The Pseudo-Psychology Personality Test

| 9/29/2010 3:19:00 PM

Test formEach year, millions of dollars are funneled into administering the most popular personality assessment in the world: the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator Test. It’s used by dating sites, guidance counselors, pharmaceutical companies, and even the U.S. Department of Defense. Avery Hurt tries to figure out why in mental_floss.  

Hurt reports that the mother-daughter duo who came up with the questionnaire and scoring system in 1942 were basically dilettantes, and the only reason the test experienced sky-rocketing success was timing: Its release coincided with a surge of women entering the workforce (due to World War II), and industrial psychologists welcomed an instrument that could help them categorize, match, and direct these new workers into the appropriate fields. 

Today, the test is as pervasive as ever, even though most experts now dismiss it as worthless, “placing it only a step or two above astrology.” So why do huge corporations, government organizations, and even individuals continue to pour money into something so clearly based on nothing? Hurt submits: “We live in a culture where people seem willing to spend endless amounts of time and money to find themselves, and in that respect, it doesn’t look like the Myers-Briggs will be disappearing anytime soon.” 

Source: mental_floss   

Image by Casey Serin, licensed under Creative Commons. 

10/16/2010 5:01:31 AM

The Myers Briggs is a great test to do on oneself. It offered me tremendous help in understanding my approach and perspectives and also taught me a lot about how others differ, and why this can be such a gift. Myers Briggs rocks....still.

10/8/2010 2:10:59 PM

These tests were designed so that people could understand how we are all different, how we communicate differently, how we learn in different ways, how we contribute and participate in different ways and how we work in different ways. These tests were designed to educate people about our bias and prejudices and not to catogorize people into ideal types to serve corporate needs or our anxieties to be better than anybody else and call this pursuing an American Dream instead of the nightmare it became by our mutual back biting about who is better suited to serve society. This is the real distortion of the way the test are being used today to serve business needs or somebodies pocketbook. These tests should be free and used in schools so that teachers and children can learn about differences and learn how it accept and to relate to these differences in a positive way instead of children learning how to degrade each other like we see in society at large in the education system and in the work place. If we are to function as a team anywhere and in anything we do, we should understand how each person functions in society instead of judging them according to our personnal standards of biases of right or wrong.

Mark Stanger
10/4/2010 6:20:24 PM

I am an Episcopal priest. The Meiers-Briggs is practically a sub-cult within our church. At a clergy renewal conference where the subject drifted to open discussion of Meiers-Briggs, I announced that is was an INRI.

Facebook Instagram Twitter