Illustrations by Geo Park. Graphic design by Alyssa Chang.
Illustrations by Geo Park. Graphic design by Alyssa Chang.

Is the MBTI Test Overrated?

November 10, 2021

It is with no doubt that Korean people are currently swept up in the trend of MBTI – and students at DIS are no exception. MBTI stands for Myers Briggs Type Indicator: a personality test that sorts people into 16 types based on their answers to a long survey of 96 questions. Each MBTI personality type is composed of four letters, which can be constructed from the following traits – Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I), Sensing (S) or Intuition (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). However, there are contrasting opinions concerning the MBTI test. Some argue that people have excessive faith in the MBTI test, while on the other hand, some say that it helps to know one’s personality on a deeper, more relatable level. The controversy leads us to the question – is the MBTI test overrated?

Yes, It’s Overrated

The MBTI test is an entertaining source for learning more about your personality; however, this is not the best assessment for true self-perception. The 16 types of the MBTI are based solely on hackneyed, trite ideas. The test does not define a person completely, instead trapping them into one of 16 stereotypes. Supporters of MBTI tests argue that it might help you connect with similar people. But because the MBTI places people into molds rather than personality traits, it is most likely that those with stereotypically similar personalities will connect only on a shallow level. 

Most importantly, the creators of the test are not psychologists, which severely decreases the credibility of the MBTI test. It’s no wonder they concluded that stereotypes could give us insight into the human psyche – their lack of expertise is why the MBTI is an unprofessional measure that simply pigeonholes people into certain conventions.

Advocates of the Myers-Briggs test state that by perceiving another person’s MBTI type, you can learn about that person’s personality, preference, strengths, and weaknesses. But as previously mentioned, MBTI does not define a person completely. In certain situations, there may be responses or behavior that does not match the MBTI type completely. This personality test also makes it difficult to acknowledge the exceptional traits of a person not included in the behavior of the person’s typology. Following this logic, it becomes evident that MBTI does nothing but restrict people and their actual personalities. 

Some believe that MBTI tests allow people to discover jobs that are compatible with their personality types. For example, the MBTI type ISFP is defined to be artistic, sensitive, and likes to support people. When considering these traits, jobs such as therapists, fashion designers, or painters are recommended to ISFPs. Nevertheless, there is no real evidence that proves that matching jobs with MBTI types will predict favorable job performance. Therefore, it is hard to say that the MBTI test is completely accurate or reliable for finding compatible jobs.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator test may aid in acknowledging fundamental and stereotypical elements of a person’s personality, but the test fails to entirely define character.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator test may aid in acknowledging fundamental and stereotypical elements of a person’s personality, but the test fails to entirely define character. The test is far from being a textbook for building relationships and discovering compatible jobs; the MBTI test lacks validity and proof in its methods. Therefore, the MBTI test is overrated – people should take the test for fun, but it’s nothing to put too much belief in. 


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No, It’s Not Overrated

Have you ever felt like your conversation with someone goes so smoothly that it feels like you’ve met your other half? That occurs when you’re chatting with someone who has a similar thought process, interests, or personality as you do. The MBTI’s main asset is its ability to help you find your platonic soulmate. I can confidently say that people with the same, or compatible personality types, will always get along. 

MBTI easily explains the basics of your personality – it’s not meant for a detailed analysis of someone’s preferences or life story, but it’s extremely helpful when it comes to finding general similarities and differences with people you’ve just met. Immediately being able to find someone whose personality is compatible with yours is a huge perk, and it makes socializing that much easier. You can avoid certain types of people you know you won’t like, and automatically recognize types you might agree with. 

We all grow and change with time – to get to know the part of yourself you might discover in the future, knowing your MBTI type can be useful to you. We may want to gain advice from those who are older and wiser, but the same advice doesn’t work for everyone. Because the Myers-Briggs test is popular around all ages internationally, hearing wise words from someone with your categorization might be helpful. You might even get good advice on overcoming common struggles for your personality type. 

Many students find it difficult to figure out what they should do for a living. Using the Internet, you can easily find what types of jobs fit different personality types. For example, I am an ENFJ, most suited to being a therapist, while my polar opposite, the ISTP, is said to make a good mechanic. If I had to choose one job among those two, I would definitely choose to be a therapist over being a mechanic. The job recommendations the MBTI type offers can be insightful and precise. I believe this will guide those who struggle to figure out a path in life. 

Depending on a person’s mindset, their expectations for how you speak or act vary greatly. After collecting their personality types, I surveyed 30 high school students at Daegu International School to figure out how they feel differently about the same question. “Imagine you were in a car accident and you called your friend to tell them about it. The first thing your friend says to you is “Do you have car insurance?” In this scenario, would your feelings be hurt?” According to the result, 68.4% of people with the F (Feeling) subtype said yes and 69.2% of the T (Thinking) said no. “F”s are more aware of emotions and feelings while “T” judgments are based on logic. “F”s would prefer if the friend asked about how they were, and if they got hurt, rather than asking about the details of insurance and the like. Knowing someone’s MBTI will help you avoid offending others, too.

MBTI is more than just a personality test: it can entertain you, help create strong bonds, and give you a fun topic to talk about with others. But even if the MBTI test is not credible at all, if you’re having fun with it and relating to it, what’s the worst that would happen? There are various entertaining things such as memes, YouTube content, and more made out of the MBTI traits you can discover. Don’t be a bummer and shoot down a fun personality test. Give it a chance – you make new friends, new insight, and even a potential career path.


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