MBTI Testing and Self-Identity Skew
MBTI self-testing without counselling/guidance is problematic. It’s very easy to let your self-identity sway your answers.
Self-identity changes, whereas personality, in the MBTI/Jungian sense, does not.
Self-identity is who we aspire to be. It’s how we choose see ourselves and how we want others to see us. For many reasons, that’s prone to all sorts of ego influences, ambitions, lifestyle factors, insecurities and emotional damages.
In contrast, MBTI personality merely describes the ordered functional preferences of our mind. It’s simply how we absorb, process, prioritize and decide. It’s who we were born to be – unaffected by external and internal influences. MBTI personality is our idealized, healthy and flourishing self.
Answering tests based on cognitive preference, rather than constructed self-identity, takes some brutal introspection based on diligent research. Counselors do that, but if you’re not paying for counselling advice, you’ll have to make yourself properly informed, which takes effort.
Admittedly, there are also some personality tests online that are badly constructed and skew participant results with certain inaccurate bias.
As a rule-of-thumb, avoid the very commercial sites that are trying to sell you eBooks etc. They sensationalize and distort MBTI; and sales is all about telling people what they want to hear. This is very appealing for those who are using personality tests to construct or reinforce a self-identity.
Another rule-of-thumb, if you notice that a certain personality test/website is appealing to your self-identity, sensationalizing and/or brazenly flattering – move on from it!
Look for tests that demand either/or answers, not a sliding scale. The goal is black-and-white cognitive preference differential, not a % score.
Avoid simplistic tests, written by non-experts. They confuse universal behaviors with function traits.
For instance; extroverts can enjoy alone time relaxing at home with books. Introverts can enjoy a social life. Depressed extroverts may avoid socializing. People with low self-esteem may be quiet and reclusive. Work or study may demand logic and reasoning. Insecurities might make you loud and attention-seeking. Some people enjoy art and music as an escape from their inherent personality, not because of it.
None of those things explain your cognitive function preferences – they can be deviances from how you should naturally be. Yet it’s far too easy for inauthentic personality tests to prioritize those behaviors when answering personality tests without guidance.. and that leads to spurious, varying results.