Recently I've been thinking about the approach of the MBT Instrument and it's possible weaknesses. An individual's type as determined by the questionnaire is, generally speaking, assessed on the basis of the answers given to specific questions on how the individual perceives the way they use their functions. For most of us this constitutes describing how we think we behave in relation to each of the situations, circumstances or concepts expressed by the questions. But because most of us are only partially aware of, and misunderstand, our behaviours and attitudes, this can lead to misinterpretation of questions, which has as a result inaccuracies in the type score.
Some of the typical misunderstandings occur when the society or social groups that we are a part of colour the ways in which we view the world (friends; family; work; sport clubs; political associations...). I realise this is a very Freudian idea, in that it appears that our view of the world may be coloured by the group instinct, of which we have little or no control over. But the fact remains that we must necessarily interact with other people within a common framework of ideas, and it is therefore these commonly held ideas that influence us. It is however how we hold and interpret those ideas as individuals that is of interest in determining type.
Another more specific way misunderstanding can occur is when the introverted function of an individual is so extremely internal that it goes completely unnoticed where the behaviours in question are concerned. The converse situation may also take place, that an extroverted function is so obvious that it causes other functions to remain unnoticed in perceived behaviours.
The questionnaire, as far as I can see, is not equipped with measures to counter any of these issues.
So I have decided to ask other people if they have noticed these types of issues, whether they themselves have been affected and what are some ways do you think these issues could be addressed?
I identify most strongly with descriptions of the INTJ type and can very strongly relate to Jung's description of Ni, but I find the questionnaire often types me as INTP (TiNe) or ISTP (TiSe) and a look at the functional overview shows that Ti has an equal score to Te, and Ni is non-existent. I also scored strongly as ISTP while I was in a job where problem solving was the main task.
I believe that in order to at least identify these issues where they occur, there should be a method that describes how the individual answers the questions rather than simply taking what answers are being given. These questions could be something like the following:
The statement, “Emily is blue,” more closely refers to what situation:
a) Emily's mood is sad
b) Emily's colour is blue
The sensing type individual sees the statement “Emily is blue,” as a proposition referring to the state of Emily as regards her mood, and is likely to think something like, “people can't be the colour blue, so it can't be referring to her colour.”
The intuiting type individual sees the statement “Emily is blue,” as a proposition referring to an attribute of Emily as regards her colour, and is likely to think something like, “I had a rag doll called Emily that was dyed blue, and rag dolls don't have moods.”
I recognise that the answers also show some bent towards thinking and feeling types, but this is just to give a general idea of the types of question that determine an individual's cognitive process.