The misuse of Zodiac Signs and MBTIs 

Illustration by Kristine Tran/The Daily Campus

It’s interesting how you get the feeling of knowing yourself better after taking a personality test like MBTI or matching your birth month to a constellation. Since your birthday is in the middle of April every personality trait of an Aries seems to fit you perfectly. You think to yourself, “There is no doubt I am an Aries. I am 100% an ENFP. This cannot be just a coincidence. This is scientifically true!” Every time you meet someone, you ask for their star sign or MBTI and try to figure out their true self and see if they are compatible with yours. All of your Instagram is about the uniqueness of your sign/MBTI and numerous scenarios you would face and how you would react.   

Most people know that it is highly unlikely that our personalities are based on our birth date and that they can be divided into only 16 categories. Rationally thinking, we know that there is little to no scientific evidence for both. And yes, even the MBTI test is considered outdated and not used in the psychological field. There are too many different scenarios that can occur and there is no simple way of putting in how we will perceive them. A lot of people even get different results based on their moods and situation which makes it even more unreliable. People with the same zodiac sign and the same MBTI may not have the same thought process, especially when an unexpected event happens, and that can somewhat be natural. Instead of our personality traits being on either side — rational or emotional, present-oriented or future-oriented — they are on a huge spectrum along with countless other traits. In this matter, how can we generalize human behavior by grouping them based on their birthday or a single test? Although generalization is done in many studies and can be a useful tool in a social setting, everyone has their own experiences and backgrounds that make them unique. 

I don’t think it’s a bad thing for people in the United States to be obsessed with zodiac signs while people in South Korea are obsessed with MBTI. I think it is fun to use it as a topic for light conversation. Unfortunately, it’s all fun and games until someone bashes you or makes up excuses based on those personality groups. I have heard many absurd comments from people about how their unacceptable behavior roots in their zodiac sign and MBTI. They say it as if it is something they cannot control and that others will have to accept. People have taken it so far that even some companies in South Korea are asking potential workers for their MBTI and not hiring those with a specific MBTI. As if it makes sense that one’s MBTI defines their skills and workplace attitudes. In most cases, no zodiac sign or MBTI is excused for attitudes that do not conform to social norms. 

These personality grouping phenomena tend to follow the trend and will soon die out while new ones might emerge in the future. We should always keep in mind not to fall too deep into it and that we are much more than a clump of stars in the sky and much more than just four letters. We don’t have to be conscious of our actions and try to think what a Capricorn or an ISFJ would do. And it is okay to admit that your genuine self does not match your zodiac sign or MBTI. Sure, it can be a tool to get to know yourself and others better. However, even if we don’t feel like it, deep inside, we are experts on our true selves. We know that humans are multi-faceted, and we all have different personas in different life settings. Although it is tempting, nobody and nothing can tell us who we are, only ourselves. 

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