View Full Version : Psychological Typing Children?
19th-April-2008, 05:42 AM
After seeing a lot of stereotypes and conditioning aimed at children I wonder how useful something like the MBTI would be in use towards children. Would people learn to see their children as individuals and not try to make them into perfect men or women or perfect/improved/better versions of themselves?
Would it make for a better learning environment if teachers knew how to approach their young students?
If we could do an MBTI like test with children and inform people how their children like to learn and how they make their decisions wouldn’t this be progressive and helpful for the cause of individuality?
Despite how much people talk about individuality and no matter how many posters show the individual among the copies, children are often conditioned to be like some ideal man or women, fit into the system, or to be a better version of their parents.
For me it’s hard to understand why psychological testing, like MBTI, wouldn’t be used for children’s benefit. After all, in the world of teaching they’re always looking for the new and better way to teach, but in the end it’s too general or aimed stereotypically. Saying for instance, “Children learn better hands on.” This isn’t necessarily true for all children, because, no matter if we don’t want to believe it, children have personalities too. I think recognizing the factors for learning and decision making would be virtually priceless information to learning institutions and parents.
It seems like even if I told someone, close to me, how their child seems to learn and think they wouldn’t believe it...
Being someone who at least likes to see people TRY to progress, it’s impossible for me to understand why such a method wouldn’t be well spread, especially if it’s already seen results.
I believe culture ends up doing a lot of unhealthy conditioning to children (and people) psychologically and I wish adults would smart-up to it and realize that children really ARE individuals, but there is hope in understanding. Clearly my personal opinion is that children would benefit from some kind of psychological testing, that adults apply and are aware of.
I want to hear what you think about it. What do you think about children customarily undergoing psychological tests for learning and decision making? What do you think of people exploring their psychological types and do you think discovering and exploring their type is normally positive and self-actualizing?
Let’s say that some curriculum company specifically makes a learning guide and program for INTPs (and all the other types). Would you be curious about such a curriculum? Would you think such a system could actually work? Do children have developed enough personalities that things like this would be possible? Also feel free to discuss your frustrations with typing or lack there of. And whatever else you can muse or think about this…
19th-April-2008, 06:01 AM
This is an interesting idea. I think it has the potential to either be much better or much worse. It would certainly be harder to do, but I think in general it would help with education.
Logistically speaking, though, it would be a LOT harder to do. And the way in which it was done could potentially harm the child more...
I'm guessing that this new method of teaching would be done electronically, in order to more individualize the process. But this would be bad for extroverted-types, and possibly even bad for introverted types like ourselves, in that there would be little interaction with others, and possibly wouldn't develop necessary social skills. Or do you believe that social skills will be necessary in the future? Our society is certainly moving more towards the internet in most areas of life, just how centric will the internet become in the future? [speaking of which, how many of you all have seen the series "Ghost in the Shell"? In my opinion, it's an excellent view of how the future societies may develop, but that's just me]
Also, how would the parents react to being taught or told how to raise their child? I think in some cases, it would be wonderful, but in others, it could be quite dreadful... It may even turn out worse when the indignant parents decide to take THEIR methods to even greater levels, just to make sure they don't comply.
Don't get me wrong, however. I do think testing of children would be better.
19th-April-2008, 06:28 AM
Sounds like your motivations for testing are all noble, but for the same reasons the education system already cripples young people and stunts their development, I suspect that the application of type testing would fail. Also I'm led to believe that testing is unreliable in children?
*welcome hedgehogbe. There's an anime thread somewhere around here...
19th-April-2008, 06:41 AM
I think it would be a pretty good thing to at least try. I think the apathy i felt through middle school and highschool came from the lack of sincerity on teacher's parts.
Throughout Elementary school I was told that learning good cursive was key to passing classes in middle school. When I got to middle school they accepted either and I assumed they changed rules because it was irrational to make, for me, a barely comprehensible style of writing the mandatory form.
Then, throughout middle school when projects were turned in late that in highschool we would have just earned a letter grade off the paper or that we would have a zero score in general (when it came to major papers). And surprisingly throughout highschool I've been able to turn almost any paper in. As a sophomore I didn't even start a "mandatory sophomore research paper" ,which they threatened a manditory failure of the 10th grade if it were not turned in, nearly a week after it was due, and I've never failed a grade.
And furthermore, this year I was actually my class was coaxed into truly believing the same threats, to which one of my colleagues was awarded not one but two extensions, the first which he spent playing super smash brothers brawl, and in the second was only coerced into work through a near social lock-out by his peers.
