At one time or another, you have probably stumbled across some sort of personality test. Maybe out of curiosity, you wanted to see where you land on their scale of certain traits. But with a limited number of possibilities, are personality tests painting everyone with a broad brush?
What do personality tests say about you?
There are a few different personality tests, and the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator is probably the one most people are familiar with. They use a series of questions to determine four areas; Introvert or Extrovert, Sensing or Intuition, Thinking or Feeling, and Judging or Perceiving. With this information, there are 16 different possibilities. Yes, that’s right, 16. According to the MBTI, there are only 16 types of people in the world. Another popular test, the DiSC, has only four variations.
So, what are these tests saying about you? If we break down each section of the MBTI, it will tell you whether they think you are an introvert or extrovert. But is there anything between that? Do the other parts of the test affect the different sections? Again, looking at the first section (introvert/extrovert), you’ll notice in the explanation that it states: “I am seen as outgoing or as a people person” and, “I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.” However, it’s possible to only be seen as an outgoing person. It doesn’t consider that some people appear friendly and outgoing only to feel entirely socially burned out after their interactions with others.
What kind of factors do they take into consideration?
As far as we can tell, not much. The MBTI focuses on how you behave rather than why you behave that way. It fails to consider the environmental impacts on those behaviors. According to Meyers-Briggs, you are a static person programmed to act a certain way regardless of the circumstances. But that is not the way humans work. We are most certainly affected by our environment, stress, and the people around us. Tests like the MBTI simply don’t take those factors into account, which is easily their most significant limitation.
Is there any evidence these tests work?
Well, to start, Meyers and Briggs were not scientists or psychologists. They merely followed a set of theories by Carl Jung to develop their personality test. Still, there isn’t any actual science behind it. So that would make one question the validity of such a popular and widely used test. Even Jung did not agree with the limited possibilities offered by the MBTI.
So why are we still using tests like this? Perhaps it is just the lack of available tests on the market. The validity of such tests has come into question countless times. Yet, employers still use these types of tests, and people simply curious about their “personality type” give them a shot. It’s all we have, so it must be better than nothing, right?
If there was something better out there, based on science and years of research, would you try it?
Ready to try something different?
Our COBI (Cognitive Orientation Behavior Inventory) personal report is unlike anything else out there. It is rivaled by none because no one else does what we do. It is based on science, using our unique PCB (Perception Conception Behavior) Model, and it considers the many environmental factors that play a role in your unique view of the world and how that may impact your behavior. Our COBI Report not only gives you the “how” but also the “why.” Understanding why we behave the way we do can help us understand and improve our strengths and identify and overcome our challenges. Lastly, our COBI Report has over 8,000 different variances. Yes, 8,000. We have no broad brushes here. Let us paint you a picture and help you see your hidden potential today!