September 1, 2010

Yay! Skeptoid takes on my favorite target for debunking: The Myers-Briggs Personality Test.

You can listen and also read an episode transcript here. Excerpt:
It's been found that 50% of test takers who retake it score differently the second time. This is because nobody is strictly an E or an I, for example, but somewhere in between. Many people are right on the border for some of the four dichotomies, and depending on their mood that day or other factors, may answer enough questions differently to push them over. Yet the results inaccurately pigeonhole them all the way over to one side or the other. This makes it possible for two people who are very similar to actually end up with completely opposite scores....

From the perspective of statistical analysis, the MBTI's fundamental premise is flawed. According to Myers & Briggs, each person is either an introvert or an extravert. Within each group we would expect to see a bell curve showing the distribution of extraversion within the extraverts group, and introversion within the introverts. If the MBTI approach is valid, we should expect to see two separate bell curves along the introversion/extraversion spectrum, making it valid for Myers & Briggs to decide there are two groups into which people fit. But data have shown that people do not clump into two separately identifiable curves; they clump into a single bell curve, with extreme introverts and extreme extraverts forming the long tails of the curve, and most people gathered somewhere in the middle. Jung himself said "There is no such thing as a pure extravert or a pure introvert. Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum." This does not support the MBTI assumption that people naturally separate into two groups. MBTI takes a knife and cuts the bell curve right down the center, through the meatiest part, and right through most people's horizontal error bars. Moreover, this forced error is compounded four times, with each of the four dichotomies.

127 comments:

traditionalguy said...

How does one postulate such a THING as a personality? You have us there. But people sure seem to interract differently from one another. The idea is to learn to accept the differences and not to use a one size mould fits all. That reduces the number of people that have to be classified as "Defectives" since there are now 16 acceptable types.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I've taken that test at least a half dozen times (I was a psych major, and it's a favorite exercise for professors who'd like to find a way out of actually, you know, teaching. I've also had a few employers who gave it.)

The only letter I consistently get is the I (introvert), but even that I've varied between being near the center and very far off to one side. It seems to depend more on my mood than my personality.

It's a useless test, but it's easy to give and to explain, so people love to give it and feel like they've done something interesting and productive.

- Lyssa

Skyler said...

I remember getting talked into taking this idiotic test. When my brother's girlfriend then explained that her score was opposite ours, she crowed, "See, I'm not stupid, I just think differently."

That's when I realized the true horror of these tests. It allows stupid people to pretend they're not stupid.

I refuse to allow HR departments or stupid bosses to pretend that they can understand the complexities of my or anyone else's personality from a few minute's test and then summarize it into four up or down categories.

I remember one question was something like, "would you confront your boss on something you disagreed with him about?" If that something is the color to paint the conveyors, no. If that something is whether to install OSHA required safety equipment, yes. But the test doesn't factor that in.

It's a test made for people who want to pretend that it's easy to understand and predict people, especially people who are better than they are.

traditionalguy said...

If this research is now defective, then so are most research discoveries in management styles and leadership styles used by Businesses and the Military, and the schools that teach them should be shut down. After all their research is based upon statitics of questions and answers given to people who may be lazy or lying for the funof it on the test. Yet, in the end these new discoveries are being validated, as they say by their proof being in the pudding.

Revenant said...

Nice debunking! Thanks for linking to it.

Triangle Man said...

The criticism of the test based on the lack of clustering in the E/I distribution makes no sense. Jung's model and the M-B test both assume that personalities exist on an E/I continuum. Meyers-Briggs may do a lousy job of accurately measuring where a person sits on the continuum, but the absence of two discernible bell curves is not related to the validity of the test.

Peano said...

Hoo-boy. It's worth a straw man's life to wander into this thread. They're dropping like flies.

Tari said...

I've always hated that test - half the time I want to ask (as if you could ask a question): do you mean how I act when socially or at work? When I'm with people I know well or strangers? It's asinine.

The other foolish thing about it is how people who like to manipulate things can do so with the test. My great example: all of my company's attorneys worldwide got together for a week of training and nonsense a few years ago, and we all took the test. The room turned out to be full of empathetic, intiutive, feeling people, all of whom somehow had decided to be corporate lawyers. You have to be joking! Even the test-giver was extremely suspicious.

Joseph said...

Hmm... That's not how Myers-Briggs was explained to me when I took it. My score told me what percent I scored on each dimension (how close I was to the middle/other side) which seems to assume that there is one bell curve for each dimension. I've taken it a few times and was strongly an I and an N but the third and fourth dimensions I'm in the middle and so scored differently different times. I think it may not necessarily be an especially useful test but Skeptoid's debunking of it may be worthy of some debunking of its own.

Pogo said...

I often pass the Voight-Kampff test.

PLC said...

I'm going to defend the MBTI because I have found it pretty useful tool for introspection. Of course, useful and true can be wildly different.

For one, I don't think that their theory expects two simultaneous normal distributions. That seems like a straw man. Just because some people are on the left politically and some people are right, does not mean that there are two simultaneous bell curves of leftist ideology and rightward ideology. That doesn't stop us from classifying people based upon our political spectrum. It's willful ignorance to pretend that left and right are perfectly defined, mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive buckets for describing people's political beliefs.

Bob said...

Exactly what you'd expect from an ENTJ, which is what Althouse is.

chuck b. said...

What evidence that normal distributions are valid for any of the MB characteristics?

Pogo said...

The Myers-Briggs Personality Test and others like it are in part ways for big business to make hiring easier.

The tests never work because most people try to make themselves look good when employment is on the line.

If there were, however an "Asshole or potential asshole test", that would be the only worthwhile one. Businesses survive most people, but assholes can kill them off.

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I've taken it several times. Mostly for work purposes and I always, ALWAYS come out as INTJ. With the N and the T part being very strong and and the J being more weighted than the I (introverted). That part depends on how I'm feeling at the moment. Never ever has it been an E (extroverted)

Ideal jobs are for me to work alone, unsupervised in analytical, scientific occupations. Not good in a group setting. Not a team player to say the least. Don't need a bunch of superfluous people around me. Exactly what I do now for a living.

It is my understanding that E-Harmony uses this method as part of their matching. I have some friends who met on EHarmony and are now married and very very compatable.

Kirby Olson said...

It's like handedness. People have two hands and use both of them, (for instance when typing) but prefer to use one hand when writing. It feels a bit awkward the other way. In a pinch, is when your type is most clear, I think.

I think the test is valid, and the types are pretty interesting.

I teach poetry and one of the funniest things is that the extreme sensories who lack intuition don't understand it. They want things to be more concrete.

