Here’s Why Your Personality Test Results Might Be Wrong

As an MBTI® practitioner I work with a lot of people who aren’t sure of their type, or who ARE sure of their type but probably shouldn’t be. Over the course of the last 10 years I’ve realized that there are certain types who nearly always mistype as other personality types, and that the online tests out there are really skewed in favor of certain types.

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Why Your Personality Type Result Might Be Wrong

Probably 9 out of 10 people who come to see me say that they’ve taken an online personality test and gotten one of 5 results (we’ll get into those later). Here’s how online tests get it wrong (in a nutshell):

Flawed Question 1 – Do you like alone time?
Person: Yes!
Test: You’re an Introvert

Flawed Question 2 – Do you have an imagination?
Person: Yes!
Test: You’re an intuitive!

Flawed Question 3 – Are you emotional or logical?
Person: Umm….both? Uhhh….maybe emotional? I’m not sure. Emotional.
Test: You’re a feeler
Person: I’m definitely logical. I’m smart. Emotional people are stupid.
Test: You’re a thinker!

Flawed Question 4 – Do you like having a plan?
Person: Yes!
Test: You’re a judger

Okay, soo….the tests don’t actually have those exact same questions, but they have variations of those same questions and as a result anyone who likes alone time, plans, is emotional and has an imagination will test as INFJ.

Anyone who likes alone time, plans, and considers themselves logical and imaginative gets an INTJ result. These are the two most common mistypes I come across (but there are more, believe me!)

What’s wrong with this?

Extraverts like alone time, too. We live in a world where everyone is addicted to technology and their phones, so more and more people are testing as introverted who are actually extroverts. Wanting to stay home and binge on Netflix or use Snapchat doesn’t make you an introvert.

Everyone gets worn out from excessive socializing. Everyone needs peace and quiet sometimes.

Extraverts have energy that flows outward to projects, activities, and people. Extraversion isn’t all about socializing. It’s about how much stimulation you can handle and how much stimulation you seek. I could write more about this, but I’ll save it for a later post. The point is, most people type as introverts, especially because of the misconception that extraverts are shallow party animals and introverts are deeper and wiser than extraverts.

Everyone has imagination. Yes, sensors as well as intuitives. Everyone loves exciting possibilities and thinking about the future to a certain extent. So most people test as intuitives, even if they aren’t. Sensors are more focused on the real world and tangible opportunities and intuitives are more focused on abstract meanings, symbols, and theoretical possibilities. Both types can be imaginative and creative. Most sensors mistype as intuitives because tests are really limiting the scope of sensing.

Also, a feeling preference isn’t related to how emotional you are. A thinking preference doesn’t indicate intelligence.

The Main Problem…

The tests widely available on the internet are not using the proper methods to type people. In fact, even the official MBTI® isn’t great at typing people without the paired consultation of a knowledgeable practitioner. Tests and indicators are focusing on dichotomies rather than the cognitive functions which form the entire foundation of personality type. If you’re testing yourself based solely on dichotomies (E/I, S/N, F/T, J/P) then chances are you’re not getting the right type.

We should be testing based on the functions…

What are the functions, you ask?

Here’s a (very) brief breakdown:

Extraverted Sensing (Se): The real world is a springboard for current opportunities, experience, and interaction. Realistic. Adventurous.

This is the dominant function of the ESTP and the ESFP, auxiliary function of the ISTP and ISFP.

Extraverted Intuition (Ne): The real-world is a springboard for future possibilities, theories, ideas, connections. Questioning. Abstract.

This is the dominant function of the ENTP and the ENFP, auxiliary function of the INTP and INFP.

Introverted Sensing (Si): The inner world of memories, impressions, details, and concrete facts is what drives you. Practical. Nostalgic.

This is the dominant function of the ISTJ and the ISFJ, the auxiliary function of the ESTJ and the ESFJ.

Introverted Intuition (Ni): The inner world of unconscious meanings, symbols, hunches, theories, and predictions is what drives you. Abstract. Future-focused.

