(Video) Why I dislike MBTI dichotomies

(Video) Why I dislike MBTI dichotomies

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  • 1 Post By michelinelynn

This is a discussion on (Video) Why I dislike MBTI dichotomies within the Cognitive Functions forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Any comments/criticisms are appreciated....

  1. #1

    (Video) Why I dislike MBTI dichotomies

    Any comments/criticisms are appreciated.
    Korra thanked this post.

  2. #2

    I've been lately looking more closely into MBTI, and overall not feeling so cool about it as I initially did. At first, I didn't even bother with the cognitive functions. I got so hung up on buzz words like "introverted" and "extroverted" that often made me wonder why a single letter between me, an INFP, and an ENFP, separated us so much. Recently though, I realize there's this perpetuated and narrowed view when it comes to the surface of mere four letters. Instead of viewing introversion and extroversion as a social dynamic/interaction, view them as a "internal" and "external" variant of each cognitive function.

    From what I've understood so far though is that none of the MBTI types are strictly just "Feelers" or "Sensors". Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention, but I think you sorta skipped over how if you look closely into MBTI, all types do have feeling, sensing, thinking, and iNtuition. Each of course has an external/internal variant attached, two of each. So yes, if you find yourself with a type that's NF, it doesn't mean you never have S or T qualities. It's merely what you use primarily/easily comparison to other functions. Over time, certain tertiary/inferior functions will develop. The issue is that a lot of "pop" MBTI stuff focuses too much on base level descriptions that narrowly categorize everyone based off four letters/general descriptions of each type, rather than showing how each of these functions dwell within.

    When it comes to Jung himself though, I don't think he deserves that much credit either, as it can explain why Myers Briggs typing is derived from something not that well researched to begin with, especially when it comes to iNtuition.
    For example, to support his notion that "intuitive types very often do not perceive by their eyes or by their ears, they perceive by intuition" (308), Jung tells a story about a patient. She had a nine a.m. appointment and said to Jung: "you must have seen somebody at eight o'clock." She tells him she knows this because "I just had a hunch that there must have been a gentleman with you this morning." She knows it was a gentleman, she says, because "I just had the impression, the atmosphere was just like a gentleman was here." Jung seems uninterested in critically examining her claims. The anecdote seems to support his picture of the intuitive type. He doesn't consider that she may have seen the gentleman leave but failed to mention this to Jung, perhaps to impress him with her power of intuition. Jung notes that the room smelled of tobacco smoke and there was a half-smoked cigar in an ash tray "under her nose." Jung claims she didn't see it. He doesn't even consider that she may have seen it and smelled the stench of the cigar but did not call attention to it.

    So in a way, MBTI's roots are rather shady to begin with, but it's also not an excuse for MBTI to become even simpler rather than expand and improve on something that needed more work. Yet... I don't necessarily think MBTI is entirely useless. It focuses on some things, misses some, but allows introspection regardless as it makes one question the way we interact with the world, although it's just one part, as I believe you were conveying in your video. It lacks a way to think more internally and instead focuses too much on how someone would perceive/judge you externally or how you externally interact within certain situations.

  3. #3

    Sorry, michelinelynn. I realize you mean well, but it's clear from your video that you don't know all that much about Jung's original conceptions of the types, and about how and why Myers adjusted and expanded them in creating the MBTI. Instead, it sounds like you've done a fair amount of internet reading and swallowed a lot of the typical "cognitive function" groupthink, and you think the MBTI is basically just a dumbed-down, superficial take on Jung's typology.

    As just one example, you spend a significant amount of time discussing your understanding that the MBTI is about external behavior, while "Jungian" typology is about internal stuff. And that, not to put too fine a point on it, is just silly, and you can read more about that specific issue in this post and the second half of this post.

    Buuut more importantly (and generally), if you're open to some serious deprogramming on the relationship between the dichotomies and the functions, the place of the functions (or lack thereof) in the MBTI's history, and the tremendous gap between the dichotomies and the functions in terms of scientific respectability not to mention the unbearable bogosity of the very non-Jungian Harold Grant function stack (the one that says INFJs are Ni-Fe-Ti-Se) you'll find a lot of potentially eye-opening discussion in this post, this post, and the posts they link to.

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  5. #4

    Honestly, I think the dichotomies are actually the most useful part of the theory, and that part that actually has somewhat a basis in reality.

    The functions to me are vague and people tend to have their own ideas of what each one actually means.

    Someone will speculate as to whether or not one thought or action or whatever signifies a function, and someone else will interpret it completely differently.

    The dichotomies are more rigidly defined and so have more meaning, whereas the functions are wishy washy and too open to interpretation.

    Jung's own writings on them (at least in english) haven't got crystal clarity in the first place. And the MBTI-Jung mutant functions are like the product of chinese whispers. The discrepancy between Jung's introverted sensation type and the description of Si and the SJ, for instance.

    No, the dichotomies are the good part of MBTI. It has a semblance of scientific validity in psychometrics, in the same vein as the Big Five, and personally I learned more from them alone than reading about the functions, the latter of which lead to a whole bunch of contradiction and confusion.


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