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More news from social psych: Myers-Briggs test is unscientific


No kidding. You mean just like “Oft-cited paper is complete rubbish (again)”? Funny the way that keeps happening. Almost like a pattern. Hmmm.

From Business Insider , we hear a few charges from the “rap sheet” for a test used by 89% of Fortune 500 companies:

Why The Myers-Briggs Personality Test Is Misleading, Inaccurate, And Unscientific

• Wharton organizational psychologist Adam Grant criticizes the either/or approach of the system. Thirty years of research show that you can both be a thinker and a feeler; in fact most thoughtful people also spend lots of time feeling emotion. “When I scored as a thinker one time and a feeler one time, it’s because I like both thinking and feeling,” he writes. “I should have separate scores for the two.”

• Philosopher Roman Krznaric notes that if “you retake the test after only a five-week gap, there’s around a 50% chance that you will fall into a different personality category compared to the first time you took the test.” This is bad news for the test’s reputation, given that replicability is an essential part of scientific inquiry.

• In her scathingly illuminating book “The Cult Of Personality Testing,” journalist Annie Murphy Paul writes that “no personality type test has achieved the cult status of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator,” which is unfortunate, given that “the 16 distinctive types described by the Myers-Briggs have no scientific basis whatsoever.” More.

Is it possible that human personality can’t just be slotted like that? Naw, can’t be. Gotta be some glitzy new test that solves all the problems.

See also: Chronicle of Higher Education on pervasive data fudging in academic psychology papers

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Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose


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