This is the dominant function of the INTJ and the INFJ, the auxiliary function of the ENTJ and the ENFJ.

Extraverted Thinking (Te): You trust empirical evidence and objective logic when you decide. You like to organize your outer world to be as efficient as possible. Decisive. Directive.

This is the dominant function of the ENTJ and the ESTJ, the auxiliary function of the INTJ and the ISTJ.

Introverted Thinking (Ti): You categorize everything you know into an internal blueprint or framework. You seek the most accurate, precise conclusions. Effective. Intensive.

This is the dominant function of the INTP and the ISTP, auxiliary function of the ENTP and the ESTP.

Extraverted Feeling (Fe): You seek to create harmony in your environment and are highly aware of the moods and values of others. Tactful. Empathetic.

This is the dominant function of the ENFJ and the ESFJ, the auxiliary function of the INFJ and the ISFJ.

Introverted Feeling (Fi): You seek internal congruency and dedication to your morals and ethics. You value authenticity and you mirror other’s emotions. Individualistic. Sincere.

This is the dominant function of the INFP and the ISFP, the auxiliary function of the ENFP and the ESFP.

So as you can see, there are BIG differences between both types of sensing and intuition, both types of feeling and thinking. There is a lot more to the cognitive functions than what I listed there, so if you’re interested you can read more about them here.

The point is, the personality system isn’t as black and white as most online tests would lead you to believe.

Now let’s talk about the 5 most common mistypes.

The Most Common Mistype – The INFJ

INFJs are driven by an awareness of future implications and underlying meanings. They trust symbols, value strategy, and see everything from many perspectives. They are abstract and trust impressions over details. INFJs tend to test as perceivers because their dominant function, intuition, is a perceiving function.

Unlike many articles (or online memes) would imply, INFJs are not deeply in touch with their feelings and emotions. They are more focused on abstract future ideas and the emotions and feelings of others.

INFJs make up 1.5% of the US population, but probably 60% of the people who take online tests get this result.

What You COULD Be Instead:

ISFJ: Down-to-earth, loyal, detail-oriented, and empathetic. The ISFJ is the most common type in my experience to mistype as an INFJ. If you value facts over hunches, veer towards nostalgia, and enjoy having a consistent routine then this is more likely to be your type. You can find out more about ISFJs here.

ISFP: Creative, in-tune with nature, realistic, and idealistic. ISFPs are deeply in touch with their values and personal morals. They appear easy-going and reserved but are intensely adventurous. They are simultaneously highly realistic and highly idealistic about the future. This type is the second most-common type to mistype as an INFJ. You can find out more about ISFPs here.

INFP: Imaginative, creative, and future-focused. INFPs are deeply in tune with their emotions and values. They enjoy brainstorming and thinking about endless future possibilities and ideas. They crave uniqueness and freedom and enjoy theories and abstract ideas over facts and realities.

If you got an INFJ result on a test, I would highly recommend looking into the ISFJ, ISFP, or INFP personality types. These three types are MUCH more likely to be your type (but there is always a small chance you got the right result and you are an INFJ).

Truth be told, I’ve had ESFJs, ENTPs, ESTJs, ENFPs, INTJs, and ISTJs also mistype as INFJs from online tests, so pretty much anyone who gets an INFJ result should be skeptical.

Now to the second most common inaccurate type result…


You throw around a label like “The Mastermind” enough and EVERYONE wants to be one. This is another type to be very skeptical of. If you test as introverted, even slightly imaginative, logical, and planful, then you’ll get an INTJ result on an online test. This is really a shame because there are a lot of great thinking types out there who you COULD be, but most people really want to be INTJs (and INFJs) so they stick to their guns on these two types.

INTJs are DRIVEN by the unconscious world. If you don’t relate to this, you’re not an INTJ. INTJs look for complexity in everything, are fascinated by abstract theories, and they see everything as having symbolic meaning. They are interested in the unknown over the tangible and philosophy over facts. They get premonitions and hunches out of the blue and can’t explain them right away. Most likely if you’re a real INTJ you’re going to seem a little bit odd to other folks because there are SO few of you in the real world.

