Octogram vs MBTI

The MBTI is a personality test, it is measuring some deep-seated personality aspects called “Temperaments”. Actually, the publishers of the MBTI would prefer that you called it something besides a personality test¬†which means that all the traditional measures of quality just cannot be applied to their ‘assessment’.

Whatever you call it and regardless of it’s flaws, most people have a passing familiarity with the MBTI model and this page will help you bring some of that knowledge with you when reading the Octogram. We had 661 candidates take the MBTI and the Octogram and correlated their results together. Based on those results, we can say something about how the two instruments compare with each other.

Pioneer Networker Achiever Strategist Anchor Analyst Team player Helper
E – I 0.22 0.59 0.36 0.10 -0.41 -0.45 0.08 -0.37
N – S 0.46 0.37 0.13 0.37 -0.60 -0.21 -0.08 -0.27
T – F -0.26 -0.21 0.34 0.31 0.24 0.35 -0.33 -0.43
J – P -0.51 -0.32 0.07 -0.05 0.63 0.15 -0.12 0.01

CORRELATION: A positive correlation (between .08 and 1.00) means that the scores on these traits tend to go up and down together. As the scores get closer to 1.00, this effect becomes stronger and stronger. The opposite is happening with negative correlations (between -1.00 and -.08). As we approach -1.00, we see the scores on these two traits doing the opposite of each other (one goes up, the other goes down and vice-versa).

Let’s take a look at each of the temperaments and, using the data from the table above, see if we can map that on to the Octogram test.



Extraversion and Introversion

The extravert’s flow is directed outward toward people and objects, and the introvert’s is directed inward toward concepts and ideas.
MBTI vs Octogram
“Introversion” = Analyst
“Extraversion” = Pioneer, Networker, and Achiever


SNSensing and Intuition
If you are more tuned in to your intuition and rely on that for decision making purposes, that comes out in the Pioneer and Networker work styles. Both of these are driven by ideas and feelings. Sensing is more about facts and figures and fits in with the Anchor and Anaylst roles.
MBTI vs Octogram
“Intuition” = Pioneer, Networker
“Sensing” = Anchor, Analyst


FTThinking and Feeling
Thinking and feeling are the decision-making (judging) functions. The thinking and feeling functions are both used to make rational decisions, based on the data received from their information-gathering functions (sensing or intuition). Those who prefer thinking tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, measuring the decision by what seems reasonable, logical, causal, consistent, and matching a given set of rules. Those who prefer feeling tend to come to decisions by associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it ‘from the inside’ and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony, consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved.
This dichotomy has a close relationship with the upper and lower halves of the Octogram. Candidates with the majority of their strong roles in the upper half of the Octogram tend to be more personable and warm. Candidates with the majority of their scores in the lower half are convergent thinkers and do tend to try to take emotion out of decisions.
MBTI vs Octogram
“Thinking” = Achiever, Strategist, Anchor, Analyst
“Feeling” = Pioneer, Networker, Team Player, Helper


JPJudging and Perception
According to Myers, judging types like to “have matters settled” and perceptive types prefer to “keep decisions open”. This lies along the ‘Pioneer-Anchor’ axis of the Octogram. Pioneers want flexibility and freedom, Anchors want things set down correctly and orderly on the page.
MBTI vs Octogram
“Judging” = Anchor
“Perception” = Pioneer, Networker

What makes the MBTI impractical for use in the workplace is that it is measuring personality at a pretty deep level. It’s difficult to predict how those differences actually play out in real life, day-to-day behavior. By the time you have trained yourself to read and interpret the MBTI, you would be better off using a more valid test like the Big 5. They are measuring people at about the same ‘level’ of personality and the Big 5 is more accurate and stable.


As a personal caveat, I think the MBTI is just a badly formulated instrument, badly applied in a work context and does far more harm than good. I tried to tone that down in the analysis above, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely remove that bias. Sorry about that, it’s just something I feel strongly about. – Richard