The awful staying power of Myers-Briggs

Spurred on by a recent LinkedIn poll on the usefulness of Myers-Briggs (results below) I felt the need to do a short post.

Do you believe that the MB personality test is accurate poll result from LinkedIn.

That this group of professionals (it was on the “eLearning Industry”* group) can be so split, almost into equal thirds, really does suggest some of the problems in the learning industry. MB is poor/non-science and is a ponzi scheme, end of. No learning professional should be saying this test is accurate.

I took a look at some of the comments posted to try and get my head around this continuing obsession with MB. The interesting commonality in comments was that lots of people suggested that, whilst some acknowledging faults in the accuracy of the model, there is value. This value coming, allegedly, in making people reflect about who they are, what differences they have, etc. Personally I would say there are more useful approaches to this. Indeed just some targeted reflection, away from daily work, would probably help for most people. If the focus is on teams you could use Belbin as a more practical route. Meanwhile if you are considering team/individual strengths then Strengthscope (and others) are more proven, better, options. Personally I wish Strengthscope went in harder on MB than trying to sit on the fence a bit.

* You would presume a more “classic HR” orientated group would have even higher %s in defence of the assessment.

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader ( and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

One thought on “The awful staying power of Myers-Briggs”

  1. Just so happened that Training Magazine emailed me to push a new publication from the MB company ( Actually some good stuff in this document – not least the questions asked in the research, the findings of which are represented in report (e.g. this item: “I am always comfortable and at ease interacting with my co-workers”). The MB element is largely irrelevant and can be ignored in the face of the data on what workers need and the characteristics (good) managers can present.

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