Here’s what you might be instead:

ISTJ: Reserved, grounded in reality, lover of facts and knowledge, highly practical. ISTJs are the most common type to mistype as INTJs. Like INTJs they value logic, crave knowledge, and have a reserved, private nature. Unlike INTJs, ISTJs love routine, are detail-oriented, and prefer evidence and pre-established facts over theories and abstract data. You can find out more about ISTJs here.

ISTP: Independent, adventurous, skeptical, logical. ISTPs live to question things. They are deeply analytical and also intensely realistic. They value real-world experience and facts over theories and extrapolations. They hate being tied down, crave hands-on experience, and are determined to reach goals. In mid-life they develop intuition, which results in many ISTPs mistyping as INTJs. You can find out more about ISTPs here.

ESTJ: Productive, fiercely logical, determined, goal-oriented. ESTJs are all about getting things done, facing facts, and achieving long-term goals. They are ambitious, they value facts over theories, and they are extremely down-to-earth. In mid-life ESTJs develop intuition and enjoy brainstorming future possibilities. This, combined with the fact that they are more focused on productivity than socializing, often causes them to get an INTJ result. You can find out more about ESTJs here.

Now let’s move onto the third most common mistype…


If you love people, have even the slightest bit of imagination, and don’t like having a plan for everything, chances are you’ve gotten an ENFP result from an online test. But wait…what is an ENFP really like?

Real ENFPs are stimulated by theories, hypothetical possibilities, ideas, and contradictions. They are more focused on the future and theoretical possibilities than they are on the present and current opportunities. They are skeptical, prone to playing devil’s advocate, and more than anything they want to generate ideas and change up everything so that it can be improved upon.

Here’s what you might be instead:

ESFP: Adventurous, independent, enthusiastic, creative. ESFPs are by far the most common personality type to mistype as ENFPs. It doesn’t help that most type descriptions for ESFPs are terribly one-dimensional. These individuals are driven by opportunities in the real world. They are intensely realistic and down-to-earth. They usually have an amazing sense of humor, and a rich enthusiasm for life. They are adventurous, free-spirited, and empathetic. You can find out more about them here.

Now let’s move onto the fourth most common mistype…


If you consider yourself outgoing, logical, future-focused, and planful, chances are you’ve been typed as an ENTJ.

ENTJs are fiercely determined and ambitious. They are driven by a vision or insight of the future and are less concerned with the pre-established facts and traditions. They are more interested in theories and abstract data over tangible realities and details and would probably rather discuss philosophy than football.

Here are some other types to consider:

ESTP: Independent, logical, opportunistic, adaptable. ESTPs are the most common type to mistype as ENTJs. They are probably the most objective thinkers of all because their main function is all about looking at the world for what it IS in the most realistic, observable sense. This combined with their thinking function makes them the ultimate realists. They are extremely grounded in reality, highly adventurous, and quick to sniff out opportunities for action and achievement. You can find out more about ESTPs here.

ESTJ: Hard-working, determined, ambitious, logical. ESTJs are the second-most common type to mistype as ENTJs. These individuals share the ENTJ’s fierce determination and work ethic, but they are more focused on facts and tried-and-true methods over theories and innovative risk-taking. They are more detail-oriented and linear in their work process, whereas ENTJs are more impressionistic and work less sequentially. You can find out more about ESTJs here.

Now let’s move onto the fifth most common mistype…


If you recharge from being alone, have an imagination, empathy, and don’t want a lot of structure, chances are you’ve been given an INFP result.

INFPs on the outside seem very open-minded, adaptable, and easy-going, but INSIDE they are extremely dedicated to their values and personal purpose in life. They can be very driven to reach an ideal future, and so a lot of INFPs mistype as INFJs because goal-orientation and productivity is often used in tests as a sign of a judging preference. INFPs are deeply in touch with their values, highly creative, and love the abstract and theoretical over the real and tangible.

