Personality Research Myers-Briggs - This Test Term Paper

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¶ … Personality Research

Myers-Briggs - This test is designed to measure life satisfaction and personality. It works by having the individual complete a questionnaire, and the answers that a person gives to the questions are supposed to determine 'who' that person is from a personality standpoint. This can help a person know what kind of job he or she would be best suited for and what can bring him or her the highest chance of life satisfaction (Harrington & Loffredo, 2001). The test is not difficult to take, and anyone can complete it. It is much different than the simple little online tools that people can complete to learn about their personality, as most of these online tests are simply quizzes that do not provide an accurate depiction of a person and what they are really like from a specific personality standpoint.

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The test is sometimes given in high school or college, or the test can be given to employees. Anyone who wants to take the test is certainly encouraged to do so, but the most important group of people who can take the test are people who are seriously interested in what kind of personality they have and how that may affect their happiness and productivity - the satisfaction that they have with their life. These do not have to be young people, as people of any age can take the test. Often, middle-aged people will take it because they feel as though they are going through a mid-life crisis, and they are interested in 'finding themselves' (Lewis & Borders, 1995). Others take it because they are living an unconventional life and they are curious as to what makes them act this way (Peterson, 2001). Regardless of the reasons that a person has to take the Myers-Briggs assessment, much can be learned about behaviors, attitude, and actions that can help a person live a more satisfied life in the future.

Reliability and validity for this instrument is somewhat difficult to determine. The Website for the test has the following to say (Myers-Briggs, n.d.):

Reliability (when scores are treated as continuous scores, as in most other psychological instruments) is as good as or better than other personality instruments.

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On retest, people come out with three to four type preferences the same 75% to 90% of the time.

For some groups reliability can be low, and caution needs to be exercised in using the MBTI instrument with these groups, e.g., children, underachieving students. When the MBTI instrument is used with groups that are reported to have been demonstrably lower, the results can be used as a jumping-off point for discussion.

Unfortunately, that is very vague, and there are no specific statistics provided as to either reliability or validity for the assessment instrument.

Anyone who is going to use the test should consider the above information, since there are some groups for which the test does not work well. It is important to be aware of this, so that results can be as accurate as possible as often as possible. It is also important for people to consider the fact that there is no guarantee of accuracy, and that changing one's life and/or career because of a personality test may cause unanticipated problems. Caution should be exercised when determining how important the results of the assessment actually are.

Based on the research I think that the test is useful as a tool to find out what kind of personality you allegedly have based on your specific traits. However, since there is no real validity or reliability to the test, it is difficult for me to take the test too seriously. Changing one's career path or doing something completely different simply based on this one test would not be a good idea. There are other tests out there, and they may say something completely different. If you are going to place your faith in a personality test, though, this kind of assessment would certainly be better than the online quizzes that are supposed to tell you who you are.

Keirsey Temperament Sorter II - This test is designed to do basically the same thing as the Myers-Briggs test and others. It is not called a 'personality test,' but instead is termed a 'temperament sorter,' which is a slightly more vague term for the same basic thing. The test, like most tests of this type, requires the test-taker to answer questions. These answers are then compiled into one of sixteen types of person based on temperament, and the person is given the results. What a person decides to do with those results and/or how they affect that person's life is then up to the taker of the test and what degree of accuracy the person thinks that the test ultimately has. Again, however, life satisfaction and how a person feels about himself or herself is what the test is designed to help with (Harrington & Loffredo, 2001)

Like other tests of this kind, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter is designed to be used by people who feel 'lost' and who are interested in knowing 'who they are' from a personality standpoint. People often take this kind of test as they get a bit older, especially if they are dissatisfied with their jobs, their family life, or other aspects of their existence (Lewis & Borders, 1995). Younger people sometimes also take this test before they head off to college if they are uncertain about what they want to major in. Finding out about personality and what jobs a person might be better suited for can help that individual make a choice and narrow down a field that he or she would like to study. Sometimes, though, the jobs in a person's 'temperament assessment' are not jobs that the person has any interest in, and that can leave the person feeling even more lost as to what to do than he or she did before the test was taken. This is one of the concerns that many people have with this kind of test.

The reliability and validity of this instrument is not stated on the Website for the company that offers the test, nor can it be found in other literature that the researcher has been able to locate. Whether this issue is suspect because of this is something that each person who considers taking the test must decide for himself or herself. The Website says the following about the reliability and validity of its tests:

We don't have "official" statistics on reliability or validity. The Sorters are not "tests" per se, so a validity statistic wouldn't make much sense. The Keirsey Sorters are designed to help people better understand themselves by pointing the individual in the "right" direction (a Sorting), so its up to the individuals to determine how valid the sort is for themselves" (Keirsey, n.d.).

Clearly, the site either does not wish to discuss their 'success rates' regarding the individuals who have taken this test, or does not keep track of what is said about their test from people who have taken it.

Individuals who take this test, like any similar test, have factors that they will want to look at. How seriously they will take the results of this test is the biggest factor. Also important is whether they believe that the test is reliable and valid for what it states that it will accomplish. Not having validity and reliability statistics on their Website does not necessarily mean that the test is not qualified to provide a personality assessment, but individuals who are preparing to take the test should be aware of it nonetheless.

In my opinion, this test would not be as valid as the Myers-Briggs test that was previously discussed. The Keirsey test is not as common or popular,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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