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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I tried a typology quiz on Personality Tests not long ago in which one of the questions were "which of the dichotomies is the most scientifically valid?" I believe that the answer to it was "none of them are scientific,"* but still it got me pondering about the four dichotomies and which of them it makes the most sense to arrange people into.
A lot of us will have watched videos talking about how when types with a preference for S and N are put into groups and asked to describe objects there will be a substantial difference in their reports of it. In my experience this preference also seems to be the easiest and least ambiguous to discern while P-J and often E-I are harder to make clear cuts of in many people who seem to fall more in the middle of the spectrum. I'd like to know where you think there are most "ambiverts" in the dichotomies and if you have some follow-up comments about it.

* Seems I am mistaken here.
 

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In all honesty, MBTI dichotomies aren't very useful. It's much better to rely on cognitive functions. When you rely on dichotomies alone, it becomes "you're either this or that", whereas using cognitive functions it becomes "you're both this and that with slightly higher preference of that."

However, with that said, the N vs S dichotomy is probably the most valid, and the E vs. I is probably the least.
 

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Introversion/extraversion is the most supported, I think, but that depends on what is meant by "most valid dichotomy", since I think all four of the dimensions follow a normal distribution, which it could be said harms the case for treating it dichotomously. I take the question to mean, "which of the four dimensions is the most scientifically valid?", which I'm fairly sure is I/E.

In all honesty, MBTI dichotomies aren't very useful. It's much better to rely on cognitive functions. When you rely on dichotomies alone, it becomes "you're either this or that", whereas using cognitive functions it becomes "you're both this and that with slightly higher preference of that."

However, with that said, the N vs S dichotomy is probably the most valid, and the E vs. I is probably the least.
The MBTI dichotomies are categorically not "you're either this or that"; the MBTI is quite clear that each letter represents a preference, and that one "has both" but prefers one to the other.
 

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I tried a typology quiz on Personality Tests not long ago in which one of the questions were "which of the dichotomies is the most scientifically valid?" I believe that the answer to it was "none of them are scientific," but still it got me pondering about the four dichotomies and which of them it makes the most sense to arrange people into.
A lot of us will have watched videos talking about how when types with a preference for S and N are put into groups and asked to describe objects there will be a substantial difference in their reports of it. In my experience this preference also seems to be the easiest and least ambiguous to discern while P-J and often E-I are harder to make clear cuts of in many people who seem to fall more in the middle of the spectrum. I'd like to know where you think there are most "ambiverts" in the dichotomies and if you have some follow-up comments about it.
It depends. Different people have more striking differences than others. For example, P and J are very obvious between me and my GF. My best friend is an ESTP and when we were going through the assessment he self-assessed as an ENTP at first. It wasn't that obvious that he wasn't. With other people T-F is the most salient. In other people they can be more "ambiverted-ish" in any of the dichotomies.


In all honesty, MBTI dichotomies aren't very useful. It's much better to rely on cognitive functions. When you rely on dichotomies alone, it becomes "you're either this or that", whereas using cognitive functions it becomes "you're both this and that with slightly higher preference of that."

However, with that said, the N vs S dichotomy is probably the most valid, and the E vs. I is probably the least.
MBTI is about preferences... It does not say that "you're either this or that." Furthermore, E vs I is the most scientifically valid as measurable by other non-MBTI related instruments.

The difference between a dichotomy and corresponding functions is the difference between red and crimson or scarlet. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Introversion/extraversion is the most supported, I think, but that depends on what is meant by "most valid dichotomy", since I think all four of the dimensions follow a normal distribution, which it could be said harms the case for treating it dichotomously. I take the question to mean, "which of the four dimensions is the most scientifically valid?", which I'm fairly sure is I/E..
I intentionally didn't try to define what I meant by "most valid" to get a discussion going. I had no agenda with the thread, so I let it be up to you.

