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Do you think there is legitimately a spectrum from hard, to soft, to pseudoscience? Or is there just science or non-science?
I'd say there's a spectrum with respect to various kinds of scientific standards, and I discussed the falsifiability issue in my first post. The phenomena under study in soft-scientific fields are typically ones where it isn't possible to make the kinds of 100%-of-the-time predictions that you often can in the hard sciences, and where setting up definitive experiments — with "control groups" and all that — is often not possible to the same degree as in the harder sciences because of the multiplicity of influences involved (with respect to, e.g., personality characteristics), among other complicating factors.

How do you "administer the MBTI"?
I'm not sure what you're getting at. As I understand it, the official MBTI can be taken in various ways, some involving greater or lesser follow-up involvement by a certified administrator.

You said cognitive functions and MBTI dichotomies are different in scientific validity. I thought they are quite similar in function and administration? I thought they were inseparable ideas (Socionics - the16types.info - MBTI: Descriptions of cognitive functions from various sources)
That last linked post of mine (that you indicated you'd be reading) — including the Reynierse article it links to — addresses this issue. And in case you're not an INTJforum member and so can't access the links in that post, you can find replacement links in this post.

How does one determine whether someone is a Thinker and not a Feeler? Through a few simple questions?
That goes to the issue of the accuracy of personality test results, and that's a problematic issue that afflicts the MBTI and Big Five both. It's undeniably a significant source of error that all the respectable psychologists using the typologies understand and take into account, but it doesn't render the typologies useless or invalid.

The twins studies: how can you differentiate whether their temperaments are the same because of the accuracy of MBTI or because of something else?
The studies involve having twins — including those empirically invaluable twins who've been separated at birth and raised in different households — take the MBTI (or the applicable Big Five type test), and then comparing the similarity of their results with the results from less genetically-similar pairs.
 

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How do you "administer the MBTI"?
Just out of curiosity, what sources have you read on the subject? Have you done any research of MBTI and related theories on your own before raising these objections? Do you understand the basis of how it works?

I'm not saying you wouldn't, personally, subsequently have come to the conclusion that MBTI attempts to go far outside of its scope. But your questions seem to indicate that you don't even know what it does or claims to do let alone how it might be useful. So, just so we're on the same page, what research on the topic have you done prior to raising these objections?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Just out of curiosity, what sources have you read on the subject? Have you done any research of MBTI and related theories on your own before raising these objections? Do you understand the basis of how it works?

I'm not saying you wouldn't, personally, subsequently have come to the conclusion that MBTI attempts to go far outside of its scope. But your questions seem to indicate that you don't even know what it does or claims to do let alone how it might be useful. So, just so we're on the same page, what research on the topic have you done prior to raising these objections?
Admittedly not a lot. I mean I wouldn't need to study or read a lot on tarot cards or astrology to raise objections to it, would I? (That's just an example, I am not drawing direct comparison between tarot and MBTI.)
 

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Admittedly not a lot. I mean I wouldn't need to study or read a lot on tarot cards or astrology to raise objections to it, would I? (That's just an example, I am not drawing direct comparison between tarot and MBTI.)
You're not? Because there's quite a lot of difference between the two, and the kind of objections you are raising are similar to ones someone might raise in regards to mere pseudoscience such as tarot or astrology. But the difference is not only qualitative, it's quantitative as well. If you want to know how MBTI is applied and how it's been shown to be useful, valid, and consistent, there are many sources and studies on the matter to refer to first.

Also, I disagree that having a sound basis of knowledge on something is not a good starting place for raising objections to it. You can object to astrology or tarot, but if you are going to come into a forum full of people dedicated to those topics and who consider themselves experts, you'd better have a good argument for why they should agree they're wasting their time. It helps if you know what you're arguing against, specifically.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
You're not? Because there's quite a lot of difference between the two, and the kind of objections you are raising are similar to ones someone might raise in regards to mere pseudoscience such as tarot or astrology. But the difference is not only qualitative, it's quantitative as well. If you want to know how MBTI is applied and how it's been shown to be useful, valid, and consistent, there are many sources and studies on the matter to refer to first.

