Learn English with a VOX News story about MBTI

Is the MBTI meaningless?

Published: 7.28.2023
Level 4   |   Time: 3:35
Accent: American
Source: VOX

Improve your English with an ESL listening lesson about the MBTI test. VOX explains why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless.


triangle Directions 목표 Direcciones Instruções


    It is important to read the vocabulary before you watch the video. This will improve your ability to understand the video. It will also help you understand how the new vocabulary is used naturally.

  2. WATCH the VIDEO

    The first time you watch the video, just try to understand the overall situation.


    First try to answer all the questions from memory. Then rewatch the video and try to answer the questions that you missed.

  4. WATCH and READ the SCRIPT

    Watch the video again while you read the script. Reading and listening at the same time will help you hear each individual word and improve your listening accuracy.


    There are several different activities that focus on test preparation, vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure.


    Es importante leer el vocabulario antes de ver el video. Esto mejorará su capacidad para comprender el video. También le ayudará a comprender cómo se usa el nuevo vocabulario de forma natural.

  2. VER el VIDEO

    La primera vez que vea el video, intente comprender la situación general.


    Primero intente responder todas las preguntas de memoria. Luego, vuelva a ver el video e intente responder las preguntas que se perdió.


    Mire el video nuevamente mientras lee el guión. Leer y escuchar al mismo tiempo lo ayudará a escuchar cada palabra individual y mejorará su precisión auditiva.


    Hay una serie de actividades diferentes que se centran en la preparación de la examen, el vocabulario, la gramática y la estructura de las oraciones.

  1. 어휘 읽기

    비디오를 보기 전에 어휘와 배경을 읽는 것이 중요합니다. 이렇게 하면 비디오를 이해하는 능력이 향상됩니다. 또한 새로운 어휘가 어떻게 자연스럽게 사용되는지 이해하는데 도움이됩니다.

  2. 비디오 보기

    비디오를 처음 볼 때 전체 상황을 이해하려고 노력하세요.

  3. 문제에 답하기

    먼저 모든 질문에 답을 해보세요. 그런 다음 비디오를 다시보고 놓친 질문에 답해보세요.

  4. 비디오 보면서 대본 읽기

    대본을 읽는 동안 비디오를 다시 보세요. 읽기와 듣기를 동시에 하면 각각의 단어를 듣고, 듣기 정확도를 향상시킬 수 있습니다.

  5. 액티비티 하기

    듣기 정확도, 발음, 어휘, 문법 및 문장 구조에 초점을 맞춘 다양한 액티비티가 있습니다.


    É importante ler o vocabulário antes de assistir ao vídeo. Isso melhorará sua capacidade de entender o vídeo. Também ajudará você a entender como o novo vocabulário é usado naturalmente.


    Na primeira vez que assistir ao vídeo, tente entender a situação geral.


    Primeiro, tente responder a todas as perguntas de memória. Em seguida, assista novamente ao vídeo e tente responder às perguntas que você errou.


    Assista ao vídeo novamente enquanto lê o roteiro. Ler e ouvir ao mesmo tempo ajudará você a ouvir cada palavra individualmente e a melhorar sua precisão auditiva.


    Existem várias atividades diferentes que se concentram na preparação para o teste, vocabulário, gramática e estrutura de frases.

triangle Vocabulary 어휘 Vocabulário Vocabulario

  • ☐ ☐ ☐ reportedly [adv] - supposedly, said in a study or report
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ administer (a test) [v] - give (a test)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ meaningless [adj] - having no meaning or significance
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a clinical psychologist [n] - a professional who helps people with mental and emotional issues
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a psychiatrist [n] - a doctor who helps people with mental and emotional issues
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a stake [n] - a share or an interest in a business
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ enormously [adv] - a lot
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ influential [adj] - being able to affect or persuade people
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ hypothesize [v] - guess with evidence, create a theory
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ fall into [phv] - become
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ intuition [n] - knowing something without reason or proof
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ fit neatly [exp] - fit clearly or easily
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ no formal training [exp] - no proper education
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ slightly altered [exp] - changed a little
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ terminology [n] - vocabulary
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ an extrovert [n] - an outgoing, friendly person who is comfortable in groups
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ an introvert [n] - a shy person who prefers to be alone
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ reliable [adj] - giving the same results in different experiments or studies
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ Fortune 100 companies [n] - the 100 richest/biggest companies in the world
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a federal agency [n] - a government office or organization
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ potential hires [n] - people that a company it considering hiring
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ play into [phv] - support
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ vague [adj] - unclear
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ purveyors of (something) [n] - people who use (something)
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ astrology [n] - predicting a person's future based on the stars
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ fortune-telling [n] - predicting a person's future based on stars, cards, tea leaves, hand lines, etc...
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ pseudoscience [n] - not real science
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a horoscope [n] - a prediction of a person's future based on the stars

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions 문제 Questões Preguntas

  1. The Myers-Briggs test has ______ questions.

  2. CPP earns _______ from the test every year.
    about 2 million dollars
    about 20 million dollars
    about 200 million dollars

  3. Professional psychologists who don't have a stake in the financial success of the test ______ it.
    believe in
    don't believe in