Here are some other types to consider:

ISFP: ISFPs are creative, idealistic, and deeply in touch with their own values. BUT they are more focused on the real world and tangible opportunities than the abstract world and theoretical possibilities. They are adventurous, quick-thinking in a crisis, and practical. You can find out more about them here.

INFJ: What, really? Yes, because INFJs are actually dominant perceivers (their dominant function is a perceiving function) they tend to test as INFPs more often than INFJs. They have a more adaptable, curious perspective on life and don’t actually prefer a lot of structure and routine. They value theory and abstract data over facts (similarly to INFPs) but they tend to have more of a singular focus and are less aware of their own feelings about things. You can find out more about INFJs here.

If you want to know more about mistyping, you can check out Heidi Priebe’s article on intuitive mistypes here.

This article contains affiliate links:

Are your #MBTI results inaccurate? Find out why they might be! #INFJ #INTJ #Personalitytype #Personality #myersbriggs #INTP #INFP #ENFP #ENTJ

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  1. I know an ISFP in real life who is convinced she is an INFP, and I think a major part of it is because Fi doms in general are dreamers and idealistic to some degree, but the descriptions only really attribute that quality to INFPs. Plus, ISFP descriptions always describe the ISFP as being really adventurous and thrill seeking, but that’s not always the case with aux Se. You can easily have an anxiety ridden ISFP that lives more in their head than in real life.

    1. I agree that the position of function in stack changes the behaviour of function. The always adventurous and thrill-seeking people are mostly Se doms with mostly enneagram 7. But I believe that there are lots of ISFP 6s (anxiety-ridden, especially phobic 6s can’t relate to what Se is usually said to be so majority of them mistype themselves as Si in function stack because of emphasized focus on security even though their mind doesn’t work like how Si works, they usually have pseudo-Si facade) and ISFP 9s (9w1s are called the dreamers so they usually have pseudo-Ne facade and living in a fantasy world by daydreaming which makes them look non-SP, also 9s in general are more routine-oriented so that they can zone-out and protect peace which might lead to Ne/Si axis mistype, 9w8 Se auxes are likely to give Garfield vibes which makes them feel too lazy to have Se even though they have Se) mistyped as INFPs.

  2. If your a true INFJ you know how difficult being this type is and how difficult life can be trying to adapt to a world that is not made for never feel like you really fit in anywhere…u are told your too complex, a little weird or something is wrong with have a mental illness..most of your adolescents years is spent with its not sunshine and butterflies..everyone is special..non of us have the exact DNA or fingerprints..we all are rare..but learning I’m an INFJ has changed my understand of why I’m the way I am, I can finally feel I fit in somewhere and I’m not weird alone…it has helped me in so many ways..❤❤

    1. Meh ive taken every test out there, throughout the past 2 years — through sobriety, through my drug addiction, pregnancy hormones and post baby hormones and have ALWAYS tested as an INFP. Now this site you said tells me I’m an ENFP. I have thought that maybe I was mistyped before but now I’m just confused. I an confident that I’m either an I/ENFP and once I read the functions of each one I will be able to tell which. Self awareness is one my biggest strengths:)

  3. I’d love to actually take the instrument and have the consultation as I’ve struggled most of my life. I appreciate the clarifications and caveats of this article but reading it actually reinforced my suspicion of being an INFJ.

    I’ve recently been reading more and watching videos of people describing the characteristics and challenges of this type and it’s been bringing many revelations and insights into why I operate the way I do, why I seem to be able to know things I have little experience with.

    I’ve always picked up on others emotions or personality, especially those with stronger or more compelling aspects. So too with mechanical things and other inanimate objects, either being able to intuitively know what an unknown item was used for or how to fix an item that I’ve never actually worked on by taking it apart and seeing it’s function. I’ve had people immediately trust me with rather large responsibilities or with quite personali ssues.

    And many other things that there isn’t space here to write.

    Thanks for the great article! I’ve felt that there was probably inherent bias in many of the online “tests” which is why I continue to research as I can. I encourage others to do so as well.

