The comparison between the Myers-Briggs system and the Big Five system is crucially important to understand. Both of these tests are some of the most common and important personality assessments available on the internet, and for good reasons. However, few people understand the difference between these assessments and do not know which they should take.
By not understanding the importance and differences between these tests, many individuals miss out on getting the most they can get from them. Some of the greatest benefits of taking the Myers-Briggs and the Big Five test can only be acquired by getting a better understanding of these two tests.
In this article, we will discuss the differences between the Big Five and the MBTI as well as the benefits of these assessments.
Systems Compared: The 5 vs The 16 Type
Both the MBTI and the Big Five test are highly popular online assessments that can help you understand your personality. However, you must be aware of a few key differences between these two tests to truly know which is right for you.
One of the essential differences between the Big Five test and the MBTI is the way they present their results and categorize personalities. The MBTI divides individuals into 16 distinct personality groups.
This is determined by assigning you one of two letters 4 times (of instance, I for introversion vs E for extroversion, S for sensing and N for intuitive, and so on). Therefore, it gives you a much broader range of personality traits that are tested.
However, the Big Five personality test is more focused. It gives you specific information on just five personality traits: neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, extroversion, and conscientiousness. You will be shown how much of each trait you possess (how extreme that trait is in your personality). Thus, the Big Five is detail-oriented and articulates information on just a few traits.
Compared with HIGH5
While the Big Five focuses on just 5 traits and the MBTI gives you a broad overview of your entire personality, the HIGH5 test focuses on another highly important aspect of your personality: your strengths. You need to know your strengths to understand your top abilities and grow as a person. This is why the HIGH5 test is highly useful.
When compared to the MBTI and Big Five, the HIGH5 is more similar to the MBTI. Both the HIGH5 and the MBTI both assign your test results to personality characters (such as an INFJ in the MBTI and an Empathizer in the HIGH5 test).
They both give you more broad results, as opposed to the more limited results of the Big Five. Still, the MBTI gives you an even broader look at your personality, as it also includes your weaknesses. The HIGH5 test does not include weaknesses and only focuses on your strengths.
Categories and Structure: Range vs 4 Dichotomies
There are other key differences between these two tests as well. One example of this would be the way these individuals categorize your results. In general, the approach of the Big Five is a strategy of range development. However, the MBTI categorizes your results into one of 2 groups on 4 different personality types.
More specifically, the Big Five will give you limited data on your overall personality. Instead, they will explore only 5 aspects of your personality. Your results are presented as a range. If you score a 99% on neuroticism, it means you are highly neurotic. This also likely means it is a key part of your personality as a whole, and that this personality trait could impact numerous aspects of your career, relationships, and overall life.
The MBTI has a different approach in showing your traits. Instead of using scales, they assign each of your test responses to a letter. For example, if you answered in a more sensitive, emotional manner while taking the test, you will likely be assigned the letter F for feeling as opposed to T for thinking.
The MBTI does this 4 times, extroversion vs introversion, intuition vs sensing, thinking vs feeling, and judging vs perceiving. Your overall result is your combination of these 4 letters.
Compared to HIGH5
The HIGH5 test is centered around testing your strengths. Your results will be displayed as a ranking of 5 distinct personality types. The categorization of your strengths is split into numerous different personality characters.
For example, if you are empathetic and altruistic, you may be assigned the role of an Empathizer after taking this test.
Each of the 5 personality types that are associated with your results will be displayed and ranked from your top match to your lowest strengths match. And, there are a cluster of skills associated with each of these personality types.
Thus, the MBTI and the HIGH5 test are somewhat similar in that regard. Still, both HIGH5 and the Big Five do not give the in-depth strengths analysis that HIGH5 provides you with.
What Do Results Tell You? Individual characteristics vs Personality Traits
However, there are more differences between these assessments beyond just their results categorization style. What the results mean is also different, too. This could profoundly impact what you can do with your results depending on which test you take.
The Big Five personality test displays individual characteristics. In essence, it just quantities your levels of several different characteristics, like neuroticism and agreeableness.
All individuals have some level of these traits. You will be shown your level, regardless of whether it is a key part of your personality or not. So, even if you are just 2% agreeable, you will still be shown this result.
The MBTI is a more distinct, categorical, and broad personality test. It covers a wide range of personality traits that are not featured in the Big Five assessment. Therefore, you will get a very broad overview of your top personality traits by taking this assessment. This includes both your weaknesses and positive personality qualities.
Compared to HIGH5
The HIGH5 test is solely focused on your strengths. You will not see any weakness-oriented content if you decide to take the HIGH5 assessment. However, there are a few similarities between the MBTI test and the HIGH5 in regard to what their results will show you.
In both the MBTI and the HIGH5 test, you will be categorized into groups depending on your personality traits. From then, you will be shown some of the top personality traits that define you.
These are traits that are key parts of your personality. You will not be shown your level of empathy if you are not an especially empathetic person, for example. In this way, your weaknesses are covered less by the HIGH5 test, and the MBTI also gives you less specific information on your weakness.
What Do Tests Highlight? Differences vs Healthy
Another key distinction between the MBTI and Big Five personality test you should be aware of is the way each of them describes unhealthy levels of a personality trait and differences between populations with a certain trait. Knowing about this is crucial to properly interpreting your test results.
For instance, the Big Five is more focused on discussing differences. The way the Big Five was created explains why this is so. When designing the Big Five, researchers wanted to see how much of a trait someone possessed.
So, they needed to understand what extreme neuroticism or extreme conscientiousness looked like to make that a marker. Then, when you take the assessment, your results will be lined up to the extreme results to see where you differ. The less you differ, the more extremely that trait dominates your personality.