  4. Carl Jung believed that people ______ be put into clear personality types.

  5. Jung believed _____ people were exceptions to the rule.

  6. Catherine Briggs and ______ used Jung's ideas to make the Myers-Briggs Test.
    her professor
    her students
    her daughter

  7. In the test, people ______ be put into two opposing categories.

  8. A study showed that ______ got different results when they took the test 5 weeks apart.
    all participants
    half of participants
    a third of participants
    very few participants

  9. _____ Fortune 500 companies use the test in their hiring process.
    A few

  10. Studies have shown that the test ______ predicts people's success in a job.

  11. The MBTI descriptions are ______ positive.

  12. The speaker compares the MBTI to _______ and ______.
    IQ tests
    scientific studies

  13. The speaker believes that the MBTI is useful for _______.
    finding a job
    making friends
    finding aromantic partner

triangle Summary 요약 Construção de sentença Resumen [ ? ]


This activity is designed to improve sentence accuracy and complexity. Most students can produce the key content words in a sentence. However, they have difficulty with accuracy because the functional words are difficult or can seem unimportant. This activity will help learners eliminate problems with these functional words by giving them immediate feedback on the mistakes they are making. It will also help students develop their use of more natural, varied and complex sentence structures.

TIP: Say the sentence out loud. Notice the types of mistake you make often. Focus on those types of errors. (singular/plural, subject-verb agreement, article use, prepositions, gerunds and infinitives, noun clauses, adjective clauses, word order, and word forms.)


Esta actividad está diseñada para mejorar la precisión y complejidad de las oraciones. La mayoría de los estudiantes pueden producir las palabras clave del contenido en una oración. Sin embargo, tienen dificultades con la precisión porque las palabras funcionales son difíciles o pueden parecer poco importantes. Esta actividad ayudará a los alumnos a eliminar problemas con estas palabras funcionales al brindarles retroalimentación inmediata sobre los errores que están cometiendo. También ayudará a los estudiantes a desarrollar su uso de estructuras de oraciones más naturales, variadas y complejas.

CONSEJO: Diga la oración en voz alta. Observe los tipos de errores que comete con frecuencia. Concéntrese en ese tipo de errores. (singular / plural, concordancia entre sujeto y verbo, uso del artículo, preposiciones, gerundios e infinitivos, cláusulas sustantivas, cláusulas adjetivas, orden de las palabras y formas de las palabras).


이 액티비티는 문장의 정확성과 복잡성을 개선하기 위해 고안되었습니다. 대부분의 학생들은 문장에서 핵심 내용 단어를 생성 할 수 있습니다. 그러나 기능적 단어가 어렵거나 중요하지 않은 것처럼 보일 수 있기 때문에 정확성에 어려움이 있습니다. 이 액티비티는 학습자가 실수에 대한 즉각적인 피드백을 제공함으로써 이러한 기능적 단어의 문제를 제거하는 데 도움이 됩니다. 또한 학생들이 보다 자연스럽고 다양하며 복잡한 문장 구조를 사용하는 데 도움이 됩니다.

팁 : 문장을 크게 말하세요. 자주 저지르는 실수 유형과, 이러한 유형의 오류에 집중하세요. (단수 / 복수, 주어-동사 일치, 관사 사용, 전치사, 동명사 및 부정사, 명사절, 형용사절, 어순 및 단어 형태)


Esta atividade foi desenvolvida para melhorar a precisão e a complexidade das frases. A maioria dos alunos pode produzir as palavras-chave do conteúdo em uma frase. No entanto, eles têm dificuldade com precisão porque as palavras funcionais são difíceis ou podem parecer sem importância. Esta atividade ajudará os alunos a eliminar problemas com essas palavras funcionais, dando-lhes feedback imediato sobre os erros que estão cometendo. Também ajudará os alunos a desenvolver o uso de estruturas de sentenças mais naturais, variadas e complexas.

DICA: Diga a frase em voz alta. Observe os tipos de erro que você comete com frequência. Concentre-se nesses tipos de erros. (singular/plural, concordância sujeito-verbo, uso de artigos, preposições, gerúndios e infinitivos, cláusulas substantivas, cláusulas adjetivas, ordem das palavras e formas das palavras.)

Directions: Write sentences about the video clip using the words given. You can change the word form or add words, but you cannot change the word order.

Instrucciones: Escriba oraciones sobre el videoclip usando las palabras dadas. Puede cambiar la forma de la palabra o agregar palabras, pero no puede cambiar el orden de las palabras.

Instrucciones: Escreva orações sobre o videoclipe usando as palavras-chave. Você pode alterar a forma da palavra ou adicionar palavras, mas não pode alterar a ordem das palavras.

지시 : 주어진 단어를 사용하여 비디오 클립에 대한 문장을 씁니다. 어형을 변경하거나 단어를 추가할 수 있지만 어순은 변경할 수 없습니다.

Sentence 1

MBTI / use / 93 / question / place / test-taker / one / sixteen / personality / type

The MBTI uses 93 questions to place test-takers into one of sixteen personality types.

