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A while back I mentioned the whole MBTI thing on another forum (the forum wasn't personality related at all...I just talked about it in the off topic section). Most people seemed mildly interested in it, but one person seemed very against it. From what I know of him, he's very intelligent, extremely knowledgeable (especially in the areas of science and politics), and very good at arguing. He struck me very much as an NT.

Here's what he said:


I never really paid too much attention to the whole Myers Briggs thing, but feeling a little curious, I looked in to it. The whole thing just seems like a sham to me. Smacks of astrology all the way. According to wikipedia (and the first page of google results for 'myers briggs double blind'), this thing has never been double-blind tested. The only validation it has right now is people filling out tests, looking at the results and thinking "hey, that describes me!". Problem is, the Forer Effect (also known as the Barnum Effect) causes people to kinda shoehorn any personality test to fit them. Doesn't matter if it's astrology, graphology, handwriting analysis, or some other stuff someone has thrown together.

James Randi has a rather famous experiment where he concocts some new personality test. Doesn't matter what it is - picking random words from a list, drawing your favorite animal, throwing noodles at a wall, could be anything. Then, come up with a result that is slightly kinda vague and around 75% of people will say that the 'personality type' you've come up with fits them pretty well.
He also posted this link and said that it summarized why he thought the whole MBTI thing was garbage.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com


Me being the timid ISFJ that I am, I didn't want to engage him in a conversation about it on a public forum, so I never really responded. But it always bothered me that I couldn't really come up with a convincing explanation of the validity of the whole thing. It bothered me for a while, especially because the MBTI has been so helpful to me, and I hated the notion of me just deceiving myself the whole time. But since it was making me happy, I kind of just blocked out those thoughts and kept using it since it is quite helpful in my life.


But...even though I'll never bring this up to this person to convince him otherwise, I was just curious how all of you NT deep logical thinkers would respond to his comments and the link.
 

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I think this is the crux of skepdic's objection:

However, his typology seems to imply that science is just a point of view and that using intuition is just as valid a way of seeing and understanding the world and ourselves as is careful observation under controlled conditions. Never mind that that is the only way to systematically minimize self-deception or prevent identifying causes where there are none.

in other words.. The MBTI has 8 functions for interacting with the world, none of which are supposed to be better than each other. To the Skeptics, however, Te is the only valid one. That is the essence of the disagreement.
 

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Ignore stupid people.
They don't get smarter.
 

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But...even though I'll never bring this up to this person to convince him otherwise, I was just curious how all of you NT deep logical thinkers would respond to his comments and the link.
I would say that it is at least one mark up from astrology, but it isn't really science either.
MBTI is (to me) a fallible categorization tool that helps me understand the different ways that people think.
People are still individuals though, so it can only help so much.
 

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Well...

To my mind this is like the evolution debate all over again(1). To really prove this beyond any doubt is nearly impossible, but each person has a working brain that they can use to decide for his or herself about it.

Some of the theory seems sound enough that I just accept it at face value. Is this such a horrible thing? Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. Course that is just how I see it, having never had a formal course in psychology in my life.

1 - By evolution debate, I mean the creationist vs evolution debate that is had in the U.S. on what seems like a recurring basis where some Christian fundamentalist are against evolution being taught in schools and want creationism to also have its place. While I am a Christian, I tend to support the idea of evolution being taught as a "This is our best guess about it and here's why we think that way..." school about it.
 

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To my mind this is like the evolution debate all over again(1). To really prove this beyond any doubt is nearly impossible, but each person has a working brain that they can use to decide for his or herself about it.

Some of the theory seems sound enough that I just accept it at face value. Is this such a horrible thing? Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. Course that is just how I see it, having never had a formal course in psychology in my life.
It works for me. It helps me understand others and relate to them better. So that's a net positive. I could really care less if it's been 'scientifically validated'

Yes it is a step up from astrology where you can get a profile reading so generic it could apply to anyone. Here my type description hits very close to home, while the others don't
 

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I hope it wasn't an NT comparing MBTI to Astrology. One is an alleged cause and effect mechanism between the position of celestial bodies when a person is born and their personality, while the other describes a person's personality based on observations about their personality. MBTI is simply a way of categorizing observations, not a theory about their causes. If I observe someone preferring their left hand, and label them "left-handed" no one would dismiss "left-handedness" as being like astrology. MBTI does not posit any cause and effect relationships, so it's not a theory capable of being valid / invalid, just a classification scheme that falls somewhere along the spectrum of usefulness / uselessness.
 