It surprises me that the dichotomies follow normal distributions. To me the dichotomies would be the most valid if they followed something like the sum of two gaussians with different centers which would indicate that few were in the middle of the spectrum. This would look more like a spectrum for "how left-or-right-handed people are" in which there should be a minimum in the middle because there are more righties and lefties than ambidextries, showing that the body naturally develops a hand preference.
If the dichotomies follow a normal distribution, the preferences are rather due to chance than a natural specialization of the mind, which is somewhat anti-climatic to me since I like the school of thought that assumes the opposite.

It depends. Different people have more striking differences than others. For example, P and J are very obvious between me and my GF. My best friend is an ESTP and when we were going through the assessment he self-assessed as an ENTP at first. It wasn't that obvious that he wasn't. With other people T-F is the most salient. In other people they can be more "ambiverted-ish" in any of the dichotomies.

MBTI is about preferences... It does not say that "you're either this or that." Furthermore, E vs I is the most scientifically valid as measurable by other non-MBTI related instruments.

The difference between a dichotomy and corresponding functions is the difference between red and crimson or scarlet. :p
Thanks for the clarification. This is the sort of stuff I was looking for. My problem lies in when I casually try to type others but find that the qualities I try to discern in them are exhibited more equally than they "ought" to be according to my understanding of how functions work. S-N is usually quite obvious to me by looking at how people talk and what they want to know, but all the others only seem clear in specific cases.
 
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J vs P is so weird with MBTI. Most the J characteristics seem to be extreme. I was told by the lady that gave me the MBTI test that Js are always organized, never late, and that they never procrastinate. If you are ever late, if you can be messy, if you ever wait until the last minute to do an assignment... Bing! You're a perciever! It simply doesn't work like that. My best friend is an ISFJ and she procrastinates even harder than I do (which is saying something). NJs in general tend to not be so organized externally as much as they are internally (my mom has always told me "keep a planner! write down everything you need to do so you know!" She doesn't realize my entire brain is one giant planner, and my life revolves around what I need to know. Unlike her I guess, I don't have to write it down on paper to figure out my schedule and such).

Not to mention the controversy with J vs P with MBTI and Socionics, where Socionics actually switches the P vs J dichotomy up.

I actually think the E vs I dichotomy is least significant personality wise. It says a lot about who you are, how you are - my ISFJ friend was so happy to learn she was an Introvert, because that explained so much to her about why she needed to be alone so much, and that's literally the only thing her and her ISTJ other best friend took from their test results - but it's just not significant, I don't think. ISFPs are most like ESFPs. ISTJs are most like ESTJs. It makes the least difference out of all the dichotomies, I think.
 

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N-S The most clear and obvious difference. Many would disagree, however. It is still necessary to say that it's not that black and white, but it has four different degrees; N-doms, N-aux, N-tert and N-inf.

P-J Second strongest in my opinion. The way of doing things is very different.

F-T I would have listed this as first some time ago, but the real difference is not F-T, but Fi/Fe. It weighs much more in the cup than the dichotomy itself.

E-I Note that this has nothing (or little) to do with social introversion/extroversion. This simply tells what is the orientation of your first function. This has least effect, since you have the same functions no matter if you are E or I. Change any other (one) dichtomy and you have different functions. With changing only E-I you change only slightly the order of the functions.
 

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J vs P is so weird with MBTI. Most the J characteristics seem to be extreme. I was told by the lady that gave me the MBTI test that Js are always organized, never late, and that they never procrastinate. If you are ever late, if you can be messy, if you ever wait until the last minute to do an assignment... Bing! You're a perciever! It simply doesn't work like that. My best friend is an ISFJ and she procrastinates even harder than I do (which is saying something). NJs in general tend to not be so organized externally as much as they are internally (my mom has always told me "keep a planner! write down everything you need to do so you know!" She doesn't realize my entire brain is one giant planner, and my life revolves around what I need to know. Unlike her I guess, I don't have to write it down on paper to figure out my schedule and such).
I don't think the person that gave you the assessment understood MBTI that well. MBTI type theory does not assert such absolutes (always; never).

I disagree with your assessment about NJs. I guess it depends on how you qualify "organized."

Not to mention the controversy with J vs P with MBTI and Socionics, where Socionics actually switches the P vs J dichotomy up.
This is irrelevant. They rely on the same fundamental concepts but they are two different systems. The P and J have a meaning in MBTI that does not exist in Socionics.