Once I tested the students who didn't get poetry and they were all very Sensory, and missing much in the way of intuition.

One researcher named Keirsey believes that the E/I distinction is invalid and is dependent on mood, but the other three categories are valid.

Who knows? It's fun.

Issob Morocco said...

What if you purposefully answer incorrectly? That is really cool to do.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think that introvert and extrovert are misleading terms as well.

Introvert has the connotation of a person who is painfully shy and afraid of public events or who is socially inept. While extrovert makes one think of 'the life of the party' types.

Shawn L. said...

"From the perspective of statistical analysis, the MBTI's fundamental premise is flawed. According to Myers & Briggs, each person is either an introvert or an extravert."

No. It is not an absolute "you are X, or you are Y" just a tendency. In different contexts, the very same person can swing to different sides of each personality spectrum. One's "personality type" can shift given different moods, conditions, stress, etc.

Personality typing isn't an explanaiton of how the brain works, but and understanding of the tendencies of an individual.

Personality typing is something I've been exposed to in context of figuring out what learning methods may work better for an individual, and aid in matching roles to volunteers in non-profit or political groups.

Now there is quackery out there involving the M-B system. Most notably is a consultant to pro sports teams who claims to be able to determine an athlete's personality type by just looking at them practice (he calls what he does "Brain Typing". This is utter B.S.

M-B isn't perfect. The human mind is a complex thing, not everyone fits into "column A or column B" much less the 16 personaliy types. But it is a useful tool that has its applications.

"Hoo-boy. It's worth a straw man's life to wander into this thread. They're dropping like flies."

I noticed that too.

Brian said...

I took the test more than once. I came out INTP one time, INTJ another. The P & J scores would be pretty close to 50/50.

Generally, the test has my personality squarely defined. Basically, I don't like being categorized.

Joseph said...

I subscribed to Skeptoid based on a post referencing it here a while ago because rational skepticism of established myths sounds like something I would like. But then I unsubscribed after listening to a few episodes because I found it pedantic and faux scientific. This episode only confirms my earlier experience and the particular section that Althouse decided to quote, which is the most flawed (and lacks any citation or evidence that this is what MBTI actually says or stands for), makes me question her judgment.

I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about MBTI but I do have strong feelings about bad logic employed by people who promote ideas I admire and try to embody (rational skepticism).

blake said...

I often pass the Voight-Kampff test.

Thread winnah by Pogo!

Eh. I took one of these for the first time a couple of days ago. I didn't like the answers available: Neither choice sounded like what I'd actually do.

I think I got INTJ, like DBQ. And, hey, I fit a lot of those characteristics, at least some of the time. (More so as a programmer, less so as a musician.) Just now I looked at ENTJ, and that sounds like me, too. So does ESTJ. INFP, oh, yeah, that's me.

Well, at least the good stuff. The bad stuff I can't relate to at all.

I remember a Psych 101 drill where they basically gave us all random personality profiles to show us how easy it was to make a horoscope that sounded personally applicable.

But like our Discovery channel shooter, it wasn't religion that they object to, just that it's not their religion.

c3 said...

O c'mon give 'em break. I love the MBTI. When I've used in it teaching arenas I've pointed out that the research underpinning MBTI is thin.

Having said that there a lot of literature (books etc) around MBTI that I've found useful. I can't speak for Meyers or Briggs but I would certainly disagree that one is either (and only) an introvert or an extrovert.

I've always said you must take the test several times to get a decent handle on what your "tendencies" are in the four axis's (introversion/extroversion; intuitive or sensate; feeler/thinker; judger/perceiver)

I've found it helpful in my marriage; in dealing with workplace conflicts; in understanding learning styles.

As long as folks understand there are no "correct" traits and that the instrument measures preferences then I I've found it helpful.

There are multiple personality inventories. There is much research on "personality" and "temperament" but not a lot of Hard science. There probably is a biologic basis to shyness (which may be related to introversion.)

C3 INTJ

ken in sc said...

As I understand it, an extrovert is someone who is energized by being in a group of people, for whatever purpose the group exists. OTOH, introverts are drained of energy in a group. I personally think that extroverts are energy vampires who suck the energy out of introverts. I’m an introvert. The more extroverts there are in a group, the more drained I feel after being with them.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I can't speak for Meyers or Briggs but I would certainly disagree that one is either (and only) an introvert or an extrovert.

I agree. I'm I(introvert)in that I don't especially care if I'm around a lot of people. I don't "need" people other than my husband, some very few good friends and my family (and not all of them either)

Otherwise....I just don't care to socialize or hang out.

However, I enjoy performing (music/singing) and have done so in front of rather large crowds or doing public seminars, which I frequently do for my business.

I also really enjoy my meetings with clients. I also like meeting new prospects because it is a challenge to get to know all about them and what they want and need.

I'm not shy in the least when it comes to meeting new people and can mingle in a crowd or social setting if I want to or have to.

I just don't want to.

The terms extrovert and introvert are misleading.

traditionalguy said...

Ken in SC has the correct sense of the words picked by Myers-briggs to type the tendencies of a person's reaction among others in a social group(called their personality). "Extroverts" are energised from social interractions and are drained by being alone too long. But the "introverts" are worn down from extended social interractions and have to withdraw a while to get their energy back from within themselves. Darned if the two types don't need each other.

Oso Negro said...

I believe that the biggest gripe academics have against the MBTI is that it was designed by housewives based on Jung's ideas. They further dislike the idea that ordinary people can learn to apply psychological concepts without the beads and incense of the modern social science professional. As an instrument of understanding people the analogy I would use is that it is about like algebra - which won't solve all math problems, but the ones it will solve it handles just fine.

Some things not mentioned so far -

1) Differences in type preference are observable. In other words, if you understand the differences you can see them in the people you know and meet.

2) The indicator itself is just one way to help people identify their own preferences. In my experience it gets about 80% of people right, meaning when the understand the ideas behind it, the indicator has identified the preferences they pick themselves. There are a bunch of things that can influence people's answers, but it doesn't change their actual preferences.

3) Once people get the idea of the type preference, there is no point in testing them again or worrying about test-retest reliability. Their scores will definitely be influenced by their understanding.

4) Use of type preference for hiring is a bad idea as it is no predictor of success or failure in anything, just what is more comfortable or preferred by people.

5) People get hung up about E and I needlessly. Both preferences need people and time alone, just in different amounts. Interacting with others is energizing to extraverts and tiring for introverts. You can be extraverted without being gregarious.

