Myers-Briggs too complicated? Scientists identify four personality clusters

Yarp. I was a teaching assistant for a course that required the students to take the MBTI. We got the results back and discussed - about 30% of the students felt the test described their personality. Then I had them trade results and the reaction was roughly equivalent.


Hmm, if an imbalance is found I’d want Theodoric of York, but who would be the equivalent for a personality problem today?

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Maybe Dr. Oz, with Goop standing in for Broom Gilda.

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I didn’t need music for that. The phrase “Scientists identify four personality clusters” was enough.


Myers-Briggs doesn’t even pretend to be scientific.


The Personality Type Enneagram is a New Age Bullshit fragment of a much older and richer tool for analyzing processes, how the parts can fit together, and where it can all fall apart. cf The Intelligent Enneagram and Enneagram Studies for a little fuller look. It isn’t up-to-date, scientific, or rigorous. But it does offer some useful heuristics.

I teach ESL in Taiwan, used Myers-Briggs as an example of bullshit in one of my adult classes. Had the five of them do the test, explaining the language int he questions as we went. Then I pretended to calculate the answers, and just read them personalty types at random. They all agreed that the personalities they and their classmates had been assigned were pretty accurate. Had a good laugh when I revealed the hoax, then a discussion about how we tend to ignore things which don’t match our preconceived ideas, but focus intently on those which do.


And it has some cult-like guardians of the truth.

At the end of the week, my contact at CAPT informed me that, based on my performance at the accreditation session, they had decided not to allow me into Isabel’s archive. In response to my request for more information about their decision, he cut off all further communication. His evasiveness raised the very question I suspected the organization would have most liked to avoid: What did they have to hide?

Well they’re useful in that they give HR something to do instead of finding some other bullshit to ruin your day with.

And the thing is that it is so easily gameable. You can get whatever result you want if you read a few example tests. The real test is whether you can read the game or whether you’re a gullible idiot that’s going to tell your employer your innermost secrets.


I fully agree with the finding that most teenage boys are not agreeable.

Yes, website, that is a complete comment.


You’ll never work there but they may puzzle over what they avoided.

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Last time HR had me take one, I was on my way out and said something to a cow-orker like “what did you decide to be?” and his jaw sort of dropped - apparently it just hadn’t occurred to him to analyze the test before writing down any answers.

I was surprised by that, and asked around, and only 2 other people out of the 30 or 40 that had sat the test had treated it like a test of analytical ability and willingness to shape data to reach a goal. Went home and made the kids learn some stuff that night!


Yep. This. Though in my case it’s less ‘what I decide to be’, more “hmm, that’s the third time they’ve asked the same question in different ways, now how to ensure three totally different answers to see if they realise the fuckwittedness of this daft personality test?” (Skewing badly designed surveys’ results is a secondary hobby of mine.) Of course, in doing what I describe with a personality test, it is entirely possible that I did reveal my personality to them. :wink:

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