Behind the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator 

Guiding Principles and Questions of the Myers-Briggs Test 

What makes people different? 

The 8 MBTI Preferences 

  1. Sensing vs. Intuition 
  2. Thinking vs. Feeling 
  3. Extraversion vs. Introversion 
  4. Judgment vs. Perception

The Role of Dominant and Auxiliary Processes in MBTI 

All 16 Personalities Need Each Other! 

The 16 Myers-Briggs Personalities 

Extraverted Thinking Types: ESTJ and ENTJ 

Introverted Thinking Types: ISTP and INTP 

Extraverted Feeling Types: ESFJ and ENFJ 

Introverted Feeling Types: ISFP and INFP 

Extraverted Sensing Types: ESTP and ESFP 

Introverted Sensing Types: ISTJ and ISFJ 

Extraverted Intuitive Types: ENTP and ENFP 

Introverted Intuitive Types: INTJ and INFJ 

Evaluating the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator 

Does the MBTI actually work or is it just a bunch of BS? 

Why is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator so popular? 

What would Myers and Briggs think of the MBTI today? 

Is there a better personality test? 


 The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was invented in the 1940s by a mother and daughter pair, Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. Together, they adapted the personality theories of Carl Jung into a questionnaire that groups people into one of 16 personality types.

Since the 1980s, the MBTI has become wildly popular in nearly every facet of society and has expanded personality testing into an estimated $2 billion market. Despite its success, most psychologists reject the MBTI, as it lacks experimental evidence.

History of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator:

As Merve Emre, author of the book “The Personality Brokers: The Strange History Of Myers-Briggs And The Birth Of Personality Testing”, describes in an NPR interview, the story of the Myers-Briggs personality test is an unexpected one. The mother and daughter pair who developed the MBTI wasn’t even psychologists. 

 The mother, Katharine Briggs, was an exceptionally bright woman who entered college at age 14. Briggs graduated as the class valedictorian and married the man who ranked just below her. Even though she was incredibly smart, Briggs was expected to become a housewife, while her husband worked as a scientist. 

 To satisfy her academic side, Briggs began doing personality tests on neighborhood children by having their parents fill out questionnaires. Each question only had two options, like is your child calm or impulsive? Does he get upset very often or rarely? Does he sleep in your bed at night or sleep by himself? Briggs then used the results to create personality types and give each child a specially designed education plan. 

After creating this initial version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Briggs discovered Carl Jung’s Psychological Types and wrote to him to learn more about his personality types. Briggs became fascinated with Jung’s theories and passed that enthusiasm and knowledge down to her daughter, Isabel. When Isabel got older, she used her mother’s knowledge of personality types to develop a new trajectory. 

Her mother had thought of personality testing as a religious/spiritual quest to discover your true self and live your best life. Isabel Briggs Myers came up with the idea to use personality questionnaires to sort people into jobs that are best suited to their strengths and weaknesses. This questionnaire was very similar to the popular MBTI we have now.

 The first person to purchase the MBTI was a director of the OSS (CIA’s predecessor), who used the MBTI to sort secret agents to the missions that best suited their personalities. The MBTI slowly gained popularity in hospitals and wellness centers, and in the 1980s became very popular with corporations. 

 Today, 2 million people take the Myers Briggs Type-Indicator each year, and the CPP (the business that owns the MBTI) makes around $20 million a year, mainly off the indicator. 200 federal agencies and 89 of the Fortune 100 companies use it. The personality testing industry has grown exponentially, and according to Emre, it is now estimated to be worth a whopping 2 billion dollars!

The Theory Behind the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator:

Guiding Principles and Questions of the Myers-Briggs Test

What makes people different? 

  • Jung suggests that people are different because they like using their brains in different ways In childhood, we like one way of looking at the world more than the other, and therefore use and develop it. By adulthood, this preference grows into a set of observable traits. 

The 8 MBTI Preferences: 

  • Sensing vs. Intuition (S vs. N)
  • Thinking vs. Feeling (T vs. F)
  • Extraversion vs. Introversion (E vs. I)
  • Perception vs. Judgment (P vs. J)

Every person has a different combination of these 8 MBTI preferences, and each combination is a unique personality type. That makes a total of 16 different personality types.

