Personality Cafe banner

61 - 75 of 75 Posts

·
King of Seduction
ENTJ
Joined
·
7,394 Posts
These aren't arbitrary categories though. It's not like someone threw darts at a board and picked at random. Like @reckful has been trying to say, and back up with citations, there's good reasons to suspect that they actually exist, though, because our understanding of the brain is so limited, there's not currently an explanation for why. He's not even saying they are perfect. They obviously need refinement and are far from. But I think all he is trying to say is that they are not worthless in the sense that astrological categorizations have no basis in reality whatsoever. That's actually an argument I myself have made in the past and came to realize (thanks to Reckful's citations) that I was wrong, and that it was a gross exaggeration.

The MBTI dichotomies have at least some basis. It is widely accepted that the MBTI dichotomies are drawing off the same principals of the Big 5, and the Big 5 is taught in an academic setting at universities and colleges and various institutions of psychology. And, as a matter of fact, so is MBTI. In an oral communication course I received during my attendance at the Santa Rosa Junior College, our professor spent one entire lecture discussing the benefits of the MBTI classifications for understanding the differences between people.

Furthermore, the MBTI dichotomies are taken seriously by professionals, except, apparently, the ones you cited. So what? Your sources don't form the majority opinion as far as I know. MBTI isn't some fringe science. It's widely established and those who doubt it typically don't do it on the assumption that we ought to "scrap it." They do it on the assertion that it needs refinement and lots of work, and they're right about that. But it's still "the best we've got" besides the Big 5, and the Big 5 is more popular among professionals for that reason, but the MBTI is a close second.



This is false as a point of fact. In the MBTI Manual Third Edition it addresses every possible combination of dimensions, e.g., IJ, SN, TF, EF, NJ, IP, etc, including the dimensions by themselves, and it addresses them in various contexts as well, e.g., at work, learning styles, social interaction, etc.
Your language is one of speculation, which is fine however that's also the point.
You have to show something is what is, that you know what you know.
You do that via statistics and studies which are peer reviewed in the top journals and the reason such a theory would become widely accepted in academic circles is because the system has strong support.
A bunch of joe schmoes who get a certificate so they can make money giving career advice doesn't constitute widely accepted in academic circles the data should come under fire of people who publish papers on the subject and look at errors in the design of the study and methodology.
I am not saying the characteristics are as bad as "arbitrary" what I am saying is that the data is weak if you take great issue with that then I'd say "not strong", that's what the dispute is about and your buddy is in essence saying that the explanation seems to circle around the human error, things that need to be tweaked, and "Jung knew this though". I don't view excuses for weak statistical predictability as reason to conclude the research is sound and widely accepted. If you categorize me wrong and make erroneous conclusions after you administer a tool and that consistently happens it speaks to poor reproducibility of the tool.

You take issue with my saying it's a notch above horoscopes?
Why? I said it was a notch above lol. You seem to think I am saying it IS horoscopes, it IS arbitrary.
I am saying it's speculative and while there are some relationships the process of categorizing people into 16 types has not had great predictive measures.
Not shown to be valid/data is not strong.
That's not an point anyone seems to be able to concede, hence the argument - Aliens.
 

·
Registered
Introverted intuitive type
Joined
·
5,561 Posts
Your language is one of speculation, which is fine however that's also the point.
You have to show something is what is, that you know what you know.
You do that via statistics and studies which are peer reviewed in the top journals and the reason such a theory would become widely accepted in academic circles is because the system has strong support.
A bunch of joe schmoes who get a certificate so they can make money giving career advice doesn't constitute widely accepted in academic circles the data should come under fire of people who publish papers on the subject and look at errors in the design of the study and methodology.
I am not saying the characteristics are as bad as "arbitrary" what I am saying is that the data is weak if you take great issue with that then I'd say "not strong", that's what the dispute is about because your buddy is disputing that and his explanation seems to circle around the human error, things that need to be tweaked, and "Jung knew this though". I don't view excuses as reason to conclude the research is sound and widely accepted.

You take issue with my saying it's a notch above horoscopes?
Why? I said it was a notch above lol. You seem to think I am saying it IS horoscopes, it IS arbitrary.
I am saying it's speculative and while there are some relationships the process of categorizing people into 16 types has not had great predictive measures.
Not shown to be valid/data is not strong.
That's not an point anyone seems to be able to concede, hence the argument - Aliens.
Well, for one thing, I lack the kind of information reckful is batting with. Thus, I'm still on the fence for the most part. He's managed to draw me back in a bit with his dichotomies citations, and that's had the effect of getting me to relax a little bit and start to let go of my belief in the superiority of the functions over dimensions of personality. Truth be told, I've always espoused the Big 5 before I ever even heard of MBTI, and when he showed me that the MBTI had pretty much everything in common with the Big 5 save for a few technicalities, that did a lot to sway me even more.

