Is MBTI based on stereotypization - and if so, is it really valid?

Is MBTI based on stereotypization - and if so, is it really valid?

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  • 1 Post By Ungweliante
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This is a discussion on Is MBTI based on stereotypization - and if so, is it really valid? within the General Psychology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Taken from this page: Welcome to Personality Type! Extraverts often: Have high energy Talk more than listen Think out loud ...

  1. #1

    Is MBTI based on stereotypization - and if so, is it really valid?

    Taken from this page: Welcome to Personality Type!

    • Extraverts often:
    • Have high energy
    • Talk more than listen
    • Think out loud
    • Act, then think
    • Like to be around people a lot
    • Prefer a public role
    • Can sometimes be easily distracted
    • Prefer to do lots of things at once
    • Are outgoing & enthusiastic

    • Introverts often:
    • Have quiet energy
    • Listen more than talk
    • Think quietly inside my head
    • Think, then act
    • Feel comfortable being alone
    • Prefer to work "behind-the-scenes"
    • Have good powers of concentration
    • Prefer to focus on one thing at a time
    • Are self-contained and reserved

    • Sensors often:
    • Focus on details & specifics
    • Admire practical solutions
    • Notice details & remember facts
    • Are pragmatic - see what is
    • Live in the here-and-now
    • Trust actual experience
    • Like to use established skills
    • Like step-by-step instructions
    • Work at a steady pace

    • Intuitives often:
    • Focus on the big picture & possibilities
    • Admire creative ideas
    • Notice anything new or different
    • Are inventive - see what could be
    • Think about future implications
    • Trust their gut instincts
    • Prefer to learn new skills
    • Like to figure things out for themselves
    • Work in bursts of energy

    • Thinkers often:
    • Make decisions objectively
    • Appear cool and reserved
    • Are most convinced by rational arguments
    • Are honest and direct
    • Value honesty and fairness
    • Take few things personally
    • Tend to see flaws
    • Are motivated by achievement
    • Argue or debate issues for fun

    • Feelers often:
    • Decide based on their values & feelings
    • Appear warm and friendly
    • Are most convinced by how they feel
    • Are diplomatic and tactful
    • Value harmony and compassion
    • Take many things personally
    • Are quick to compliment others
    • Are motivated by appreciation
    • Avoid arguments and conflicts

    • Judgers often:
    • Make most decisions pretty easily
    • Are serious & conventional
    • Pay attention to time & are prompt
    • Prefer to finish projects
    • Work first, play later
    • Want things decided
    • See the need for most rules
    • Like to make & stick with plans
    • Find comfort in schedules

    • Perceivers often:
    • May have difficulty making decisions
    • Are playful & unconventional
    • Are less aware of time & run late
    • Prefer to start projects
    • Play first, work later
    • Want to keep their options open
    • Question the need for many rules
    • Like to keep plans flexible
    • Want the freedom to be spontaneous, thinking about these, I would say that the different MBTI tests often try to measure your type according to stereotypizations like this. Still, there seems to be a lot of overlapping. Also, very often people have qualities from all these categories, even mutually exclusive ones like Feeling/Thinking. Considering this, what problems would you say arise?
    Lucretius thanked this post.

  2. #2

    I thought about making a thread on the usefulness of typology systems some time ago. Long story short I ended up not making the thread. But Ungweliante's topic title questions the validity of MBTI so I think it's relevant. With her permission I am copy+pasting what I wrote here:
    How useful are personality typing systems really? The general idea of personality typing systems is to improve communication and overall relationships between people of differing types. For instance MBTI will try to establish the way ISFJs and ENFPs view the world and process information. By sharing this information people can better see where and why they have trouble in a relationship (or don't have trouble) and thus improve relationships with each other and others in the future.

    But to get directly to the point essentially the problem with typing systems is they are simply too broad to be useful. You can look all over this very board and see people calling themselves ambiverts. You see others saying they have a weak T or strong Fi. Whatever. The point I'm trying to get at is that you can say for instance that someone is an INTP therefore they think in X way so if I approach them with Y I'm sure to get through to them. But then it turns out this INTP has weak Ne so it didn't work. In this scenario how useful was the system?

