Should You Take An Online Myers-Briggs Test?

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated March 19, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

By taking the Myers-Briggs personality test (officially referred to as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI), you may discover new information about yourself that helps you understand why you are the way you are. You might also find new information about your strengths and preferences, which can empower you to understand yourself in a more accurate way. You can then use this information to make positive changes in your life, enhance communication with friends or in relationships and even develop better ideas for team collaboration.

Read on to learn more about the personality types, the strengths and weaknesses associated with free personality test options online and ways that online therapy can enhance your personal growth.

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Why you should take an online Myers-Briggs test

A Myers-Briggs test may bring new or valuable insight into your life—showing you which personality test personality type you align with, and helping you to understand your unique personality traits. This test, one of many assessments available, is thought by many to assess your personality to help you understand yourself more deeply.

You can learn about your potential strengths, weaknesses, blind spots, and personality traits. By completing this test, you can increase your self-awareness in personal growth, discover the reason why you approach different areas of your life as you do, and use what you learn to flourish. The description it provides can serve as a starting point for generating ideas for personal growth or finding better ways to communicate your unique perspective to others.

What the test can tell you

Actively caring for yourself can be essential. One way to practice self-care is to seek new knowledge about who you are, as you would using a personality quiz. The Myers-Briggs personality test (sometimes mistakenly called the Briggs-Myers test) provides the psychological preferences of an individual, including how they interpret the world around them and how they make decisions based on their personality profile. To complete the test, personality quizzes will prompt you to answer a series of questions that describes various scenarios or preferences. The resulting description can offer valuable insights into your unique traits and tendencies. Many people use these to discover and understand new ways that they can tailor their approach and environment at work or at home; helping them to reach a higher quality of life. 

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality inventory is based upon the theory of psychological types described by Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung. The principle of the theory put forward by Carl Jung is that even though human behaviors appear to be random, much of the variation is logical and expected due to potential inconsistencies in how individuals use their perception and judgment. Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers worked together to create the test, which organizes individuals into 16 personality types. The Myers and Briggs Foundation offers an official MBTI assessment.

Since people may differ in how they perceive information and reach conclusions, it can make sense that they correspondingly have different interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills. One intent of understanding more about personality type for yourself or others is to better understand and appreciate differences between people. As all types are considered equal, there is no ‘best’ type, and you may find that your personality type is different from what you may expect. The results you receive may offer answers to questions you have about yourself and help you determine the best careers for your personality type. The MBTI instrument sorts for preferences among personality types but does not measure trait, ability, or character. If you want to learn about these things, you might choose to participate in other types of self-exploration or take other online personality tests.

Research on MBTI: The Myers-Briggs type indicator

There is some evidence supporting the reliability of the MBTI tool. If you have more questions about personality or behavior, a licensed mental health professional may be equipped to help through talk therapy.

What is personality type?

Type is more than just the sum of the four preferences. The four-letter MBTI type formula is an abbreviated way of telling you about the interaction of your four mental functions and which ones you prefer to use first. This analysis is called type dynamics and can be part of understanding your MBTI results. Below are some basic facts about type dynamics.

  • Your “dominant function” has the most influence on you.
  • The “function” is your next strongest preference. It supports and balances the dominant function.
  • The third strongest is the “tertiary function.”
  • The “inferior function” is the weakest.

Your type may change over time and in different environments. Throughout your life, different preferences may emerge and be used more often and more automatically.

Understanding the results

The MBTI categorizes your personality according to four different dimensions.

They include:

  1. Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
  2. Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
  3. Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  4. Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

The first category deals with how you interact with others, where you focus your attention, and how you get your energy. The second category explains how you get and take in information. The third category can tell you how you prefer to make decisions. The last category deals with how you organize the world around you and interact with different environments. Many times, different personality types are expressed using letters from the four categories, such as INTJ, which would correspond to extraversion, intuition, thinking, and judging. 

Where to take the MBTI

You can get a no-cost version of the MBTI using these links:

Making changes

After taking this test, you may want to introduce some healthy changes in your life. By implementing new habits regularly, you may hope to see resounding changes. Self-knowledge can yield well-being. It illuminates ways to encourage ideal behaviors based on maintenance techniques. 

Change may require intentionality, effort, and consistent application of a new action or thought over a long enough period to create a new habit or pattern. If you can practice a new thought, attitude, or behavior every day, you might need at least three full weeks for that new activity to become more automatic and comfortable. If you can only practice the new action every other day, assume a minimum of six whole weeks to no longer resist the change.

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Work toward your best self

We may all have different personalities, needs, and preferences. However, many of us are still under pressure, some more than others, to conform to society’s expectations and norms. Try to resist the urge to compare yourself to others. Comparison can be harmful in the long run.  

As you work to accept yourself, find activities, hobbies, and habits that bring out the best version of you. Explore your current self-care techniques and consider what you can implement and cut out. Deconstruction and reconstruction of the self are often possible through self-expression, as this act may lead to epiphanies about yourself or the world around you.

You might choose to become the person you want to be by growing in your acceptance of yourself, related to those attributes you may not be able to change. Try to avoid allowing yourself to dwell on how you wish things were different (that you cannot change). Focus on what you can control. Spend time working on reasonable ‘chunks’ to increase success, and decrease discouragement. If you struggle with acceptance, research points to radical acceptance as a beneficial strategy.

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Look for lasting changes, not short-term solutions

As you seek to grow, develop, or become your best self, occurrences or behaviors that you perceive as problems may increase in intensity. Intentional focus could be the culprit. When you make intentional decisions to work on any area of your life, you may also become more fully aware of who you are today and how you want to change.

Shining a light on specific characteristics can illuminate problems you have been ignoring, denying, discounting, or otherwise attempting to disregard. Prepare for a potential increase in emotional intensity, you may cry, laugh, or feel emotionally drained after making lasting changes. Even when it is loose and on your own terms, structure may bring you closer to your creativity and motivation.

Try counseling support regarding your personality test results

Personality tests can reveal new information, but they may also tell you things you already know. If, for example, you know you’re introverted and have difficulty opening up to others on teams or at social events, online therapy may benefit you by giving you a safe space for insightful discussion without judgment. Whether your group or social circle is small or you don’t feel comfortable opening up to anyone in your life, online therapy can provide an outlet to cope with complicated emotions and become a version of yourself you can be proud of.

A recent study has shown how internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy effectively treats various mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The results were on par, if not better, than traditional in-person therapy for the same conditions. If you would like to understand yourself better and think an objective perspective may be helpful to you, consider reaching out to a professional on a platform such as BetterHelp

Takeaway

A free Myers-Briggs personality test can provide invaluable information for you to use in different areas of your life. If you don’t learn anything from taking it, or if you disagree with the results, you may move on, knowing that the test didn’t cost you money. On the other hand, if you learn a lot, you might feel relieved knowing you gained a new perspective.

Depending on your results, you may feel the need to discuss them with a therapist. Personality tests should not replace a professional’s advice, but they can be a helpful guide to learning more about yourself. If you want to learn more about your results or discuss your personality in a clinical environment, consider reaching out to a counselor.

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