I do not think my own choices through the years have been very wise but I came to realize that the dumbing down of the school system as I suppose to which the rules became must be attributed, caused an almost unbearable sense of apathy and nihilism for most of the last 4 years of my life.
Only when I gained the courage to enter into an Advanced Placement European History class (the selection of which I chose amidst nearly failing or partially failing every major class out of disinterest, and the opinion of the remedial United States Government teacher that he could not in all honesty recommend me for the class) that I actually began to feel as if a public education in Maryland (which I was constantly reminded was one of the better school systems in the united states) had any at all value in my mind.
That history class was the first time I was really ever berated by a teacher that seemed genuinely distressed that I was so immensely disconnected from everything. It wasn't perfect but it was a start.
I being the pompous bastard I am (or possibly only think I am) truly think that school systems have a sincere lack of interest in children who display anything different than what they see as the general behavior of the favored type.
I honestly think that it would at least not hurt to assess the effect of typing through the scientific method. If they could find a way to find the kid's type without damaging them in the process maybe they could avoid setting kids into something they see as a mental prison rather than a place of betterment and education.
Butt, as previously stated, consider myself pompous and arrogant
19th-April-2008, 08:48 PM
Yeah, I think the MBTI test would be very useful, especially in an elementary school setting. They'd just have to abridge and simplify the test for the children's purposes. It would really help the teacher know how to teach the class and attend to individual needs. It would only be applicable on an individual basis in middle and high school though. However, students should never be separated into types, just like I don't think single sex schools are a good idea.
Though I've always had good grades and all my teachers have adored me for no apparent/good reason, I think I could have gotten a lot more out of school than I have. For example, I've had to switch elementary schools a couple times since my teachers were on the verge of trying to medicate me for my idiosyncracies, probably depression or ADD meds. If they were to know my type, they'd know exactly why I was disinterested half the time.
Apart from school, it woul be really useful too. For example, I found it quite liberating when taught my parents about the MBTI system and found out what their types were. Though I only found this all out months ago, and I'm hardly a child anymore, it has made all the difference in how I understand my parents and how they understand me. Nothing about them seems entirely arbitrary anymore and that means I can laugh it off later.
21st-April-2008, 01:39 AM
Hedgehogbe, I almost convinced I have no idea what you are talking about. The focus I meant to be on the FUNCTIONS, not the Attitudes. How you input information, how you observe the world. Hence Intuition and Thinking- for instance. What you're talking about with Introvert and Extrovert is attitude. Attitudes are easier to assess, but what I'm thinking is if we could understand how a child functions and give them that benefit of understanding. I would say our current system tends to lend itself towards Sensing/Thinking, though that changes with the Teacher’s preferences, not the students.
Anyway, I think you completely misunderstood me or at the very least took your own spin on it. It's not like every child would be homeschooled, and even in homeschooling kids hang out in groups and all (There is so much misinformation out there...) It wouldn't all be online, I don't know where you got that. I'm talking about Psychological typing, not internet courses. I mean when we're in school we're exposed to a certain curriculum and teaching style and then our "intelligence" is tested over and over. Why would it be so difficult to test HOW we use, learn and incorporate information?
As far as parenting, you must be kidding me. How many parenting books do think are out there, parenting classes, parenting shows, parenting magazines, etc... People don't want to be the one bad parent that doesn't know anything about raising children. When it comes to MBTI for children there is all kind of information about it and a lot of encouragement for parents to understand their children on a case by case basis. I don't see the point in explaining it, not only to you, but to anyone else who apparently doesn't have a grasp on it. There's plenty of information you can look up by yourself.
loveofreason, I know anything new and different is bound to frighten people, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that people here don't really understand psychological testing or MBTI very much at all. Theoretically your functions are the same throughout your live and there's a hierarchy of function. In INTP it's Thinking, Intuition, Sensing, Feeling. The thought is that naturally, if we're allowed to, we'll develop our thinking very early, then our intuition, then for a good deal of our live sensing and some feeling. Not everyone follows hierarchy of function, but it's thought that our dominant functions never change.
Just because children are more difficult to type, doesn't mean they don't have types.
I'm not repeating myself anymore. Attitudes are the easiest to recognize. I know I might sound frustrated, because I AM, you should know I do not like to have to go back and explain what I say.
RS, I can understand the difficulties with the school system and you bring up a good point (in a fashion that I can understand what you mean). The school systems don’t really care about kids and deviants aren’t welcomed. Considering this and the problems many children face in school would it really be anymore damaging to assess (to some extent) their personalities? We already put people into unhealthy social boxes I can’t imagine giving them a vague MBTI would be worse for them.
