(GoHealthier.com) – The Myers-Briggs personality test has been many professionals’ assessment of choice for decades. Based on Carl G. Jung’s 1921 publication, “Psychological Types,” the test was designed to identify differences between how we perceive and judge the world. In theory, if we can gain better insight into our personalities’ different aspects, we might better tailor our life and career choices.
Some experts feel Myers-Briggs may be too limiting, and they instead veer toward a broader set of criteria. The Big 5 (or 5 factor) model defines characteristics on a sliding scale rather than picking one extreme or the other. See how the Big 5 model could be a better assessment in the article below.
Move Over, Myers-Briggs!
The Myers-Briggs personality test follows the idea that people’s personalities reflect in four ways. Specifically, we can pinpoint our defining traits by determining whether we’re:
- Introverted or Extroverted
- Sensing or Intuitive
- Thinking or Feeling
- Judging or Perceiving
These traits can combine in 16 possible ways. Proponents of this test believe the combined results can offer meaningful information about a person, helping them find their ideal profession.
But what about people who don’t fall clearly into one or more of the above categories? Don’t we all identify at least a little with all of the above? Some researchers believe we should look at our traits not in terms of one or the other, but rather by degrees of each. Enter the Big 5 method.
More Accurate Assessment?
The Big 5 personality test also examines a set of specific attributes: emotional stability, extroversion, intellect, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. However, instead of defining people by these traits, it assesses how strongly each applies. The test may offer insight into how reliable, relatable and trustworthy someone will likely be in the workforce.
Experts believe the Big 5 might better determine a person’s emotional quotient (EQ), or social intelligence. The higher the EQ, the more likely a person will work out in any given job. People with the highest EQs — those who exhibit the highest levels of key attributes — tend to make the best leaders. However, having degrees of each trait is likely necessary for a person to achieve any level of success.
The test may also help pinpoint a person’s ideal working environment, such as whether they do best alone or in groups, for example, or how well they may be suited for detail-oriented work.
Personality tests can say a lot about us, but it’s important to keep in mind that no test is perfect. Just as Myers-Briggs was once the gold standard, Big 5 could find itself tossed beside it on the wayside as soon as a future approach gains traction. We each know ourselves best. Most of us have a good idea of what we want in life and who we are. In many cases, that might be all we really need to know.
~Here’s to a Healthier Life!
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