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Personality tests have merit, aid socialization

Mamie Carlstrom | Posted: Friday, February 20, 2015 8:00 am


Personality tests have become increasingly popular over the years. Many different types have
emerged, but the one that stands out as one of the most credible is the MyersBriggs Type
Indicator (MBTI). This formula presents 16 different types of basic personality types, with each
type having a slightly different twist on its own.
Each personality type is coded with four letters. E (extraversion) or I (introversion) how one
is energized; S (sensing) or N (intuition) how one takes in and processes information; T
(thinking/logic) or F (feeling) how one makes decisions; and P (perceiving) or J (judging)
how one plans and organizes life.
No one person is strictly an extrovert or strictly a feeler, etc., but some combination. The letters
only refer to which one is more dominant in a persons personality. One of the great things about
the MBTI is the way it gives the person taking the test a point scale for each letter. This is where
a persons unique attributes show up in a big way.
According to the Myers-Briggs website, The goal of knowing about personality type is to
understand and appreciate differences between people. As all types are equal, there is no best
type.
Some say studying personalities has no merit. They claim it only leads to putting people in boxes
and stereotyping them. I feel the exact opposite. I have found the study of personality types
particularly with the Myers-Briggs evaluation extremely helpful in my everyday interactions
with friends, family, colleagues and even random people I meet at the bank. By knowing the
different types and how they relate to the others, I am able to better understand others as well as
myself.
For example, my type is ISFJ. Since Ive read and studied about who I am, I have found ways to
maximize my strengths and improve my weaknesses. More importantly though, instead of
merely getting frustrated with a friend or family member when they act a certain way, Im able to
unravel the situation and see where that person is coming from according to his or her brain
wiring.

My sister and I are exact opposites on the spectrum (this makes her an ENTP). Therefore, we see
life through very different eyes. However, through studying the personality types, we have both
learned to validate and understand each others viewpoints.
This knowledge also helps quite a bit in dating and marital relationships. Both parties should
seek to understand their areas of commonality and difference. The benefits reaped from this can
prove to be mind-blowing.
Some psychologists and analysts disagree with the test, the types of questions it asks and its
method of scoring. While we should acknowledge no test can ever fully explain the complexities
of a human being, we should still recognize some come as close as possible to doing the task.
The MBTI is straightforward and full of finesse when it comes to profiling a persons
personality. We should appreciate its usefulness and take advantage of the insight it provides.
New Vocabulary: Choose up to 5 new vocabulary words that you want to remember,
and write their definitions here.

After Reading:
How many personality types does the Myers-Briggs have? What do the 8 different
letters stand for?

Why do some people say the test has no merit?

What does the knowledge of the test help with? Why is it useful?