6) People can believe what they like, but there are very predictable differences in some behaviors by type preference and it is useful to know them. Type doesn't come close to explaining everything you might like to know about people, but what it does explain, it explains pretty well.

7) There are always people who feel upset to learn that they aren't quite as unique as they have imagined themselves. Advice - get over it.

blake said...

tradguy--

Why must one be drained either by solitude or society?

Peano said...

To the two or three of you (and you know who you are) who aren't nursing the preconceived certainty that temperament testing is bogus: You might read David Keirsey's books. His theory departs in some important ways from Myers-Briggs.

Applied intelligently (as distinguished from the blog post that opened this thread), temperament testing manifestly yields useful, practical results in such areas as academic advising, hiring, career choices, dating ... and not least of all, child-rearing.

It's not a religion, but it is a useful way to sort people, roughly, into categories that have practical consequences.

The naysayers are trotting out so many straw man, I've lost count. What I really wonder about is this: Why so much emotional heat in rejecting temperament testing?

As W.C. Fields would put it, I think there's a Ubangi in the fuel supply.

blake said...

Snark isn't much of an emotion.

Heh: WV is inufflol

Youngblood said...

Pogo wrote:

"I often pass the Voight-Kampff test."

Funny, I always fail that one.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I always thought of introverts as bitches and extraverts as assholes. Who wants to be either?

edutcher said...

They made us take it at work as a team building exercise. The team ended up on one side of the room and I was on the other.

If it had been an island, I would have been voted off.

c3 said...

a vignette for what it worth.

My wife, an ESFJ, and I, an INTJ, were shopping for a refrigerator. We finally agreed on a model, gave them our down payment and left the store. She then made the mistake of asking why I thought it was the right one.

As a strong "N" (i.e a big picture guy) I glibly responded "It just was". When she pressed me for details, I gave her a few though none of them were really THE reason.

With each specific reason, she, a strong "S" (very detail oriented), pointed out the detail of that attribute and how it could or could not be a problem.

Well eventually we argued and nearly changed our collective minds. Essentially we were in agreement but we came to that decision from different places. It was instructive in how we deal with situations and how we could get in arguments around our personality processes.

How has it helped us? i rely on her to get all of the detail she relies on me to see big picture issues. it works out.

ricpic said...

I like to make a loud noise and then run away.

marklewin said...

The research community established over thirty years ago that the Meyers-Briggs has unacceptable levels of valiidity and reliability, therefore test interpretation should not be taken seriously. For example, it would not withstand a Daubert challenge in a forensic setting. There are tests of normal personality out there with much more research support, validity, and reliability (e.g. some tests based on the 5 factor model of personality).

Skyler said...

Piano offered: It's not a religion, but it is a useful way to sort people, roughly, into categories that have practical consequences.

And that is precisely the objection. It puts people into categories. It helps simple minds to sort out people without any rational reason.

How many people lose out on opportunities because someone in HR put them in a category and a manager thought that this category had some meaningful relationship to performance?

I will never take one again. I do not approve of being put into pigeon holes by people in HR who don't know how to do calculus, let alone understand engineering.

blake said...

The research community established over thirty years ago that the Meyers-Briggs has unacceptable levels of valiidity and reliability, therefore test interpretation should not be taken seriously.

That is an awesome typo.

Er, it is a typo, right?

wv: snester

def. lft-hnded

deborah said...

'I personally think that extroverts are energy vampires who suck the energy out of introverts.'


'I always thought of introverts as bitches and extraverts as assholes. Who wants to be either?'

I'll drink to those.

David Baker said...

Although life appears to present haphazard choices, individuals still tend to gravitate toward their abilities. When there's a fly in the ointment, it's usually emotional. Also, a lack of decisiveness, an inability to make firm choices.

Which opens the door to Myers-Briggs.

traditionalguy said...

@ Blake...That is what happens. One makes a better performer/ leader. The other makes a better guardian, not that the guardian is not well able to perform when the group needs help and protection from them. These styles work to meet different group needs. The mind is the secret weapon. Groups needs both types as its full weapons. The group needs a sociable and expressive president who in turn needs the hard working Secret Service persons in the group.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Finally, something we can agree on.

deborah said...

' When there's a fly in the ointment, it's usually emotional. Also, a lack of decisiveness, an inability to make firm choices.'

Do you mean, how the person attacks the questions is as revealing as the answers, themselves?(For example, answers are consistent with other answers, or something.)

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that there is some validity, even if it won't make it through Daubert. I pretty much predicted my kid's score (INTP) - but possibly because that is what I was in a previous life.

The problem with I/E is that it does seem to depend. Forty years ago, when I was in college, and before, I was pretty much an "I", but have moved decently into the "E" category. Not that I really gain energy talking to people, but aren't drained either (rather, I am the draining one). Now, I pretty much talk to anyone, any time. It does cause problems with my "I" type girlfriend and my kid.

c3 said...

skylar;
It puts people into categories. It helps simple minds to sort out people without any rational reason.

for what its worth, when ever I used it in teaching settings I used it as a tool with the caveat that if someone didn't find it helpful then fine. I never made personnel decisions based on it.

And as I mentioned above I emphasized over and over that there was no correct answer, personality or temperment.

(Except for the one regarding being "open to new ideas and new ways of looking at things" Anyone who answered no to that was a dipshit and was to be fired immediately)

Peano said...

Quoth Skyler: And that is precisely the objection. It puts people into categories.
---
For those who appreciate irony (which leaves Skyler out), he mentions:

1. "people [who] lose out on opportunities because someone in HR put them in a category..." You just put those HR people in a category, Skyler.

2. "simple minds" That's another category, Skyler.

3. "people in HR who don't know how to do calculus" That's also a category, Skyler.

4. In his profile, he says he is a "Marine Officer, Engineer, Lawyer." Thrice do you categorize yourself there, Skyler.

As I mentioned before, there’s an odd emotional heat behind the objections to temperament typing. This “Don’t categorize me!” imperative seems to be at the bottom of it. Freud only knows why. Meyers-Briggs and Keirsey certainly don’t have a clue.

blake said...

Peano--

If you tell someone that they're angry enough, they'll probably get that way.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My husband is an INSJ.

He is a doer. Makes decsions much faster than I do. Where I want to know everything about the proposed action/purchase/idea, he is quicker to move and make decisions.

Example: He wanted to buy a new tractor to expand the business and said that it would pay for itself in a short time. I wanted to examine the idea, crunch the numbers, look at the types of work that it would generate. It made me uncomfortable to make such a big decision without the ground work but I gave into his speedy decision because, after all it IS his business.