If you’re pompous and arrogant I am twice as bad and incredibly impatient to boot. I seriously can’t stand it when I don’t think people are even close to on the same page as I (I exhaustively try to explain myself. That’s really the kicker that makes me want no social interaction at all), but I can forgive that when they’re obviously different in personality than I (and simply don’t seem to have the ability to understand what I’m talking about.)
Fernando, I think all of us can look back on school and say we either didn’t get enough out of it or people thought there was something wrong. In total I believe I ended up switching between five or so schools. I started at a small Private school and when it came to ignorance about everything even remotely different that was the school to go to. Being a private school it was a bit snobby too and they put us into boxes, especially if you excelled at something and they certainly couldn’t have more than one child being their genius at this or at that. It wasn’t a horrible school, but it wasn’t good. I then went to public school. It greatly contrast from a school where kids were practically made to compete against each other to a school where “no child is left behind”. After that middle school went alright, but I wasn’t very interested in it. I liked to read and I gained my “book worm” title during middle school. I got in trouble for reading during my classes and I was even called names like “Zombie” at home because I could walk around and read at the same time. I then had a breakdown at the end of middle school and was homeschooled and began to take college classes at the end of my highschooling.
I found MBTI last year around June I believe, so almost a year I’ve been interested in MBTI. I only more recently figure out my type. Originally I tested as an INTJ, but when I actually learned about the functions and everything individually it became clear I was an INTP. I got INFP a few times from the free online tests. I’m afraid some of my understand of myself has been skewed because of how I’ve been raised. It’s very nice to KNOW why my mother, in particular, seems so frustrating and different to me. She couldn’t seem to understand the MBTI at all, at least not at first. I was wrong about her type earlier too. I think I said she was an ESFP, but she’s an ESTP (the description is spot on) and abstract thinking is the furthest thing away from her understanding. It’s nice for me since I still have to live with her and it seems like we can talk just fine, but as soon as I start into my abstract thinking and explaining ideas (which I’m constantly prone to) she’s suddenly too tired to talk about it or doesn’t seem to grasp my meanings.
I haven’t really looked into what my father is. He’s extremely easy going most of the time and a quiet person who likes to read. I can probably determine from that he’s an IP. He also likes mechanics and picked it up by doing it so he’s probably also an S type. My guess (and my guesses can be way off) is that he’s an ISTP. My sibling is likely an IFP type. He gets attached to everything. We get along very well until it comes down to our decision making. We’ll argue there, especially when it comes to “getting rid” of things or moving or anything. The thing for me is, if it works well and if I can use it then I really do like it and I’m attached to it, I suppose you could say. As long as I feel something has substantial relevance it has great value to me. I’ve been called obsessive about MBTI and I probably am. It’s given me a way of trying to actually understand people (Which is seriously a miracle for me).
So I think it's pretty clear I would argue for some kind of psychological testing for schooling or for kids in general. The most relevant argument against this would be if the school system would care to do that, how much money would it take and how would it be distributed to work practically. Splitting people up, despite the fact that we already do that with private schools, gendered schools, racial schools... is something people don't normally find helpful. Thus splitting up classes into people who are predominately thinkers, feelers, sensors or intuitive would be considered damaging to their interaction with each other. The best way MBTI works is when you take different people and put them in a group together so they can all work on the part that they excel at.
21st-April-2008, 09:21 AM
I'd say it's possible, but not to the extent of an adult, as their minds have not fully developed into social machines. Which makes me wonder, are INTPs really just big, smart kids?
22nd-April-2008, 09:34 PM
Wow. MBTI testing in schools. That would either be extremely positive thing or an extremely negative thing. After all, if teachers knew how to approach their kids, life would have the potential for those kids' lives to get better.
However, it could cause the other children to dislike and look down on other kids just because they weren't the same type. Friendships might break up in those formative years because they were different types. "Oh, you're an FJ type and I'm FP type so we can't be friends" or something along those lines might happen more frequently then they do now. Whole cliques could spring up, especially around those E types who need constant social stimulation. And what about our poor INTP brothers and sisters who only connect with 1% of the population?
So, in summary, I think that MBTI testing in schools would be both beneficial and harmful, like everything else. And, Cabbo, I have no clue what we are. I tried reading articles, but I never had the time to get through an entire one in the time I'm allowed on the computer, and keep forgetting to favorite them.
24th-April-2008, 04:10 AM
Eh. The idea is not to tell the KIDS, and to keep in mind that as children, your personality type is a lot more volatile than it is as an adult, and they DO shift...
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