Why The Big 5 Is NOT The MBTI


A lot of people treat Extraversion and Outgoingness the same way. Find out the core differences between the Big 5 and the MBTI and realise why you should study both systems.

MBTI Big 5

Qualitative or quantitative

The MBTI is based on the works of Carl Jung. It was based on Jung's theories that humans were different from one another. We had different values and we needed different things. It has a qualitative purpose: it is based on how we experience each other.

The Big 5 is based on works in psychology and science on measuring and making personality traits more easy to measure, define, and study. It has a quantitative methodology, it counts scores and focuses only on what it can measure.

This means the key strength of the MBT is: it has qualitative purpose. People can discuss and talk about and intuitively understand the differences discussed in the MBTI. And they can use it to learn things and to explore differences about various types. The key strength of the Big 5 is it can offer objective and real feedback on how you are and about your present state.

Different personality traits

The MBTI and the Big 5 study fundamentally different personality traits. In studies, the overlaps between these traits are weak or insignificant. Sometimes, the two are confused with each others, but if you study you realise they are very different. 

The MBTI

  • Extraversion: Valuing the outer world and experiences on the outside over what is happening on the inside.
  • Intuition: Valuing intuitive and abstract thoughts and ideas over objective and real information.
  • Feeling: Valuing experiences and feelings over facts and logic.
  • Judging: Valuing what has an order and a structure over what has to be adapted, put in place or changed.

The Big 5

  • Outgoingness: If you live an active, rich, and eventful life or not.
  • Openness: If you are learning and gaining new ideas and experiences.
  • Agreeableness: If you tend to have a positive view of people or not.
  • Conscientiousness: If you tend to work hard and put a lot of effort into the effects you do. 
  • Neuroticism: If you are prone to emotional mood swings or find it difficult to manage your mood and emotions. 

Is it better to be an extravert or introvert?

If you value extraversion, you value extraversion. It says nothing about if you are a better or worse person. It only gives an explanation of what behaviour makes you happier and gives you more energy.

The MBTI has no strong indication of what is better or worse. What you like to do, is just what you like to do, and order is not objectively better than change. The MBTI is also about what you like, not about what you are at this present moment. This means an MBTI type is relatively stable and does not change, or is very hard to change. The Big 5 type is somewhat steady, but can also change overtime, through effort. 

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About Erik Thor

I am an INFJ and I want to combat the stereotypes and help promote personality psychology that doesn’t limit or mistype you.