The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test is used by 89 Fortune 100 companies and is taken by 2.5 million people every year. Unfortunately, the test is unreliable. If you retake the test after only a 5-week gap, there is a 50% chance your score will change.


In contrast, psychologists have validated the “Big Five” personality traits across thousands of studies:


The Big Five are also known by the acronym OCEAN.


One has only to consider the enormous frustration of conducting foreign aid in an underdeveloped country, or getting business established there, to realize what an extraordinary economic asset is a population of honest conscientious people.

-Thomas Schelling


Other validated psychological measures include Future Time Perspective (FTP) and Need for Cognition (NFC).


FTP is the ability to anticipate and plan for the future:


NFC is a thinking style that is analytical and reflective:


If you know the enemy and yourself, you need not fear a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

-Sun Tzu


Personal notes

When interacting with people, I find it useful to consider these traits:


If I think someone is introverted, I socialize less. If FTP, I discuss big-picture plans. If NFC, I focus on facts and logic. Finally, I’m especially organized and punctual for conscientious people.


Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.

-George Bernard Shaw


Grant A. (2013, September 18). Goodbye to MBTI, the fad that won’t die. Psychology Today.


Pittenger DJ. (1993). The utility of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Review Educational Research. 63(4): 467–488.


Big Five personality traits. (2021, March 9). Wikipedia.


Kooij DTAM et al. (2018). Future time perspective: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Appl Psychol. 103(8): 867–893.


Henry H, Zacher H, Desmette D. (2017). Future Time Perspective in the work context: A systematic review of quantitative studies. Front Psychol. 8: 413.


Phillips WJ et al. (2016). Thinking styles and decision making: A meta-analysis. Psychol Bull. 142(3): 260–290.


Wang Y et al. (2017). Meta‐analytic investigations of the relation between intuition and analysis. Behavioral Decision Making. 30(1): 15–25.


Cacioppo JT, Petty RE, Kao CF. (2013). Need for Cognition scale. Measurement Instrument Database Social Science.

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