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NT's either tend to vehemently embrace or reject MBTI. Such polarized dichotomies make me chuckle.
What I would love to do is grab a bunch of confirmed NT's who support MBTI, and a bunch of suspected NT's who reject MBTI and let them duke it out. Seriously, I think that would be one of the best debates that I could ever watch.
 

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Big critics of MBTI always seem to have similar misunderstandings: MBTI is not and has never claimed to be a science. It's totally unfalsifiable and theory-based, with little to no evidence backing it up. That's not the point of it. These skeptics speak as though MBTI intends to be scientific, and if that were the case, then it would absolutely be false and even laughable; the thing is, those who truly understand MBTI know that it's not a science, and no one ever tried to say that it was. It's merely a pragmatic theory (more philosophy than science) that is useful as far as it helps you to understand yourself -- that's all.

I'll say it again: MBTI DOES NOT AND NEVER HAS TRIED TO PARADE AROUND AS A SCIENTIFIC THEORY. ITS USE IS PURELY PRAGMATIC AND PERSONAL.

The end.
 

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I took a test on facebook some time ago. It was a Big 5 personality test. That was the first time I ever took any notice in MBTI because it stated that the Big 5 results correlated with MBTI.(The Big 5 stated.)

For one thing I'm sure of is that the Big 5 is more scientific, but I'm not sure how strongly it correlates with MBTI though. I might look into this sometime in the future, but not now.
 

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Send him over here! XD

I read that article in the Skeptic's dictionary some time ago. The author based his critique on a poor understanding of the terms and theory. He didn't research MBTI thoroughly before trying to debunk it and was not amenable to correction. Since then I do not consider The Skeptic's Dictionary a credible source of information. You may as well ask a Creationsist for information about evolution.
 

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MBTI does not posit any cause and effect relationships, so it's not a theory capable of being valid / invalid, just a classification scheme that falls somewhere along the spectrum of usefulness / uselessness.
Are you sure? If you talk about Jungian functions (also unproven concepts, if I'm not mistaken), isn't that saying "this person acts this and this way because he is using his cognitive functions in such and such a priority order"? Or didn't I get your meaning?
If you stop talking about functions, and merely talk about the MBTI preferences, that problem doesn't arise, of course.
Don't get me wrong though, I'm just as fond of the MBTI for what it is, as the next person.
 

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Are you sure? If you talk about Jungian functions (also unproven concepts, if I'm not mistaken), isn't that saying "this person acts this and this way because he is using his cognitive functions in such and such a priority order"? Or didn't I get your meaning?
If you stop talking about functions, and merely talk about the MBTI preferences, that problem doesn't arise, of course.
Don't get me wrong though, I'm just as fond of the MBTI for what it is, as the next person.
That's like saying "this shirt is red because it looks red."
The functions are just categorisations too. Elaborations of the preferences, a better and more detailed description. There is no causal relaitonship.
 

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That's like saying "this shirt is red because it looks red."
The functions are just categorisations too. Elaborations of the preferences, a better and more detailed description. There is no causal relaitonship.
You're right. The comparison was flawed, because if the MBTI were to claim scientific validity, it would be the existence of the functions that would be unproven, not the causal relationship between functions and behavior, whereas in the case of astrology, it is the causal relationship between constellations and behavior that is unproven, not the existence of the constellations.
 

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A while back I mentioned the whole MBTI thing on another forum (the forum wasn't personality related at all...I just talked about it in the off topic section). Most people seemed mildly interested in it, but one person seemed very against it. From what I know of him, he's very intelligent, extremely knowledgeable (especially in the areas of science and politics), and very good at arguing. He struck me very much as an NT.

Here's what he said:


He also posted this link and said that it summarized why he thought the whole MBTI thing was garbage.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com


Me being the timid ISFJ that I am, I didn't want to engage him in a conversation about it on a public forum, so I never really responded. But it always bothered me that I couldn't really come up with a convincing explanation of the validity of the whole thing. It bothered me for a while, especially because the MBTI has been so helpful to me, and I hated the notion of me just deceiving myself the whole time. But since it was making me happy, I kind of just blocked out those thoughts and kept using it since it is quite helpful in my life.


