Your Beloved Personality Quizzes Are Generally Full of Crap

Illustration for article titled Your Beloved Personality Quizzes Are Generally Full of Crap

In this age of identity quizzes and lists that only introverts, extroverts or sex addicts will understand, the basis for many of these qualifications is the Myers-Briggs test. And the Myers-Briggs test is a farce, so, like, who are you again?


According to Vox even Dr. Carl Jung, who laid the test’s groundwork in 1921 with his book Psychological Types, offered that it was inconclusive. Instead he called his “personality types” just rough observations.

Then came two ladies, Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, who hadn’t any formal psychological training but all the pull to make their “Type Indicator,” born in 1942, available to the mass public. Joseph Stromberg writes at Vox that the Myers-Briggs test basically copied Jung’s original classifications and tweaked it so a person was given one of four personality identifications based on a number of two-response questions. This is how people are shuffled into categories like the Executive (you have your shit together), the Caregiver (you should probably stay home and bake something) or the Idealist (you, ma'am, are a daydreaming ne'er do well).


Since then, a company called CPP took over the test over in 1975 and the test has become wildly popular. HR companies, colleges and government offices make nearly 2 million people take it annually.

But psychologists all know the test is bullshit because as Jung noted almost 100 years ago, these personality assignments are inconclusive. So who are we? We may never be able to enjoy another 21 Things Only Executive Caregiving Idealists Understand list again.

Stephen VanHorn/Shutterstock.

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Emma Golddigger

But the quizzes that tell us which Harry Potter house we'd be in still hold up, right?