Plus, there’s a good chance that many of the singles putting their Myers-Briggs classifier in their app bios aren’t quite grasping what their personality type even means. “I think that people don’t really understand the differences between introversion and extroversion,” Bumble’s sociologist Jess Carbino says. “It’s really not about that. It’s about how you derive energy.” (Extroverts are energized in groups of people while introverts recharge by spending time alone.) Carbino also finds the binary nature of the test’s results problematic – introversion versus extroversion – since very rarely is personality so black and white.
“It’s part of the language people are using to understand themselves,” he says. The Myers-Briggs Company, however, is not designed to predict romantic compatibility between strangers. “There’s no data that one type would be more compatible with another type,” Segovia adds. Which means daters such as Franco might be weeding out just the kind of person they would click with, wrongly assuming an introvert to be a buzzkill. It’s possible an introvert could balance out an extrovert’s sometimes over-the-top need for attention.
As it turns out, people aren’t that great at figuring out to whom we’ll actually be attracted. In a study published in 2017, researchers asked singles to describe their ideal qualities in a partner. After examining daters’ stated romantic preferences, researchers created an algorithm to match participants based on their self-reported personality tastes. The machine could not predict who ended up pairing off. The researchers concluded that “compatibility elements of human mating are challenging to predict before two people meet.”
The person who includes a Myers-Briggs descriptor in their Tinder profile is a distinct personality type unto itself
The best way for singles to suss out their compatibility with a partner is face-to-face, says Samantha Joel, assistant professor at the University of Utah and lead researcher on the attraction prediction study. Using a Myers-Briggs indicator in online dating won’t help singles “choose an objectively better partner,” Joel says, “but they’ll feel better about their decision, and in a strange way, that is useful. It’s like a placebo.”
Actor Priyom Haider says he added his Myers-Briggs type to his Tinder bio in February after noticing a number of women in Los Angeles, where he lives, had done the same. Haider determined he was INTJ, a supposedly rare type of introvert. “I’m just putting it out there to make it more efficient,” Haider said. “I don’t know how many girls are even going to understand what it is. The smart ones, who may be a little curious, may want to look it up.” Rather than outright mentioning his desire for an intelligent, curious woman, he figures that listing his personality acronym is a good way of signaling he’s into smarts.
Revealing the nitty-gritty of one’s inner workings eliminates the mystique of the getting-to-know-you phase, relationship expert LaDawn Black says. “If you talk to couples who’ve been together for a long time, a lot of times they’ll say the person that they’re with is not at all the person they thought they would end up with,” Black says. By advertising and selecting based on personality type, “we may actually be working against ourselves.”
Michael Segovia, senior consultant at the Myers-Briggs Company, credits the test’s popularity on dating apps to its widespread use – many people have heard of or taken the Myers-Briggs assessment
“Myers-Briggs doesn’t tell me who you are . except that you’ve fallen for nonsense, so I’m not impressed,” says Daniel Sharp, a 23-year-old student in Scotland. Seeing a Myers-Briggs acronym is enough of a red flag for him to automatically swipe left.