Fair enough, perhaps I have no clue what (in your mind) the difference is between horoscopes and "one notch above." Maybe that's a big notch; what else falls into that notch between MBTI and astrology so we have some context for what you are trying to say? I don't know why you didn't just explain that from the start.

You say that it has not had "great predictive measures." What would be great? On the MBTI main website, if I recall, it states that about 75% of people test correctly their first time taking the test, and of the remainder about 50% fall into a different type after retaking the test a few years later. So that means that 1-in-4 initially have difficulty finding a comfortable fit, and of those 1-in-4 only half get a different result than the first result. That seems pretty solid to me. Not perfect, and obviously it needs work, but 75% of people plus some-odd-number aren't having any issues with it.

You say "not shown to be valid/data not strong." What would you consider to be a basis for validity? What do you mean by "strong" data? And please, don't be condescending and give us all a textbook definition of "validity" as if nobody here knows what it means. I'm asking you for an example which you think is a fair one, same with "strong" data. We all know what evidence is and how something is determined to be evidence. I've attended college, and while I can't speak for reckful because I don't really know him that well, he seems to know his stuff, so just get to the point, please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
For my benefit, while I've read some of the links you posted, could you clarify what precisely you mean by "functions" as opposed to dichotomies? I imagine you've got a point you're making, but I want to try to ensure I really get what it is. Is there a philosophical distinction you make between what favoring a function as opposed to falling on that end of the dichotomy is? For pointedness, two questions:

- are you primarily objecting to the rigidities associated with a black box notion of such things as "Ne" which conceal that intuition is ultimately intuition?
- and/or, on a related note, would you say there is a difference between what you would call the intuition function (independent of bringing attitudes into question) and the intuition end of the N/S dichotomy[/COLOR]
When I talk about a dichotomy-centric view of the MBTI, I'm talking about a perspective that essentially views the MBTI dichotomies as four more or less independent dimensions of human temperament, and views them as tapping into the same real underlying dimensions as four of the Big Five.

It's a view that says that an INTJ is a person who favors N over S and T over F (and I over E and J over P) — rather than a person for whom the N is Ni (and not Ne) and the T is Te (and not Ti), and for whom (because of the J) the N is the dominant function and the T is the auxiliary function, and so on.

But it's also a view that understands (as Myers did, and Keirsey did, and all the most well-known MBTI theorists always have) that there are various personality characteristics that bring two or more of the dichotomies into play in a meaningful way, and that the MBTI can have insightful things to say about various dichotomy combinations — stuff INs tend to have in common, and NFs tend to have in common, and TJs tend to have in common, and so on — but without treating the combinations that purportedly correspond to the "functions" as being particularly fundamental.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,423 Posts
Elegant system it might be and perhaps it might even have some practical uses, but sure sounds to me bogus. It almost reminds me of how we used to think the universe is made out of four (or is it five) elements? What... like fire, earth, water, air, and wind?

I mean if we treat it as non-scientific and choose to still use that system anyway, FINE, but we seem to all use it as if it were scientific.

How is this system of cognitive functions (extending to MBTI theory) falsifiable, testable, and reproducible in order to be scientific?

Let's not get bogged down by what we read about MBTI and cognitive functions for the moment and start with basics. Are the cognitive functions created even close to truth?
In your opinion, is psychology a science?

To help you out a bit, this is what wikipedia says:
Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors.
The study of mental functions and behaviors is scientific. Jung did scientific studies of mental functions and behaviors and as a result came up with a theory of cognitive functions, which then were ordered into a system called the MBTI.

So what do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
You say that it has not had "great predictive measures." What would be great? On the MBTI main website, if I recall, it states that about 75% of people test correctly their first time taking the test, and of the remainder about 50% fall into a different type after retaking the test a few years later. So that means that 1-in-4 initially have difficulty finding a comfortable fit, and of those 1-in-4 only half get a different result than the first result. That seems pretty solid to me. Not perfect, and obviously it needs work, but 75% of people plus some-odd-number aren't having any issues with it.
As a point of (possible) clarification on the test/retest issue, it's not uncommon to encounter internet forumites who fail to distinguish between retest discrepancies on a single dimension and retest discrepancies on the MBTI four-letter type, and who are under the impression that the Big Five is substantially superior in the test/retest department. For example, in explaining why he thought the Big Five had much better stats than the MBTI, Tainted Streetlight noted:

MBTI has a test-retest rate of some 60%, meaning two out of every five people get different results when retaking the test.