    You could argue that of course it won't work in all situations but in general it is useful. Sure you can. But now I don't know about you but I hate gambling. Going into a conflict trying to use MBTI, Enneagram, or whatever *hoping* that it will help is ridiculous. It's simply better to approach each individual differently and forget about their supposed type in the first place. Next it's even debatable if it works in general. There are sixteen types and billions of people in the world. At that point the validity of the types comes into great questioning. When you look at the broad spectrum of people in the world you're really stretching what an ENFJ is. Are ENFJs really that similar? How lucky will you really get?

    Finally, with the large majority of personality typing systems the point is to understand your flaws and work towards improving them. So for the majority of typing systems the more developed a person is the lines between types become blurred. This isn't as much of an issue because you most likely have a good relationship with a well developed person anyway, but it becomes an issue with you trying to type them and the overall understanding of types. If they are typed incorrectly the overall understanding of types in your eyes and the eyes others is confused.

    Overall I believe personality typing systems cause more harm then good. It just causes people to stereotype each other rather then to look at each other as individuals. I think it's a great thing to try to improve your flaws and to try to improve your relationships with others. But trying to fit yourself and others into neat little boxes that you can then use to decide how you will interact with them, if you decide their type is worthy to interact with, is not the way to do it.


  3. #3

    Relating to people as if they are in one of 16 boxes is better than relating to them as if they are all in one box. Everyone "models" other people's presumed motivations and values. Without MBTI or some other system, they tend to use the one sure template they have, which is themselves. This can be disastrous.

    I have several people that I supervise at work. I don't need MBTI to relate well with my ENTJ employee, since his mind works a lot like mine. However, working with my ESFP employee in the same way I work with the ENTJ was extremely disastrous until I started using MBTI to recognize that his mind has a very different operating system and adjusted accordingly. Maybe F types can adjust more naturally without some external system, but being an INTJ, having an external logical template to apply is a lot more natural than trying to "walk in their moccasins" to figure them out.

    So no, MBTI is nowhere near a perfect model of reality, but it can still be incredibly helpful, especially for those of us who are somewhat socially inept.
    Scruffy, TurranMC, Nynnu and 3 others thanked this post.

  4. #4

    This remind me of my Management Class @ the uni when sb threw a question: Are management theories any useful at all?

    Below is the summary of what I learnt from MBTI:

    1. I was not an alien at all. There are others who shared my dreams, faced the same problems as mine, behaved the same and apparently they occupy around 2.5% of the US population.
    2. It gave me the direction to my psychological maturity. Apparently, according to MBTI I need to develop my Se and Ti; and therefore I started to gradually move my attention away from Fe and Ni.
    3. Stop accusing others as aliens. Some other types are rare enough and encountering with one of them at the first time can be a pain. MBTI helps us understand their cognitive functions. Sometimes, they're nothing more than just the underdeveloped personality types.

    MBTI provides us the framework. It can serve as a very good starting point. However, sticking on the MBTI all the time will not guarantee your relationships to work.

    Ps. The extroverts find MBTI quite helpful too.

    God, this forum is so addictive.
    Thorgar and JessBunny thanked this post.

  5. #5

    While I've debated this question many times myself, I have to say that it is helpful on many occasions.

    I always knew I was introverted, but certain things always puzzled me: why are some introverts really good at technical stuff (T) when I'm not? Why am I more sensitive (F) than many other people? Why are some people able to walk into a party and just start dancing and being all spontaneous and sexy and shit (P) while I make a moron of myself if I attempt the same thing? Why is it so hard for me to learn the hands-on, experiential way (S)?

    Thanks to the 16 type system, I'm no longer puzzled by those and many other things.

  6. #6

    what do you mean by stereotype? The research for validity and reliability of results is not great. I won't change my life around based on the results. But it's a place to start.

  7. #7

    All stereotypes are true and valid, stereotypically.

    The rub is the individual's comfort level with being placed inside a group with group traits.

  8. #8

    How would this work as an experiment. Invite large amount (doesn't have to be all at once) of people and make them do an MBTI test. Then you could interview them and let them do small tasks or let them comment on an abstract object. Compare gatherings with stereotypes and find out whether or not there is atleast a little truth in it. Doouble-blind until after the interviews. Or whatever..


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