Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

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saving-10-years
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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by saving-10-years » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:30 pm

@Jacob I _so_ enjoyed that answer. It has taken me a lot longer than it took you to figure that I was the odd one. I still forget this when I get out into the 'real world' or move beyond the 'sanity' of my 100% INTJ/INTP household.

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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:41 am

Jacob said: It helps me understand why my SJ wife will cross a street in front of a car "because there's a stop sign so it has to stop" and I hold her back "because traffic law in itself does not prevent the car from running you over if the driver hasn't seen you".
Interesting. I guess that's why somebody like me who tests as having practically zero S finds herself unable to walk across a railroad track when the gate is down but there is no train coming without first doing a quick calculation to reassure herself that only a cartoon train could possibly go that fast.

Devil's Advocate
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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by Devil's Advocate » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:13 pm

There's another thread in these forums where changing MBTI scores have been discussed at length. Briefly, their official position is : types don't change.

Post-adulthood (that is, barring unformed personalities), types never change, except in case of extreme traumas and actual psychosis. So if your type seems to have changed, you've done this wrong. Mistaking situational responses for intrinsic responses is the commonest error.

As for mainstream psychology's non-acceptance of MBTI, I hadn't known. Good that we know this. But my personal opinion : psychology's something of a pseudo-science even today, so their not vetting this system, while not totally irrelevant, is best taken with a grain of salt.

I liked akratic's response, above. Seems to address all the points raised.

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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by jacob » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:22 pm

@cael - You completely misunderstand my point. I'm saying neither of the above. I'm also not saying that feelers have an inability to explain their opinions.

I'm saying that like most people I was previously and naively under the impression that everybody else operated within the same framework as myself. That is, I was trying to explain other people based on my understanding of myself. In other words, that my understanding of other people used to be one-dimensional because everybody else was projected onto the INTJ-framework but that MBTI changed that so that I know project people onto 16 different frameworks, more or less.

Now anyone who operates under the assumption that other people are like themselves will draw unfortunate conclusions whenever they encounter people whose behavior is inexplicable within their framework. For example, extraverts tend to presume that introverts are simply a shy kind of extravert. They do not allow for a different preference.

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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by jacob » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:36 pm

@cael - No, I don't think you got it. I was describing how I used to see the other people _BEFORE_ learning about MBTI. Since I subsequently changed the way I understand other people, you have no cause to feel insulted. I was using before vs after to explain how MBTI has helped me. I think you misread what I originally said.

Furthermore, the idea that MBTI should serve to set up boundaries between the types and pigeonhole people into 16 exclusively types is a somewhat naive application of the basic ideas behind the test. I don't think very many people believe this. I certainly don't.

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Lucas
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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by Lucas » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:29 am

Ego wrote:Yeah, I can see how it can be useful. But there is a downside to myers briggs that I don't like at all and was not mentioned in the article. Expectations. The moment I learn that I am an ENTJ, the subject-expectancy effect can strengthen and solidify those characteristics.
Indeed, that can happen if the understanding of each type is predominantly based on general descriptions—for instance, I've seen a number of INFPs fancying themselves as INFJs because "the article states that INFJs are sensitive and like to help people, and I'm sensitive and like to help people; Q.E.D!"

However, what Myers and Briggs did was to come up with an interface and a framework for Jung's theory of cognitive functions, which are the building blocks for each type, as it were, and if we focus on those, I think it's harder to be led astray by expectations.

Returning to the INFJ/INFP example, despite the similar acronyms, they don't have any common function, so they're actually very different types, and it's easier to discern the behavioural difference between extraverted and introverted feeling than measuring levels of sympathy as compared to empathy.

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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by Ego » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:27 am

Pagliaccio wrote:
However, what Myers and Briggs did was to come up with an interface and a framework for Jung's theory of cognitive functions, which are the building blocks for each type, as it were, and if we focus on those, I think it's harder to be led astray by expectations.
That's just expectations of a different sort. My brain works this way vs that way so I am the kind of person with a brain that makes me a blah vs a bloop.

Like everything else in our bodies, our brains are constantly changing. They are part of a complex system operating in a complex world where a million small factors like a slight change in the microbes in our gut or how much sleep we got last night or whether a pretty girl smiled at us on the bus, can influence how it functions. Lock a woman in an office with grumpy coworkers for a year and her brain will get rewired. Bless a guy with four outgoing daughters and his brain will get rewired.

It is not fixed. It is constantly growing and changing. About half the people who take Myers Briggs score differently when taking a second test just five weeks later.

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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by C40 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:11 am

Ego wrote: It is not fixed. It is constantly growing and changing. About half the people who take Myers Briggs score differently when taking a second test just five weeks later.
How much differently?

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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:43 am

Ego said: It is not fixed. It is constantly growing and changing. About half the people who take Myers Briggs score differently when taking a second test just five weeks later.
I agree that whatever MBTI measures is not set in stone, and it actually should show some change if/when you are striving towards personal growth, but it is also true that humans are born with some innate tendency towards temperament and/or personality characteristics. I think the tendency to score differently when retested in just 5 weeks can easily be explained with the fact that most people do not like their initial results, so they work the second test away from first results. Also, it may be rather difficult to direct this sort of change towards preferred personal growth. My choice of name for this forum (based on even simpler enneagram model) is reflective of my desire to attempt to direct my growth from XNtP towards INTJ, but what happened instead is that I went from XNtP towards ENxP. IOW, hanging out with a bunch of serious introverts who are willing to discuss the utility of allowing babies to starve in Africa may be tending towards causing me to place greater value on whatever idealistic people-person tendencies I possess ;)

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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by Ego » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:58 pm

C40 wrote:
Ego wrote: It is not fixed. It is constantly growing and changing. About half the people who take Myers Briggs score differently when taking a second test just five weeks later.
How much differently?
Good question. I don't know.

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Miss Lonelyhearts
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Re: Myers-Briggs Pseudoscience?

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:34 pm

It's definitely psuedo-science, in that I don't believe it's even represented as science. What it is is a useful framework for talking about personality and temperament, much as the terms "right-wing" and "left-wing" are useful, but not scientific, terms for discussing political choices. I consider the question of test-retest repeatability moot, because official MBTI dogma is that each person's final type is self-determined*. In practice, though, I think there is plenty of fudging of the kind 7w5 identified above, as well as pushback against being pigeonholed and therefore answering somewhat mischieviously. I recall a discussion here about the correct response to the query, "When you are in a room, do you tend to stand near the center or along the sides?" The question was trying to gauge socialability, but the respondent believed it was trying to measure his preference for direct or meandering paths through vacant rooms and did not understand how to answer. Also problematic is the already identified bias among testmakers towards NT and NF thinking. A test query like, "I tend to see the big picture more clearly than the details" is gauging respondents on the intuition-sensation spectrum, but our culture has so deeply fetishized "big picture thinking" and "being the smartest guy in the room" that almost no one is willing to admit a preference for detail over big picture, regardless of their personal like/dislike of theory and abstract thinking.

*Source: The Myers & Briggs Foundation, Ethical Use of the MBTI Instrument: Ethical Feedback. http://www.myersbriggs.org/myers-and-br ... edback.htm

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