But...even though I'll never bring this up to this person to convince him otherwise, I was just curious how all of you NT deep logical thinkers would respond to his comments and the link.
I got typed as a INTP about 3 years ago but thought nothing of it whatsoever, partially because it wasn't presented as a whole system of though they just asked me a bunch of questions and were like hey you're like "this." I agree and found some value in it but mostly just disregarded it until just last year. I was like man this is the most incredible thing I've ever seen. Woah I already knew about this thing and I never took it seriously!! MAN!
 

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In addition, to me the first question to be asked is not "is MBTI scientific?", but rather, "what is science ?" Almost inevitably the person trying to diminish or discredit the authority of a belief by calling it "not science" has no idea what science is. To them science is basically whatever they believe is the truth. If they come across something they don't like or don't understand (personality theory) then it's "not scientific" so I guess the conversations over. Oh and also probably Hitler likes MBTI. You know what he actually invented it. Game over n00b.

Furthermore, just because something doesn't fit under the definition of science in a strict sense does not at all mean it is more or less certain. Things are either true or not true. Science is not a better, truer kind of "truth" than any other truth. A scientific truth does not necessarily, or even typically, deserve any more (or any less) credibly, respect, authority or prestige.

I think there are legitimate scientific elements in MBTI, namely, the various cognitive hard wirings that I'm sure will someday mapped out by neurologists. But I would also say some things about MBTI are not "scientific" per se and that that doesn't mean they are any less true or important. We are not veering farther away from true reality all of a sudden. Most of the deepest and complex realities the human mind can process are not scientific; things like ethics or metaphysics (in fact it's the metaphysician who decides whether or not science even exists at all and if so what it's particular essence or nature even is). History is not science. Is history inferior to chemistry? Hardly. It's all reality and you need all of it. So the same goes with psychology. There is a scientific element of most if not all legitimate fields of psychological inquiry but it also probably does make a gradual transfer more into, I dunno, for lack of a better word "philosophy" or maybe just somewhere in the humanities in general as you progress and build and elaborate. (You used to not have to have words for that sort of thing because no one was detached enough from the real world to make claims like that.)

Don't let the bizarre claims from the adherents of the cult of science make you insecure with your apparently second tier truth.
 

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j3321: Just for clarification. In order for something to be sience, it must be falsifiable. Unless you can prove or disprove it's validity you can not call it science. What you can call mbti however is a theory. This is more or less the same as views on life: like being utilitarian, an existentialist, a marxist and so on.

In other words, this can hold value for an individual and is a valid view of life, just like believing in God. However, this is not to say that it's true, just as you can't know wether capitalism or marxism is the best way to run a society. All you can say is that if this seems right to you then it is right to you. And while I believe in this categorization-system as well, there are a lot of differences between individuals that mbti simply cannot answer.
 

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A while back I mentioned the whole MBTI thing on another forum (the forum wasn't personality related at all...I just talked about it in the off topic section). Most people seemed mildly interested in it, but one person seemed very against it. From what I know of him, he's very intelligent, extremely knowledgeable (especially in the areas of science and politics), and very good at arguing. He struck me very much as an NT.

Here's what he said:


He also posted this link and said that it summarized why he thought the whole MBTI thing was garbage.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com


Me being the timid ISFJ that I am, I didn't want to engage him in a conversation about it on a public forum, so I never really responded. But it always bothered me that I couldn't really come up with a convincing explanation of the validity of the whole thing. It bothered me for a while, especially because the MBTI has been so helpful to me, and I hated the notion of me just deceiving myself the whole time. But since it was making me happy, I kind of just blocked out those thoughts and kept using it since it is quite helpful in my life.


But...even though I'll never bring this up to this person to convince him otherwise, I was just curious how all of you NT deep logical thinkers would respond to his comments and the link.
NT's generally have a unique sort of stupidity called knowitallism.

They know just enough to not learn anything new.

Ignore him and don't waste your time, you're not equipped to deal with him anyhow.
 
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Science is not a better, truer kind of "truth" than any other truth. A scientific truth does not necessarily, or even typically, deserve any more (or any less) credibly, respect, authority or prestige.
I would enjoy hearing what examples you have in mind when you say this, if you have the leisure. Not that I don't have any of my own in mind, or that you haven't already given some. I'm just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
NT's generally have a unique sort of stupidity called knowitallism.

They know just enough to not learn anything new.

Ignore him and don't waste your time, you're not equipped to deal with him anyhow.
Hee hee...that's why I never followed up with him. Sounds like it was the right move.

Nonethless, I have enjoyed the responses in this thread! At least the parts that I understood. :p
 
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