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MBTI "Debunked"

Firehazard159

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#1
As is common in IRC, I was linked to a cracked.com article, which lead me to clicking on several other articles, eventually leading me to this:

http://www.indiana.edu/~jobtalk/HRMWebsite/hrm/articles/develop/mbti.pdf

It's an article attacking MBTI's validity. I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that most of us here at least, understood the main points the article makes, on the faults of MBTI.

Despite that, I've always thought that MBTI managed to get *something* right, and I'm curious as to what. I mean, it's drawn a community of us together who are all fairly liked minded, though we have strong differences as well.

Any thoughts?
 

Glordag

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#2
I'm reading it now, but I've already found one line that demonstrates that the author either doesn't know as much as they should to make this claim or isn't very careful with their wording:

According to the theory, all people have an innate preference that determines how they will behave in all situations.
This is not true. People have innate preference(s) that determine what they prefer to. In my opinion, this is already showing a bit of bias on the part of the author. I'll continue reading, however, and see if it was just an honest mistake.

Edit: Another statement that irks me-


A person's MBTI score determines​
his or her type, a label based on his or her dominate preference for each of the four dimensions.
 

EyeSeeCold

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#3
Call me biased, but I really do believe the MBTI is 100% accurate, what is not always accurate, however, are the tests and maybe descriptions. The problem is that most people are in a dynamic state so they are always changing their thoughts and behavior(within range), while other people are, for the most part, in a static state (e.g. INTPs, INTJs).
 

ApostateAbe

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#4
Yeah, I have plenty of my own criticisms and doubts about the whole system (see this thread, for example). It is often used to match people to careers, but really the best way to find an appropriate career is to look at your own individual strengths and opportunities, not the strengths of your personality profile. I am also deeply suspicious of romantic matchmaking using MBTI.

I think there is good reason to think that there is good evidence for the dualism between introversion and extroversion. The duality between feeling and thinking is also useful for me. I have suspicions, however, about any duality between sensing and intuitive or between perceiving and judging. There is no good reason any person can not be strongly both sensing and intuiting, or both strongly perceiving and strongly judging, or strongly neither for that matter. Personalities are not a neat and orderly thing.

The system is not verified by the uncanny similarities we all have with each other. It would be the same result regardless of any arbitrary set of multiple-choice questions. The scale doesn't have to make the least bit of sense in order to cluster similar people together. It is when you try to use the same system to find patterns that cross over personality types--that is when it may or may not break down as useless or not.
 

Jesse

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#5
I think it works broadly like he is introved and that girl over there shouting is not, but the system seemed to me like an astrology thing where they say stuff about people that applies to everyone except a bit more accurate because you take a test. :phear: NINJA
 

Glordag

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#6

First, the results should show that there are four clusters, or factors, of questions. Each of the questions
within a factor will be highly correlated with the other questions in the factor. Moreover, the questions within the
factor should be related to the MBTI dimension that is measured. For example, a question like "I like to be the life
of a party" should be in the factor related to extroversion-introversion.
Secondly, we would expect each factor to be independent of the other factors, inasmuch as the MBTI theory states
that each of the four preference dimensions stands alone. That is, questions within one factor should not correlate​
with questions in the other factors. If two factors are correlated, it means they are probably measuring the same thing.
How can you conduct a test when your assumptions are incorrect? This study is not impressing me.
 

EyeSeeCold

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#7
I think there is good reason to think that there is good evidence for the dualism between introversion and extroversion. The duality between feeling and thinking is also useful for me. I have suspicions, however, about any duality between sensing and intuitive or between perceiving and judging. There is no good reason any person can not be strongly both sensing and intuiting, or both strongly perceiving and strongly judging, or strongly neither for that matter. Personalities are not a neat and orderly thing.
It's real complex, though explainable, but if you can accept I/E and F/T why not N/S and J/P?

I think it works broadly like he is introved and that girl over there shouting is not, but the system seemed to me like an astrology thing where they say stuff about people that applies to everyone except a bit more accurate because you take a test. :phear: NINJA
This is why people shoud learn about the functions themselves, which I don't think the majority of the people who take the tests do. The descriptions are life experience-sensitive. If you've never had access to a school how can you love mathematics? If you never had access to paint/drawing material how can you be great at art?
 

Jedi

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#8
The problem is that most people are in a dynamic state so they are always changing their thoughts and behavior(within range), while other people are, for the most part, in a static state (e.g. INTPs, INTJs).
Could you explain this a bit further? Why would this be a problem?
 

