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Stop Using MBTI & DISC, They're Not That Good

- 09 May 2019 by



MBTI, DISC, and OCEAN. What’s the best psychological testing tool for recruitment? Hiring is costly if you get it wrong - financially and culturally - so it’s important to get it right. But which one can actually help you get the right talent that fits your company?

Let’s examine closely how good each tool would be for recruitment (and why OCEAN is the best one).


Which is which?

MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator) measures personality in 4 dichotomies, namely introversion-extraversion, intuition-sensing, feeling-thinking, and perception-judging. Results are shown as one of 16 personalities. It’s the most famous but least useful tool for personality testing.


4 dichotomies in MBTI

DISC measures 4 quadrants of personality: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. Personality is scored based on how someone’s personality falls on the quadrants in one of 12 profiles. Though still valid and reliable, it fails to be predictive.


4 quadrants in DISC

OCEAN, or the Big Five personality model which is what Dreamtalent’s Dream5 is based on, measures 30 traits of personality under openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The results are shown in a spectrum and doesn’t put people into specific labels.

OCEAN is the gold standard in psychometric testing. It’s valid, reliable, widely applied in the professional world, and universally accepted by researchers (as you can see from the long references list). Most of all, it’s predictive. We wouldn’t base Dream5 on anything less.


30 traits in OCEAN

So, which one is the best and why is it OCEAN?

1. OCEAN knows you

One thing to look for in psychometric tests is how well it can capture and define your personality. The more traits measured, the better, because it would allow a deeper and more accurate understanding of your personality.

MBTI measures only 4 traits and gives results in a binary, yes-or-no fashion, like this:


Labeling personality in such a black-and-white manner is often misleading. In reality, people can have characteristics from both ends of the trait, such as extraversion. Carl Jung, whose theory MBTI is based on, said that someone who’s purely introverted or extroverted belongs in a mental asylum.


Labeling a trait as yes-or-no is dangerously misleading.


Dreamtalent’s Dream5 and OCEAN recognize this, so the results are shown in a spectrum, like this:


If you remember your maths, each trait is like a normal distribution curve: high in the middle, and low at the edges. That means we tend to lie somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. What makes us different is which side we’re leaning closer to. Being on the very edge of the spectrum is considered abnormal, so unlike the others, Dream5 doesn’t label you as one or the other.

2. OCEAN recognizes uniqueness

MBTI puts you in one of their 16 personalities. Similarly, DISC assigns you into one of 12 profiles. But here’s the thing: everyone is unique, right? So is it really accurate to just put you and others into an archetype and assume you’re all exactly the same?


What’s a serial killer and a comedian have in common? They’re both ENTJ.

OCEAN doesn’t label you as one in a dozen when in reality you’re one in 7.5 billion. Imagine if each of the measured 30 spectra has 4 parts: very high, high, low, very low. That’s 810,000 possible combinations (or “types”) of personality. With 10 parts, that’s 590 trillion something - fourteen zeros.


OCEAN doesn’t label you along with others. It recognizes that everyone is unique.


A spectrum is actually measured in way more parts, more than just 10. That’s virtually an infinite number of personalities that Dream5 can analyze. And that’s how it’s supposed to be, because each and every one of us is unique from each other.

3. MBTI is dead

There are so many reasons why experts and scientists don’t like MBTI, though somehow they’re super popular still. Admittedly it is easy to do and fun to share among friends, but it’s not a good tool to predict candidate performance, so businesses should stay clear away from MBTI.

For starters, MBTI wasn’t born from years of peer-reviewed research by qualified scientists in labcoats (that’s Dream5). MBTI was created by a writer and her daughter who learned psychology and personality through self-study. According to Stein and Swan (2019), MBTI’s framework isn’t good enough that it can’t even be tested for validity.

Secondly, have you noticed how your personality type changes every time you take an MBTI test? Stein and Swan (2019) also found that MBTI results are based solely on self perception, which means it can change simply due to your mood that day.

Finally, MBTI only focuses on the positives of personality and not weaknesses. This is not only less accurate, but also not focused on growth. Financial Times wrote that “a serial killer might be shown to be methodological, a self-starter and able to put plans into action.”

4. Predicting DISC’s future (it’s not good)

While DISC is based on scientific research and is valid and reliable, it’s not predictive. DISC cannot predict whether a candidate will be successful in their job because it can only predict behavior, not performance (Wolfe, 2011). Therefore DISC may not be the best tool for looking for the right talent for your company.

Researchers at Envisia Learning (2018) are doubtful about DISC’s ability in predicting effectiveness and success in the workplace because it only measures from 4 quadrants, hence incomplete and inadequate. Even a DISC site acknowledges this issue (discprofile.com).


DiSC is not a predictive assessment so assumptions should not be made regarding an applicant's probability of success based solely on their style. (discprofile.com)


What many researchers love is how OCEAN is effective in predicting performance, job satisfaction, training effectiveness, organizational behavior, and many other factors (Judge et al, 2013, etc.). This predictive ability is not limited to the workplace, and can also be applied in schools and other settings (Roberts, Martin & Olaru, 2015).

Deep as the OCEAN

We’re a bunch of perfectionists here in Dreamaxtion, so we based Dream5 only from the most valid and reliable psychometric framework there is, and that’s OCEAN. Finding the right job is tough and making wrong hires is a very costly mistake, so we designed Dream5 to make sure the right talents meet the right companies.


Check out our Instagram @dreamaxtion.id!

We want to make sure that talents can get the most accurate insight into their personality, and companies can boost their recruitment with a predictive psychometric framework that matches candidates that fit their culture. Nothing goes as deep as the OCEAN, so that’s what we’re sticking with, and so should you.

References

Johnson, J. A. (2014). Measuring thirty facets of the Five Factor Model with a 120-item public domain inventory: Development of the IPIP-NEO-120. Journal of Research in Personality, 51, 78-89.

Mirnics, Z., Heincz, O., Bagdy, G., Surányi, Z., Gonda, X., Benko, A., ... & Juhasz, G. (2013). The relationship between the big five personality dimensions and acute psychopathology: mediating and moderating effects of coping strategies. Psychiatria Danubina, 25(4), 0-388.

Locander, Mulki, & Weinberg, 2014

Ziegler, M., Bensch, D., Maaß, U., Schult, V., Vogel, M., & Bühner, M. (2014). Big Five facets as predictor of job training performance: The role of specific job demands. Learning and Individual Differences, 29, 1-7.

Klang, A. (2012). The Relationship Between Personality and Job Performance in Sales:: A Replication of Past Research and an Extension to a Swedish Context.

Judge, T. A., Rodell, J. B., Klinger, R. L., Simon, L. S., & Crawford, E. R. (2013). Hierarchical representations of the five-factor model of personality in predicting job performance: integrating three organizing frameworks with two theoretical perspectives. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(6), 875.

Wolfe, i. (2011). Why DISC Profile Doesn’t Work For Employee Screening. [Blog] Sales Performance Solutions. Available at: https://www.successperformancesolutions.com/why-disc-doesnt-work-for-employee-screening/ [Accessed 8 May 2019].

Envisia Learning (2018). DISC based personality assessment. [ebook] Available at: https://amazure.envisialearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/DISCPastAndPresentAndWilliamMarston_EN.pdf [Accessed 8 May 2019].

Stein, R., & Swan, A. B. (2019). Evaluating the validity of Myers‐Briggs Type Indicator theory: A teaching tool and window into intuitive psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 13(2), e12434.