Why All Personality Types Are Bad, According to Science
If you’ve ever met anyone who’s taken the Myers-Briggs test, you know how eager they are to tell you what personality type they are. But whether you’re an INFJ or ENTP, scientists think you might want to STFU about it — because the one thing all personalities apparently have in common is that they cause problems.
This conclusion comes from a new study that analyzed different types of social animals (of the animal kingdom variety, not the next-door-neighbor-who-will-never-shut-up variety). When traveling to a foraging site, such animals turned out to be safer and more efficient when individuals conformed to being team players. The researchers suspect that when animals lead with personality, everyone in the group pays more attention to them instead of the foraging task, which, in turn, slows them down and makes them more vulnerable to predators.
“Personality suppression may be a common strategy in group-living animals, and in particular, we should tend to see the behaviors of the most adventurous or shy individuals shifting toward what the majority of the group are doing,” Sean Rands, lead author of the study, explained in a press release. “This suggests that compromise may lie at the heart of many social behaviors across the animal kingdom.”
Since human beings are social creatures as well, it’s possible that our personalities aren’t as important as we’ve been led to believe. Past research shows that young adults from cultures that value individualism report lower levels of well-being compared to cultures based on collectivism. Other studies demonstrate a link between individualism and life satisfaction, but note that integrating some aspects of collectivism into your worldview is even more optimal.
So go ahead and be yourself — if you dare.