We both decided that it would be a good idea, but through different processes.

blake said...

DBQ,

Well, okay, but haven't you ever done both?

In some cases, made a quick decision, in others, done the number crunching?

Even switched mid-stream: Stopped a quick decision to do heavy research, or gotten halfway through and decided, to hell with it, and go with your gut?

Bob_R said...

Myers-Briggs is a crude and lazy version of much more complex psycho metrics (on which there is still a lot of work to be done). It's like taking IQ and saying that the only thing we care about is whether some one is below 100 or above. D or S, I guess. IQ gets misused pretty often, but rarely in such a D way.

Skyler said...

Piano: Those are my qualifications and abilities determined by long work and achievement.

This silly test puts people in categories that have no useful meaning.

c3: I'm sure that you are very responsible with the test, but this is not true of most people. Note here that many people put a lot of credence in these categories.

Someone else talked about leadership. As a Marine, I can tell you that leadership ability is much more complicated than anything this test will uncover. We teach people to be leaders and we don't use silly tests like this. Marine leaders are valued throughout our society for getting people to follow them. Some are better than others of course, but this test is not a tool to be used by anyone serious about developing leaders.

traditionalguy said...

Skyler...As an officer I am sure you found that the leader needs to be perceived as a leader by his followers. That means the followers already have an image of a good leader in their minds and the leader needs to match that image. That takes a continuous extroverted acting performance by the leader. The E6 can provide and protect the men during performance of the mission as an introvert. The Officer's job is harder to do because he has to inspire unbroken confidence that he is a worthy leader to be followed.

Peano said...

Skyler persists: "This silly test puts people in categories that have no useful meaning."

Do your homework, Skyler.

Allan said...

I took the test several times
and came out as an INFP each time.
So I joined an INFP discussion group
on the internet.
Quit it when I realized I had nothing in common
with the other members.

Revenant said...

For those who appreciate irony (which leaves Skyler out), he mentions:

I suppose his comments do, indeed, sound "ironic" to people who don't understand the difference between arbitrarily sticking people into subjective categories ("INTJ") and accurately describing traits they provably possess ("is a lawyer", "works for human resources", etc).

Seven Machos said...

I love that you debunk this bullshit "test," Althouse. How is it any different whatsoever from horoscopes? It's a sociological zodiac.

The State Department relies heavily on it in its training programs, which says quite a bit about the State Department.

Skyler said...

Trad noticed: Skyler...As an officer I am sure you found that the leader needs to be perceived as a leader by his followers.

Of course. The point is that these leadership traits can be taught and cultivated. A test such as this would beg instead that we pre-ordain who would make a good leader. I've seen far too many different kinds of people be very effective leaders to trust to this type of simplistic categorization.

Peano said...

Skyler does it again: "I've seen far too many different kinds of people be very effective leaders ..."

LMAO. You categorize people into "kinds" while objecting to temperament tests precisely because they "put people into categories."

You need to get your story straight, Skyler. You're a walking category of contradictions.

Skyler said...

Piano, a conclusion is not the same as begging the question. Sheesh.

Skyler said...

Piano, I dispute that categories are useful for determining job or leadership potential. I dispute that this test can accurately categorize anyone. I distrust organizations and individuals who promote this test because it can be used to limit people's potential.

Do you have anything important to add?

Seven Machos said...

Skyler is right here. This test is hokum. I would add, more radically, that the idea of fixed kinds of leaders is itself bunk.

There are different ways to lead but it's all very hard to classify and sort and, at the end of the day, leadership is leadership.

John Burgess said...

Sevennachos: Having worked at State and taken the MBTI for them on several occasions, I'll argue that it actually doesn't rely much on it. It's just something that the contract trainers find useful.

State has a tendency to jump onto whichever training bandwagon is passing by, particularly if a good salesman gets his foot in the HR door.

If for no other reason, the MBTI is useful to remind people that not everyone thinks the same way. That is a very useful realization to have when you're going to be working with people from many and different cultures.

Paddy O said...

Skyler, I agree that leadership is trained and personality types can all fit into that. However, I also think that being a good leader can have different expressions. My sense is that the personality types such as here are less of a expression of who should lead and rather how they do lead.

In other words, these are interesting as descriptive guides that may point out particular approaches, values, and weaknesses. They're not prescriptive conclusions that should at all limit expectations.

That's when they become useless and even dangerous, especially if rather than someone learning from them and sharpening from it as yet another tool, it becomes an excuse.

I also wonder if people who are generally part of more broadly found personality type find these uninteresting, while those of us (I'm also a very strong INTJ) find them interesting, not because they are boxes to be placed in, but rather because it is highly likely to have been the only type of this kind in any given classroom or workplace.

It's just a tool that should be used among other tools. Folks these days, I find, are talking a lot more about the "Strengths Finder" test that Gallup put together.

In seminary, I took the PF16, which is I guess the more hardcore personality assessment. The overall conclusion of it was I, on just about all the elements had the opposite score that the professor suggested matched the "ideal" pastor.

Seven Machos said...

John -- Yes, you are right. Rely is too strong a word. But, as you say and I agree, having taken it several times...

n said...

ok, i know this is a little geeky, but i used this article years ago in teaching MBTI. Criticisms of MBTI are hardly new (this article goes thru them systematically). Here's a hint, look at the last 2 sentences of the abstract:

the article is by McRae and Costa, the creators of the 5 factor model of personality (serious stuff)

Reinterpreting the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator From the Perspective of the Five-Factor Model of Personality

ABSTRACT The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI, Myers & McCaulley, 1985) was evaluated from the perspectives of Jung's theory of psychological types and the five-factor model of personality as measured by self-reports and peer ratings on the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI, Costa & McCrae, 1985b) Data were provided by 267 men and 201 women ages 19 to 93 Consistent with earlier research and evaluations, there was no support for the view that the MBTI measures truly dichotomous preferences or qualitatively distinct types, instead, the instrument measures four relatively independent dimensions The interpretation of the Judging-Perceiving index was also called into question The data suggest that Jung's theory is either incorrect or inadequately operationalized by the MBTI and cannot provide a sound basis for interpreting it However, correlational analyses showed that the four MBTI indices did measure aspects of four of the five major dimensions of normal personality The five-factor model provides an alternative basis for interpreting MBTI findings within a broader, more commonly shared conceptual framework

Seven Machos said...

...And if you work for the State Department and you don't understand that people think in different ways (and your job is representing the United States as a brand in other countries), well, you are well too far gone for some sociological zodiac.

