MBTI, or Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, is one of the most common ways for personality typing. There is a lot of criticism thrown at MBTI, from scientists and evidence based research alike. Yet, these criticism of MBTI overlook one important aspect. Large companies like Shell enforce MBTI throughout their whole company. They don’t do that for the fun of it, they use MBTI as it gives them a practical advantage in the workplace. Even though one cannot prove it, these large companies are convinced that using MBTI gives them a competitive edge.

Nevertheless, there are some criticisms of MBTI that do make sense. The first critique of MBTI is that it confuses personality traits and brain filters. The most scientific way of looking at personality is the Big Five. The Big Five reduces all human personality traits to five dimensions: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness. You immediately spot that it sounds a lot more scientific than MBTI. The Big Five is also a lot less practitical than MBTI’s extrovert/introvert, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling & judgement/perception dichotomies.

The issue here is though that MBTI in part references the Big Five personality dimensions, but in large part MBTI references brain filters. Introvert/extrovert is often explained as a form of extraversion. But this is misleading and only vaguely correct. Real experts of the Big Five understand that extraversion has more to do with the difference between being reckless or rather risk averse. Being introvert or extrovert has more to do with either filtering social cues from data that is coming in to the brain through the five senses or not. No-one is introvert but some people tend to act more introvertly as their brain filters more social cues that other people. Yet, depending on the circumstances even the most introvert person you know, might change to acting very extrovertly all of a sudden when the brain stops filtering out social cues. As Big Five research clearly shows that your personality is very much tied to the hardware structure of your brain, this means that being introvert or extrovert has nothing to do with your personality type and everything to do with your brain filters.

This brings us to the second valid criticism of MBTI: it is a static model for something dynamic. Your personality changes over time. At certain times very, very quickly at that. What one needs for top notch personality modelling is a dynamic model rather than a static model. Unfortunately, the Big Five is a static as MBTI. If you take Big Five tests over time your score differs which each test. That is something the Big Five nor MBTI can account for. Fortunately, there is a solution. Your MBTI type can be translated into a Big Five score. This is obviously true as the whole project of the Big Five is to reduce all personality traits to the five dimensions of the Big Five.

What we have done, is to take that route with the dynamic model for personality, the Enneagram. In itself the Enneagram is deeply flawed. Yet, once you reduce the dynamics of the Enneagram into the Big Five, you get a dynamic model for personality typing based upon scientific principles. We did our own research and a huge 116 out of 122 people (95%) agreed with the dynamic modelling of their personality type. So, if you want to work with MBTI, the smart thing to do is to translate your MBTI type into a Big Five score and then do a second translation into the Neurogram® model, our neurological version of the Enneagram. Or you start with the Neurogram® and you get all the benefits of the Big Five, dynamical modelling and a clear distinction between personality traits and brain filters from the get go.

There are three options to start with the Neurogram®. There is the You Unlimited book (£10.00 inc. VAT), the Neurogram® audiobook (£6.00 inc. VAT) or the Neurogram® workshop (£72.00 inc. VAT). Or if you prefer to learn more about the Neurogram®, please download our free report about discovering your own Neurogram® type:

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