I open Facebook, and it’s there: “Which Disney Character Are You Based on the Meyers-Briggs?” Or, “Which MBTI Type Are You?” Kudos to the latter because it’s the first line read “THIS IS A GENERALIZATION.” Why do we look at these things? For some of the same reasons that we are on Facebook, to begin with, to make a connection. Beyond the birthday announcements and food pics, we can see people who remind us that we are not that alone in our idiosyncrasies. It can be fun. It can be reassuring. It can let us know that our crazy little world is not so crazy after all.
So, what are these personality tests? I can’t say much about the validity of which Walking Dead Character Are You? Or Pick a Color to Learn About Your Aura. But I can tell you a little about the Meyers- Briggs Type Indicator (MTBI). Based on the typological theory of Carl Jung, this theory holds that we humans experience the world through four principal functions: sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. These four functions shape our personal experience. Naturally, we are inclined to prefer one over another, and that preference colors our interests, our desires, our motivations.
How legit is this test? I would say more so than “Which Fairy Princess Are You?” and less so than say the five-factor model of Big Five Personality Traits Test. There’s a decent chance that you will take the Meyers Briggs twice in a row and get a different set of results. That said, I have personally completed this questionnaire at least a dozen times over the past ten years, every time ENTJ. I can see which celebrities are also my same particular brand of Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judgment. I have inadvertently tracked the stability of my control issues over time, despite all of my Zen intentions. I console myself; this turned out well for Bill Gates, there’s hope.
These personality tests are fun, not clinical. They can provide some insight and a distraction but don’t mistake it for a solution. You see, taking a short quiz might give you some temporary comfort. It can remind you that you aren’t the only person dealing with this combination of personality factors. Hey, introverts, you’re in the astute company of Thomas Jefferson, Isaac Newton, and Jane Austen, not too shabby.
Here’s my advice go into these quizzes knowing that some are better, more reliable, more valid than others. Don’t go down the rabbit hole of Free Personality Tests when you’re out of sorts. Do check them out, take the results with a grain of salt, on an average day, when you can objectively look at the results and see if they make sense or not. You get to choose how to define you; these new terms might make that easier they may not.
Want to give them a spin?
Warning this one won’t give you cute little emoji versions of yourself, but it might provide some insight:
The Big Five Personality Test
This one WILL give you a cute little cartoon version of you, little dictator you:
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the fun online version.