The most commonly used test in personality studies is the NEO PI-R, the levels of consistency are incredibly high (N= .92, E= .89, O= .87, A= .86, C= .90; between .75-.9). Surprisingly, this test does NOT attempt to create "types". It just shows things as they are and does not try to predict hidden traits or create a hierarchy of cognitive functions.
In my reply, I explained:

That 60% MBTI statistic relates to a retest standard that says you got a different result if any one of the four dimensions is different. That corresponds to an average test-retest rate of 88% for the individual dimensions.

If you apply the same test-retest standard to those Big 5 statistics you gave us, you get .92 * .89 * .87 * .86 * .90 = a 55% test-retest rate (or 60% if you leave out Neuroticism).
I've previously noted that there's a fair amount of data that suggests that most or all of the MBTI dimensions exhibit something like a normal distribution. Assuming that's the case — and assuming, accordingly, that a large portion of the population is in or near the middle on at least one dimension — and given all the possible sources of testing error (from the fact that it's a young science and they're still working out precisely what the temperament dimensions consist of, to flaws in particular tests, to multiple kinds of human error in any self-assessment personality test), it would strain credibility if the test-retest statistics didn't indicate a significant percentage of cases where at least one of the dimensions came out with a different preference on retesting (and one letter change is all it takes to constitute an MBTI retest "failure").

So I'd be skeptical if, at this point, any personality typology claimed test-retest rates much better than 88% per dimension.

As a final note, it should always be kept in mind that a typical MBTI test-taker is someone with little or no familiarity with the typology who simply takes the MBTI test along with a group of fellow employees or students. It's reasonable to assume that, to the extent that a person actually has four reasonably-well-defined preferences, they're likely to come up with a result that's considerably more accurate if they spend some time reading about the preferences and the types — which is something the official MBTI Manual (among other sources) has always encouraged people to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Yes, okay it has "practical" value. (What practical value, actually? On average, does it produce good or bad? How do you measure that exactly?)

Let's assume though it has practical value in the sense of being better at tolerating different types of people.

Having practical value doesn't mean that it is a good thing. In fact, all it shows is that one is lazy to be aware of the fact that it may be not good.

Some practical things can be good. But some practical things can be bad without us knowing so.

Being scientific can ensure or at least make us judge better whether something is practical and good at the same time.

I don't know what I am trying to get at. I just don't want people to become lazy and fall into the trap that if a theory is made beautifully and elegantly and neatly, it is true and we should follow it with full force.

With some thinking, we should be able to disregard any such elegant theories if it isn't closing in to truth. Just as we should disregard any efficient political systems if it isn't closing in on justice.
I'll give you an example. The DSM has practical value, but has no basis in science. It is an arbitrary classification based on symptoms, not causes, and the only reason that literature exists on it is because a DSM diagnosis is, by necessity, one of the independent variables. Likewise, the Big Five has a basis in science (well, it's like they fumbled around with various personality traits until they found five with little to no correlation between them) but it has very little practical value. A classification system is not a theory, it's a tool. It exists to be used, and can only be falsified if it is rendered useless. My hypothesis is that those cognitive functions map onto various parts of the brain (Te in the frontal lobe, Se in the visual cortex, etc.) and it's all about which areas we use most dominantly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,743 Posts
reckful said:
It's a view that says that an INTJ is a person who favors N over S and T over F (and I over E and J over P) — rather than a person for whom the N is Ni (and not Ne) and the T is Te (and not Ti), and for whom (because of the J) the N is the dominant function and the T is the auxiliary function, and so on.


Yeah then I don't see how one can argue that there's likely to be more support for what you believe in than a rigid posited theory of "type dynamics" as you call it. Errr, rephrased, what I'm saying is your position is almost obviously likely to carry more support because what it is positing is less rigid.

What is the argument of the theorists who posit that those who fit the INTJ based on dichotomies do in fact fit an Ni-Te-Fi-Se model based on, then? Or is there no such argument? I think I have seen you pose that a proper INTJ is more likely correlated to a "dominant thinking type" (although what you are posing seems to involve rejecting that such a thing as a dominant type consistently exists in an objectively measurable way, which I would not be far from supporting either).

