Just Another Personality Assessment?
The market is flooded with personality assessments. It can be hard to determine which ones are worth paying attention to, and which are fads or a waste of time and money. I’m going to compare and discuss two personality assessments: The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and the Pearman Personality Integrator.
The former is an extremely well-known and widely used personality type indicator. You may have taken this questionnaire and been told you’re an ISTP or ENFJ for example. Despite its popularity in the business world, it has been widely criticised by psychologists. This due to its lack of ability to really tell us anything valuable about ourselves in a valid or reliable way.
The Pearman Personality Integrator has some similarities to the MBTI. Both assess preferences for different mental functions, but it provides more insight, more flexibility, and has more science behind it.
Pearman Vs. MBTI
The Pearman Personality Integrator addresses what so many of the popular assessments miss. It allows a deeper dive into the complexities of our personalities. This includes what is natural or most comfortable to us, and what is demonstrated or required in our everyday lives. With our complex work environments, we often need to be flexible in how we approach a situation or face a challenge.
The image below, from a sample Pearman report, indicates that this person may naturally be more introverted, but in their day-to-day life they demonstrated behaviours of an extrovert. If this imbalance exists, the report opens up a conversation for why this person could be feeling drained of energy, if they are regularly going against what’s naturally most comfortable.
Think of different mental functions like rooms in your house. There may be some rooms you are very comfortable in, and others than you might rarely enter. You might have varying degrees of preference, but you will need to go into each room occasionally.
The Pearman doesn’t attempt to categorise your unique personality into simplified type, it recognises the varying degrees of personality preferences. With the MBTI, you’re boxed into categories which should not be mutually exclusive. For example, when making important decisions, most of us will consider both the logical, objective information, as well as our feelings and the people involved. With the MBTI, you are said to focus on one or the other. That’s like having a measure of your health which deems you’re either obese or underweight.
The Pearman also allows far more insight and potential for development than the MBTI. It contains the FlexIndex, which measures how one leverages their psychological resources to operate at their peak. It’s great for coaching because it looks into how well the client can remain calm, take action, seek out new experiences, connect with others, and cope with pressure.
As you’ve probably gathered, I’m not a fan of the MBTI. I find it to be far too limited and simplified, as well as lacking scientific validity or reliability. It also doesn’t resonate with me because I don’t have any extreme personality types or preferences, so I don’t fit neatly into any of the categories. Here’s a snippet from my own Pearman report, which indicates that naturally, I have an equal preference for big-picture and practical thinking. I once took the MBTI and got the letter S, another time I took it and got the letter N, and in reality, neither is spot on for me.
I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand the popularity of the MBTI. A Psychology Today article which calls it “the fad that won’t die”, says that “palm readings and horoscopes can spark insights too. That doesn’t mean we should talk about them in our work teams.” This Forbes article calls is “nonsense, science snake oil.” Many other articles point out the issues with this personality questionnaire (BBC, Vox, Financial Times, The Guardian, and Fortune to name a few).
This is my own opinion on why I do not pay much attention to the MBTI. I prefer using psychometric assessments that begin conversations around development, and give us a comprehensive and accurate picture or ourselves.
If you’d like to see sample reports, more information, or brochures for the Pearman, click here.
If you’re interested in knowing more about this great tool, join us for a complimentary event!
When: 5th February, 9:30am-12:30pm.
Where: Psychological Society of Ireland offices, Grantham Street, Dublin
Our Event Will Help You To:
- Understand Personality Type in terms of natural preferences and demonstrated behaviours
- Explore the role of Personality Type in areas such as leadership effectiveness, decision-making and collaboration
- Learn about the links between Personality and Emotional Intelligence
- Understand how the Pearman™ can help you and those in your organisation to increase flexibility, agility and resilience
- Learn about strategies that leaders can use to increase their overall effectiveness
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +353 1 2788 727 for more information, to register your interest in this event, or to become certified with the Pearman Personality Integrator.