Blog of Sara Jakša

Individual vs. Group Evaluation: The Difference between the MBTI and The Big Five

There is one interesting difference between the MBTI and The Big Five system, which makes them more suitable for different applications. One of these differences is between individual and group evaluation.

In MBTI, the personal type depends on the evaluation of different aspects inside a person. I am an INTP, which means that I am using a lot more Ti and Ne functions that any other functions. Instead, an ISFP would be using an Se and Fi functions more than others.

But this doesn't tell anything about comparing against people. For example, the ISFP in question could still be a lot better in using Ti than I would be. There is nothing in the type that would tell me that. Or I could be better in using Se than he is.

The type only tells the relative strength inside a person.

The Big Five instead is evaluation each trait compared to a person. It is kind of like IQ, where a person's intelligence is compared to the intelligence of people with the same age. Here, in the Big Five, the traits are also compared to other people. So people high in agreeableness are more agreeable than other people on average.

But it does not tell which trait is the most important to a person. A highly disagreeable person could put this trait as a more important part of personality, even if the agreeableness score is actually low.

That is why, when it comes to the personal development, I prefer using MBTI, even though also The Big Five can be used. But when it comes to comparing people, for example in the recruitment process and so on, then The Big Five is a lot better choice.