The Trend of Personality Tests – The Reliability of MBTI


MBTI, a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, is an online personality test that was designed to assess psychological personality types. From the founders of analytical psychology, there was a psychiatrist named Carl Gustav Jung. The well-known ‘psychological theory’ is amongst the myriad of famous theories created by Jung. Based on this theory, the Personality Indicator, an American named Catherine Briggs, and her daughter Myers created the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), which determines the psychological traits people have that influence their attitudes in the process of recognition and judgment. The test assesses four categories: introversion or extraversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. The MBTI has globally received love from many people. Based on a survey sent to students at FIS, 97.4% of people have taken the MBTI test before. 

According to the data collected from our survey, the dates when subjects most recently took the MBTI test varied. However, a majority of them first took the test in 2020. These answers suggest that the MBTI started gaining attention around 2020 just like many other psychological tests.

In December of 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic started spreading from Wuhan, China. Due to its fast spread and deadly symptoms, countries all around the world began national lockdowns to avoid major critical situations. Since people weren’t able to go anywhere, they naturally started looking for something online to relieve their boredom and social isolation. As a result, the personality tests, which give a personality analysis at the end, became widely popular. Moreover, people who became interested in MBTI created many applied versions of the MBTI test such as bingos, characters, and many others, which led others to easily come across MBTI.

However, what made the MBTI so popular amongst the myriad of personality tests? How is the MBTI different from other personality tests? The reason for this higher interest may lie in its accurate division into 16 personality groups. In the 16 personality MBTI test, which is the most famous website for testing MBTI, many explanations are written that divide you into one of the 16 groups. Due to its precise division into these 16 personality types, many people questioned the accuracy of the results, which eventually ended up gaining more people’s attention. 

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, many people believe that it is impossible to define all 7 billion people in the world with only 16 personality types. However, there are several positive sides to the MBTI test, which proves that it is a trustworthy test. Based on a question from our survey that asks: “How credible do you think MBTI is?”, nearly all subjects agreed that the test is very credible. Another question asked: “Where do you find it useful? Where do you or where do you think other people use it mostly for?”, there were diverse answers given by the subjects. Some examples were:

It lets me know more about myself, especially about career paths. After the test, not only that I  got to know my MBTI, but also my strengths, weaknesses, etc. It also helps me when thinking about my future. Also, there are many posts on the internet that talk about MBTIs, so I can find out which jobs will fit me.” 

“Just in understanding themselves better. Maybe in getting ideas of what they want for the future or what kind of people they are good with. It is in a way a small guide to those people who want to know more about the personality type that they are most associated with.”

“Just like I mentioned above, I think it is useful when trying to find out your weaknesses in your personality because it tells it to you which gives you the idea of how to improve on it without making mistakes or giving disadvantages to yourself and other people.”

One of the main reasons that makes the MBTI test a brilliant source lies in its usage as a conversation topic. Discussing each other’s MBTI result is a casual and comfortable topic to talk about at the beginning of any relationship. It helps you especially when you want a closer relationship, getting to know more about each other. For instance, through our research, we found out that marital relationships got better as they became acquainted more with each other’s personalities. “Through MBTI, I learned more about my husband’s personality, so our fights reduced, and it became a fun experience”, 

“It gave me an opportunity to accept who I am and to know more about myself.”

There’s also an MBTI compatibility chart on the internet that explains the best MBTI pairs, which adds more interest to people who wonder about their chemistry between them and acquaintances, which is a very natural thing. Also, finding others with the same MBTI can help people feel like they belong more to that social group. Furthermore, people can easily relate with others by empathizing with others of the same MBTI.

Even though there are many positive sides to the test, excessively believing in something always leads to negative effects. Some people claim that the MBTI test is really only made for entertainment and is absolutely not scientific. This leads to the question: To what extent can people trust the MBTI? The MBTI is a psychological test with a long history.

Actually, opinion that the test lacks credibility comes from the fact that the 16 personalities website, that is considered official, was actually created by an unqualified British company that stole the MBTI indicators. The people who do not believe in the official site claim that people are doing a ‘fake’ test with no scientific backing.

Despite these disagreements, Psychologists say the MBTI has the same credibility and validity as other scientifically proven psychological tests. Although initially criticized for its weak theoretical basis, MBTI has continued to answer the questions and overcome their shortcomings. Therefore, saying that MBTI is a non-scientific personality test made only for entertainment is quite wrong. Experts say that just as medicine should be prescribed by pharmacists, the MBTI tests and other personality analyses should also be given by qualified professionals. This is a way to ensure  that the tests  will help people understand themselves, rather than be used for fortune-telling. 

MBTI’s aim is to understand a person better, but defining a person by just his or her MBTI test result isn’t the purpose of MBTI. There are many more sides to a person that you will find very interesting outside of the test. MBTI is solely made for entertainment which means that r the test users should not live their lives based on the test results. MBTI does not ever define you. You are an excellent person with brilliant sides that everyone around you adores.