  4. You mention seniors may test incorrectly….are there test designed for seniors to take account of where they are in life?

    1. Lol, a “mistype” in an article about mistypes. Seriously-not-seriously though, seniors mistype because the MBTI is only valid from ages 8 – 70. After that, you’re anyone’s guess. \^o^/

  5. So, one question.

    What about the mistyping in the INTP/ENTP section?

    As per the cognitive function stack, An INTP has Ti-Ne-Si-Fe and an ENTP has Ne-Ti-Fe-Si.

    Same functions, the difference is the Dominant and Auxiliary functions are swapped, also the Tertiary and Inferior.

    How can we determine a person is an INTP or ENTP? ENTP’s aren’t the typical “extroverts” too, they prefer alone time way more than the other outgoing types (ESFP, ENFP, ESTP etc.). I’m an INTP and I’m sure of it, but most INTPs and ENTPs will be confused while typing themselves.

    And if you add the concept of enneagram types, normally an ENTP would be 7w8 or 8w7 ; INTP would be 5w4 or 5w6. But if, somehow, there’s a person who is 5w4 and actually uses Ne more than Ti, he/she/they would be ENTP, rather than an INTP.

    All 5w4 are actually prone to be mistyped because of this. So, how to correctly determine if one is an ENTP or INTP?

    Thanks for your valuable time.

  6. Is this why ENTJs get so little credit for Ni use, because a lot of people who think they’re ENTJs are really sensors? The internet seems to be convinced that our Ni is limited to predicting the stock market or something. Mine can be just as spooky and mystical-seeming as an INFJ’s. The internet might not agree, but people who know me IRL sure would.

    1. Soooooo damnn trueeee!! We are the most misunderstood type I believe, due to our rarity and common stereotyping! We’re intuitive thinkers first of all, and we have very deep complex emotions! I sometimes believe myself to be Infj because of all the internet misconceptions! I found my sociotype result LIE to be more accurate for me!

    2. Lol like everyone who can predict stock market is typed as Ni. Also, a person wanting to have a career in future does not make that person Ni dom which is also another mistake that they are typing every career-ambitious person as high Ni user even if they are sensors, that’s probably why lots of ESTJs get mistyped as ENTJs even though they have no Ni. You don’t need to be Ni dom/aux to dream about becoming an engineer or something else. The key word for Ni dom (and often aux as well) is ABSTRACTION, Ni perceives a symbolic world beyond what can be seen. If you are not into interpreting holistic symbolic meaning beyond the tangible you are 99.99% not Ni dom.

  7. I always type out as and INFP or INXP even with personality hacker…but my therapist, who’s doctoral thesis was on type theory, insists that I am a J type…well just recently I took a few cognitive function tests…the results we INFJ😳

    But that isn’t exaclty what brought me to this page. I came because I am trying to figure out my boyfriend. When I gave him the personality hacker test he tested out as a very strong ISTJ with super strong J. The first 5 weeks we were dating he was very structured and would plan ahead, or more accurately was happy to plan ahead because I said that made me happy. So I thought he was a planner (which I loved) but as time has gone on the real him is coming out. He prefers spontaneity and doesnt really like planning our dates ahead. He will do it when i ask but if I dont ask he likes to be spontaneous. It is driving me nuts that he could test out as such a strong ISTJ but lack that plank ahead quality and I want to figure out his true type. Can anyone help me figure that out?

  8. Interesting theories. In practice, every “INT” I’ve met that’s done the formal testing process doesn’t like the categorization. Mostly, they want to be NFs (they know they’re not extroverts).

    My theory – INTs tend to believe themselves to be misunderstood and having a superior understanding of human nature than those who misunderstand them (especially if they’re highly educated and achieving types). When they get a result back that basically confirms every criticism they’ve ever received about being emotionally detached and overly logical they freak out.

    Some NTs accept their categorization (but often decide they don’t like the MTBI). Others, over time, “discover” the test was wrong and really they’re some form of “NF”.

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