ApostateAbe

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#9
It's real complex, though explainable, but if you can accept I/E and F/T why not N/S and J/P?
Introversion and extroversion are somewhat mutually exclusive, thinking and feeling are somewhat mutually exclusive (more of one means less of the other), but intuiting and sensing are not mutually exclusive, nor are judging and perceiving. I don't see any evidence of any sort of scale with J at one end and P at the other end, nor for N and S.
 
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#10
I didn't read the article (maybe later), but it's hard for me to believe MBTI is more than a rough estimate of how personality works. I mean come on: four basic dichotomies, which create sixteen types... can human behavior really be reduced just to that?

Said before, the tests remind me too much of horoscopes and placemats describing the Chinese 12 year animal cycle. The responses are written the exact same way: vague and comforting in a way that you'll look for similarities between yourself and the description.

I will give it credit in that it does seem the descriptions often match up to people very well. As much as I don't trust it at all I fit the INTP descriptions pretty darn well (from my own viewpoint), but I can't imagine everyone can be put into these categories reliably. The real idea behind MBTI, in my opinion, is the hypothesis that we all have a hierarchy of cognitive functions that determines our personality type. That may or may not be true, but beyond that I don't see how human thinking can be reduced to the cognitive functions commonly described, and even if it can, the idea that you can place people into these categories with simple multiple choice tests seems absolutely ludicrous.

Just my 2 cents.
 

EyeSeeCold

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#11
Introversion and extroversion are somewhat mutually exclusive, thinking and feeling are somewhat mutually exclusive (more of one means less of the other), but intuiting and sensing are not mutually exclusive, nor are judging and perceiving. I don't see any evidence of any sort of scale with J at one end and P at the other end, nor for N and S.
Ah. well isn't sensing concerned with the physical body and intuition concerned with the mind? It's more than just physicality here there are aesthetics, sensitivity, creative thinking patterns and foresight/insight.

I do agree with J/P though, J functions are not inherently organized etc it's just a coincidence, same for P functions.

Could you explain this a bit further? Why would this be a problem?
Well if you are fluctuating, your test results won't be representative of your overall self. Also the tests are too description based which isn't accurate because not everyone is raised in the same conditions. Test questions should measure functions in their most fundamental nature.
 

Trebuchet

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#13
The author makes a decent case that the MBTI is easy to abuse or misuse. There are many threads on this forum that say similar things, such as the MBTI doesn't define a person, that growth is possible, and so on. I agree, for example, that refusing to hire someone of the "wrong" type is a bad idea.

However, the fact that the MBTI is not a predictive science, but rather a descriptive model, seems to have escaped him. The model doesn't perfectly match reality, and it doesn't provide a complete description of a person, nor does it claim to. Nothing in the MBTI indicates if someone is nice. There are nice INTPs and mean INTPs. It doesn't say anything about musical ability, sleeping habits, or honesty. Obviously there is more to a person than one of 16 types. The author concludes that this means the test is invalid, because it is incomplete. I disagree.

But the MBTI is a useful model. If an INTP can quickly figure out that he is talking to an ESFJ, then the fact that you aren't communicating all that well is no longer a surprise. It does a pretty good job of describing people's general approaches to the world, and if it stops there, does that make it useless?

Of course, people do get harmed by it. I've seen threads here full of despair, when someone feels mistyped, or isn't fitting what they think an INTP is. There are even fights over it. And if it hurts someone's romance or career because someone took it too literally, that isn't good.

I suspect the author is confusing correlation with causation. Being INTP correlates with a love of logic, and disliking parties. Being INTP doesn't require you to love logic, or dislike parties, however.

As Mellivar said, "can human behavior really be reduced to just that?" Well, of course not. And there is more to gender than male and female. Humans are complicated.
 

wadlez

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#14
From skimming over the article it has heaps of flaws in this statistical proof. EG:

The data indicate that there is no evidence of bimodal distributions for the MBTI.6 Instead, most people score between the two extremes. This means that although one person may score as an E, his or her test results may be very similar to those of another person's, who scores as an I.
He assumes that MBTI would predict there to be bimodal distribution when divided by I and E, when in fact there Isnt expected to be so this actually evidence towards MBTI.

The primary method for testing reliability is to give the test to a person on two occasions. This procedure is knownas “test-retest reliability." Typically, the test-retest interval can range from several weeks to more than a year. Because type is said to be a constant characteristic, we would expect that people's personality would not change over time. Several studies, however, show that even when the test-retest interval is short (e.g., 5 weeks), as many as 50 percent of the people will be classified into a different type.
This is meant to be taken as proof that these personality's are dynamic, but should rather be taken that the test is a bad measure and has poor test-retest reliability. Its like using a tape measure and recording peoples height, but the tape measure is made of elastic and stretches. If you record peoples height one day and again another day and get different scores it should not be taken as proof that people shrink and grow everyday, but rather that the test is flawed.

The idiot who wrote this didn't realize that he was challenging all the current personality theories with that flawed statistical "evidence". Heaps of research points to personality being stable across your lifespan.
http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/007385.html

and thats just the start, long story short, articles retarded.

I think it works broadly like he is introved and that girl over there shouting is not, but the system seemed to me like an astrology thing where they say stuff about people that applies to everyone except a bit more accurate because you take a test. NINJA
Why are you here then? Go join a astrology forum
 

Ska

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#15
I agree that MBTI/Jung got some things right:

- Human consciousness works in a hierarchical fashion - it has become quite clear to me through observation that this is correct. People will always put certain functions ahead of others. I will only pursue an idea if it's supported by my Ti, while my ENFP friend will take any idea his Ne brings him - even if it's stupid and bound to end in disaster - because his logic function (Te) is third while his Ne is dominant.
- Functions work on a continuum - the more you pay attention to logic, the less emphasis you place on feelings; the more you look at the specifics, the less you see the big picture. The more developed one function is, the less developed the opposite of that function will be. This is evident to me through the the terrible Fe of myself, and my ISTP brother and friend - I also have to laugh when my ISTJ dad makes some horrible Ne guess about what might happen in the future or why someone did something.

This article provides some great insight as to why we see the patterns that we do, and perhaps some soft evidence that there's something to all of this.


This map does not imply that the functions are literally located in the brain, occupying their separate quadrants in splendid isolation from one another. Rather, it suggests that certain areas of the brain are crucial to the tasks we associate with standard functional terms.

For example, the cognitive processes that enter into an Extraverted Judging preference can’t be located in one area of the brain. Discrimination and decision-making, whether personal orimpersonal, depend on working memory, emotional investment, and the sort of abstract representation permitted by the hippocampus.

But the fact remains that if the left frontal lobe of the brain is anesthetized, discrimination and executive judgment are rendered impossible. The frontal cortex is crucial to the tasks we associate with the terms Te and Fe.
As research with split-brain patients has made clear, the two halves of the brain share their different "takes" on data by sending signals across the corpus callosum,which both divides and connects them. The left hemisphere interprets these signals in terms of a constructed world view, the right in terms of changes in expected patterns. Without the latter input, the left brain ignores change relevant to its interests, but without left-brain input, the right brain responds to every pattern change as though it were a crisis.
On the other hand, communication between the two hemispheres doesn’t always occur directly. The front and back hemispheres cannot send information diagonally to each other across the corpus callosum.
This neurological template supports a good deal of what Jung said about the functions. For example, it’s clear from the little brain map that the inferior function always implicates the brain quadrant diagonally opposed to the dominant. Activity in diagonally opposed quadrants can, of
course, occur in tandem; however, conscious awareness of the inferior function’s contribution to a project is likely to occur, initially, by way of projection in the outside world.
From this information it seems quite obvious to me that Jung got a few things right. It makes sense that there's a dominant and inferior function, as your dominant function (or brain quadrant, if you like) is located diagonally from your inferior function and therefore has the least amount of communication with your dominant function. The roles of your secondary and tertiary functions also make perfect sense, as the quadrant that represents your secondary function is located in next to your dominant function and in the same brain hemisphere. Your tertiary function or quadrant is also located next to your dominant function, just in the other hemisphere.

Now, I don't believe the theory to be entirely accurate, as it would be pretty hard to do that merely from observation, but I believe the general ideas/model of it to be fairly accurate. But, in the end, there's still a lot of work to be done because all this really shows is that people have higher functioning in certain areas of their brain. Individual differences can most likely be defined much more in-depth than this.

EDIT: Alright, so I've read the whole thing now, and there's mainly three things it's taking issue with: The construction of the test, people being mistyped, and people being discriminant based on types. All are valid points, but he does nothing to disprove the theory. I really have no clue why no one is giving this theory any credit. They all want to measure personality in how it manifests itself in reality, but there's much more to it. Who cares if we know that you scored 45% on extraverted, 30% Neuroticism, 56% openness to new experiences, etc on a test? It really doesn't tell you much at all. The only reason it's not stereotyping is because each person has their own unique test score based on how they subjectively answered questions. There's obvious underlying principles behind how consciousness and therefore personality operates, but they pay no attention to it. /rant
 

Attachments

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#16
Yeah, I have plenty of my own criticisms and doubts about the whole system (see this thread, for example).

I think there is good reason to think that there is good evidence for the dualism between introversion and extroversion. The duality between feeling and thinking is also useful for me. I have suspicions, however, about any duality between sensing and intuitive or between perceiving and judging. There is no good reason any person can not be strongly both sensing and intuiting, or both strongly perceiving and strongly judging, or strongly neither for that matter. Personalities are not a neat and orderly thing.

I have been in "gifted student" research circles for some time now and a lot of studies have been done on the myers-briggs types of gifted children. Gifteds usually overrepresent type N's and there is a distinct difference in their communication styles that posit the validity of the duality.

Anecdotally, in my own life (as an INTJ), I notice a marked difference in Ns and Ss in interactions....I know that isn't empirical proof, though.

I actually think the N or S is the most important letter of all four, and makes the biggest difference in how people interact with reality, both mentally and physically.
 

Alias

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#17
Yeah, N vs S provides the biggest noticeable differences.

I agree with the original essay in that certain questions mix. For example, it causes confusion when an NJ is asked "do you like to pat attention to detail". As a Judger, they prefer an organized sort of function to things. But as an Intuitive, they don't like to pay loads of attention to every minute sensory detail. Thus it becomes unclear whether or not the question should indicate S or N.
 
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#18
I find it incredibly stupid and lame that ApostateAbe is banned, especially considering that users who manage to ruin every thread they enter get to stay.

He was banned for 'racism' right? For making that thread about blacks and drowning that made people lose their shit? Well, that's just ridiculous and fit for an ESFJ forum, not an INTP one.
 

Pyropyro

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#20
I find it incredibly stupid and lame that ApostateAbe is banned, especially considering that users who manage to ruin every thread they enter get to stay.

He was banned for 'racism' right? For making that thread about blacks and drowning that made people lose their shit? Well, that's just ridiculous and fit for an ESFJ forum, not an INTP one.
Bronto, ApostateAbe wasn't banned.
 
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#22
Damn it now my point appears to have severely diminished while in fact it remains constant, just subtle PC trickery all around...
 

Hadoblado

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#23
The thread is also still unlocked. IIRC the initial one was locked due to the gold chains joke in the OP, which was deliberately confrontational. The second thread went for a good while before sputtering out, and he left of his own accord.

I don't think he was ever a full on regular. He makes it sound like he's got a run of forums that he visits, propagates controversy in, then moves on from. He'll likely be back with some new 'ugly truths' to knot our collective knickers with.

It speaks worlds as to your opinion of us that something you consider 'incredibly stupid and lame' is also your default assumption for our operation. :cthulhu:
 
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#24
The thread is also still unlocked. IIRC the initial one was locked due to the gold chains joke in the OP, which was deliberately confrontational. The second thread went for a good while before sputtering out, and he left of his own accord.

I don't think he was ever a full on regular. He makes it sound like he's got a run of forums that he visits, propagates controversy in, then moves on from. He'll likely be back with some new 'ugly truths' to knot our collective knickers with.

It speaks worlds as to your opinion of us that something you consider 'incredibly stupid and lame' is also your default assumption for our operation. :cthulhu:
Yeah sorry i got off on that one. Attention whoring shit. NVM
 

AphroditeGoneAwry

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#25
As is common in IRC, I was linked to a cracked.com article, which lead me to clicking on several other articles, eventually leading me to this:

http://www.indiana.edu/~jobtalk/HRMWebsite/hrm/articles/develop/mbti.pdf

It's an article attacking MBTI's validity. I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that most of us here at least, understood the main points the article makes, on the faults of MBTI.

Despite that, I've always thought that MBTI managed to get *something* right, and I'm curious as to what. I mean, it's drawn a community of us together who are all fairly liked minded, though we have strong differences as well.

Any thoughts?
I would ask them, "What have you found that is a better way to give a succinct description of a person?"

Type A? Type B? Outgoing? Shy?

All the typical descriptors pale in comparison to what MBTI, based on Jung's cognitive function discovery, can offer for understanding the expression of humanness on our planet.

His discovery was truly ingenious.

And that is why only the fringe part of society understands and is loyal to it. All the best stuff only the fringe know about. :cool:
 
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