Sensing vs. Intuition

  • According to Carl Jung’s Psychological Types, sensing and intuition are the two different ways people perceive the world (how we become aware of people, situations, and ideas).
  • As the name implies, sense refers to observing the world through our 5 senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste). Intuition refers to relying on the unconscious to connect abstract loose ideas; think of the expressions “a hunch” or “a woman’s intuition.”
  • People who prefer sensing focus on reality and what’s right in front of them. On the other hand, people who prefer intuition focus on possibilities and hypotheticals. For example, when reading a book the former will focus on the words on the page, and the latter will look between and beyond the lines for abstract ideas and possible themes. The MBTI assigns S for sensing and N for intuition. 
Sensing Types Intuitive Types
Look for enjoyment and pleasure Look for inspiration
Observant, not as imaginative Imaginative, not as observant
Generally content, enjoy the present Generally restless, have trouble enjoying the present
Copy others in desires and possessions Original in desires and possessions
Dependent on their environment Independent of environment
Hesitate to give up pleasure in the present for future gain Easily give up pleasure in the present for future gain
Choose joy of living in the present overjoy of accomplishment Choose joy of accomplishment overjoy of living in the present
Weaknesses: Could become shallow Weaknesses: Could become capricious and not have enough resolve

Thinking vs. Feeling

  • Thinking and feeling are two methods of judgment (coming to conclusions). Some people favor logic and thinking (an objective process), while others prefer using emotions and feelings (a subjective process). 
  • Children who like thinking excel at organizing information and ideas as adults. Children who prefer feeling excel in human relationships as adults. MBTI assigns T for “Thinking” and F for “Feeling”. 
Thinking Types Feeling Types
Choose logic over sentiment Choose emotions over sentiment
Usually impersonal Usually personal
Prefer honesty over tact and delicacy Prefer tact and delicacy over honesty and the blunt truth
More likely to be skeptical of others’ judgments and ideas More likely to automatically agree with others and think like others
Good at being frank and businesslike Good at being friendly and sociable
Unknowingly bad at socializing and being friendly Have difficulty in being frank and businesslike
Can organize information and ideas in a clear, logical manner without repetition Can ramble and repeat themselves often
Contribution to society: question societal norms and engage science and research Contribution to society: support good works and serve the community. 
More common among men than women. More common among women than men.

Extraversion vs. Introversion

  • Jung proposes that some people prefer to concentrate on the outside world while others prefer the inner world (extraversion and introversion, respectively).
  • Introverts like to focus their perception and judgment on concepts and ideas, while extroverts would rather focus their perception and judgment on people and the environment. 
  • Although introverts can navigate the outer world and human relationships well, they do their best work in their own heads. Although extroverts can work well with ideas, they do their best work by acting. 
  • According to Myers and Briggs, the EI preference (extraversion or introversion) is completely independent of the SN and TF preferences. 
Extraverted Types Introverted Types
Think after acting Think before acting
Relaxed and confident. Readily dive into new experiences Reserved and skeptical. Cautious in going into new experiences
Minds are outwardly directed to the real world.  Interested in events happening in the immediate environment Minds are inwardly directed. Interested in inner thoughts and often unaware of the immediate environment.
Action and practical achievement Ideas and abstract invention
Usually sociable and more comfortable with people and things than ideas Usually shy and more comfortable with ideas than people and things
Unload emotions as they move through life Bottle up and guard emotions

Judgment vs. Perception

  • The fourth and final preference is between judgment and perception as attitudes. Jung didn’t include this preference in his original 8 types, so it’s unique to Myers and Briggs.
  • Myers and Briggs believe we all use both judgment and perception, but we can’t use them simultaneously. For example, when we reach a conclusion we are only using the judgment attitude. The perception attitude is irrelevant because we have already gathered all the evidence. When we are still gathering evidence, we only use the perception attitude because it’s too early to make any judgments. Therefore, we switch back and forth between judging and perceiving. 
  • According to Myers and Briggs, people often find one attitude more comfortable than the other. 
Judging Types Perceptive Types
More decisive than curious More curious than decisive
Prefer to stick to plans, standards, and customs Live according to the moment and adjust easily to the unexpected
Make good life decisions but don’t take advantage of the unexpected Take advantage of the unexpected but don’t necessarily make good life decisions
Depend on logical judgments from themselves or others to avoid the unexpected Depend on being ready for the unexpected
Prefer to decide quickly on things so they can plan for the future Prefer to keep decisions open as long as possible
Think or feel they know what others should do and don’t hesitate to tell them Don’t feel they know what others should do
Enjoy getting things finished and out of the way Enjoy starting new endeavors 
Often believe the perceptive types are purposeless drifters Often believe the judging types are robotic and not living life to the fullest
Determined and very disciplined Flexible, adaptable, and tolerant