I always thought the likely explanation would be that the J v P dichotomy questions, if centered around what is generally described as extroverted judging v extroverted perceiving, would then lead to a preferred TJ adopting Te, with the introverted functions as an afterthought. Whereas if the J vs P dichotomy were built to include trait distinctions associated with supposed Ti (again, not positing existence of such a function, but taking into account what it conceptually entails) then I could imagine an introverted, P, S type being closer to what one sees as the Si type, for instance (but again, loosely, not wanting to bring in a hard and fast notion of dominant/auxiliary type).

If anything, I think a good thing would be to take the arguments posed by those who call the IXXJ types and IXXP types introverted perceiving dominants and introverted judging dominants respectively, and see if there is some vague philosophical truth to this, and if so, if this reflects a potential for improving the dichotomies to include more dimensions of judging and perceiving. Because I think, for instance, a question like "do you prefer planning X or Y" or "would you like to explore more options" can have a lot of different answers when you consider what X or Y really is, and including this level of dimension could probably only improve the dichotomy itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
What is the argument of the theorists who posit that those who fit the INTJ based on dichotomies do in fact fit an Ni-Te-Fi-Se model based on, then? Or is there no such argument? I think I have seen you pose that a proper INTJ is more likely correlated to a "dominant thinking type" (although what you are posing seems to involve rejecting that such a thing as a dominant type consistently exists in an objectively measurable way, which I would not be far from supporting either).
The Ni-Te-Fi-Se model comes from a group of theorists who, after Myers largely abandoned the functions in favor of the dichotomies (rightly, IMHO), decided the MBTI had strayed too far from its Jungian roots and came up with a revised functions model that was non-Jungian in many respects (but more Jungian than the dichotomy-centric MBTI perspective). And most of what was non-Jungian about the new functions model reflected adjustments designed to make the model match up better with the corresponding MBTI types. So, for example, the version of Si that you find in modern cognitive functions theorists bears little resemblance to Jung's conception of Si and Si-doms, but matches up reasonably well with Myers' IS_Js.

But the academic psychologists doing MBTI-related studies had always been dichotomy-focused and remained dichotomy-focused. As discussed in more detail in my posts in this thread (and in this 2009 assessment by James Reynierse), there have been very few studies done based on that functions model, and those that have been done have mostly not led to promising results.

When you say you've seen me post about INTJs "more likely correlated to a dominant thinking type," that's not my perspective. I don't subscribe to the idea of a "dominant function." The point I've made is that one of the ways in which the modern functions model departs from Jung is that, if you look at the way Jung described the "rational types" (J-doms) and "irrational types" (P-doms) in Psychological Types, I think it's pretty clear that he would have tended to view anyone who typed as a J on the official MBTI test (whether extraverted or introverted) as a J-dom — and would therefore have said that an introvert with N and T preferences who had J-like characteristics was a Ti-dom with an N-aux, rather than an Ni-dom with a T-aux.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Let's follow the 'K.I.S.S.' way of doing things and keep it simple. I do, I think and I live the same way as everyone else. You do not. That means I'm normal and you're not. Comparing me to you will determine that your cognitive functions are deficient because you do not do what I do, you do not think like I think and you do not live the same way as everyone else - like I do. That is how cognitive functions and its deficiencies are noted, tested and formulated. If I see what others see and you do not - your cognitive functioning is deemed deficient. With the exception of brain damage - there are many tests that do exactly that. Such is the pity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,743 Posts
reckful said:
When you say you've seen me post about INTJs "more likely correlated to a dominant thinking type," that's not my perspective. I don't subscribe to the idea of a "dominant function." The point I've made is that one of the ways in which the modern functions model departs from Jung is that, if you look at the way Jung described the "rational types" (J-doms) and "irrational types" (P-doms) in Psychological Types, I think it's pretty clear that he would have tended to view anyone who typed as a J on the official MBTI test (whether extraverted or introverted) as a J-dom — and would therefore have said that an introvert with N and T preferences who had J-like characteristics was a Ti-dom with an N-aux, rather than an Ni-dom with a T-aux.


Yes hence my parenthetical aside -- that you don't subscribe to the concept of a dominant function, but rather that if it were supposed to exist, irrational/rational dominance would correlate to J/P, in the sense that the founding father who did write about the notion of dominant types. You certainly didn't pose any correlation that you yourself subscribe to as meaningful, but rather what would likely be subscribed to by the original functions perspective {else the point becomes moot, as you can't claim something about something which doesn't validly exist in your eyes!}

I think then in a strange way, even as someone who finds the functions perspective illuminating, I'm not far from you in what I think can be reliably claimed in a consistently objectively measurable manner with the tools that seem to go into measurement for the most part.
That said, naturally I find attempts to add more structure intriguing (even if I don't necessarily buy that they work exactly and precisely as stated). Good example is socionics.