Also, I disagree that having a sound basis of knowledge on something is not a good starting place for raising objections to it. You can object to astrology or tarot, but if you are going to come into a forum full of people dedicated to those topics and who consider themselves experts, you'd better have a good argument for why they should agree they're wasting their time. It helps if you know what you're arguing against, specifically.
Forum of which I am a member for quite some time. Of course I am not completely new to this.

It is just this idea I have just before I go to sleep (this sounds absurd, I know), and it tells me that there is something inherently wrong about MBTI. My intuition tells me something needs to be fixed, with normal distribution mixed in somehow. (Almost sounds like I need to be fixed, but I promise I am not crazy yet.)
 

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I classify it as a notch above astrology as at least you're looking at a trend associated with self reported characteristics. It's not scientific but I think it at least gives you concepts to consider. I've considered it and can appreciate that it's hit or miss. Nothing to get too involved in unless you want to be the Mrs Cleo of the MBTI world.
 

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I wouldn't say that MBTI is "not scientific" actually. It's definitely scientific, the question is simply, how much of the theory is supported by evidence? With MBTI, at least, there is a great deal of factual evidence to support the four dichotomy scales. Similarly, while Carl Jung's theory of cognitive functions is sketchy at best, it is still scientific. It just happens to be that it lacks strong evidence. If it is true, it hasn't been shown to be true to any degree that would warrant it being taken seriously. That doesn't mean it is pseudo-scientific, it just means that if we imagine a scale between 1% true and 100% true, it's pretty low on the scale, probably close to 1% or less, whereas the four scales of MBTI would be much more significant.

But then, people have their intuitions. I think there's something to Jung's functions, but I'm not really sure what it is exactly. There's just something about them. It could be that what I am really seeing is the validity of the dichotomies, and at a future point in time, I may find myself arguing against everything I have so passionately clung to over the last year or so, and come to reject Jung's functions entirely. In light of the strong arguments made by @reckful, I'm almost on the verge of that transition already. I'm just doing research into some of the material he linked in order to confirm things for myself before I jump the boat. I'm willing to admit I have some pretty obvious biases that have prevented me from completely absorbing the good feedback he's given me during our debates, which in turn has led to some pretty immature reactions on my part. But always in retrospect, I tend to recognize that he's probably right, and while I don't really apologize, I admit that I'm probably wrong and ought to look into what he's saying.
 

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It's just a way to organize and label people, so that you can have a better understanding of them. It doesn't need to be scientific.
 

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Scientific means different things to different people. I think calling it theory is incorrect it doesn't have the statistical evidence to back it up. I think aspects of it can be predictive like E vs I but things like S vs N and even T vs F are weakly predictive. So by my definition it follows a scientific method but lacks hard evidence with low reliability. Not as bad as a horoscope but hardly something on the level of actual scientific theories.
 

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I think calling it theory is incorrect it doesn't have the statistical evidence to back it up.
By "it" are you referring to the four MBTI dimensions of personality, or are you referring to the Jungian functions?

There's over 50 years of good statistical evidence to prove the existence of the four MBTI dimensions, which correlates with the findings of the FFM as well, e.g., the NEO-PI-R is taken pretty seriously by the majority of the expert psychological community. I don't think there are too many psychologists who doubt the strong scientific validity of the Big 5.

As far as "scientific" meaning different things to different people, it really shouldn't.

The best definition of science I've ever heard is beautifully elegant in its simplicity.

Science is the observation of nature.
 

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By "it" are you referring to the four MBTI dimensions of personality, or are you referring to the Jungian functions?

There's over 50 years of good statistical evidence to prove the existence of the four MBTI dimensions, which correlates with the findings of the FFM as well, e.g., the NEO-PI-R is taken pretty seriously by the majority of the expert psychological community. I don't think there are too many psychologists who doubt the strong scientific validity of the Big 5.

As far as "scientific" meaning different things to different people, it really shouldn't.

The best definition of science I've ever heard is beautifully elegant in its simplicity.

Science is the observation of nature.
The Big 5 is not the MBTI, so that seems a bit of a tangent.
What type of proof do you speak of and what journal was this proof published?
What kind of statistical scrutiny did it come under?
It's one thing to say "my study shows that these things exist" it's a whole other can of worms to conclude that you can show that these things which exist can be predictive in nature. That's really where my argument stems from.

