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Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless

Perspicuo

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Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless
http://www.vox.com/2014/7/15/5881947/myers-briggs-personality-test-meaningless

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is probably the most widely used personality test in the world.

An estimated 2 million people take it annually, at the behest of corporate HR departments, colleges, and even government agencies. The company that makes and markets the test makes somewhere around $20 million each year.

The only problem? The test is completely meaningless.

"There's just no evidence behind it," says Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who's written about the shortcomings of the Myers-Briggs previously. "The characteristics measured by the test have almost no predictive power on how happy you'll be in a situation, how you'll perform at your job, or how happy you'll be in your marriage."
 

Kharakov

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Yet it serves a purpose. People talk to one another about their results, get to know one another, and even engage in conversations about how stupid the MB personality test is.

It helps people form connections with one another in work groups. In other words, while it may not work for its stated (or prescribed) purpose (like many drugs), it has other effects that are beneficial. Then again, most of you are experienced enough to know this already.

I find myself wondering if AG doesn't understand the reason companies use a MB...
 

braces_for_impact

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I used to manage in a company that used a version of this test as part of it's hiring process. Once the answers were tallied, a synopsis of the subject's personality was given along with the percentages for each personality type. Also, a recommendation based on the test was given as to whether the subject would be advisable to hire. If the test said no hire, we were not to hire. I never found it any more useful than reading the subject's zodiac sign, myself. Many in the company would use hindsight and say the results were very accurate. Considering several employees were engaged in some criminal activity, and then some which were innocent were accused as well, unless the screening was used to hire miscreants, I'd say it was all a bullshit waste of time.

I've actually worked at a few companies where personality tests were used as a basis for hiring. So I don't know what the "real supposed use" of the test is supposed to be, but companies aren't immune to bullshit any more than working in the government sector. In fact, since many CEO's prefer the smell of their own particular brand of bullshit, it's easy to see how woo woo can creep into company policy.
 

J842P

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That doesn't surprise me in the least. Indeed, most personality psych seems like a bunch of bullshit to me. When I was in college, there was a personality psych class that was scheduled right before my cognitive psych class in the same lecture hall. Due to the nature of my schedule, I would often show up 30 minutes early to the lecture hall and sit in the back and listen to the personality psych lecture, and it seemed like a bunch of nonsense as far as I could tell.
 

rousseau

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"Why The Vox is totally meaningless"

Why are we still posting articles from this 'news' source? I've seen numerous articles posted on TF from the Vox, at least a few of them nothing more than worthless click-bait. At least they're good for spurring real conversation about the topic.

Some of the arguments they make towards Myer's Brigg's are valid, but the test is nowhere close to 'Totally Meaningless'. If Vox wanted to write a useful article they could have been a hell of a lot more balanced about it.
 

rjh01

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I used to manage in a company that used a version of this test as part of it's hiring process. Once the answers were tallied, a synopsis of the subject's personality was given along with the percentages for each personality type. Also, a recommendation based on the test was given as to whether the subject would be advisable to hire. If the test said no hire, we were not to hire. I never found it any more useful than reading the subject's zodiac sign, myself. Many in the company would use hindsight and say the results were very accurate. Considering several employees were engaged in some criminal activity, and then some which were innocent were accused as well, unless the screening was used to hire miscreants, I'd say it was all a bullshit waste of time.

I've actually worked at a few companies where personality tests were used as a basis for hiring. So I don't know what the "real supposed use" of the test is supposed to be, but companies aren't immune to bullshit any more than working in the government sector. In fact, since many CEO's prefer the smell of their own particular brand of bullshit, it's easy to see how woo woo can creep into company policy.

What these companies should be doing is sometimes hiring people who the test said was unsuitable, but were otherwise suitable. Then see how good they were.
 

Anon13948132

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MB is not totally useless. The problem with MB is that: 1) The construction of it was not based on scientific thinking, but on pre-scientific psychological theories of Jung. 2) MB claims that humans are divisible into types, 16 in total. However, variation in personality (and most other stuff) follows a normal distribution, not a categorical one. Forcing people to fit into types hurts the validity and reliability of the test.

In spite of the above, MB does correlate with modern scientific, factor analysis-based personality measures (e.g. big five). See e.g.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator#Big_Five
 
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