Seven Machos said...

n -- I'm a Capricorn with Libra rising over my Virgo moon. I'm adventurous, highly opinionated, and my soul mate is a Saggitarius with a Pisces orbital flank.

I enjoy long walks on the beach but I'm also serious about my career.

You?

Peano said...

Last gasp for Skyler: I dispute that categories are useful for determining job or leadership potential. I dispute that this test can accurately categorize anyone.

Parroting "I dispute" isn't an argument. It's an assertion. You've yet to offer anything but your bare assertions.

You claim to have drawn "conclusion," yet you haven't mentioned your premises.

c3 said...

One thing I would say Skyler, do not have a strong "N", strong "P" pack your chute.

Get an "SJ". Detail-oriented and goal directed.

Now if you need some "outside the box" strategizing, that NP is your guy

Seven Machos said...

Peano -- Are you really lecturing about proper premises and conclusions? Are you in sixth grade?

Let me present the argument in a way that you and your 12-year-old friends might impress your teacher with:

1. Bullshit is something worthless, deceptive, or insincere.

2. Meyers-Briggs is worthless because it demonstrates nothing meaningful.

3. Meyers-Briggs is deceptive because it purports to categorize people into a falsely limiting set of falsely either/or categories.

4. Meyers-Briggs is insincere because it cannot actually define people into some dozen preconceived boxes based on a set of asinine questions.

WHEREFORE, for the reasons stated above, Meyers-Briggs is a bullshit test chock full and overflowing with bullshit.

Bring an apple and don't forget to enunciate.

Skyler said...

Piano observed: "Parroting "I dispute" isn't an argument. It's an assertion. You've yet to offer anything but your bare assertions."

Duh. I'm glad you're paying attention. Next Piano will observe that the words I use are nearly universally considered part of the English language.

Youngblood said...

Peano,

Do you have any evidence to support your claim that KTS (or MBTI) "manifestly yields useful practical results in such areas as academic advising, hiring, career choices, dating, and ... child-rearing"?

I mean, that's not an argument, it's an assertion. You've yet to offer anything but your bare assertions.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Baker said...

deborah said...
Do you mean, how the person attacks the questions is as revealing as the answers, themselves?

Not exactly.

Regarding Myers-Briggs, it tends to be most useful when considering a career change, say, when a particular or original career choice seems lacking, a mistake.

My contention, based on experience, is that when it comes down to one's talents and abilities, individuals tend to move in the right direction. Left to their own devices, people will pursue careers that suit their particular abilities. It's not, as often appears, a random process.

But humans are also complex (and/or troubled), to the point where sheer ability may conflict with their perceptions and/or emotions. And I've seen some stunning examples.

One woman, with a liberal arts degree, wound up working for a law firm where it became evident that she possessed a talent for writing... briefs. I didn't know this going in, but when I said that her handwriting showed strong literary inclinations, she protested, saying, "I don't write, at all." Because her idea of writing was not "legal briefs." Yet, her entire income was derived from... writing. The real problem was not the job per se, but the situation, the office formality. My suggestion was to freelance, in essence, as a free spirit.

In general, problems seem to arise most often when the individual possesses a multitude of abilities. These are the people who usually struggle most with career choices. Ironically, such individuals often make successful entrepreneurs.

The most common barrier, however, is indecisiveness. Assume for moment the perfect career test, that the result is virtually guaranteed. Yet the individual, the subject, is incapable of making up his or her mind regardless of the result. Which takes us beyond one's abilities and into their emotional makeup.

n said...

seven machos

if you are still with us: I assume you agree that each of us has a different personality...a different approach to interacting with the world and people

it is not likely that this is impacted by some configuration of stars. but, there's no reason to think that people can't report on themselves and their likes and dislikes

most people probably can tell you if they love being with others, or maybe not so much.

there is really nothing mystical about this

Seven Machos said...

each of us has a different personality

From this it doesn't flow that there are 16 fixed personalities.

Your sociological zodiac is as mystical and ridiculous as any horoscope.

deborah said...

'Yet the individual, the subject, is incapable of making up his or her mind regardless of the result.'

Thanks for the 'a-ha moment' clarification.

Joe said...

The so-called debunking is idiotic since it characterizes the theory as something it isn't. While there are many valid criticisms the Myers-Briggs, it's foundation is pretty damn solid. At the core, Introvert/Extrovert and Right/Left brain studies are very consistent in their results. Now, what these are is much more narrow and harder to understand than many characterize; there is, however, a genuine difference between extroverts and introverts and between right and left brained thinkers.

Using the results of a Myers-Briggs test, especially when scoring strongly in one or more of the types, can be useful in understanding relationship dynamics and when assessing your own behavior.

However, using Myers-Briggs or ANY personality or mental health tests as a form of exact predictor of future behavior ranges between shaky and completely disingenuous. All to often the person doing the divining is merely projecting their own prejudices and desires onto the subject (which is why quite a big of mental health treatment is quackery.)

An obvious, but good, example is extroverted bosses dealing with introverted underlings.

n said...

seven machos

hmmmm...you really didn't read my original post did you? that's ok. it's late....but thx for the "conversation"

blake said...

>> it's foundation is pretty damn solid.

Solid what?

>>At the core, Introvert/Extrovert and Right/Left brain studies are very consistent in their results. <<

Yes, Wiki seems to believe that I/E is fairly well established. It's less sanguine about the other three categories.

Let me make a contrast with IQ tests. If you had a pill that would make people smarter, you could (theoretically) test it with an IQ test.

There are a whole lot of problems with that, obviously. Does an IQ test measure actual intelligence, and would a pill that improved test scores be evidence of improvement, just for example.

But it's at least a theoretical use. You could prove that a smart pill wasn't working by using proven IQ tests, and you could use a proven smart pill to test whether any given IQ test was valid.

Now, to me, MBTI is meant to be similarly descriptive. It basically asks, in several ways, "are you an extrovert"--and if you answer affirmatively often enough, you become an "E".

So now that we have a description, now what? What do you test it against? Well, looking at Wiki again, it looks like it has been tested:

The validity coefficient for personality tests in predicting job success was found to average 0.29 (on a scale of 0 to 1). The corresponding average validity for the MBTI, however, was a weak 0.12. In fact, each study that examined the MBTI found its validity to be below acceptable levels of statistical significance.

It's not looking good for MBTI.

Revenant said...

While there are many valid criticisms the Myers-Briggs, it's foundation is pretty damn solid. At the core, Introvert/Extrovert and Right/Left brain studies are very consistent in their results.

Citation, please.

deborah said...

David Baker said...