On the other hand, the MBTI is founded on helping you know your healthy traits. This is not to say that the MBTI does not discuss your weaknesses. Instead, the assessment seeks to help you find a balanced view of your personality.
You will be shown both your strength and weaknesses, creating an overall healthy image of your personality. It helps you remember that there is no such thing as perfection, but that you do have certain great qualities.
Compared to HIGH5
We have previously mentioned numerous ways the MBTI and the HIGH5 test were similar. One of the major differences between the two is the type of information they present you. As stated above, the MBTI will give you a full picture of both your strengths and weaknesses.
However, this could be discouraging and even stall personal growth. The HIGH5 test only focuses on helping you find your top strengths, and it does not cover your weaknesses.
The HIGH5 test is quite different from the Big Five due to the latter being focused on comparing you to the general population and ‘extremes’ of certain qualities. The HIGH5 will cover your unique strengths profile by giving you a list of 5 top strengths character matches, in order from the best match to the least great match.
How does the Big 5 relate to MBTI?
The Big Five personality test and the MBTI assessment are some of the most popular online assessments for personality typing. They both offer relatively easy-to-understand results and appeal to individuals for a broad range of reasons. And, they are in many ways related assessments.
For example, the results you get on one of these tests will likely correlate with another result from the other test. If you are type as extroverted on the MBTI, you will also likely be typed as highly extroverted on the Big Five.
But, your specific level of extroversion will be stated if you choose to take the Big Five. Likewise, if you are typed as a conscientious person on the Big Five, you will likely be assigned a ‘J’ ending personality type on the MBTI.
Therefore, it is clear that the results are related. However, the way the results are presented differs quite significantly. For instance, you will be given specific information on just 5 traits by the Big Five test. But, if you take the MBTI, you will be given a broad picture of your personality as a whole.
What Big 5 Factor Does Not Correlate Well with Myers-Briggs?
We previously stated the numerous ways in which the Big Five and the MBTI assessments are similar. In most cases, your results to one test can be tied to results on a different test. However, this is not true in all cases. Some personality factors do not neatly align from the MBTI to the Big Five and vice versa.
Some results on the Big Five personality test align with numerous different personality types on the MBTI. For example, there are many different MBTI types that could be described as conscientious. It requires more information and personality data to accurately determine what your MBTI type is depending on your Big Five result. Using just one of the Big Five traits will not suffice.
Big Five will also show you your rankings for traits that you do not possess much. So, if you rank very low on the agreeableness scale, you would need to search for an MBTI type that is not very agreeable. Again, multiple MBTI types fit with this description.
But, many MBTI-type descriptions will not focus on the type’s flaws. For example, few MBTI types will be openly described as neurotic, so it may be difficult for neurotic individuals to accurately find an MBTI that matches their personality without actually taking the MBTI test.
Is MBTI More Reliable than Astrology?
Scientists, more specifically psychologists, have been disputing the accuracy of personality tests lie, the MBTI for decades now. However, what virtuality and scientist will agree upon is the notion that MBTI is more accurate and helpful than astrology in giving you an overview of your personality.
Astrology is interesting to learn about, but it is not highly scientific. There is no research supporting the use of astrology as an accurate personality marker.
The MBTI was formed on research conducted by the psychologist Carl Jung and by the Myers and Briggs team during WW2. There has been some research that supports the notion that the MBTI is scientifically accurate.
However, the role of personality testing in psychology is still hotly debated among academics. Some believe that the MBTI is outdated, not personalized, sensationalized, and difficult to verify the accuracy of. Therefore, you should be aware of the flaws the MBTI had before taking it, although it can still be a useful tool for some individuals.
Is the Big 5 Personality Test Accurate?
There are a wide variety of personality tests available online. Still, the Big Five has remained one of the most popular. Many attribute this popularity due to Big Five’s highly specific and easy-to-understand results. However, the question remains: just how accurate are these results?
Most individuals, both laymen and professional researchers recognize the Big Five as one of the most accurate assessments you could take in regard of personality typing. The creation of the test was quite scientific, beginning with the research done by D.W. Fiske. Years later, psychologists are still building upon Fiske’s studies and improving the assessment.
Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson has endorsed the ideas behind the Big Five assessment and brought global attention to the test’s legitimacy. Numerous studies have shown the relationship between certain Big Five traits and success in certain careers.
For instance, research points out that more neurotic individuals tend to unsurprisingly perform better in less stressful jobs, which may cause a loss of income in the short term, but is beneficial for mental health in the long run (1).
After reading the above list of differences and similarities between the MBTI and the Big Five, you hopefully know more about each of these tests. You might even already know which is right for you to take. However, it is key to remember that both can be very helpful.
Some of the key differences between these assessments are in the way the results are presented. If you want a braid overview of your entire personality, covering a wide range of your weaknesses and positive traits, then the MBTI is likely the right test for you. If you would like more detailed and specific information on a few traits, the Big Five is more appropriate for your goals.
The MBTI and the Big Five both give important feedback and increase understanding about your personality. With this knowledge, you can unlock incredible opportunities. Individuals that are aware of their personalities make greater career decisions, which often lead to more satisfaction in life, greater career achievement, and a boost in commitment as well as productivity.
Taking these tests can also help you become aware of your weaknesses. While this could potentially cause you to doubt your skills, knowing about your weaknesses can prevent you from making erroneous decisions in your career and relationships. Thus, taking either the Big Five or the MBTI test could offer a wide range of useful personality information. By taking both, you could get even more insights.