Currently being rated as the most popular personality in the world, MBTI has certainly faced some criticism. In addition to the mixed results of the study, when it comes to the reliability of the assessment, Hallett explains that some of the main criticisms are that people’s results may change, or that people may feel “boxed-in” by the results.
The title is in a 1993 paper MBTI is measuring and coming short, David Pittinger, PhD, professor of psychology at Marshall University, reviews Myers-Briggs experiment research and raises questions about its underlying concept. “MBTI reminds us of the obvious truth that not all people are the same, but then claims that each person can fit nicely in one of the 16 boxes,” he wrote. “I believe that MBTI seeks to force the complexities of human personality into an artificial and limited classification scheme. Focusing on human ‘typing’ reduces the focus on each individual’s unique qualities and potential.”
For this, Hackston and Nardi explain what such choices are, and your type does not suggest that you cannot go beyond your own choices. Nardi says you can think of it as left or right hand. “If I’m in the right hand, that doesn’t mean I don’t use my left hand, or that I don’t use my hands together,” he explains.
Hackston notes that the results are meant to be a “springboard” for understanding your preferences, so that you can recognize your own patterns and actively choose “go against your type” when the situation calls for it.
Some experts do not even respect the work of Carl Jung, Catherine Cook Briggs or Isabel Briggs Myers. Jung, for one thing, has received a lot of criticism for how much his theory was based on his own dreams and ideas as opposed to scientific truth. Neither Cook Briggs nor Briggs Myers were trained psychologists or mental health professionals, although Nardi noted that this particular critique was “actually incredibly sexist because, at the time, it was very difficult for women to become psychologists or even to go to college.”
Another criticism of MBTI is that it is being used to evaluate or predict performance in the workplace, which Hackston, Hallett and Nerdy all agree is not intended for this evaluation. “It’s not about performance – it’s about choice. Personality assessment shouldn’t be used for hiring, and in some states, it’s actually illegal to use it that way,” Nordy notes.