"In general, problems seem to arise most often when the individual possesses a multitude of abilities. These are the people who usually struggle most with career choices. Ironically, such individuals often make successful entrepreneurs."

Both of these points make sense to me. A person with many abilities would natually be pulled toward different areas of interest. I remember from Psych 101 that the most difficult decision to make is between two desirable choices.

I can also see that a person with
varied skills would possess the versatility to cope with the challenges of entrepreneurship.

Thanks for your interesting insights.

Seven Machos said...

I remember from Psych 101

Well, there's your problem right there. Is there a discipline so simultaneously trifling and harmful?

blake said...

>>>>I remember from Psych 101

>>Well, there's your problem right there. Is there a discipline so simultaneously trifling and harmful?

No argument, except in this case they were borrowing from the time-tested knowledge of the carny.

Wait...

deborah said...

7, let's talk about the mask...

Blake...What?

Joe said...


I often pass the Voight-Kampff test.


Only "often" Pogo?

Tell me about your mother...Pogo.

C R Krieger said...

I was assigned to lead a small team of diverse people, most of whom had never met and who were coming from different parts of the Air Force, around the world.  Our task was to come up with some innovative ideas for moving the Air Force forward (this was back in 1984).

I got permission to have the Myers-Briggs Personality Test administered on Day 1.  While it may have been invalid as a test, it was wonderful at giving the group something in common to talk about as we got to know each other.

Even more important, in allowed the ideas of different people to be kept in play, under the idea that we have a "range personalities" and thus approach problems from different directions and thus ideas that seem outside of what "you" think is good deserve to be considered.

I had first heard of Myers-Briggs while a student at the Army War College. My wife thinks it helped us to better understand the outliers in the family and thus to be more accepting of those difference.

I have always been a little skeptical, but I have found it useful in certain contexts.

Regards -- Cliff

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"each of us has a different personality"

From this it doesn't flow that there are 16 fixed personalities.


@Seven

I think you are confused or misinformed about the Meyers Briggs theory. It doesn't say that there are "fixed" personalities. The test shows tendencies.

For the INTJ results for example: the scoring can be

40 67 100 55

Or

65 86 55 90

Examples I made up (have no idea if those can be real numbers) but the idea is that there is no SET score and that the scoring can change over time. So, although I have never scored an E(extrovert) instead of I(introvert) it is possible for a person to 'morph' over time and with circumstances depending on how strong of an I or E you are.

The scores and the personalities are not SET and can and do change over time. However, generally people will tend to fall into the same general categories. The point of the whole testing is to get an idea of general tendencies and how people think about things and approach problems

I'm never going to be a ESFJ.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"each of us has a different personality"

From this it doesn't flow that there are 16 fixed personalities.


@Seven

I think you are confused or misinformed about the Meyers Briggs theory. It doesn't say that there are "fixed" personalities. The test shows tendencies.

For the INTJ results for example: the scoring can be

40 67 100 55

Or

65 86 55 90

Examples I made up (have no idea if those can be real numbers) but the idea is that there is no SET score and that the scoring can change over time. So, although I have never scored an E(extrovert) instead of I(introvert) it is possible for a person to 'morph' over time and with circumstances depending on how strong of an I or E you are.

The scores and the personalities are not SET and can and do change over time. However, generally people will tend to fall into the same general categories. The point of the whole testing is to get an idea of general tendencies and how people think about things and approach problems

I'm never going to be a ESFJ.

Dutch Canuck said...

I often pass the Voight-Kampff test.

Once or twice I managed to fake my way through the Wassermann Test.

wv: deewe

"Does deewe hurt when you pee?"

Almost Ali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

blake said...

No argument, except in this case they were borrowing from the time-tested knowledge of the carny.

And you an INTJ.

Skyler said...

I got permission to have the Myers-Briggs Personality Test administered on Day 1. While it may have been invalid as a test, it was wonderful at giving the group something in common to talk about as we got to know each other.


I think the Air Force is quite different from the Marines. I think Marines would, let us say scoff, at the idea of taking such a test.

I remember when someone tried to inflict the latest buzzword management method on us. The "facilitators" practically got thrown out of the room. Management is bad word and to be described as a manager is a very bad insult.

deborah said...

C R Krieger said...

"I got permission to have the Myers-Briggs Personality Test administered on Day 1. While it may have been invalid as a test, it was wonderful at giving the group something in common to talk about as we got to know each other.

Even more important, in allowed the ideas of different people to be kept in play, under the idea that we have a "range personalities" and thus approach problems from different directions and thus ideas that seem outside of what "you" think is good deserve to be considered."

Thanks, great insights. Even if it's not perfect, it facilitates conversation and understanding.

deborah said...

Skyler, did you catch this article when it came out a while back?

http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2007/05/2635198

blake said...

>>>>No argument, except in this case they were borrowing from the time-tested knowledge of the carny.

>>And you an INTJ.

I'm also an Aries. We're headstrong and emotional. Plus, we have a cool logo, unlike INTJs.

(Of course, I see this as:

var int: J;

Anyone?)

deborah said...

blake said...

"(Of course, I see this as:

var int: J;

Anyone?)"

Aries is a variable interpretation of J?

blake said...

No, no, just INTJ.

Looks like "an integer named J".

Peano said...

Youngblood said... Peano, Do you have any evidence to support your claim that KTS (or MBTI) "manifestly yields useful practical results in such areas as academic advising, hiring, career choices, dating, and ... child-rearing?

Yes, quite a lot, but it doesn’t lend itself to the bumper-sticker exchanges of this comment section. However, I can briefly characterize some of that evidence.

More than a decade ago, a liberal arts college began administering temperament sorters to freshmen during academic advising. Over a period of years, they tracked students who identified their (temperamental) strengths and weaknesses, and then chose or changed their majors on that basis. Students who chose in this way were less likely to subsequently change their majors, and they showed improved academic performance in their fields. I got this information through interviews with academic advisors at the college, so I can’t direct you to a website for confirmation. (There are many other colleges and universities that can document similar results, but I haven’t interviewed those people so I won’t offer to speak for them.)

The founder and president of an engineering firm had a problem with high turnover of employees. It was very costly to recruit and train new employees in his firm’s line of work, so he sought solutions. Eventually he tried temperament testing of prospective hires as well as his current employees. He found that some temperament types had a clear predisposition for the kind of work his firm did -- for example, a strong leaning toward T on the T/F scale (thinking vs. feeling) fit best for most positions. For those who did R&D, which requires a lot of brainstorming and creativity, he found the most successful candidates were those who tested strongly for N on the N/S continuum (iNtuition vs. Sensing) and also leaned strongly toward P on the J/P continuum (Judging vs. Perceiving). Judgers, for instance, tend to keep their eye on the bottom line or the goal line: finish the job, achieve the goal, close the deal, meet the deadline. Perceivers, in contrast, tend to approach a problem by thinking about all the options; consequently, they often lose track of time and thus aren’t good at meeting hard deadlines. That’s why they need supervisors who are “bottom-liners.”

