Big5 is probably the most used personality model in research, while MBTI has not gained status of being scientifically supported.

  • What exact research has been done on correlating the two models?
  • Could someone give me links to full research reports with correlations between the two models?
  • Correlations between subfacets would be especially useful (i.e MBTI extroversion vs Big5 extroversion).
  • Just curious, where was it stated that MBTI is not scientifically supported? If I remember correctly, MBTI was formulated inductively from research (meta-analysis, was it?). I could be very wrong though, it's been a long time since I read about psychological tests – Nono Mar 4 '16 at 9:11
  • Oh, nevermind my previous comment. It's trait-theory which was inductively formulated from research (Big-Five). Instead, MBTI was derived from Jung theory. Silly me got them switched, sorry. – Nono Mar 4 '16 at 9:31
  • There was also a Washington Post article about it 2-3 years ago. This isn't my area of research, but we were using it at work (for staff), and I've always been interested in the effect of interviewer personality on nonresponse and measurement error in surveys. Sorry I don't have the link handy, but Google should work. My memory is that there's been VERY little (if any) validation. I think the artical actually said "no peer reviewed validations of MB", but they may have been wrong. – matt jans Mar 4 '16 at 20:52
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The MBTI can be considered to be subsumed by the Big5/Five-Factor Model. McCrae and Costa examined this back in the late 1980’s. First of all, they showed that the types do not interact in a statistically meaningful way indicating that there isn’t a reason to interpret four type categories (e.g., ESTJ vs INFP). The categories (e.g., extraversion vs introversion) describe some meaningful amount of variance themselves but combining them into the types and interpreting the whole is not statistically warranted (McCrae & Costa Jr., 1989). Statistically, false dichotomization/median splits (here called types) reduces the predictive power of a measure in general.

To further examine the universality of the Five-Factor Model, they examined how the MBTI dimensional raw scores related to the FFM/Big5 scores. They showed that FFM-Extroversion was highly correlated to MBTI-Introversion (r = -.74), FFM-Neuroticism was weakly correlated to MBTI-Introversion (r = .16), FFM-Openness was correlated to MBTI-Intuition (r = .72), and to MBTI-Perception (r = .30), FFM-Agreeableness was correlated to MBTI-Feeling (r = .44), FFM-Contentiousness correlated to MBTI-Perception (r = .49). These correlations were for men only, but are reported to give as an example of how the FFM can account for MBTI measures. The MBTI does not capture trait Neuroticism which could be considered a fault because Neuroticism is strongly predictive of many negative outcomes (Barlow, Sauer-Zavala, Carl, Bullis, & Ellard, 2014). The other factors of the MBTI are accounted for in the FFM, but captures additional variance above and beyond the MBTI. Validity and universality of the Five-factor model is another question but, briefly, it is empirically derived from factor analysis of the entire English dictionary (lexical approach) a factor structure which has been replicated in over 40 languages (McCrae & Costa, 2008).


Barlow, D. H., Sauer-Zavala, S., Carl, J. R., Bullis, J. R., & Ellard, K. K. (2014). The Nature, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Neuroticism: Back to the Future . Clinical Psychological Science , 2 (3 ), 344–365.

McCrae, R. R., & Costa Jr., P. T. (1989). Reinterpreting the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator From the Perspective of the Five-Factor Model of Personality. Journal of Personality, 57(1), 17–40.(

McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (2008). Empirical and Theoretical Status of the Five-Factor Model of Personality Traits. The SAGE Handbook of Personality Theory and Assessment: Volume 1 — Personality Theories and Models. SAGE Publications Ltd (pp. 273–295).

  • Nice answer: just checking; is there a typo when you say "FFM-Neuroticism was weakly correlated to MBTI-Introversion (r = .16)," – Jeromy Anglim Mar 7 '16 at 5:36
  • Thanks for your question. Are you asking about the correlation size? If so, r = .16 is what was reported in that study (…). It's the same correlation as your image indicates in the "C" sample. – StructuralEquationModel Mar 7 '16 at 18:38

To quote my answer to another question:

The IPIP website provides measures of the Big 5. The following table from Furnham (1996) summarises some correlations across a few studies between the NEO Big 5 and the MBTI.

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You can find a listing of some of the multi-construct measures including Big 5 measures on the ipip website.


  • Furnham, A. (1996). The big five versus the big four: the relationship between the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and NEO-PI five factor model of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 303-307.

So far found these 2 sources:

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: A Critical Review and Practical Guide: Book by Rowan Bayne (1997). Google-book link here (Sorry I don't have the book), check on page 24-26.

Myers-Briggs and Four-Type Structure: A principal components and equimax study of the four dimensions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Research by Jamie Larson. Link here.

In short summary, I believe the above sources found that MBTI does correlate with BIG-5 Factor model.

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