Thursday, June 07, 2007

The MBTI test, RUP and Marriages in India

MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) or the Jung test - the famous personality test that puts all of us into one of the sixteen buckets based on our personality at that moment. I was introduced to this test by my HR professor, Fr. Cyriac at IIM Kozhikode. I used to look forward to his classes eagerly as most of them contained such activities which let you discover more about yourself.

One such day, sometime in 2004, I took this personality test and was pronounced to be a classic INTJ - a Mastermind Rational.

So that was my personality snapshot at the moment. There's a reason why I said at the moment.

The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them. -George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate (1856-1950)


No one escapes it. I took the same test today. I am an "ISTJ" or "Trustee" now.

ISTJ - "Trustee". Decisiveness in practical affairs. Guardian of time- honored institutions. Dependable. 11.6% of total population.

That's change in your face. For all I know, in some years, all the four letters will end up being different. It will be something like a personality makeover :)

MBTI or other similar personality tests are widely used in the following situations all around the world;

1. To choose a career most suited to your personality

2. To discover how your personality type fits in at work

3. To identify the various conflict areas within a team.

4. In personal counseling

5. In job interviews

6. Admission to the MBA course by S P Jain

The list would go on.....

Now something for the geeks....

RUP and the MBTI

For those of you to whom RUP is just another acronym, here’s a small brief. RUP or Rational Unified Process is an iterative approach to software development pioneered by Rational and now IBM. It is one of the in things to mention if you are looking for a job in the IT field.

RUP clearly specifies the different roles involved in building software. But this article here goes on to mention how by using the MBTI test you can build the perfect RUP team for your project.

For example, it advises that you take an NP person for certain roles and an SJ person for certain other roles. And say goodbye to team conflict :)

Not a bad idea!

So what about marriages in India and MBTI? What’s the connection?

Nothing, as of now!

Marriage industry is one of the booming online industries in India. Ask anyone in the ready-to-tie-the-knot bracket - he/she would have multiple matrimonial profiles. And there are eligible bachelors who would spend their entire day searching for the perfect match on these numerous sites.

This is how it works as of now (at least in most cases). Once you find your perfect match (touch wood!), you proceed to get your horoscopes matched. Nowadays, you also do the HIV test, just in case! Financials are discussed. Both the families meet. The compatibility tests end there.

If these matches were fool-proof, we wouldn't see so many divorces or conflicts happening here, would we? But they do happen! So where’s the gap?

What I feel is, along with all these traditional tests, why not include some proven personality tests too? Throw in something like an MBTI test and check whether the two types are compatible. You can even check whether you know anyone else with the same type and whether they are in your good books. Even if all the other tests match and your personalities don't, an ugly conflict is bound to surface sooner or later. Your horoscope might not be able to tell you that – but a personality test might just be able to!

Take the MBTI test here (paid) or here (free) and let me know your type!


Victor Guerra said...


Mine is ISFJ!!
Implying a hard-core introvert. But I feel I am a phony introvert..!

dinu said...

don't think this is accurate. mine is
"ENFP - "Journalist". Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population."

Anonymous said...

try taking this test three different times a day or on three days of a week. i am sure u will get different results every time.

Anonymous said...

I should say its pretty good. Just my type ;)

VKM said...

ESTJ - "Administrator". Much in touch with the external environment. Very responsible. Pillar of strength. 8.7% of total population

I like the "responsible" bit!! :)

Deepak Panigrahy said...

I got ENFJ-Persuader. Well, I do believe in some of the aspects of it truly but the real test will be the future where I will be and I promise to come back to you after some years and then reconfirm of how much I conform to these results.

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Hi Victor,
What's a phony introvert? You are one and you act as if you are not? Or you are not one and you act as if you are one?

Hey Dinu,
Life is not exciting for you? :)
Btw don't expect the free test to be 100% accurate. The real test might have more questions and might be able to give much more insights.

STJ seems to be a pretty common type :)
Btw you agree with the analysis? You can read more about ESTJ to see if it matches your perception about yourself.

Hi Deepak,
I hope that you too get a pleasant surprise like me. But I guess it will no longer be a surprise for you, as it seems you are expecting some change in the future.

Thanks you guys.

Rinchen said...