The Role of Dominant and Auxiliary Processes in MBTI

  • Myers and Briggs believed that the 4 preferences don’t have equal weighting in determining most people’s personalities. Most of us have a dominant process.
  • For example, if someone is an ESF (extraverted, sensing, and feeling) but enjoys feeling more than sense, then his or her dominant process is feeling. He or she becomes an ESFJ because feeling is a method of judgment. 
  • If an ESF enjoys sensing more than feeling, then his or her dominant process is sensing. He or she becomes an ESFP because sensing is a method of perception. 
  • Myers believes that in order to be well-balanced people, we need to develop our auxiliary processes. 
  • In the previous example, the ESFJ would have to develop their sensing, and the ESFP would have to develop their feeling. 
  • Extraverts show their dominant process to the outer world and use their auxiliary process for their inner worlds. If extraverts can’t develop their auxiliary process, they would become too extreme in their extraversion and come off as superficial.
  • Introverts show their auxiliary process to the outer world and use their dominant process for their inner worlds. Introverts dislike revealing their dominant process to the outside world because it would disrupt their privacy and peace. If introverts don’t develop their auxiliary process, they have little ability to deal with other humans and new situations. 

All 16 Personalities Need Each Other!

Intuitive Types Need Sensing Types

  To provide problem-solving experience

  To help them remember important      facts and details

  To illustrate urgency of situations

  To help them stay in the present

Sensing Types Need Intuitive Types

  To bring up new possibilities

  To provide insight and creativity during problem-solving

  To help them prepare for the future

  To inspire them

  To help them look forward to the future

Feeling Types Need Thinking Types

  To analyze

  To organize

  To catch mistakes early on

  To reform effectively

  To be consistent

  To make logical, reasoned decisions

  To be frank, tough, or stubborn when necessary

Thinking Types Need Feeling Types

  To persuade others, especially to   persuade others of the thinkers’ ideas

  To resolve conflicts

  To predict how others will react to the thinkers’ actions

  To inspire

  To teach others

  To appreciate the thinker


The 16 Myers-Briggs Personalities:

From: https://blog.adioma.com/16-personality-types/

     What follows is an in-depth analysis of the 16 personality types in accordance with how Myers presents the types in her book. All examples of famous people with a given personality type come from https://www.16personalities.com/. However, these examples should be taken with a heavy grain of salt. Almost all of these famous people haven’t actually been tested. Instead, MBTI “experts” analyze their traits and behaviors and sort them into one of 16 personalities.

Extraverted Thinking Types: ESTJ and ENTJ

  • Analytical and Impersonal
  • Like organizing, criticizing, and regulating the outer world
  • Natural Leaders
  • Very disciplined
  • Strict observance of rules
  • Don’t hesitate to order others
  • Enjoy getting things done on time
  • Can get in trouble when they force their judgments on others 
  • Can be excessively harsh
  • Common Careers: Industry, Business, Administration
  • Famous ESTJs: John D. Rockefeller, Sonia Sotomayor, Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Famous ENTJs: Steve Jobs, Gordon Ramsey, Margaret Thatcher, Whoopi Goldberg


  • ESTJs are frank and practical due to their reliance on sensing. They avoid the intangibles and are excited by new objects, people, situations, and activities (all things that appeal to their senses). ESTJ is the most common MBTI type for men.


  • ENTJs are interested in new possibilities and intangibles due to their reliance on intuition. ENTJs are insightful visionaries and use their vision and insight to solve complex problems. They see the big picture easily but often forget about the details. 

Introverted Thinking Types: ISTP and INTP

  • Analytical and Impersonal
  • Good at dealing with concepts and ideas (if INTP) and facts (if ISTP) but not necessarily people
  • Often shy, especially as children
  • Resolute in their intellectual goals, which can cause conflict in their social and emotional lives
  • Relatively adaptable
  • Have trouble getting others to understand their ideas
  • Don’t know what matters to others emotionally
    • Myers advises ISTPs and INTPs to praise others when praise is due and find points of agreement with others before disagreeing
  • Common Careers: Scientists, Academics, Engineers, Statisticians
  • Famous ISTPs: Michael Jordan, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood
  • Famous INTPs: Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Kristen Stewarts, Bill Gates


  • ISTPs are interested in practical and applied science. Due to their sensing and high intellect, ISTPs are good at understanding the visible and tangible laws of physics and mechanics. Their sensing ability also makes them good craftsmen. Many ISTPs skillfully analyze data and facts, which makes ISTPs great analysts and statisticians in business and industry. 


