Home | 16 Personalities FAQ – What is the science behind the MBTI?

Hey everyone, I’m Erik Thor, an expert on using personality psychology for flow and personal development.

16 Personalities FAQ – What is the science behind the MBTI?

16 PERSONALITIES FAQ. The MBTI is not without criticism. Here are some common questions and criticisms directed towards the 16 personalities. What is the science behind the MBTI?

Consider first reading my introduction article about the MBTI:


16 Personalities FAQ

What is the science behind the MBTI?

There is no “science” behind the MBTI. It was developed to be a practical way to help people find the ideal job or career based on their own needs and interests.

It was based on a theory developed by early psychologist Carl Jung. Finally, it has never been proven and scientists still struggle to explain how the human mind really works. Many positive steps have been taken in neuroscience in later days, but we still don’t really see the big picture yet.

It may very well have made many accurate discoveries into the human mind works, some more correct, some less correct. But most importantly, the tool is considered valuable and positive to many people across the globe who use it to help understand themselves and people around them better. It is used to help people build stronger teams and for personal growth purposes.

A better question is: Do you consider the MBTI personally helpful or do you know anybody who has been able to use the MBTI to build stronger relationships or find more fulfilling careers?

Does or can type change?

This is a widely discussed question and the general opinion is, no, type does not change. However, you can change your perspective on yourself or how you understand type. But your behaviour and personality tends to remain relatively consistent throughout most of your life. You can have good or bad days and you can be a different person around different people, but this does not change your core personality type or who you are in a state of flow.

Can you actually measure or study type scientifically?

The Big5 is a system that has gained much support by scientists. Still, psychology is merely an applied science, and not a real science like biology is. That means anything we understand about type or personality is based on ‘what seems to work’ and we cannot yet know or understand what is happening inside our brains.

What is the difference between Carl Jung’s cognitive functions and Myers Briggs Type Indicator?

Carl Jung’s cognitive functions represent the theoretical basis on which the MBTI was founded, however, there are many differences between the two and the cognitive function approach is regarded as more “accurate” because it is more focused on complex interactions between mind (intention) and behaviour (actions). The cognitive functions are less used because they are more complex to understand or define.

Is the Big5 better than the MBTI?

The Big5 is more scientifically viable than the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. This is both good and bad. The Big5 can provide more accurate, consistent statistics and more quantifiable data. It cannot, however, offer the same amount of understanding or insight you can get from the MBTI.

The more scientific approach means it will ignore or avoid many more complex questions about our mind, beliefs, values and interests, focusing instead on “the most obvious” personality traits or most easy to measure human behaviour.

What is the difference between 16 Personalities and the MBTI?

The 16 Personalities is a reinterpretation of the MBTI that has been changed to be more like the Big5. It allows, once again, a more scientific or consistent metric on personality. The new scale provides additional insights into whether you are an Assertive (A) or Turbulent (T) version of said personality type.

The 16 Personalities system risks being more stereotypical or more superficial than classic alternatives. Because it focuses on the most obvious or extreme versions of every personality type, it can miss nuance. The 16 Personalities model is also written to fit someone in their late teens, and older people may find this model less relatable.

What is the Flow Type approach to the MBTI?

I use flow to describe the personality types. Flow roughly translates to -A in the 16 Personalities, as a person who is in flow is more dominant, assertive, confident, stable, energetic and passionate than someone who is turbulent.

If you can find out what your Flow Type is, you can find out your key to becoming someone who is more confident. You can get more personal growth information and more help on becoming the best version of yourself.

Check out my video on the MBTI FAQ and the science behind the 16 personalities


Did I miss any questions? Leave a comment down below and maybe I’ll add it later?


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