ENFP - "Journalist". Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population.

This is SO me. I loved the test, girl!

dr saurabh bhatia said...

Interesting posts, to begin with.
I have been handling these personality tests now for almost 20 years now and my conclusion is that they are another form of fiction.
Outraged? Lemme explain.
Have you ever been to a successful astrologer or palm-reader. If not then go once. Or go to a psychotherapist like me. He'll usually let you speak for the first 10 mins or so. And then ask some pointed questions. and then he's ready to handle you.
The process of personality identification is neither difficult nor time-consuming and we don't need MBTI for that. Plain simple practice an patience.
Lastly- Marriage has nothing to do with personality compatibility or zodiac/horoscope match. It's all about willingness to adapt and give space. If this willingness is not there on both sides in equal measures,then you see an imbalance.

Mrs. Winters said...

Interesting take Bhatia, and I do agree to an extent, but I also think your vantage point is a bit weak and closed off. Of course, any means of identification that boxes a person in, or is used by the taker as a baseline for all their actions is dangerous, as well as any system that claims for sure to know the sort of person you belong with, but I don't believe either is the intention of MBTI. When explored at a deeper level you begin to see a hierarchy of functions (re: Jung) that are extremely flexible and are representative more of skill and vantage point than a specific definition of the taker. Through Knowledge of this hierarchy, as well as our proposed personality type we're able to better look at our weakness and explore ways to make ourselves stronger. For example, I am a MBTI type INTJ. My lead 'function' as Jung put it, is introverted intuition, which deals with underlying meaning and visions of the future. My least developed function (according to Lenore Thompson) is extraverted sensing which deals with seeing reality as it is, and taking part in the present moment. Now, before I took the MBTI test I was already aware of a number of my problems, and frequented with the sentiment 'I think that your not focused enough on now, on reality.' I have always been dreamy and future oriented, and while it's my strength it's also my weakness. After I took the MBTI test and did further research into the functions I came across a series of books and articles on function development. Many of which suggested activities to partake in which boost my least developed functions. Since, I've made it a point to partake in a number of these activities and have slowly become a more well rounded, less anxious person. My recognition that I'm not always prone to notice details has also made me a better student, and a more efficient worker; and my understanding of how I approach relationships has greatly improved my companionships.

And while you don't believe that such a construct is necessary to make improvement (for many this could be true), some people such as myself thrive on structure and theory, and through that of MBTI are able to come to terms with their issues and better themselves in a way that makes sense to them.

I would also hesitate to put MBTI in the same category as Astrology and palm reading, if you'd like take a gander at a number of modern scientific studies which use MBTI extensively in their research, you'll notice that a pattern of obvious relationship between various MBTI types and somewhat objective constructs such as career/college major, political affiliation, country of birth, etc. Of course there are exceptions (even natural law has those), yet still the similarities are sometimes astounding. I'm also not clear on your comparison between MBTI and palm readers who talk to you for 10 minutes before giving you an assessment. Palm reading is supposedly built on connection with a force that is not seeable, it's magical. The answers in Palm reading should be available without ANY prior knowledge of the person (other than the physical), while MBTI is meant to be applied only after extensive consult. No MBTI practitioner that I know claims their assessment to be a source of magic, and instead is focused on active self discovery. I also don't know of a good practitioner that would claim to know everything about a person for sure because of their proposed type, and instead stress that everyone is different and MBTI is like I said above a means for improvement. While many palm readers and those of the same thought claim to have a solid hold on your future. MBTI is also specific, while palm readers usually get away with generalities.

So, while like anything if misused MBTI can be dangerous, and for many it may not be useful, but for those who do find it helpful it's just as relevant as any other means of self improvement, and when approached correctly can serve as a great catalyst for growth.

I referenced a number of things above that I would like to link you to, as well as a some sites that could be useful for further exploration:

Lenore Thompson Wiki:

Career and MBTI: A look at MBTI and pharmacy students, I regret that you require an account to view this; but it's a good example and the abstract says a lot. Same issue as above, this one relates to the use of MBTI in career counseling and it's benefits.

Once again, I'm regret that I couldn't find more accessible journals with the same information.

A good book on function development:

Best Fit Type:

That's the tip of it, and if you'd like more information you can e-mail me at: