Another MBTI "debunking" - Page 2

Another MBTI "debunking"

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This is a discussion on Another MBTI "debunking" within the Articles forums, part of the Announcements category; Originally Posted by reckful As I noted at the end of the OP, I am definitely not a functions person, ...

  1. #11

    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    As I noted at the end of the OP, I am definitely not a functions person, and Socionics is very much function-centric.
    I had noticed that, my intention was more towards the Reinin dichotomies, I probably should have mentioned them directly.

  2. #12

    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    I'd say someone looking for a great example of how analysis based on the Harold Grant functions model (i.e., the one that says INTJ=Ni-Te-Fi-Se) can end up running somebody completely off the rails need look no further than the Socionics "quadras," where ESFPs and ISFPs get grouped together with INTJs and ENTJs (well, depending on how you do the type translation...) — because, you know, same functions, right?
    Just thought I'd add that quadras aren't the only grouping used in Socionics. There's also clubs (NF, NT, SF, ST) and temperaments (IJ, IP, EP, EJ) that come to mind. And four romance styles. It's things like that which help Socionics to become a more complete, if more complex, system.

  3. #13

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Wanderer View Post
    I believe, personally, a big reason why the Big 5 should be preferred over the MBTI is because of how MBTI is monetized by the Myers & Briggs foundation. The way it's handled makes it seem like little more than a pyramid scheme.
    It's dangerous when a person learns things about himself without a proper psychiatrist getting paid for it. Psychiatrist are good people and they're worried for us.
    PaladinX, PaladinX, PaladinX and 13 others thanked this post.

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  5. #14

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady D View Post
    It's dangerous when a person learns things about himself without a proper psychiatrist getting paid for it. Psychiatrist are good people and they're worried for us.
    lol

  6. #15

    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    It seems like the MBTI "debunkings" have been coming thicker and faster lately, but their quality certainly isn't improving — which is hardly surprising, given the extent to which each one seems to be based largely on a quick review of previous "debunkings," rather than on the authors actually doing much serious homework.

    I'm going to take more time than the latest debunker really deserves to address some of the points in this week's shining example — Why the Myers-Briggs Test Is Totally Meaningless, by Joseph Stromberg (a dude who "writes about science" at the Vox website) — partly because they're mostly points commonly found in these kinds of articles, so addressing this one also addresses several previous articles, as well as (I assume, alas) several more that are still to come.

    The Big Five is science and the MBTI is astrology

    I have more to say about the scientific status of the MBTI below, but wanted to begin by noting that, like most MBTI debunkings, this one points approvingly at the Big Five and characterizes it as a very different kind of animal. But McCrae and Costa — the leading Big Five psychologists (and creators of the NEO-PI-R test) — long ago acknowledged (1) that the MBTI (and this was an older version than the current one) basically passed muster in the validity and reliability departments, (2) that the MBTI was effectively tapping into four of the Big Five dimensions, and (3) that the Big Five and the MBTI might each have things to learn from the other.

    Discrete, bimodal types

     


    Pew! Pew! Pew! And another straw man crumples to the ground...

    The notion that the MBTI claims to assign people to "pure" all-or-nothing categories is probably the silliest of the memes that regularly recur in MBTI debunkings, and it has the dual charm of being both an inaccurate characterization of the MBTI and — in its misplaced emphasis on the shape of the distribution curve — a red herring.

    Nobody knows for sure at this point but, as I understand it, the existing studies suggest that it's likely that most or all of the MBTI dimensions — like the four Big Five dimensions they basically correspond with — exhibit something like a normal distribution, with substantially more people near (or in) the middle than near the extremes. For what it's worth, Jung thought more people were essentially in the middle on E/I than were significantly extraverted or introverted, and Myers allowed for the possibility of middleness on all four dimensions — so the in-the-middle possibility really goes all the way back to the MBTI's roots.

    Myers believed that it might turn out that one or more of the dichotomies was truly bimodal to one degree or another — with, in effect, a more or less empty (if narrow) zone in the exact middle of the spectrum. But she never asserted that that theoretical possibility had been factually established by any respectable body of evidence, and the 1985 MBTI Manual (which she co-authored) stressed that the evidence for bimodality was sketchy at best. And since then, as I've said, quite a lot of evidence has accumulated that seems to suggest that most or all of the MBTI dimensions exhibit something more like a normal distribution.

    In at least one of the early versions of the MBTI, it was possible to get an "x" on any dimension. The current version assigns people a (tentative) type on each dimension, but that's a very different thing from saying that it isn't possible for someone not to have a preference — and the MBTI Manual specifically notes that someone with a score near the middle is someone who has essentially "split the vote" rather than offered much evidence of a preference.

    The "Step II" version of the MBTI includes five "facets" for each dimension — just as the NEO-PI-R has six facets for each Big Five dimension — and allows for the possibility of being, for example, on the T side of three of the facets and the F side of the other two.

    More importantly, I'd say, there was really no doubt in either Jung's or Myers' minds that people on either side of the dimensions fell along a notably wide spectrum from mild to strong preferences. So, regardless of where anybody wants to come down on the "exact middle" possibility, if they take the position that, e.g., all introverts are equally introverted, their perspective is way out of line with Jung, Myers and every respectable MBTI source I've ever encountered.

    As a final note: At this point nobody really knows how close to the middle how many people are on the MBTI (and Big Five) dimensions, because the current state of both the MBTI and Big Five is such that it really isn't possible to determine exactly where anybody falls along whatever the real, underlying (and substantially genetic) spectrums may be. So it seems to me that anybody who thinks that the existing data on either the Big Five or MBTI has clearly established the shape of the distribution curves is very much overestimating the ability of the existing tests to accurately quantify strengths of preferences.

    But the main point to keep in mind is that, at the end of the day, the worth of the MBTI and Big Five is mostly going to hinge on how good a job those typologies do in nailing down what personality-related characteristics tend to be associated with the corresponding preferences, and not on how many people turn out to be at any particular point on any of the relevant spectrums. And in any case, the MBTI certainly doesn't stand or fall depending on whether any of its dimensions exhibit a "bimodal" distribution.

    The MBTI simply implements Jung's types

     


    Jung was a believer in the scientific approach, and Isabel Myers took Psychological Types and devoted a substantial chunk of her life to putting its typological concepts to the test in accordance with the psychometric standards applicable to the science of personality. Myers adjusted Jung's categories and concepts so that they better fit the data she'd gathered from thousands of subjects, and by the end of the 1950s (as McCrae and Costa have acknowledged), she had a typology (and an instrument) that was respectably tapping into four of the Big Five personality dimensions — long before there really was a Big Five. And twin studies have since shown that identical twins raised in separate households are substantially more likely to match on those dimensions than genetically unrelated pairs, which is further (strong) confirmation that the MBTI dichotomies correspond to real, relatively hard-wired underlying dimensions of personality. They're a long way from being simply theoretical — or pseudoscientific — categories with no respectable evidence behind them.

    Again, McCrae and Costa are the leading Big Five psychologists, and they've studied both Jung and the MBTI. In the same article I linked to at the top of this post, they noted — correctly — that Jung's typology erred in lumping various psychological characteristics together that decades of studies have shown are not significantly correlated. By contrast, after Myers was finished adjusting Jung's system to fit the data, she had a modified version whose dichotomies passed muster by the relevant scientific standards. As McCrae and Costa explain:



    As further discussed in this post and this post and (especially) the posts linked to in that second post, Jung included what's arguably the lion's share of the modern conception of S/N (the concrete/abstract duality) in his very broad notion of what E/I involved. But Myers discovered that there are abstract extraverts (ENs) and concrete introverts (ISs), and that there's no significant correlation between Myers' (statistically supportable) versions of E/I and S/N. Jung said extraverts tend to subscribe to the mainstream cultural views of their time, while introverts tend to reject mainstream values in favor of their own individualistic choices. But Myers discovered that a typical ISTJ is significantly more likely to be a traditionalist than a typical (more independent-minded) ENTP. Jung said an extravert likes change and "discovers himself in the fluctuating and changeable," while an introvert resists change and identifies with the "changeless and eternal." But Myers discovered that it was the S/N and J/P dimensions that primarily influenced someone's attitude toward change, rather than whether they were introverted or extraverted.

    And so on. The appropriate way to view the Myers-Briggs typology is not as some kind of simplified (and more "testable") implementation of Jung's original typology. Instead, it's fairer to say that the Myers-Briggs typology is basically where Jung's typology ended up after it was very substantially modified — not to mention expanded — to fit the evidence.

    Reliability

     


    The idea that the Big Five is substantially superior to the MBTI in the test/retest reliability department is another canard that periodically pops up in these kinds of articles. And claims to that effect are often accompanied by statistics that confuse retest rates on single dimensions with retest rates for a complete four-letter type.

    I once corrected a forum poster who'd noted that the MBTI "has a test-retest rate of some 60%, meaning two out of every five people get different results when retaking the test," while the NEO-PI-R's "levels of consistency are incredibly high (N= .92, E= .89, O= .87, A= .86, C= .90)." In my reply, I explained:



    It's probably also worth noting that if you assume (as previously discussed) that most or all of the MBTI and Big Five dimensions exhibit something like a normal distribution, and if you assume (accordingly) that a large portion of the population is in or near the middle on at least one dimension, and if you add to that the many potential sources of error in self-assessment personality tests — from the fact that personality type is a relatively young science and psychologists are quite a long ways from nailing down exactly what the temperament dimensions consist of, to flaws in particular tests (including items that tap into more than one dimension), to multiple kinds of misunderstanding and other human error on the part of the individuals taking the test — it would strain credibility if the test-retest statistics for any personality typology didn't indicate a significant percentage of cases where at least one of the dimensions came out with a different preference on retesting, and one letter change is all it takes to constitute an MBTI retest "failure."

    As a final note, it should also be kept in mind that a typical MBTI test-taker is someone with little or no familiarity with the typology who simply takes the MBTI test along with a group of fellow employees or students. It's reasonable to assume that, to the extent that a person actually has four reasonably-well-defined preferences, they're likely to come up with a result that's considerably more accurate if, rather than just accepting the test result, they spend some time reading about the preferences and the types — which is something the MBTI Manual (among other sources) has always encouraged people to do.

    Myers didn't have a psychology degree!

     


    No "formal training" in psychology! Oh noes!

    Isabel Myers may not have been as smart as Jung, but she was a very intelligent woman — she graduated first in her class at Swarthmore — who understood that, in order to create a personality assessment instrument that passed muster by the relevant scientific standards, she needed to educate herself on statistics and psychometrics. And she did. And if Mr. Stromberg thinks that the fact that Myers' education in that area happened outside of a "formal" university program means she didn't really know what she was doing, I'd suggest that Mr. Stromberg should think again.

    I'd certainly expect that, all other things being equal, a smart person with a degree in psychology would have been in a better position to turn Psychological Types into a scientifically-respectable typology than a smart person with "no formal training in psychology." But, as it turns out, Briggs and Myers were the smart people who did it, and the Myers-Briggs typology deserves — needless to say, I would hope — to be judged on its merits, rather than on the basis of how much of its creators' education happened within the hallowed halls of academia.

    Real psychologists reject the MBTI

     


    Stromberg packs a lot of misinformation into the closing paragraphs of his article. He says that, except for E/I, the Big Five "focuses on entirely different categories" — and I've already pointed out that the leading Big Five psychologists (and authors of the NEO-PI-R) have come to the opposite conclusion.

    He says that, "apart from a few analyses finding it to be flawed, virtually no major psychology journals have published research on the test — almost all of it comes in dubious outlets like The Journal of Psychological Type, which were specifically created for this type of research." But, on the contrary, and as further described in the next linked post, professional psychologists have been publishing studies based on the MBTI in independent, peer-reviewed journals — e.g., Journal of Personality, Journal of Personality Assessment, Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, Journal of Research in Personality, Personality & Individual Differences — for more than 40 years.

    I don't disagree that, as a matter of degree, the Big Five is more widely used in the academic community than the MBTI, and I assume Big Five supporters can now point to more published studies than MBTI supporters. But Stromberg's claims that the MBTI has been all but ignored (and/or affirmatively rejected) among professional psychologists — and "has about as much scientific validity as your astrological sign" — are way off base.

    There are hard sciences, soft sciences and pseudosciences and, unlike astrology, temperament psychology in any of its better-established varieties (including both the Big Five and the MBTI) belongs in the "soft science" category, as further discussed in this post, which includes links that point to quite a lot of scientific support for the MBTI.

    What's more, the MBTI really doesn't belong in a substantially different category than the Big Five when it comes to reliability (as already discussed) and validity. The 2003 Bess/Harvey/Swartz study I also link to in that last linked post summed up the MBTI's relative standing in the personality type field this way:



    ...and the authors went on to describe the results of their own 11,000-subject study, which they specifically noted were inconsistent with the notion that the MBTI was somehow of "lower psychometric quality" than Big Five (aka FFM) tests. They said:



    And maybe the most important point to stress on the "MBTI vs. Big Five" issue is that, for an ordinary person, there's really no need to choose one or the other. Assuming that the real underlying temperament dimensions that the MBTI is dealing with (in its imperfect way) are the same as four of the dimensions that the Big Five is dealing with (in its imperfect way), I don't see any reason not to look to respectable Big Five sources and respectable MBTI sources (as I do) for interesting data and possible insights into the nature of those dimensions.

    In his final paragraph — the same one that tells us that the MBTI "has about as much scientific validity as your astrological sign" — Stromberg also tells us that "thousands of professional psychologists have evaluated the century-old Myers-Briggs, found it to be inaccurate and arbitrary, and devised better systems for evaluating personality." Thousands! Yikes. If he'd just said "hundreds," I'd say there's no way he could come close to backing that assertion with a list of sources. The fact that he found it appropriate to refer to "thousands" of evaluations arguably tells you all you need to know about his fastidiousness in the factual-accuracy department.

    It's enough to make you wonder where the man got his "formal training" in journalism.

    The Forer effect

     


    I think anyone who points to the MBTI as a good example of the Forer effect can't be very familiar with the MBTI. To go all the way back to its roots, Jung viewed temperament as, to a substantial degree, the source of people's crazinesses and difficulties as much as their strengths. And I'd say all the respectable modern MBTI sources devote a significant amount of attention to the common weaknesses associated with each type.

    What's more, because of the MBTI's dichotomous structure, deciding that any particular MBTI preference fits you well involves, by definition, a corresponding decision that the opposite pole doesn't fit you that well. When I read MBTI profiles, I recognize myself in INTJ descriptions, yes, but in reading descriptions of some of the other types, my reaction — far from a Forer effect — is often more along the lines of, yes! those are those people who drive me up the wall, or feel alien to me.

    I'm not saying that someone looking to discredit the MBTI as a Forer phenomenon couldn't locate some websites where the descriptions tend to be on the vague and/or rosy side. But that's not typical of MBTI sources, in my experience, and it certainly wasn't Myers' perspective.

    Close to half of each type description in the third (most recent) edition of the MBTI Manual is devoted to "Potential Areas for Growth" — i.e., typical weaknesses — for each type. As one example, here's that portion of the INTJ portrait:
    Sometimes life circumstances have not supported INTJs in the development and expression of their Thinking and Intuitive preferences.

    • If they have not developed their Thinking, INTJs may not have reliable ways to translate their valuable insights into achievable realities.
    • If they have not developed their Intuition, they may not take in enough information or take in only that information that fits their insights. Then they may make ill-founded decisions based on limited or idiosyncratic information.

    If INTJs do not find a place where they can use their gifts and be appreciated for their contributions, they usually feel frustrated and may

    • Become aloof and abrupt, not giving enough information about their internal processing
    • Be critical of those who do not see their vision quickly
    • Become single-minded and unyielding in pursuing it

    It is natural for INTJs to give less attention to their non-preferred Sensing and Feeling parts. If they neglect these too much, however, they may

    • Overlook details or facts that do not fit into their Intuitive patterns
    • Engage in "intellectual games," quibbling over abstract issues ad terms that have little meaning or relevance to others
    • Not give enough weight to the impacts of their decisions on individuals
    • Fail to give as much praise or intimate connection as others desire

    Under great stress, INTJs can overindulge in Sensing activities – watching TV reruns, playing cards, overeating – or become overly focused on specific details in their environment that they normally do not notice or usually see as unimportant (housecleaning, organizing cupboards).

    Predictive power

     


    Whether you're talking about the MBTI or the Big Five, no respectable source is ever going to make the claim that the personality dimensions measured by the typology come remotely close to covering the waterfront when it comes to the multiplicity of factors that can come into play in terms of "how you'll perform at your job," or "how happy you'll be in your marriage." Myers devoted separate chapters of Gifts Differing to "Type and Marriage" and "Type and Occupation," and she certainly didn't display anything like the attitude that the MBTI could be used to reliably predict job performance or marriage success. As one example, she noted that, although the limited evidence she was aware of suggested that birds-of-a-feather marriages were more common than complementary-opposites marriages, each could be successful, while also opining that "understanding, appreciation, and respect" were the main factors that "make a lifelong marriage possible and good" and that "similarity of type is not important, except as it leads to these three." As another example, here's some of what she had to say about type and job choices:



    In addition, for what it's worth, the official MBTI folks have made it clear they consider it inappropriate and unethical to use the MBTI in connection with hiring, firing, job placement and/or promotions, and also consider it unethical to require any employee to take the MBTI in the first place. As explained on Peter and Katharine Myers' website:



    (For more on the ethical guidelines governing corporate use of the MBTI, see here.)

    Buut, on the other hand... Stromberg himself acknowledges that "there's some evidence that [the Big Five factors] have some predictive power in determining people's ability to be successful at various jobs and in other situations." And given that, as previously discussed, the MBTI is essentially tapping into four of the Big Five dimensions, it's pretty silly for somebody to say, on the one hand, that your Big Five type may have some noteworthy predictive power when it comes to job success while simultaneously claiming that your MBTI type has "almost no predictive power" in that regard.

    The official MBTI folks put out Career Reports that show the popularity for each type of "22 broad occupational categories," based on "a sample of more than 92,000 people in 282 jobs who said they were satisfied with their jobs." The sample included, e.g., 4,190 INTJs, 4,550 INTPs and 3,230 ISFPs, so it's a huge sample by personality typology standards.

    For anyone unfamiliar with the psychometric standard of "validity": In the modern world of personality typology, the relevant scientific standards include judging typologies in terms of two broad criteria known as reliability and validity. Reliability basically has to do with internal consistency (as previously discussed), while validity basically relates to the extent to which the theoretical constructs seem to line up with actual things out there in the real world that the typology test items don't directly ask the subjects about.