People who tested strongly on those two variables (N and P) had little talent or taste for supervising others, but they excelled at the kind of freewheeling brainstorming on which R&D thrives. They were happy when given the freedom to do that, and as a result they stayed in their jobs and were more productive. So did other employees in different kinds of jobs. The long-term result was that employee turnover dropped to below 1%. Again, I learned all this through interviews with the founder and president. There’s a great deal more to this particular case study, but this sort of evidence can’t be presented in a bumper-sticker forum. It would take many pages to even begin to do it justice.

I could certainly write those pages, because I happen to have done considerable research on this topic for a writing project a few years ago (I make my living as a freelance writer). But I see no point in doing that. Clearly, this thread was started by someone who was out to “debunk” temperament testing and is sustained mostly by people aren’t open to any amount of counter-evidence. By the way, I’m not defending the MBTI, though it has demonstrably useful applications in business and other fields. Based on my research, the Keirsey sorter seems to be more reliable, for a number of reasons including some fundamental, theoretical differences (from MBTI). But the naysayers are convinced that temperament sorting is nonsense, and I am content to leave you to your convictions.

Peano said...

Youngblood said... Peano, Do you have any evidence to support your claim that KTS (or MBTI) "manifestly yields useful practical results in such areas as academic advising, hiring, career choices, dating, and ... child-rearing?

Yes, quite a lot, but it doesn’t lend itself to the bumper-sticker exchanges of this comment section. However, I can briefly characterize some of that evidence.

More than a decade ago, a liberal arts college began administering temperament sorters to freshmen during academic advising. Over a period of years, they tracked students who identified their (temperamental) strengths and weaknesses, and then chose or changed their majors on that basis. Students who chose in this way were less likely to subsequently change their majors, and they showed improved academic performance in their fields. I got this information through interviews with academic advisors at the college, so I can’t direct you to a website for confirmation. (There are many other colleges and universities that can document similar results, but I haven’t interviewed those people so I won’t offer to speak for them.)

The founder and president of an engineering firm had a problem with high turnover of employees. It was very costly to recruit and train new employees in his firm’s line of work, so he sought solutions. Eventually he tried temperament testing of prospective hires as well as his current employees. He found that some temperament types had a clear predisposition for the kind of work his firm did -- for example, a strong leaning toward T on the T/F scale (thinking vs. feeling) fit best for most positions. For those who did R&D, which requires a lot of brainstorming and creativity, he found the most successful candidates were those who tested strongly for N on the N/S continuum (iNtuition vs. Sensing) and also leaned strongly toward P on the J/P continuum (Judging vs. Perceiving). Judgers, for instance, tend to keep their eye on the bottom line or the goal line: finish the job, achieve the goal, close the deal, meet the deadline. Perceivers, in contrast, tend to approach a problem by thinking about all the options; consequently, they often lose track of time and thus aren’t good at meeting hard deadlines. That’s why they need supervisors who are “bottom-liners.”

People who tested strongly on those two variables (N and P) had little talent or taste for supervising others, but they excelled at the kind of freewheeling brainstorming on which R&D thrives. They were happy when given the freedom to do that, and as a result they stayed in their jobs and were more productive. So did other employees in different kinds of jobs. The long-term result was that employee turnover dropped to below 1%. Again, I learned all this through interviews with the founder and president. There’s a great deal more to this particular case study, but this sort of evidence can’t be presented in a bumper-sticker forum. It would take many pages to even begin to do it justice.

I could certainly write those pages, because I happen to have done considerable research on this topic for a writing project a few years ago (I make my living as a freelance writer). But I see no point in doing that. Clearly, this thread was started by someone who was out to “debunk” temperament testing and is sustained mostly by people aren’t open to any amount of counter-evidence. By the way, I’m not defending the MBTI, though it has demonstrably useful applications in business and other fields. Based on my research, the Keirsey sorter seems to be more reliable, for a number of reasons including some fundamental, theoretical differences (from MBTI). But the naysayers are convinced that temperament sorting is nonsense, and I am content to leave you to your convictions.

deborah said...

I want to watch the sun come up another 50 years,
I want to write a novel that will bring the world to tears,
I want to see fairness.

Peano said...

Youngblood said... Peano, Do you have any evidence to support your claim that KTS (or MBTI) "manifestly yields useful practical results in such areas as academic advising, hiring, career choices, dating, and ... child-rearing"?

Yes, quite a bit. I happen to have done extensive research on this topic for a writing project a few years ago (I make my living as a freelance writer). I just entered a very brief (600 words) summary only to get an error message saying my post was too large to process.

Bumper-sticker comment sections such as this obviously aren't geared for substantive exchanges. Neither, unfortunately, are most of the naysayers in this thread. You began convinced that all temperament testing is bogus, and I am content to leave you to your convictions. Rock on.

blake said...

You're pouting.

I'm sure testing for various personality traits can be (and is!) useful.

I'm just not swayed by the arguments for any scientific basis for MBTI made here. They sound just like arguments for Astrology (which I'm also not knocking, but which ain't science).

That doesn't mean that it's not a useful tool, though clearly the stuff cited by Wiki (a dubious source, granted) doesn't bolster its case.

Youngblood said...

Peano,

It doesn't take a lot of words to offer a pointer to a single study that demonstrates the effectiveness of the MBTI or KTS when it comes to academic advising, hiring, career choice, dating, or child-rearing.

I know that the people behind both tests attest to their utility, but I have seen no independent evidence of it.

I'm just asking for one link to something that offers some precision to your claim.

Peano said...

Youngblood said... I know that the people behind both tests attest to their utility, but I have seen no independent evidence of it.

Then either you haven't seriously looked for it, or your are incompetent at research.

My reply (which wouldn't process) was based on direct interviews I did with academic advisers and business executives. It was proprietary work that I cannot post online.

But I do know this: Anyone who wants to find independent evidence of the usefulness of temperament testing can do so.

If you don't want to do the work, that's OK by me. I have no need to convince you. You don't sound to me like someone whose mind is open to evidence.

Youngblood said...

Peano,

So what you're saying is that you can't point to a single independent study that backs up your claim, but that you have super secret anecdotal evidence?