  • INTPs are the most intellectual of the 16 personalities. Their intuition makes them great abstract thinkers and philosophers. They love research and problem-solving. INTPs aren’t great communicators and often overcomplicate their explanations of ideas. Myers advises INTPs to avoid the dangers of blindly following their intuition without considering the facts.

Extraverted Feeling Types: ESFJ and ENFJ

  • Prioritize strong relationships with others
  • Friendly, tactful, and empathetic
  • Good at expressing their emotions when appropriate
  • Organized and tidy, expect others to be the same
  • Like to get things done quickly
  • Idealistic and loyal
  • See others’ strengths easily
  • Care too much about others’ opinions of them
  • Can jump to conclusions easily
  • Famous ESFJs: Taylor Swift, Bill Clinton, Steve Harvey, Jennifer Lopez, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack


  • ESFJs are practical, great conversation partners, and interested in attaining material possessions (ex. big houses). They excel in careers in social impact, especially medicine and healthcare. They go into a variety of careers but need space for sociability in whatever they do.


  • ENFJs are more academic than ESFJs and enjoy learning new things. They use their kindness and insight to excel in careers as teachers, clergy members, counselors, and psychiatrists. 

Introverted Feeling Types: ISFP and INFP

  • Prioritize inner emotional peace
  • Best at individual work that allows them to practice their values
    • Ex. art, literature, science
  • Have deep, strong emotions but don’t express them
  • Independent from others’ opinions
  • Strong sense of duty, but don’t impose their wills on others
  • Idealistic and loyal
  • Warm and passionate when you get to know them
  • Open-minded and adaptable
  • Want careers where they are contributing to something bigger than themselves
  • Avoid conflict
  • Famous ISFPs: Lana Del Rey, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears
  • Famous INFPs: William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkein, Alicia Keys


  • ISFPs are practical, live in the moment, and meet the demands of their environments. Of the 16 personalities, they are one of two types that are strongly inclined toward medicine. Many ISFPs enjoy beauty and proportion and are therefore skilled craftsmen. They love nature and animals. ISFPs often lack confidence and are the most humble of the 16 personalities. 


  • INFPs shine in considering new possibilities and therefore go into jobs like counseling, teaching, science, and research. They often have a gift for language due to their strong imagination and insight. 

Extraverted Sensing Types: ESTP and ESFP

  • Realistic and practical
  • Easy-going and fun to be around
  • Curious about new things that appeal to their senses (ex. Food, people, activities)
  • Generally apathetic toward new ideas or concepts
  • Enjoy life and chase after new experiences
  • Good with facts and details
  • Usually conservative, prioritizing tradition
  • See the world for what it is
  • Excel at both making plans and improvising
  • Enjoy exercise and sports
  • Common Careers: Engineers
  • Famous ESTPs: Ernest Hemingway, Eddie Murphy, Madonna
  • Famous ESFPs: Marilyn Monroe, Adele, Jamie Foxx


  • ESTPs’ reliance on thinking causes them to make logical decisions and understand the consequences of those decisions. ESTPs have a great judgment in straightforward issues. Although they are skilled communicators, ESTPs prefer action more than conversation.


  • ESFPs are friendly and excel in human relationships. They see others’ strengths and weaknesses easily. ESFPs are often athletic and may be artistic too. Myers says ESFP’s preference for feeling may make them too lenient as parents.

Introverted Sensing Types: ISTJ and ISFJ

  • Perfectionists
  • Responsible and hard-working
  • Most practical of the introvert types
  • Patient and persevering
  • Enjoy routine
  • Prefer facts and clear statements
  • Most emotionally stable of 16 personalities and give stability to others
  • Most successful when others recognize their talents and put them in the right environment
  • Accept their strengths and weaknesses but are usually too modest
  • Judgment helps them deal with the outside world but should use perception when dealing with people
  • Interesting Quirk: Preference for sensing causes them to have strong, unpredictable reactions to things but introversion causes them to keep these reactions private
    • When they reveal these reactions to others, they’re often absurd or hilarious
  • Famous ISTJs: Denzel Washington, Natalie Portman, George Washington
  • Famous ISFJs: Beyoncé, Queen Elizabeth, Halle Berry


  • ISTJs are logical, decisive, and analytical.  ISTJs’ strong decision-making skills make them good executives if they are extraverted enough. Their attention to detail makes them good lawyers and accountants. ISTJs readily help others, but often don’t understand others’ needs. ISTJs frequently go to great lengths to help people even while criticizing those people’s carelessness or foolishness. 