Can I agree that things like being extroverted or introverted exist? Yes.
Can I agree that people can be more on a spectrum of characteristics associated with thinker than feeler, etc? Yes.
What I don't agree in is that this theory can tell me based on self-reported or even professionally generated characteristics a person has; that one can predict how said person will act with any statistical strength.
It's my understanding that's the point of the MBTI: it's supposed to measure a person's preferences and things of that nature.

When I speak of scientific, I speak of the scientific method; not simply the observational phase of the scientific method.
 

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The Big 5 is not the MBTI, so that seems a bit of a tangent.
What type of proof do you speak of and what journal was this proof published?
What kind of statistical scrutiny did it come under?
It's one thing to say "my study shows that these things exist" it's a whole other can of worms to conclude that you can show that these things which exist can be predictive in nature. That's really where my argument stems from.
Did you look at this post? It cites sources, and talks about the MBTI/Big Five, and talks about the prediction/falsifiability issue.

Here are three more sources. Each of the last two includes a roundup of multiple studies.

Hierarchical Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the MBTI
MBTI Form M Manual Supplement
MBTI Step II Manual Supplement
 

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The Big 5 is not the MBTI, so that seems a bit of a tangent.
What type of proof do you speak of and what journal was this proof published?
What kind of statistical scrutiny did it come under?
It's one thing to say "my study shows that these things exist" it's a whole other can of worms to conclude that you can show that these things which exist can be predictive in nature. That's really where my argument stems from.

Can I agree that things like being extroverted or introverted exist? Yes.
Can I agree that people can be more on a spectrum of characteristics associated with thinker than feeler, etc? Yes.
What I don't agree in is that this theory can tell me based on self-reported or even professionally generated characteristics a person has; that one can predict how said person will act with any statistical strength.
It's my understanding that's the point of the MBTI: it's supposed to measure a person's preferences and things of that nature.

When I speak of scientific, I speak of the scientific method; not simply the observational phase of the scientific method.
http://personalitycafe.com/cognitiv...-basis-cognitive-functions-2.html#post3926588
 

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Science is the observation of nature.
That seems too broad because economics, sociology and even egyptology can penetrate the definition taking an expansive view of what constitutes nature. These fields are not generally considered synonymous with pure science.
 

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King of Seduction
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I can't really say I know what point you were trying to make.
This is what I get from the post.
1) The MBTI is kinda like the Big 5.. so the MBTI is ok
2) The MBTI can measure things like what type of jobs people like, retroactively.
3) Since the MBTI is a "soft science" it can't predict with 100% accuracy

There are review research studies that would disagree with the notion that the "data is strong"
MBTI and historical data. [Psychol Rep. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI which are reviews more recent than 1990 as was cited in that post.

And getting it back to the OP the MBTI is something I think has more use then the functions like Ti, Te, etc. That seems to be weakly associated with anything and there is a ridiculous amount of crossover.
 

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There are review research studies that would disagree with the notion that the "data is strong"
MBTI and historical data. [Psychol Rep. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI which are reviews more recent than 1990 as was cited in that post.

And getting it back to the OP the MBTI is something I think has more use then the functions like Ti, Te, etc. That seems to be weakly associated with anything and there is a ridiculous amount of crossover.
So... in response to all the studies cited in all the sources I've pointed you to (including a thumbs-up on the MBTI's overall respectability from Big Five biggies McCrae and Costa), you cite us a one-sentence abstract from 2011 that says, in its entirety, "The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator presents a model of personality which may be useful for understanding historical personalities, but empirical verification is necessary"—??

Well, OK, then. :tongue:


ADDED: Your post distinguishes the MBTI dichotomies from the so-called "cognitive functions" — and both Abraxas and I stressed in our earlier posts that the scientific support for the MBTI relates pretty much entirely to the dichotomies, and not the functions. I don't defend the functions.
 

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That seems too broad because economics, sociology and even egyptology can penetrate the definition taking an expansive view of what constitutes nature. These fields are not generally considered synonymous with pure science.
Well I leave it up to expert philosophers to decide what constitutes elements of the "natural" world. It's interesting (and I presume intentional) that you mention those three particular disciplines, because if I am not mistaken, one of the things many contemporary economists argue for is the definition of economics as a science. Whether it should be or not is beyond my level of education in economics or philosophy.

My definition was really meant to capture the essence of the scientific enterprise, i.e., knowledge of the natural world, obtained via the methodology of science.
 
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