Sentence 2

CPP / report / earn / about / $20 / million / dollar / year / test

CPP reportedly earns about $20 million dollars [a/per] year [from/off/off of] the test.

Sentence 3

there / lot / evidence / that / indicate / test / total / meaningless

There is a lot of evidence that indicates (that) the test is totally meaningless.

Sentence 4

only / professional / who / believe / test / be / psychologist / and / psychiatrist / who / financial / stake / company

The only professionals who believe (in) the test are psychologists and psychiatrists who have a financial stake in the company.

Sentence 5

test / create / 1940s / Catherine Briggs / and / daughter / Isabel Briggs-Myers

The test was created in the 1940s by Catherine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs-Myers.

Sentence 6

they / base / test / on / work / enormous / influential / psychologist / Carl Jung

They based the test on the work of the enormously influential psychologist Carl Jung.

Sentence 7

however / they / change / Jung / terminology / and / design / test / so / people / could / only / assign / one / personality / type

However, they changed Jung's terminology and designed the test so (that) people could only be assigned one personality type.

Sentence 8

in / one / study / 50% / people / who / take / test / again / five / week / later / get / different / result

In one study, 50% of people who took the test again five weeks later got a different result.

Sentence 9

nevertheless / 89 / out / 100 / Fortune / 100 / company / use / test / hiring / process

Nevertheless, 89 out of 100 Fortune 100 companies use test in their hiring process.

Sentence 10

one / reason / test / be / so / popular / be / only / give / positive / result

One reason (that) the test is so popular is (that) it only gives positive results.

Sentence 11

other / reason / be / result / be / vague / enough / be / broad / applicable / anyone

Another reason is (that) the results are vague enough to be broadly applicable to anyone.

Sentence 12

video / conclude / test / be / only / useful / one / thing / entertainment

The video concludes (that) the test is only useful for one thing: entertainment.

triangle Discussion 논의 Questões de discussão Discusión

  1. What was your opinion of the MBTI before and after watching this video? Did it change?
  2. The people in the video state that the test is meaningless? What is their argument? Do you agree?
  3. What is your MBTI? Do you think it is accurate? In what ways?
  4. Have you taken the test more than once? Did you get the same result each time?
  5. How does the MBTI categorize personalities? Can you explain the four main dimensions?
    (e.g., introversion/extroversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, judging/perceiving)?
  6. In what situations do you think knowing someone's MBTI type could be helpful? (e.g., at work, in friendships, in romantic relationships) How?
  7. The video compares the MBTI to things like astrology, fortune-telling, horoscopes, blood type. How is it similar to these things? How is it different?
  8. Some people argue that using personality tests like the MBTI for employment or hiring decisions is unfair and unreliable. What's your stance on this issue, and why?
  9. Which MBTI type do you think is a good match for you romantically? Which one is a bad match? Why?
  10. Which MBTI type would you want to work with? Which type would you want to avoid working with? Why?

    Taken from Wikepedia

triangle Script 대본 Roteiro Texto

Okay, so there's a 93-question test called the Myers-Briggs type indicator.

And the company that makes it, CPP, reportedly earns about $20 million dollars from the 2 million people that take it and companies that administer it every year.

So you take this test. You answer these 93 questions, and it tells you you're one of these 16 different personality types.

The only problem is that this test is totally meaningless.

Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, anyone working to understand human behavior who doesn't have a stake in the financial success of this test doesn't actually even believe in it.

So, let's step back a little.

In 1921, Carl Jung, an enormously influential early psychologist, hypothesized that humans fall into a number of different types.

There are perceivers and judgers. People who prefer sensing over intuition. There are thinkers and there are feelers.

But even at the time he realized that most people don't fit neatly into one category or another.

He wrote, "Every individual is an exception to the rule."

So then, a few decades later, a pair of Americans who had no formal training in psychology, Catherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs-Myers, decided to take these ideas and turn them into what they called a type-indicator.

Around 1945, they first began testing it. They took Jung's types but slightly altered the terminology and changed it so that every single person was assigned only one possibility or another. You couldn't be a little bit of an extrovert or a little bit of an introvert. But people don't actually work that way, so the results simply aren't reliable.

One study found that as much as 50% of people who took the test twice arrived at different results even though it was only 5 weeks later.

And a reported 89 of the Fortune 100 companies and 200 federal agencies use the test to separate employees and potential hires into 'types' and assign them appropriate training programs and responsibilities. But multiple studies have shown the test totally fails to predict people's success in various jobs.

"Wait! Why is the Myers Briggs so popular?"

Well, it really only gives positive results, and it plays into the idea of people fitting neatly into categories. People love categories.

You can't take the test and be told you're selfish or lazy or mean. The results are always positive.

Because the descriptions are vague, they're hard to argue with. This is called the Forer Effect, and is a technique long used by purveyors of astrology, fortune-telling, and other sorts of pseudoscience to persuade people they have accurate information about them.

There's something really attractive about assigning ourselves a personality. This is why horoscopes are so popular. But the truth is that human personalities are really complicated.

You know, there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking the test as a fun activity. The Myers-Briggs is useful for one thing: entertainment.