I actually think the E vs I dichotomy is least significant personality wise. It says a lot about who you are, how you are - my ISFJ friend was so happy to learn she was an Introvert, because that explained so much to her about why she needed to be alone so much, and that's literally the only thing her and her ISTJ other best friend took from their test results - but it's just not significant, I don't think. ISFPs are most like ESFPs. ISTJs are most like ESTJs. It makes the least difference out of all the dichotomies, I think.
Again, it depends. This has been the most significant dichotomy in my experiences. For example, learning that I was actually an extravert has helped me greatly. I used to think I was an introvert, but I was so unhappy at work and at home. Changing that around has improved my quality of life and bouts of depression immensely. I have used this dichotomy to help many extraverts realize that introverts aren't stupid, anti-social, useless people; or to introverts that extraverts aren't stupid, loud-mouthed, rude people. I have used this dichotomy to help professionals and parents that deal with autism to lower their standards by not expecting people to be "social butterflies."

E-I Note that this has nothing (or little) to do with social introversion/extroversion. This simply tells what is the orientation of your first function. This has least effect, since you have the same functions no matter if you are E or I. Change any other (one) dichtomy and you have different functions. With changing only E-I you change only slightly the order of the functions.
This is not necessarily true according to Jung or Myers. What source are you basing this on?
 

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I don't think the person that gave you the assessment understood MBTI that well. MBTI type theory does not assert such absolutes (always; never).

I disagree with your assessment about NJs. I guess it depends on how you qualify "organized."



This is irrelevant. They rely on the same fundamental concepts but they are two different systems. The P and J have a meaning in MBTI that does not exist in Socionics.



Again, it depends. This has been the most significant dichotomy in my experiences. For example, learning that I was actually an extravert has helped me greatly. I used to think I was an introvert, but I was so unhappy at work and at home. Changing that around has improved my quality of life and bouts of depression immensely. I have used this dichotomy to help many extraverts realize that introverts aren't stupid, anti-social, useless people; or to introverts that extraverts aren't stupid, loud-mouthed, rude people. I have used this dichotomy to help professionals and parents that deal with autism to lower their standards by not expecting people to be "social butterflies."
I don't disagree with you about your last paragraph. I was trying to acknowledge that. As I said, I know that it can mean a lot to someone to learn they use I or E, but just in general I think that it's the least significant because regardless of I or E, you use the same functions.

In regards to what I said about NJs, I was considering organization as in how my ISFJ friend does it, where she has a folder for everything and a place for everything and her external world is just organized. This is associated with being a J, but I have seen SJs and NJs alike assert that, no, you can still be messy as you can be and still be an SJ.

I can't say anything to defend what I said about Socionics because admittedly I don't know much about it and I understand that there are a lot of different opinions about Socionics, particularly in relation to MBTI. I know some people will argue that the Socionics definition of J is more fitting than the MBTI definition, and that's what I was referring to there.

and yeah, she probably doesn't know very much. I could list off some of the more questionable things she said... unfortunately she seems to be the only person in my city who administers it, I've been given the test through her twice and through different organizations as well. It's always her :/ and maybe it is just her, but the way MBTI was presented to us - oh you're a J if you do this, you're a P if you do this, you're an E if you do this, you're not an S if you do this... It seems really faulty to me entirely. But I probably feel that way because I've had frustrating experiences with her as my test administrator.
 
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P/J: On paper, this probably creates the biggest difference. In reality, the stereotypes almost never seem to hold up very well typing on dichotomies, and fly out the window almost entirely if you type by functions. I still remember trying to plan a trip with an INFJ and having to do absolutely everything. And trying to plan a trip with an ESFJ and again, doing the majority of the work (although they definitely contributed and worked with me a hell of a lot more than the INFJ). And having both an ESFJ and an ISTJ call me bossy and domineering. Meanwhile, one of the most consistently reliable people I know is an INTP. It's not so much that the J/P stereotypes don't exist, it's more like they often don't seem to align properly with their respective letter codes.

I/E: Probably the most scientifically valid, but only occasionally seems to make any real difference. It depends on just how much stronger the dominant is over the auxiliary.