In other words, you're not interested in discussing or arguing the point, you just want to make assertions and have others accept them on faith.

Huh.

That's an interesting approach.

Peano said...

Youngblood again: So what you're saying is that you can't point to a single independent study that backs up your claim,...

No, I'm saying I won't point to any such studies. If you really wanted to find them, you could do so. I'm not going to play one-upmanship with intellectually lazy skeptics.

Skyler said...

Deborah, I hadn't read that particular article, but LtCol Yingling is someone who I admire as one of the clearer thinkers in the military. What's that got to do the the Briggs & Stratton test?

Youngblood said...

Peano,

So what you're saying is that you still got nothin'.

Peano said...

"So what you're saying is that you still got nothin'."

No, I'm saying that you're getting nothing from me. If you aren't competent to find the research, that's your problem, not mine.

David Baker said...

Food for thought:

I mentioned the importance of decisiveness. If you click through my profile you will see a brief analysis of Barack Obama's handwriting, noteworthy for its (his) decisiveness, the trait that IMO propelled him to the presidency.

When I originally compiled Obama's trait inventory, I certainly wasn't expecting to find decisiveness. But there it was in black and white.

I found this discovery surprising since my personal impression of Obama was just the opposite, that he couldn't make a decision to save his life. Yet, not only did his handwriting show decisiveness, but strong decisiveness.

Then it became obvious, that even by default you don't become president by happenstance or accident. And there were additional trait-related implications, specifically regarding his adherence to a particular political philosophy, such as redistribution... and his concept of social justice.

It's difficult, if not impossible, to sway the mind of a strongly decisive individual. The word that comes to mind is inflexible. This is not a man who will change his thinking, which is the very reason he ascended extraordinary heights.

Yet, such qualities can work against the individual, and in this case, the masses... as has been demonstrated, an example of inflexibility based on an over-represented personal trait; decisiveness.

But given the choice, the individual will go a lot farther with it than without it. Which has also been demonstrated.

Youngblood said...

Peano,

You can make it seem as though my reasonable request for evidence to support your claim is some kind of horrible failing on my part, but it won't do much to draw attention from the clear and obvious fact that you got nothin'.

Peano said...

"You can make it seem as though my reasonable request for evidence to support your claim is some kind of horrible failing on my part, but it won't do much to draw attention from the clear and obvious fact that you got nothin'."

No, I have a great deal. I wrote 600 words that very briefly and only partially describes the evidence. But the forum wouldn't process it.

I told you that the writing project from which I drew that summary was proprietary, meaning that I don't own it. My client owns it. But you resort to the childish tactic of calling it "super secret." It isn't a matter of secrecy. It is a matter or property rights.

You, on the other hand, claim that you "can't find" independent evidence of the utility of temperament testing. If there is a failing on your part ("horrible" is your word, not mine) that is where you failed. It would be interesting, and probably ludicrous, to hear exactly what your "search" consisted of. I repeat -- even though you obviously can't learn from repetition -- that the evidence is available to anyone who seriously seeks it. If you expect to uncover it with one click of a hyperlink, then I think we've found your problem.

If you would like the 600-word summary that I couldn't post, email me and I'll be glad to send it in a text file. But, as I said, I cannot give you the whole writing project because it is not my property to give.

blake said...

Hey, I tried.

I just keep coming up with people shooting holes in it. Guess I'm just a lame researcher.

Skyler said...

Wow. Six HUNDRED words!!!! You must be a free lance scientist, too!

Peano said...

Skyler trolled: Wow. Six HUNDRED words!!!! You must be a free lance scientist, too!

Nice try, Skyler, but it won't do. The 600 words were for this forum and were (as I said and you ignored) a very brief and partial summary of lengthy research for a client -- more like 8,000 words.

Have you even read, let alone written, 8,000 words about temperament testing? Didn't think so.

If you do defend your country with anything like the adroitness you bring to the defense of your claims here, you are a toy soldier indeed.

Youngblood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Youngblood said...

Peano,

Your supercilious tone doesn't deflect attention away from the hollowness of your position as well as you seem to believe it does. It actually draws attention to the fact that you have a big ol' hat but no cattle.

Skyler said...

I wrote a 8001 word article on it.

deborah said...

If you meant me, blake, I wasn't pouting. I was being silly because that song came into my head in relation to you saying int J, because it sounded like a math or computer programming term, etc. And I wish I had all the time in the world to learn that stuff. Only ever made it up to Trig.

But, no I'm not totally blinded by the Briggs-Meyers, but you could at least acknowledge that it's guages personality profiles better than astrology, which is based on random dates of birth.

deborah said...

Skyler said...

"Deborah, I hadn't read that particular article, but LtCol Yingling is someone who I admire as one of the clearer thinkers in the military. What's that got to do the the Briggs & Stratton test?"

Nothing. You mentioned that leadership training in the Marines would never rely on a test like the B-M, and it made me think of the article. The problems mentioned sound awfully hard to fix because of entrenched institutional traditions.

John Lynch said...

I always come up INTP, but that's because I'm an extreme case on each metric.

It's not a credible test simply because it's been around long enough to debunk. I've noticed that all personality tests are eventually debunked, so I don't see the big deal. It's just an older fad than the rest.

Peano said...

"Your supercilious tone doesn't deflect attention away from the hollowness of your position as well as you seem to believe it does. It actually draws attention to the fact that you have a big ol' hat but no cattle."

I offered to send you the summary of two of my case studies. What does it say about your "position" that you demand evidence and then reject it when it's offered?

You and Skyler should transfer to the Global Warming brigades. They could use talent like yours.

I'm done with this thread.

blake said...

Deborah--

No, I saw that you were being silly, and I hope you didn't take my Aries comment as being overly snarky.

Peano is the one pouting. Yeah, some folks have made up their minds about it, but not all of us. Raising doubts and asking for some evidence isn't closing the door.

As for MBTI being more accurate than Astrology? Well, it is possible that a quiz based on internal questions will more accurately reflect on a person than random externalities, certainly.

But when I took the little mini-test the other day, I found myself forced to make choices that I felt misrepresented who I was—in a way that an average horoscope (being fairly generic) would not.

So, not to be pigheaded, I can only allow for the possibility that it's more accurate, not the actuality, 'cause I just don't know.

But I'll leave you with a different song:

So enjoy your life
And do the things that matter
'cause there isn't time and space
to do them all
Love the things you try
Drink a cocktail
Wear a tie
Show a little grace if you should fall

deborah said...

Understood, and thanks for the song, blake...great advice!

deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

PS, I didn't take the Aries comment as over-snark. ;)