Hello fellow INTJ's,
Lately I have been questioning the validity of the Myers Briggs Personality Test. This questioning was due to the fact that, I noticed that almost all websites with descriptions of personalities never had much negativity to be said. The closest thing to a flaw was when a website said that, "INTJ's tend to be arrogant and condensending..." This was immediately followed by a positive reinforcing comment. In my research, I have found that the test, made by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, was first created for women during WWII to find a suitable job. These young women were not psychologists, they merely admired the work of Carl Jung. Upon further research, I have found that the MBTI is guilty of having/using the Forer Effect. Continuing upon that, I have quotes from Carl Jung himself describing how it is wrong to classify all people of a type into a single group The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. I am just wondering on what others have to say, all of this research actually holds weight that balances the test.


BSweet (not verified) says...

I find that while most people don't fit perfectly into their tested MBTI they still exhibit the major functions of their type. For example, I'm an INFJ and it's typical of my type to not be very orderly or organized. However, because I'm always seeking to grow I have learned to work on my weaknesses. I have worked to become a very organized person. Otherwise, I'm a solid INFJ.

Concerning the Forer Effect I think it would better describe astrological horoscopes than MBTI. MB stresses that not all people fit perfectly into their type depending on one's individual experiences and whether they've learned to work through/identify the use of the functions.

Instead of using the shoe analogy I would say that each MBTI type is a different color and within a particular type there are different shades of that color.Just my two cents...

Hfontana (not verified) says...

I have had many similar thoughts about the validity of MBTI. I would add that when replicated on the same subjects after two weeks, even formal MBTI tests produce different results 50%. This is quite a huge margin of error, turning MBTI almost into a coin toss. Other criticisms include that thinking and feeling within cognitive psychology cannot be understood as opposites. They occur often simultaneously together, and the notion, for example, that thinking people are in general unfeeling, or that highly feeling people are irrational is simply patently false. I mean, how often do we actually run into either, that Mack truck of a person who seems to be purposely crushing the feelings of others towards some goal of efficiency and ambition, or alternatively, that flimsy airhead romantic who can never make firm decisions. These are stereotypes that I think belong to cinema and not real life.

A criticism you raise that I think is valuable is that MBTI overly stresses the positive characteristics of personality. Not to say that these types should be a tool for self-defeating behavior, but there are clear problems with this method. I think the clearest of these is that when you consider the vast array of personalities, how they see the world and possibly what kinds of things they are suited to, one might look at this and say people are so different that life will always amount to chaos and miscommunication and an inability to satisfy others may outnumber their opposites. I also look at some of the "less successful" and "more prone to mental illness" types and think there must be one, much cultural bias going on here (valuing success in $), but also the possibility that people change their personalities to fit these structural frameworks in human life.

I look at how the type descriptions try to describe, what, the common motivations of these personality types, particularly certain action theories and philosophies they may hold. I find it a little dubitable that you could scrape a persons motivations out of their heads with a test. A summary of behaviors and preferences, yes, may help you pick a career or find a romantic partner, but can it tell you what to think? And should this be the purpose of any personality test, is it even ethical?

Guest (not verified) says...

I agree that the results are questionable. However, that does not mean that there is nothing to be learned or gained through the test. I do not agree with the all-positive feedback either, that is just an ego-stroking trick to draw people in. However, when you look at the typical internet INTJ stereotype, what you find is mostly negative, at least in a sociological light. This is strongly disagree with, as it is dehumanizing and untrue. No matter how INTJs think or act, we are all still humans to, and though we may deny our feelings, deep down we are looking for the same things as anyone else - love, acceptance, and respect (especially important). We just tend to struggle more with understanding our feelings.

When I first found out that I was an INTJ, and what that meant, there was a huge feeling of relief, like a burden being lifted off. I realized that there were other people like me and that I was, perhaps, not as much of an alien as I thought. The test is useful, at least in that way. Another benefit of the test is that it brings like-minded people together. Perhaps it is not the test that should be questioned, but the research behind it. I know that some of it has been quite useful, for me, at least, on my own personal journey of advancement in finding out about myself. Understanding oneself is the highest form of enlightenment.

Talking strictly within the boundaries of the definition of an INTJ, we should not allow ourselves to get puffed up by any ideas that we are "special" or "superhuman" or "rare." This separates us further from others and caused our arrogant streak to show. Not our proudest moment, I think. Once again, we are only human. That said, each person has traits and talents that distinguish them from the rest. All this to say, you are not special because you are an "INTJ," you are special because you are a human being with many unique factors that cannot all be defined by a single test. You are more than your INTJness. You can rise above that definition of yourself. Don't let a silly biased test, or an internet meme, or anything else, for that matter, tell you who you are, how you should think, or how you should act.

When I was a newly labeled INTJ, I realized that I had allowed that definition to take over, and I thought for a while that I had an excuse to treat others badly or to think badly of others. This was very wrong of me, of course, but it's so easy to look down on others when you're told you're special. I know better now. In the meantime, learn as much as you can. It's best to appreciate and celebrate all the wonders and benefits of being an INTJ, (without letting that define you completely), while at the same time humbly accepting your failings, and being able to see and celebrate the traits in other people that make them unique too. The more you know, the more accurate you assessment will be. If you are able to do that, you're golden.

Just my opinion on the test. Wishing you all the best, mate.

- A fellow INTJ (female, age 21)

Alexandra van niekerk (not verified) says...

Very well said 21 year old guest :). I think that if you test results are INTJ, the first thing that should come to mind is "how accurate is this test and is it only geared to the western civilization"? I too was relieved to know that I'm not the only one out there, but tend to take the result with a grain of salt. I have been around a lot longer than you (50) and are sometimes frustrated by always having to explain myself why I don't do this or that.This test gave me a confirmation that I'm not as weird as some people perceive me to be. Just be yourself, take some advice from your test results, try to improve and move on. 1% percent of the world population is still approximately 70 million people with INTJ traits ;).

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