The MBTI is the most ubiquitous personality profile assessment. In fact, the MBTI changed my life. Upon taking it for the first time I realized that I was faulting myself for a way of being that was considered a strength. This was so liberating for me that that I changed careers!
Fast forward 10 years and I’m now a full-time coach and HR consultant. While StrengthsFinder is my favourite and preferred tool of choice to work with clients, there is a wealth of MBTI resources available. For example, there are many books, research, and websites related to career matching with the MBTI profile. Such resources do not exist yet for the StrengthsFinder. Check out my Career Match tool that is based on some of this work.
The first version of my Strengths to MBTI Converter tool was based on a sample of 20 Strengths/MBTI profiles that people sent to me. In 2019 I updated the tool after receiving a larger sample size (36). You can access it here: MBTI Converter 2.0.
Truth be told, I did a simple frequency distribution analysis the determine if a particular strength had a correlation with and MBTI dichotomy. I also applied my own understanding of the strengths to match the MBTI with the strength. This method resulted in a tool that had about 75% accuracy.
Professor Stone Publishes Study on StrengthsFinder and MBTI
In summer of 2016 Philip Stone, a senior scientist with Gallup and a psychologist at Harvard published the results of his work, “Comparing Results of Clifton StrengthsFinder (CSF) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Values-in-Action (VIA).” In this publication, Prof. Stone showed correlations between StrengthsFinder and the MBTI across the Judging/Perceiving dichotomy. His analysis was conducted on a sample of 222 students who took the StrengthsFinder and the MBTI.
The problem with Prof. Stone’s report is that it fails to report on the other 3 dichotomies. It is also unclear if this data is based on the student’s Top 5 report or the Full 34 report. Considering the large cost differential between the Top 5 and the Full 34 reports I suspect that he based his analysis on the Top 5 report only. His sample consisted of students ages 18-22 while my data is taken from certified strengths coaches with an average age of 45-55. Since age is a greater predictor of self-awareness and it is likely that the reports of the strengths coaches are more reliable.
Considering these deficits I was motivated to conduct a more rigorous analysis from my first attempt. I was curious to know if there were any correlations between any of the MBTI dichotomies and the dominant ranking of a particular strength.
About the Sample
I collected 20 StrengthsFinder Full 34 reports from a group of certified strengths coaches. I also included my own, and that of my wife in the sample. A summary of their MBTI types include:
Extroverts: 13 Introverts: 7
Sensing: 2 Intuition:18
Thinking: 10 Feeling:10
Judging: 7 Perceiving:13
I used a one-tailed t-test assuming a 95% degree of confidence. I broke the analysis into 4 parts following each of the 4 dichotomies of the MBTI: Extroversion(E) vs Introversion(I), Sensing(S) vs Intuition(N), Thinking(T) vs Feeling(F) and Judging(J) vs Perceiving(P). For each dichotomy, I split the data into two categorical groups respectively (ie. E/I) and measured the mean ranking and variance for each strength based on the Full 34 reports that I had collected. I hypothesized that each group population (ie. E vs I) had an equal variance and conducted an F-test to verify my assumption. The F-test on the E/I data yielded an F score of 5.18 (F=Variance E/Variance I). With this result, and assuming a null hypothesis that the population variances were the same I extrapolated the critical t-test value of .333 which was larger than the calculated value of .192. Since 0.192<0.333 I concluded that I could not disregard the null hypothesis and that indeed the variances were the same.
Next, I conducted a one-tailed t-test (significance of 95%) for each dichotomy assuming a null hypothesis that there were no significant correlations between the two samples (one sample for each dichotomy). With a t-critical value calculated to be 1.734 the follow results failed the null hypothesis thus yielding a Strength to MBTI dichotomy correlations.
My results are modestly different that reported by Prof Stone who reported these correlations for the Judging dichotomy. Strengths marked in green were identified by both studies.
• Achiever t = 2.51 p = .013
• Analytical t = 3.451 p = .0007
• Discipline t = 10.15 p < .0001
• Consistency t = 5.97 p < .0001
• Focus t = 3.543 p = .0002
• Harmony t = 3.96 p < .0001
• Learner t = 2.274 p = .022
Here are Prof’s Stone’s corresponding results for the Percieving dicchotomy:
• Activator t = 1.36 p = .142
• Adaptability t = 6.475 p = .0001
• Command t = 2.561 p = .0117
• Ideation t = 5.459 p < .0001
• Self-assurance t = 2.72 p = .0076
• Strategic t = 3.874 p = .0005
• Woo t = 1.919 p = .0562
This analysis would be strengthened by a sample of lesser homogeneousness and of greater size. For example, there are only 2 people in the data sample related to the S dichotomy. This is likely a result of the sample data originating from certified coaches whose population are more predictably intuitive than sensing.
There are some results that defied my expectations. For example, Self-Assurance was identified to have a correlation with Extraversion. If anything I would expect it to be the opposite. Positivity was correlated with Intuition. I expected Activator to be correlated with Perceiving any my analysis did not show this.
These results, however, will prove instrumental in improving the accuracy of the next version (soon to be released) of Strengths to MBTI Converter tool. More to come as I continue to collect data. I encourage anyone wishing to participate in this study to send me your Full 34 and MBTI results to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!