A few years ago I came across the letters “ENTP” in someone’s Instagram bio. Curiosity got the best of me, and, as many people do nowadays, I searched the term on Google.
I found out that “ENTP,” along with all of the other confusing-looking letter combinations, are actually personality types from the Myers-Briggs Test Indicator (MBTI). As someone who is always trying to learn more about myself, what makes me tick and how others perceive me, I took the test on the spot.
According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, I am an INFJ, a supposedly rare personality group comprised of idealists who are warm and soft-spoken, yet highly opinionated.
I took the test a second time that night for good measure, and again a year later, in my AP Psychology class during my senior year of high school. Each time, I got the same results. I felt like the results were true to me and I felt understood.
But is this test truly reliable? Can we really box people into only sixteen personalities? Is relating to your results just wishful thinking?
I wanted to know if other people at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa had taken the test, and what they thought about it.
The personality test is free online at and is estimated to take around 12 minutes. You are shown statements and asked how much you agree or disagree with each of them. For example: “You find it difficult to introduce yourself to other people” or “as a parent, you would rather see your child grow up kind than smart.”
After finishing the test, you are led to a page with a breakdown of your personality. It tells you your strengths and weaknesses and how you conduct yourself in romantic relationships, friendships, and parenthood. It even tells you your ideal career paths and workplace habits.
How Reliable Is It?
I always assumed the test was trustworthy since many high-school students around the country, including myself, have taken the Myers-Briggs personality test as a part of their AP Psychology course curriculum.
However, the creators of the test were not psychologists, nor were they scientists of any kind. According to the history of the Myers-Briggs Test Indicator on becomewhoyouare.net, the test was developed by a mother-daughter duo who wanted to create a test that would help women find a job that fit their personalities best during World War II.
Other faults in the test include that all the answers are self-reported and there’s no in-between for your results. Although your results show the scale ciphering whether you are introverted or extroverted, the overall “label” is either one or the other. For example, if you are 51 percent “thinking” and 49 percent “perceiving” on the test, your personality type would mimic the majority and be part of the ‘thinking’ category.
I talked to a few students to see if they had taken the test, and, if not, they were willing to. I was surprised at how many people I talked to had taken the Myers-Briggs personality test, and could tell me their personality type without hesitation.
Dyani Cantu, a freshman at UH Mānoa, said she is an “ENTP” and has taken the test three times and has always gotten the same results. According to 16personalities, “ENTP” personality types, or “the debaters,” are “the ultimate devil’s advocate” that thrive “on the process of shredding arguments and beliefs and letting the ribbons drift in the wind for all to see.”
Rhiannon Palmere, a junior at UH Mānoa, is an “INFJ,” or the “Advocate” personality type. Palmere said she would recommend the test to others.
“I felt like everything was accurate. It was kind of scary but interesting, and I would recommend it to others,” Palmere said.
Another student, freshman Kristin Smith, had not taken the Myers-Briggs test before, but was willing to take it. She found that she is an “ENFP,” the “Campaigner” personality type that is “less interested in the sheer excitement and pleasure of the moment than they are in enjoying the social and emotional connections they make with others.” Smith found herself in agreement after reading her results.
“I definitely feel like I’m more of a feeler than a thinker,” Smith said. “I would also agree that I’m assertive. I like to get to the bottom of things, and not blow things off.”
It seems most people agree with their results. But freshman Alysha Wissbroecker took the test before and disagreed with her results.
“I don’t think it applied to me. I don’t believe a test should be able to symbolize all that you are,” Wissbroecker said.
The Myers-Briggs Test Indicator may not be perfect, but it is a way to learn more about yourself. At the very least, it might give you some insight into who you are and what lifestyle is best for you, or your results may even feel like a perfect description of who you are.
If you, like me and many others around campus, are interested in learning more about your personality, you can take the test for free at 16personalities.com.