    I've managed to find free sample Career Reports for about three-quarters of the types from that 92,000-subject pool, and I'd say the statistics seem to offer pretty dramatic support for the notion that someone's MBTI type has a substantial impact on their job choices and job satisfaction — and with the S/N preference playing a particularly large role (consistent with both Myers' and Keirsey's perspectives). The more preferences two types share, the more likely it appears to be that they'll favor the same job families. As an example, the next spoiler shows the "Most Attractive Job Families" (= scores above 60) for INTJs and INTPs:

     
    INTJs
    Life, Physical, and Social Sciences [100]
    —Biologist, chemist, economist, psychologist
    Architecture and Engineering [92]
    —Architect, surveyor, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer
    Computers and Mathematics [76]
    —Programmer, systems analyst, database administrator, mathematician
    Legal [65]
    —Lawyer, arbitrator, paralegal, court reporter

    INTPs
    Life, Physical, and Social Sciences [100]
    —Biologist, chemist, economist, psychologist
    Computers and Mathematics [88]
    —Programmer, systems analyst, database administrator, mathematician
    Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media [85]
    —Artist, coach, musician, reporter
    Architecture and Engineering [77]
    —Architect, surveyor, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer
    Legal [72]
    —Lawyer, arbitrator, paralegal, court reporter

    And, by contrast, the next spoiler shows the "Most Attractive Job Families" (= scores above 60) for ISFPs:

     
    ISFPs
    Health Care Support [100]
    —Nurse's aide, veterinary assistant, pharmacy aide, physical therapy aide
    Architecture and Engineering [91]
    —Architect, surveyor, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer
    Food Preparation and Service [78]
    —Chef, food service manager, bartender, host/hostess
    Office and Administrative Support [78]
    —Bank teller, receptionist, clerical services, legal secretary
    Building and Grounds Maintenance [75]
    —Gardener, tree trimmer, housekeeping, lawn service supervisor
    Transportation and Materials Moving [66]
    —Pilot, air traffic controller, driver, freight handler
    Personal Care and Service [64]
    —Lodging manager, personal trainer, hairdresser, child care provider

    I'd certainly agree that somebody's type shouldn't play an oversize role in choosing a career, and (consistent with Myers' perspective) certainly shouldn't be allowed to override somebody's strong sense, based on other factors, that they'd enjoy a job that's not particularly typical for their type. But does being an INTJ or ISFP basically say as little about the probability that someone will end up enjoying a job in the Food Preparation and Service or Computers and Mathematics area (respectively) than someone's astrological sign? Are you kidding me?

    Beyond the metrics

     
    Here's some recycled reckful from last year:



    Stromberg cites organizational psychologist (and HuffPost blogger) Adam Grant several times, and Grant posted a similar MBTI "debunking" a few months ago, but Grant himself later ended up acknowledging that he "mostly agreed" with the "thought-provoking comments" in this rebuttal by organizational consultant Hile Rutledge to Grant's article.

    In his rebuttal, Rutledge noted that, as part of his organizational development work, he's used both the MBTI and the Big Five (as well as several other psychometric tools) and found them both useful. But he also explained that, "in my 20+ years as an organization consultant, I have come to see plainly that the real client work is not about the tool, but instead about using these tools to help increase client self-awareness so that they can more effectively manage themselves" — and he went on to say:


    Dichotomies vs. functions

     
    Having pointed to a lot of scientific support for the MBTI, and especially given how popular the so-called "cognitive functions" are on MBTI-related internet forums, it behooves me to note that the data support for the MBTI relates almost exclusively to the four MBTI dichotomies — which, as already discussed, substantially line up with four of the Big Five dimensions — rather than the eight functions. As I understand it, and as further discussed in this long INTJforum post, the few attempts to test/validate the functions — and, in particular, the functions model most often discussed on internet forums (where INTJ = Ni-Te-Fi-Se and INTP = Ti-Ne-Si-Fe) — have not led to a respectable body of supporting results.

    Links in INTJforum posts don't work if you're not a member, so here are replacements for two of the links in that post:
    McCrae & Costa article (click on the pic on the right to access the full article)
    Reynierse article

    Want moar?

    For anyone who's interested, here's another long — and reasonably good — critical review of Stromberg's article.