  • ISFJs are loyal, considerate, and strive for the common good. They make good doctors and nurses because of their combination of a great memory and emphasis on feeling. 

Extraverted Intuitive Types: ENTP and ENFP

  • Excel at seeing possibilities
  • Original and independent 
  • Great at starting new endeavors but bad at finishing them
  • Enjoy problem-solving
  • Impulse-driven and hate routine
  • Clever, passionate, opinionated, and charming
  • Can be inspiring and wise
  • Throw themselves into whatever inspires them but move on quickly
  • Myers advises them to choose their endeavors carefully and stick to them as best as they can
    • Need to develop their judgment
  • Famous ENTPs: Sarah Silverman, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison
  • Famous ENFPs: Robert Downey Jr., Robin Williams, Quentin Tarantino, Kelly Clarkson


  • ENTPs are independent and analytical, making them good executives. Although charming, they often forget how their actions affect others. They go into a wide variety of fields, such as business, science, and marketing.


  • ENFPs are more passionate than ENTPs and better with people. Like ENTPs, they go into a wide variety of fields. They are often inspiring teachers, scientists, or artists. 

Introverted Intuitive Types: INTJ and INFJ

  • Driven by inner vision, see possibility in the impossible
  • Stubborn
  • Individualistic
  • Love problem-solving
  • Want to forge new paths
  • Motivated by inspiration
  • Spontaneous
  • Insightful
  • Emotionally unstable
  • Famous INTJs: Michelle Obama, Friedrich Nietcszche, Elon Musk
  • Famous INFJs: Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa


  • Out of the 16 MBTI personality types, INTJs are the most independent. They are trailblazers in their fields and excel in business, research, invention, and design. INTJs are often blind to others’ emotions.


  • INFJs are interested in other people. They excel at getting others to understand and cooperate with them. INFJs use their insight and vision for the common good and have a keen ability to start their own movements.

Evaluating the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator:

Does the MBTI actually work or is it just a bunch of BS?

       The MBTI has little scientific evidence to back it up and is therefore not accepted in the scientific community. However, thousands of people around the world swear they MBTI works and has helped them significantly. Personally, I think the test can be a good tool for learning about yourself, but definitely shouldn’t be used to make any major life decisions, like who to marry or what career to go into.

What does Science have to say about the MBTI?

  • Despite being so popular, the test has little scientific evidence to support it. Even Jung’s original ideas on personality types were untested. Myers successfully tested the MBTI on medical students and other groups, but other researchers could never reproduce her results.  As Wharton organizational psychologist Adam Grant explains, researchers have found that the MBTI fails on 4 measures of legitimacy.

Reliability – (Are the results consistent?)

  • 50% of people who retake the test after 5 weeks get placed in a different personality type 

Validity (Does the MBTI make accurate predictions?)

  • There’s very little evidence that personality type affects job performance or the ability to work in teams.

Independence (Are the categories mutually exclusive?)

  • The MBTI forces people into 1 of 2 categories: Thinking or Feeling. It turns out psychological research says people who have high logic and thinking skills also have high emotional skills. In other words, thinkers are also usually feelers, so it makes no sense to separate people into thinkers and feelers. 
  • Most people are ambiverts (about equally introverted or extraverted)

Comprehensiveness (Does the MBTI assess all major categories?)

  • Doesn’t assess emotional stability vs. reactivity
    • This category measures people’s tendency to stay collected under pressure. Psychologists have found that this category is one of the best predictors of individual and group thought patterns. 
  • MBTI doesn’t assess introversion vs. extraversion well
    • One of the biggest differences between introverts and extroverts is that introverts are more sensitive to noise stimulation
      • MBTI doesn’t factor in this crucial measure

What do the MBTI’s advocates have to say?

Although Merve Emre, author of “The Personality Brokers: The Strange History Of Myers-Briggs And The Birth Of Personality Testing”, doesn’t believe in the prediction ability and some of the language of the MBTI, she does believe in how the test makes people feel, and how it frees them in some sense. Thousands of people all across the globe swear by the Myers Briggs Test, and the internet is full of anecdotal evidence of the indicator’s value. 

A 2015 Atlantic article describes the ability of Leon Sao, a life coach and MBTI meetup organizer, to identify his peers’ MBTI personality type. He says he sees patterns in how the 16 personalities interact with each other. For example, the FJ types often get annoyed at the TJ types for breaking group cohesion with their brutal honesty. When he gets people off the same Myers Briggs type together, they usually have similar career and personal problems.