T/F: This one seems to hold up pretty well, and generally seems the most consistent at giving the same result regardless of the typing method. As stated above though, the introversion or extroversion of these functions can make a huge difference, especially with Fe/Fi.

N/S: This is the most noticeable in my opinion, although there is still an occasional dissonance between the stereotypes of the letter dichotomies, and the function stacks. But it usually holds up pretty well.

As stated before though, MBTI is about preferences, most people aren't either/or.
 

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I don't disagree with you about your last paragraph. I was trying to acknowledge that. As I said, I know that it can mean a lot to someone to learn they use I or E, but just in general I think that it's the least significant because regardless of I or E, you use the same functions.
Fair enough. I realize that it is a matter of opinion. I just didn't know how to incorporate that understanding in what I said. :)

In regards to what I said about NJs, I was considering organization as in how my ISFJ friend does it, where she has a folder for everything and a place for everything and her external world is just organized. This is associated with being a J, but I have seen SJs and NJs alike assert that, no, you can still be messy as you can be and still be an SJ.
Organization is one aspect of "J" and it may appear differently between NJs and SJs. Our personalities are influenced by many factors. MBTI just focuses on 4 of them. MBTI step II allows for a blending of the two sides of a dichotomy by looking at the facets or subcategories of each. There's a sticky post up top that talks about it.

I can't say anything to defend what I said about Socionics because admittedly I don't know much about it and I understand that there are a lot of different opinions about Socionics, particularly in relation to MBTI. I know some people will argue that the Socionics definition of J is more fitting than the MBTI definition, and that's what I was referring to there.
The dissonance is not really an issue of P/J, imo, it's more with type dynamics (the interrelationships of the functions and attitudes). I'm just not so certain that the P is necessarily tied to S/N or that J is necessarily tied to T/F. Conceptually, it stands well on its own. I like the idea that an ENTP can be a Ne-dom or Te-dom. Regardless, as you might know, the P/J is tied to the first correlating extraverted function. In Socionics, they use it in the sense of P-dom or J-dom.

and yeah, she probably doesn't know very much. I could list off some of the more questionable things she said... unfortunately she seems to be the only person in my city who administers it, I've been given the test through her twice and through different organizations as well. It's always her :/ and maybe it is just her, but the way MBTI was presented to us - oh you're a J if you do this, you're a P if you do this, you're an E if you do this, you're not an S if you do this... It seems really faulty to me entirely. But I probably feel that way because I've had frustrating experiences with her as my test administrator.
Sorry to hear that. I am a certified MBTI practitioner. The only absolute according to the theory is that you have an innate natural preference for one or the other and not both. But that doesn't mean that you can't do both. This is why they do the handwriting exercise (assuming you've done this). Where signing your name with your typical writing hand is comfortable and easy; whereas signing your name with your non-preferred hand maybe difficult and awkward. However, with enough practice you could learn to sign with your other hand with great skill, but it probably won't ever feel as natural as your preferred hand. The same applies to any dichotomy.

And, as I mentioned, the Step II looks at how you might prefer certain facets of your non-preferred type. For example, my friend is an Early-Starting ESTP (as opposed to pressure-prompted). He generally likes to get his work out of the way first and gets started on it right away. However, he is also more than willing to drop it to do something else more interesting (and delaying the work). I am definitely pressure-prompted and like to wait until closer to the deadline. I have a hard time focusing on the task otherwise. (unless it's an interesting problem! :D)
 

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This is not necessarily true according to Jung or Myers. What source are you basing this on?
No concerete source, but that's basically plastered all around this (and other) sites. I still do recognize that IXXX are almost always socially introverted and EXXXs extroverted.
 
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N/S is the most valid in my opinion.

Then it comes the I/E, I don't know why you find this so less valid, I'm usually able to say whether someone's an introvert or an extrovert just from the tone of the voice, I'm usually right.

T/F comes next, makes sense, but less pronounced than N/S and I/E for most people/

And J/P... oh God... I'm both at the same time, I just don't get this difference, is so similar it shouldn't even exist.
 
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