Personality tests reveal inner worlds and expose ways in which people operate.
At work, the fifteen of us in our department of pen jockeys had to take the MBTI personality test. The entire process formed greater empathy toward each other, which was an interesting outcome. But not as interesting as several people failing their personality tests. How, you ask.
When the official MBTI practitioner put us as a group through a secondary line of questioning to qualify our initial results, this process revealed how certain people were off by a letter.
In the MBTI test, you get a four letter designation – ENTJ, ISFP, INTP and so on. There are 16 types all up with each place in the four letter designation either going to one end of the spectrum or the other. For the first place E and I are the letters, which stand for Extrovert and Introvert, which explain how you take in energy.
Several people in my department got the last letter mixed up, where they were meant to have a J in place of a P or vice versa. J is for Judgemental, which means you are very organised, while P if for Perceptive, which means you can understand deeper layers of information around you.
Because certain people got their last letter wrong, it revealed how these people wanted to see themselves rather than seeing themselves as they are. They chose answers on the initial MBTI test that were in opposite to who they truly are. The reason why this happened seems to be rooted in some cognitive bias on their part.
So, be wary of people who spout their MBTI designation at you willy nilly, as more often than not they will want you to think that they’re something, which they’re in fact not.
2 thoughts on “MBTI tests”
I am a MBTI Certified Practitioner and what I do to avoid getting people to react like this is I explained to them what the test is about before they take it and I assure them that their results are confidential – they can share it with others if only they feel comfortable doing it. That’s the protocol. Otherwise, people are afraid of being judged and choose their answers based on what they believe is well seen among the group.
Well said. I think that’s very true. How would you go about explaining to someone that the result they have chosen doesn’t match their personality from the way his teammates see it?