Within the latest mailbag put up, one of many reader questions I answered was about my Myers-Briggs (MBTI) sort.
I answered that I had examined as an INTP, one thing that appeared to shock nobody. (Since then, I took a distinct model of the take a look at, which instructed me I used to be an ENTP, perpetuating my lifelong confusion about whether or not I’m an introvert or an extravert.)
Anyway, on the finish of my reply, I included a hyperlink to a survey asking Wait However Why readers about their very own MBTI sort (together with a hyperlink to a fast on-line MBTI take a look at for individuals who didn’t know theirs). Just below 6,000 individuals answered the survey, and the outcomes had been fairly attention-grabbing. We’ve damaged them down beneath.
First, a little bit extra in regards to the take a look at. MBTI might be essentially the most well-known persona take a look at. It assesses individuals on 4 completely different binary standards, assigning them to 1 facet or the opposite in every, grouping everybody who takes it into one in all 16 four-letter varieties. The Myers & Briggs Basis describe the 4 areas like this on their web site:
- Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E): Do you like to deal with the outer world or by yourself interior world?
- Sensing (S) or Instinct (N): Do you like to deal with the fundamental info you absorb or do you like to interpret and add which means?
- Considering (T) or Feeling (F): When making selections, do you like to first take a look at logic and consistency or first take a look at the individuals and particular circumstances?
- Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): In coping with the surface world, do you like to get issues determined or do you like to remain open to new info and choices?
- There are 16 varieties, every a distinct mixture of these 8 letters. ISFJ, ENTP, and many others.
Myers-Briggs is vastly controversial. Some consultants swear by it. Many companies depend on it for key hiring and administration selections. 2 million individuals take it yearly. However many others really feel the alternative, claiming the take a look at is deceptive, meaningless, and “sciencey snake oil“.
One such critic is Wait However Why’s buddy Adam Grant, a best-selling creator and Wharton’s top-rated professor, who wrote me this e-mail after I printed the mailbag put up:
Liked your mailbag, till the sickening second while you took the MBTI.
Seems Adam has written a number of articles about why the MBTI sucks. This led to us having a technically-challenged dialogue in regards to the MBTI in Central Park, so Adam might clarify to me why he disliked the take a look at.
And that’s all advantageous—however you understand what? I nonetheless just like the take a look at. Certain, perhaps it’s a little bit not actual. And no, it in all probability shouldn’t be used to rent individuals. However in terms of taking a free on-line take a look at for 10 minutes after which sending that very same take a look at to all my family and friends to make them take it after which completely branding all of them in my head with their four-letter sort after which utilizing that info to make reckless oversimplifications about who they’re—it’s my favourite take a look at on this planet.
And one other good use for it? Assessing Wait However Why’s readership and evaluating it to the remainder of the nation.
So with out additional delay, listed here are the outcomes:
5,944 individuals took the survey. Right here’s how they broke down:
So over a 3rd of WBW readers mentioned they had been both INTP (20%) or INTJ (18.6%), whereas ESFP was the least fashionable reply at 1.2%. Now let’s order these from most to least frequent:
What’s the principle factor I see right here? N’s. Heaps and plenty of N’s. In actual fact, the seven commonest WBW reader varieties have an N in them. I don’t know MBTI that nicely, however I believe meaning WBW readers are usually outrageously heady.
Now let’s take a look at the MBTI breakdown of the entire US. These are the outcomes of a Myers-Briggs survey of the US between 1997 and 2002:
What do I see right here? S’s. So many S’s. It’s the reverse of the WBW outcomes—the six commonest varieties throughout the US have an S in them. And the INTP’s and INTJ’s that dominate the WBW readership? Seems these are fairly uncommon varieties within the normal inhabitants, whereas the ESFP’s that had been nowhere to be discovered within the WBW survey are fairly frequent in the true world. (Word: Solely about half of the WBW respondents had been from the US, however there was little or no distinction between the US-only WBW outcomes and the whole WBW outcomes—so we felt advantageous evaluating the worldwide WBW readership to the US MBTI outcomes.)
Let’s put each units of outcomes on the identical graph (so as of commonest to least frequent amongst WBW readers):
Fairly not related. And for those who’re an ENFJ, congrats—you handle to be the one sort that’s uncommon amongst each units.
Let’s check out every of the 4 standards by itself, for each WBW readers and the entire US:
So WBW has considerably extra Introverts and Thinkers than the overall inhabitants, however once more, essentially the most hanging distinction is within the N/S comparability. N’s make up solely 26.7% of the US however a whopping 81.3% of WBW readers.
So there you will have it. And I had enjoyable. Take that, Adam Grant.
I’ll go away you with a chart I’m positive will make all MBTI critics livid. Be sure that to observe it strictly for all relationship selections:
Two deep dives into the human thoughts for all of you N individuals:
Faith for the Nonreligious – an try and be extra acutely aware
The Cook dinner and the Chef – an examination of tips on how to dwell like an authentic
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