The same article also describes a counseling psychologist, Manju Pradhan, who has her patients fill out the MBTI. Pradhan is an INTJ, one of the most socially awkward of the 16 personalities. INTJs like playing devil’s advocate, which can make other types feel uncomfortable and cause other types to alienate the INTJs. Pradhan says she feels this alienation even more as a woman, as she is expected to be nurturing instead of being logical.

However, even strong believers of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator know it isn’t perfect. Pradhan says each person isn’t going to meet all characteristics of their assigned personality type. Instead, the Myers-Briggs test gives a good average experience of each type, and individual experiences will often deviate from the average experience. 

Why is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator so popular?

When corporations and Wall Street popularized the Myers-Briggs test in the 1980s, they were big on marketing the self, and the MBTI was a great way to do that. Eventually, the MBTI became a tool of convincing workers that their employers are looking out for them by helping them learn more about themselves, even when that’s not necessarily the case. 

On an individual level, the MBTI makes people feel good about themselves, and more importantly, makes them feel understood. Many people take the MBTI when transitioning to a new phase in their lives, like starting a new job or going to college. People want to know more about themselves during these transition phases, and the MBTI serves that purpose.

Moreover, the MBTI allows people to talk about themselves in a non-judgemental way. In her NPR interview, Emre says “many of us grow up, or at least I did, thinking that who I was was the sum total of what I had accomplished. And I think it really shifts you away from that language of accomplishment toward a language of the self.” Emre explains that people don’t have to apologize for being themselves, and can even use their personality type as an excuse for their weaknesses.

Of course, that’s not at all what Myers and Briggs intended. They wanted people to learn more about themselves through the MBTI, recognize their weaknesses, and then work on those weaknesses. Although each of the 16 MBTI personalities has weaknesses, today’s online Myers Briggs tests emphasize the strengths of each personality type much more than the weaknesses.

What would Myers and Briggs think of the MBTI today?

Emre suspects that both mother and daughter would be shocked and disappointed by how the MBTI is used today. 

Katharine Briggs didn’t even want her theory of the 16 personalities to be made into a personality test. She didn’t think a simple questionnaire wouldn’t be enough to determine someone’s personality type; only long periods of observation could do that.

Emre thinks Myers wouldn’t like how commercialized and unregulated the free MBTI tests have become. She especially wouldn’t like all the knockoff Buzzfeed surveys that sort people into Hogwarts houses or TV show characters. She would consider them as mockeries of her invention. 

Is there a better personality test?

Yes. Psychologists use the Big Five Inventory, which measures extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness (includes traits like sympathy, kindness, affection), conscientiousness (includes traits like organization and tidiness), and openness to new experience (includes traits like insight and imagination). Psychologists have found that these five personality traits emerge in most cultures.

They are also good predictors (or at least way better predictors than the MBTI) of job performance and teamwork. Neuroscientists have even discovered that some of the Big Five personality traits map to different brain regions. Grant believes the Big Five Inventory faces a marketing problem, and that’s why it hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as the Myers Briggs test. 



Grant, Adam. “Say Goodbye to MBTI, the Fad That Won’t Die.” LinkedIn, Linkedin, 17 Sept. 2013, www.linkedin.com/pulse/20130917155206-69244073-say-goodbye-to-mbti-the-fad-that-won-t-die.

“How The Myers-Briggs Personality Test Began In A Mother’s Living Room Lab.” NPR, NPR, 22 Sept. 2018, www.npr.org/transcripts/650019038.

“Is There Any Science Behind the Myers-Briggs Test?” Knowledge@Wharton, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 8 Nov. 2018, knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/does-the-myers-briggs-test-really-work/.

Myers, Peter B. Gifts Differing. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2010.

“Personality Types.” 16Personalities, NERIS Analytics Limited, www.16personalities.com/personality-types.

Srivastava, Sanjay. “Measuring the Big Five Personality Domains.” Personality and Social Dynamics Lab , University of Oregon, pages.uoregon.edu/sanjay/bigfive.html#cite.

Strauss, Ilana  E. “Finding Yourself Through the Myers-Briggs Test.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 16 Sept. 2015, www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/09/people-love-the-myers-briggs-personality-test/404737/.

Stromberg, Joseph, and Estelle Caswell. “Why the Myers-Briggs Test Is Totally Meaningless.” Vox, Vox, 15 July 2014, www.vox.com/2014/7/15/5881947/myers-briggs-personality-test-meaningless.