How Koreans fell in love with an American World War II era personality test

An MBTI fortune telling booth in Seoul on June 25.

How Koreans fell in love with an American (Seoul, South Korea): It’s as though Seoul is beguiled. Walk around the South Korean capital and in the midst of the ocean of customary Hangul characters it’s hard not to see similar four letters of the Latin letter set springing up over and over: MBTI.

Those four letters are embellished on promotions, sprinkled into everyday discussion, highlighted in PC games and, surprisingly, on inconsistently playlists. Come by a bistro and you might hear couples on their most memorable date examining them. Visit a spiritualist and they might be summoned as omens of your future; open a dating application and about 33% of profiles will incorporate them.

The MBTI is a character test, referred to officially as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, that partitions individuals into 16 “types” – – every one of which is doled out mental qualities and a four-letter code.

The test was made by two Americans who considered it to be an approach to matching ladies to occupations during World War II. It has floated all through style from that point forward, acquiring fame during the 1990s as a lifelong directing device in schools and workplaces.

However, its latest flood in prominence is among hip youthful South Koreans, for whom realizing your MBTI type has turned into the most recent frenzy – – especially with regards to dating.

As opposed to sit around idly with additional customary approaches to tracking down an accomplice, some stalwart devotees of this more youthful age, generally in their 20s and 30s, are utilizing the MBTI to get to the point – – and preclude characters considered contrary.


The MBTI way to deal with dating requests to the reasonableness of the MZ Generation (a mix of Millennia’s and Gen Z), as indicated by Lim Myoung-ho, a brain science teacher at Dan-screwball University.

In this general public, assuming you know the sort that suits you well ahead of time that is viewed as more effective Lim said.

That is the reason Lee Da-hyun, a 23-year-old college understudy in Seoul, consistently tells individuals her MBTI type prior to meeting them interestingly.

I don’t have to continue and make sense of about myself. I can save time by saying that I’m ENFP (“lively and agreeable”), and they can comprehend what sort of individual I am,” Lee said. Everyone knows one’s sort and the personality of that sort nowadays.


An MBTI fortune telling booth in Seoul on June 25.

Lee’s encounters have just fortified her faith in the framework. Her sweetheart’s kind is probably viable with hers – – and “we’ve been together for more than 1,000 days, so that is confirmation these sorts are great for one another,” she said.

However, not every person is persuaded. A few specialists – – some of whom might recall the MBTI from its past manifestations – – keep thinking about whether the more youthful group is neglecting wraps of qualified accomplices in the off track any desire for finding their joyfully ever-after inside a slippery four-letter mix.


The mother-girl couple of Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers made their pointer. Which they in view of hypotheses of the Swiss clinician Carl Jung – – during the 1940s. When ladies were interestingly being urged to take on modern positions emptied. By a male labor force that had been shipped off war.

Their test places that every individual inclines in the direction of one or the other extroversion. Or self-preoccupation; detecting or instinct; thinking or feeling; and judging or seeing.

Each of these “inclinations” is addressed by a letter. And the different blends of these four letters make a sum of 16 character types.


The general straightforwardness of the test is important for its getting through bid. By the 1980s, the MBTI had become pervasive in the Western corporate world. Where it was in many cases utilized in employing choices and the board improvement courses.

However, from that point forward, distrust over the logical benefits of the test have seen. Its ubiquity in the working environment decline.

Numerous clinicians have scrutinized its system, saying there is lacking proof to help its cases and irregularities in its outcomes. Step through the examination at two unique times and you might obtain two distinct outcomes, they say.

“It is not difficult to utilize … be that as it may. There is additionally a mistake of over-speculation or obsession,” said brain science teacher Lim.

Different pundits bring up that Briggs and Myers had no proper preparation in brain science. That human qualities exist on a considerably more perplexing range than the parallels the test draws. And that the relegated “type” could impact an individual’s way of behaving and decisions, making it an unavoidable outcome.

But the test appears to evaluate a couple of typical person characteristics, the instances of data don’t suggest that there is inspiration to acknowledge that there are 16 phenomenal kinds of character, composed David J. Pittenger, a brain research teacher at Marshall University, in a 1993 paper.

“Taken all in all, the MBTI makes not many novel functional or hypothetical commitments to the comprehension of conduct.”



In any case, youthful South Koreans seem able to disregard the test’s apparent issues until further notice. All things considered, it’s not whenever they’ve first inclined toward something like this.

In the mid-2000s numerous South Koreans embraced a pattern. That guaranteed blood classification was connected to character qualities. And in this manner heartfelt similarity – – Type O people. For example, were probably seriously cordial.

Furthermore, organizations have rushed to trade out – – hustling to send off MBTI-themed items, from PC games to brew and get-aways.

There’s the “MBTI Blind Date” PC game test system. Which permits players to visit with characters addressing every one of the 16 character types to measure their similarity. And numerous comparative games.


Leave a Comment