    Meh, let's see the truth:

    Jung was interested both in astrology and in psychology right? Those two things are intrinsically connected, is it so? Therefore...

    Does it even slightly surprise you that the both things on which Jung left a huge imprint are equally flogged? Both of them are being constantly attacked for reasons yet unknown to me.

    "Live and let live eh?"

  7. #16

    Quote Originally Posted by Ixim View Post
    Meh, let's see the truth:

    Jung was interested both in astrology and in psychology right? Those two things are intrinsically connected, is it so? Therefore...

    Does it even slightly surprise you that the both things on which Jung left a huge imprint are equally flogged? Both of them are being constantly attacked for reasons yet unknown to me.

    "Live and let live eh?"
    Well, buuut...

    First of all, as explained in the OP, the MBTI can now point to decades of data in support of its validity and reliability. The last I heard, there was no school of astrology with any similar body of empirical support behind it.

    And second, although it's true that Jung was "interested in astrology" (and ESP, for that matter), that's not to say that he ever claimed that anyone had managed to come up with anything like a respectably supported system for matching someone's date and time of birth to their personality.

    In the appendix to Psychological Types, Jung brought up astrology — along with several other "age-old" typologies — solely to dismiss it as unacceptable as a tool for psychological analysis. "As for the astrological type theory," Jung wrote, "to the astonishment of the enlightened it still remains intact today, and is even enjoying a new vogue." By contrast, Jung explains, "our scientific conscience does not permit us to revert to these old, intuitive ways of thinking. We must find our own answer to this problem, an answer which satisfies the needs of science."

    As you probably know, Jung believed in a "collective unconscious" — by which he meant that the human psyche was far from a blank slate, but instead contained all kinds of primordial archetypes and ways of thinking/feeling/etc. that were essentially products of our evolutionary history. He made extensive studies of historical myths and religions of many kinds, and it was his view that there were lots of characters, structures and other elements that tended to be common to many of these belief systems. He studied alchemy extensively at one point — not because he thought it was literally going to teach him how to convert other metals to gold, but because he thought the elaborate alchemical "mythology" was a rich source of material reflecting aspects of our "collective unconscious."

    And Jung clearly viewed astrology as a similar potential source of insight. He called it "a naively projected psychology in which the different attitudes and temperaments of man are represented as gods and identified with planets and zodiacal constellations." He says, "The starry vault of heaven is in truth the open book of cosmic projection, in which are reflected the mythologems, i.e., the archetypes. In this vision astrology and alchemy, the two classical functionaries of the psychology of the collective unconscious, join hands." And also: "Astrology has actually nothing to do with the stars but is the 5000-year-old psychology of antiquity and the Middle Ages."

    It's true that Jung had a pretty strong mystical streak, and I agree that, over the course of his long career, he also made some statements that indicate that he was open to the idea that astrological forces might exert some kind of influence over human affairs — but he clearly didn't subscribe to any kind of established astrological personality typology. And I'd also note that the index to Jung's autobiography (Memories, Dreams, Reflections) includes multiple references to alchemy but no references to astrology. His collected works fill 18 volumes, and include a substantial amount of writing on alchemy, myths, religions and various other human belief systems — but little to nothing about astrology.

  8. #17

    Forer effect... No I don't think so.
    Of course, descriptions aren't accurate, and you can recognize yourself in some types.

    MBTI is about preferences.

    I also want to add that data are hard to gather. A lot of people use MBTI a bit like astrology, giving their own interpretation of types and functions. All those things are mixed up, and then you have confused definitions and descriptions. And when you are confused, you cannot know what is wrong and what is right.

    MBTI types are archetypes, and that why you could think of Forer effect. But it's not.

  9. #18

    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    Well, buuut...

    First of all, as explained in the OP, the MBTI can now point to decades of data in support of its validity and reliability. The last I heard, there was no school of astrology with any similar body of empirical support behind it.