I think it's pretty clear that he would have tended to view anyone who typed as a J on the official MBTI test (whether extraverted or introverted) as a J-dom — and would therefore have said that an introvert with N and T preferences who had J-like characteristics was a Ti-dom with an N-aux, rather than an Ni-dom with a T-aux.


I'm curious, though, why then the semi-Jungian MBTI functions perspective theorists you wrote of built the idea that an introverted J type would be a P-dominant. Seems like their version of Te, Fe, vs Ti, Fi, you seem to believe, differs from that of Jung sufficiently enough that they view an MBTI J preference as correlating more with Te and Fe preference and decidedly not with Ti and Fi preference, regardless of scoring I or E.

I have an answer for this too, a possible one, but certainly know less than you do about MBTI's J vs P dichotomy.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
@reckful

because you quoted my ancient post..

If the MBTI was set up to test each dichotomy as a spectrum, I think quite obviously we'd see much less error. As is, the more people close to center of any given preference, the more likely there will be retest error.

That's the only reason that the Big Five is "more accurate".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts


I'm curious, though, why then the semi-Jungian MBTI functions perspective theorists you wrote of built the idea that an introverted J type would be a P-dominant. Seems like their version of Te, Fe, vs Ti, Fi, you seem to believe, differs from that of Jung sufficiently enough that they view an MBTI J preference as correlating more with Te and Fe preference and decidedly not with Ti and Fi preference, regardless of scoring I or E.

I have an answer for this too, a possible one, but certainly know less than you do about MBTI's J vs P dichotomy.

The idea was based on observable behaviour. Isabel Myers, initially, was trying to make it easy to type people by observing their behaviours. So for example, you are more likely to observe J-like behaviour in an INFJ or INTJ, even though they are perceiving dominants, because Fe and Te present more observable actions in the outside world than Ni. The same goes for observing P-like behaviours in an ISTP or INTP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
@reckful

because you quoted my ancient post..

If the MBTI was set up to test each dichotomy as a spectrum, I think quite obviously we'd see much less error. As is, the more people close to center of any given preference, the more likely there will be retest error.

That's the only reason that the Big Five is "more accurate".
I don't know what you mean by "more accurate." Let's assume that there really is such a thing as a 4% N and, if we only knew how to measure some kind of genetic or neurobiological marker of some kind, we could actually quantify that. If you're suggesting that a typical current Big Five test somehow indicates that kind of spectrum location more accurately than the current official MBTI, that's not my understanding. And Big Five tests can either be "forced choice" or give you an ability to answer each item along some kind of spectrum from "neither side" to "mildly" to "strongly," just like MBTI tests.

Why do you think Big Five tests are somehow inherently "more accurate"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
I'm curious, though, why then the semi-Jungian MBTI functions perspective theorists you wrote of built the idea that an introverted J type would be a P-dominant. Seems like their version of Te, Fe, vs Ti, Fi, you seem to believe, differs from that of Jung sufficiently enough that they view an MBTI J preference as correlating more with Te and Fe preference and decidedly not with Ti and Fi preference, regardless of scoring I or E.

I have an answer for this too, a possible one, but certainly know less than you do about MBTI's J vs P dichotomy.
Myers was the one who said the J/P would point to your dominant function if you were an extravert and to your auxiliary function if you were an introvert, and that somewhat went hand-in-hand with her non-Jungian notion that the auxiliary would have the opposite attitude to the dominant. And the 90s cognitive functions gang followed Myers in that regard.

When it came to the tertiary function, though, Myers agreed with Jung that it would have the opposite attitude to the dominant, but the 90s cognitive functions gang (following Harold Grant's lead, I believe) decided that the tertiary function should have the same attitude as the dominant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
To answer the original question of this thread, and I'm sure somebody has already pointed it out: The basis for MBTI and functions is observable behavorial patterns in people.

MBTI is a model represantation, and not a truth, of nature. A model helps us understand reality in a way that is consistent with what we observe.

Newton's mechanics is a good example: it's a functioning model of how the universe works within certain frames of reference, but is still just a human-made framework - even so, it delivers consistent results that have practical value.

This goes for MBTI too. I'd say it's a bit far-fetched to say that there are inherent personality types in the people of this universe, but that doesn't change the fact that this model of reality has immense practical value: It helps people become aware of themselves, how they work, how they communicate and might explain quite a few things about their lives that they have always wondered about.

MBTI is a tool that helps people express their differences in such a way that they can understand eachother, even though they have wildly different lifeworlds, and it works.
 
61 - 75 of 75 Posts
Top