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Taken by millions of people annually, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has the following features:
While the MBTI has a legion of fans in HR Professionals, it has many critics in the ranks of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists. I-O Psychologists are those who are dedicated to the scientific study of human behavior in the workplace and are concerned with things like the validity and reliability of assessments.
In Goodbye to MBTI, the Fad That Won’t Die, Dr. Adam Grant questions the validity, reliability, and comprehensiveness of the MBTI and likens it to “a physical exam that ignores your torso and one of your arms.”
Lillian Cunningham summarizes academic critics in her Washington Post article – Myers-Briggs: Does it pay to know your type? – saying that they are concerned that use of the MBTI is “about belief much more than scientific evidence. And it’s administered by leadership coaches who, by and large, have no formal education in the science of psychology.”
My biggest issue with the MBTI, as Grant explains, is that “four letters don’t do justice to anyone’s identity.” It is an over-simplistic approach to categorizing something as complex as an individual’s personality.
Not sure if you want to continue using the MBTI? Curious about the different types of personality tests available? Download Personality Assessments: Typologies versus Continuous Measures to learn about your options.
Looking for a more comprehensive assessment of leadership? Check out our Leadership Skills Profile.