    And second, although it's true that Jung was "interested in astrology" (and ESP, for that matter), that's not to say that he ever claimed that anyone had managed to come up with anything like a respectably supported system for matching someone's date and time of birth to their personality.

    In the appendix to Psychological Types, Jung brought up astrology — along with several other "age-old" typologies — solely to dismiss it as unacceptable as a tool for psychological analysis. "As for the astrological type theory," Jung wrote, "to the astonishment of the enlightened it still remains intact today, and is even enjoying a new vogue." By contrast, Jung explains, "our scientific conscience does not permit us to revert to these old, intuitive ways of thinking. We must find our own answer to this problem, an answer which satisfies the needs of science."

    As you probably know, Jung believed in a "collective unconscious" — by which he meant that the human psyche was far from a blank slate, but instead contained all kinds of primordial archetypes and ways of thinking/feeling/etc. that were essentially products of our evolutionary history. He made extensive studies of historical myths and religions of many kinds, and it was his view that there were lots of characters, structures and other elements that tended to be common to many of these belief systems. He studied alchemy extensively at one point — not because he thought it was literally going to teach him how to convert other metals to gold, but because he thought the elaborate alchemical "mythology" was a rich source of material reflecting aspects of our "collective unconscious."

    And Jung clearly viewed astrology as a similar potential source of insight. He called it "a naively projected psychology in which the different attitudes and temperaments of man are represented as gods and identified with planets and zodiacal constellations." He says, "The starry vault of heaven is in truth the open book of cosmic projection, in which are reflected the mythologems, i.e., the archetypes. In this vision astrology and alchemy, the two classical functionaries of the psychology of the collective unconscious, join hands." And also: "Astrology has actually nothing to do with the stars but is the 5000-year-old psychology of antiquity and the Middle Ages."

    It's true that Jung had a pretty strong mystical streak, and I agree that, over the course of his long career, he also made some statements that indicate that he was open to the idea that astrological forces might exert some kind of influence over human affairs — but he clearly didn't subscribe to any kind of established astrological personality typology. And I'd also note that the index to Jung's autobiography (Memories, Dreams, Reflections) includes multiple references to alchemy but no references to astrology. His collected works fill 18 volumes, and include a substantial amount of writing on alchemy, myths, religions and various other human belief systems — but little to nothing about astrology.
    I stand corrected!

    I thought that it was logical that astrology would take precedence over alchemy over anything else, but I shouldn't project as much. I should let the world speak for itself. Projections are dangerous the last I heard.

    You are really keen on links and stuff like that aren't you?

  10. #19

    Big Five has much more problems than MBTI. Big five is dichotomy-based, MBTI function based, and so, MBTI is more concrete. People who say MBTI is flawed usually don't know anything about functions, and treat MBTI as a dichotomy system.

    Also, Big Five says nothing about intuition or thinking/feeling. The MOST necessary and clear differences. It only compares neuroticism to thinking/feeling. Totally not the same. And it says absolutely nothing about intuition. I totally dislike Big Five for it's ambiguousness. It's not totally flawed, but it's totally incomplete. MBTI is more scientific and specific in my opinion. MBTI + Enneagram together work even better. And there's also Socionics.

    MBTI works, guys!

  11. #20

    @reckful

    Thank you for your posts and interest about MBTI. The beginning post is rather long, and I didn't finish reading it, though just to let you know that the MBTI, which unlike Big Five traits, Zodiac, and similar personality systems like Enneagram, is completely observable in how people look, and how they act or move. This makes it categorizable, without asking people questions they have not carefully thought about the answers to, like personality tests. While personality tests allow people to start considering certain aspects about themselves, it's really important that they see how they compare with others as well, on a relative scale, and MBTI allows this. You can check out visual typing using the MBTI here: mbti-typings.my-free.website. It's a work in progress, though give sa good idea of how to use the MBTI in daily life; sort of an introductory course to using MBTI in daily interactions with people.


     
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