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This Is Not a Test… (Personality or Otherwise)

This Is Not a Test… (Personality or Otherwise)

It’s very common—especially on the Internet—to hear the MBTI® assessment referred to as the Myers-Briggs® personality test, the MBTI test, or simply the “personality test.” However, here at CPP, Inc., we never refer to the MBTI assessment that way. Personality tests may exist, but the MBTI assessment is not one of them. Here’s why…

By definition, a test is “a series of questions, problems, or physical responses designed to determine knowledge, intelligence, or ability,” implying that there are “right” and “wrong” answers. It’s true that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® assessment contains a series of questions, but that’s where the similarities to a personality test end. Unlike personality tests, the MBTI assessment doesn’t determine knowledge, intelligence, or ability. Instead, it measures four pairs of opposing preferences, which are inborn and value-neutral, to form a person’s four-letter type. No type is better or worse than any other—they are just different. That is one of the reasons that the MBTI assessment shouldn’t be used as a screening tool in hiring situations, and why any type can excel at any career.

In our MBTI® Certification Programs, we do use some other terms to describe the Myers-Briggs assessment, such as tool or instrument. Those terms—generally defined as “something used in the performance of an operation”—fit the MBTI assessment perfectly. The self-awareness you can gain by using the MBTI tool to determine the significance or extent of your preferences, and the information about that you can then apply to the world around you, is incredibly useful.

Besides, if you fail a personality test (which the MBTI assessment is not!), does that mean you have “no personality”?















  1. I agree that personality test does not measure individuals knowledge and skill

  2. I agree that peosonality test does not measure individuals knolwedge and skill

  3. Actually, by definition, a test is A procedure for critical evaluation; a means of determining the presence, quality, or truth of something. Aa critical examination, observation, or evaluation.

    In the world of science and technology, tests return data. That’s it, just data. How you interpret the data is something else.

    You get your hearing tested with an audiologist. You get your vision tested with an optometrist or ophthalmologist. You test the temperature of bath water for children. Scientists test hypotheses.

    While I appreciate your concern that some people may fear that they could “fail” a “test”, please understand that in the technical world, there is much discussion, including scoffing, then this It’s Not a Test! claim is raised. Those who understand that a test simply returns data (usually the SJ and NT temperaments) look on posts such as this one as unnecessary.

    We know what a “test” is.

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