Pass This Test!

This testing is used when hiring employees in top companies, teenagers and idols of the younger generation go crazy about it. Find out what is behind the mysterious test, whether people are really divided into 16 personality types and whether popular tests are benefit or harm.

Background of the issue

In 1921, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung published the work “Psychological Types”. The main idea of the work was to sort out the peculiarities of people’s psyche according to two main factors: in accordance with their psychological attitudes, which can be introverted or extroverted, and taking into account how pronounced the personality’s mental functions are — thinking, feelings, sensations and intuition. According to Jung’s idea, various combinations and gradation of these features create a “trigonometric grid” — a spectrum that is convenient to use in psychological practice to determine the most effective ways of interacting with a patient.

Later, based on Jung’s work, a special 16 personality test was developed. After answering all the questions, people got the opportunity to find out which of the 16 personality types they belong to. Each type was assigned a pseudonym and a “scientific” name in the form of a four—letter abbreviation — for example, “Inspirer” (ENFP) or “Realist” (ISTJ). E or I mean “extraversion” or “introversion”, N or S means “intuition” or “sensory”, F or T means “thinking” or “feeling”, and J or P means “judgment” or “perception”. All these characteristics are dichotomous and describe how a person interacts with the world — relies on bodily sensations or imagination, logic or emotions, makes decisions thoughtfully or spontaneously, and so on.

person writing

Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

The methodology found its followers — by the early 1970s, it was already actively used, including, for example, students at the University of Michigan.

Since the 1990s, companies have increasingly begun to use the test, trying to use it to find the perfect employees and form a “dream team”. Not all companies that have used or still use the test are ready to speak openly about it, but, according to the Marketplace economic portal, in the late 1990s, testing services occupied a significant market share — from 20% to 30%.

From Michigan to South Korea

The popularity of the 16 personality test among ordinary users has increased since the beginning of the Internet era. Today, everyone can take the same questionnaire and find out their type online.

In the last few years, testing has become popular among South Korean youth. Both 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds undergo tests in order to then choose the type of “ideal” romantic partner. Experts explain this by the mentality of South Korean society — efficiency comes first, and only then emotions.

In June 2022, the South Korean company Thingsflow launched an online simulator that allows you to “chat” with bots that mimic the behaviours of each representative of 16 types. According to the developer himself, 1.2 million users downloaded the app only in the first week after launch.

happy neutral and sad smiles

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Large corporations

16 personality test is very often mentioned in the HR environment, however, in its practice it rarely happens that one specific type of personality is required. It all depends on the company and the position the applicant is applying for, because different positions imply different roles. And it is clear that only on the basis of the results of personal testing, the applicant will not receive a position. HR specialists believe that such surveys should be the cherry on the cake of managerial decision-making, but by no means the basis. And, of course, the professionalism of the people who interpret the test results plays a huge role.

It is better to perform and decode tests together with a psychologist in order to be able, firstly, to use standardized and valid methods, and secondly, to discuss in detail exactly how the results obtained relate specifically to your character.

Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

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