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Thread: MBTI Paper

  1. #1
    Senior Member Blackwater's Avatar
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    Default MBTI Paper

    Well, it repeats many of the criticisms we know already and the author goes a bit overboard at times but at the end of the day, MBTI is still not scientifically validated and still bears more than a little resemblance to astrology...

    http://www.hha.dk/man/cmsdocs/WP/2006/2006-05.pdf
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    Well, it repeats many of the criticisms we know already and the author goes a bit overboard at times but at the end of the day, MBTI is still not scientifically validated and still bears more than a little resemblance to astrology...

    http://www.hha.dk/man/cmsdocs/WP/2006/2006-05.pdf
    Egad, I'm probably one of the worst when it comes to attack MBTI on this board, but I skimmed it and was... decidedly not impressed.

    He makes no allocation for what they have done correctly, even from his own stance. Independent functions not validated - like say, through factor analysis done to create Step II? The one that mirrors FFM and such to a fairly high degree (ignoring the 5th dimension). And yes, the J/P divide has issues, ones they are now addressing under Step III. Or how about the validation studies they have done? Reliability studies? No backing is a completely unfair statement to level and shows ignorance of the instrument, its history and its current research branch.

    Then he uses typelogic as a basis for the problems with type? Namely the description of ENFPs that has The following comes partially from the archetype, but mostly from my own dealings with ENFPs. as a disclaimer at the top of the description? I mean, I don't know exactly who the author of the description is, other than a professor at some school, but most of those seem taken from Keirsey to start with (archetype!?).

    Hardly MBTI at all. In fact, I'm not sure he once referred to MBTI except through the scientific investigations - like those ones that do correlation studies, test comparisons and such between MBTI and FFM?

    And yes, we know that Jung was a bit whacky and didn't have hist stuff validated. Yes, the functions and all that hangover sucks. But Jung is so far removed from the current MBTI body that you might as well blame humors for the failure of MBTI. Actually, in a way, I guess they are.

    Obviously written as persuasive and not investigative, this offers nothing new to the debate and merely references every problem, ranging from the scientific problems (functional, hierarchies) to the general (personalities don't capture human nature, don't put people in boxes).

    As someone who acts on the ethics boards, he should of stuck to... well... the ethical side. Even one case study would of been nice, since I didn't see one, pointing out what can happen... rather than just supposition.

    IMO, this is an opinion piece... and a badly validated one at that. There would be more strength if it was written;

    1) Listed actual issues that come from typecasting (reference to IQ for bonus points)... since this is contrary to all ethnical rules MBTI and most personality assessments, since they are to be used for research, not sorting.

    2) MBTI as being commercial, therefore violating the ethnical rules not to sort people (ie: despite the code of ethics stating this shouldn't be done, it often is indirectly used this way)

    3) Made a single reference to MBTI research

    3) Not made a single reference to "typelogic.com"... or any internet site... and picked up an MBTI manual for $100.

    4) Hell with that, made a single reference to actual MBTI theory, process or... well... anything.

    I admit, I skimmed it... I read fast, but not that fast. Maybe I missed this. If I did, 70% of the report should be eliminated regardless.

    Gah. That irritates me.

  3. #3
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    70% of the report should be eliminated regardless.
    I agree. This paragraph hit home for me though:

    Might not something like this happen when the dichotomies of the MBTI test paints a certain picture of a person, characterising the person as being an ENFP, thereby pigeonholing that person in to precisely one of 16 pigeonholes. The individual in question may believe the picture painted and begin to act in a way that would confirm the picture, ignoring aspects that the test could not catch. Others would help to put the individual in the ENFP mould, by acting as if the ENFP interpretation was the picture of the person, leading perhaps to stereotyping or even stigmatisation, and a reductionist view of how to relate to this person.

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    Senior Member snegledmaca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    nd yes, we know that Jung was a bit whacky and didn't have hist stuff validated. Yes, the functions and all that hangover sucks. But Jung is so far removed from the current MBTI body that you might as well blame humors for the failure of MBTI. Actually, in a way, I guess they are.
    I was under the impression that Jung's work was the center piece for MBTI. I mean, didn't the founder construct MBTI solely from Jung's work? In essence, isn't MBTI a direct expression of Jung's ideas? If not, how so?

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    Senior Member Blackwater's Avatar
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    i aprreciate your counter-criticism, PG and i even agree that he is merely voicing the standard shortcommings of the model.

    but i too would like you to elaborate on the fact that jung is supposedly removed from modern mbti. as a former intp yourself, don't you find it the least bit convinving that you can look up the introverted thinking type in a book from 1921 where it says that the type is prone to express himself in overly technical terms, a manner in which he will continue for ends and ends, elaborating, defining, confining etc. etc.
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  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snegledmaca View Post
    I was under the impression that Jung's work was the center piece for MBTI. I mean, didn't the founder construct MBTI solely from Jung's work? In essence, isn't MBTI a direct expression of Jung's ideas? If not, how so?
    Isabel's ideas were partially from Jung's work, and partially from a system her mother Katherine and herself had started working on. She just found that much of what she had come up with was similar to Jung's ideas. She thus decided it would be reasonable to simply adapt Jung's system in an expression of her ideas about personality.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    I agree. This paragraph hit home for me though:
    It has some points... points that I have brought up many times, actually... But the support for those points isn't just absent but incorrect.

    Considering that there is research about the negative effects of typecasting, the whole thing could be written with only a couple of references. This is nothing new... it's not intrinsic to MBTI, or hidden. What should come across as a comment about the systemic problems to typecasting inherent in MBTI just comes across as a incoherent rant... to me, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by snegledmaca View Post
    I was under the impression that Jung's work was the center piece for MBTI. I mean, didn't the founder construct MBTI solely from Jung's work? In essence, isn't MBTI a direct expression of Jung's ideas? If not, how so?
    MBTI theory may be based from Jung's work, the actual existing MBTI instrument and supporting literature is entirely different.

    Jung was based upon 3 personality dimensions. MBTI added a fourth, then adjusted the atitudes via the new J/P hierarchy. Then in the 80's and early 90's, performed factor analysis to develop Step II, redefining the personality traits that each of the 4 dimensions measured (not much changed, mind you, but it did). Literature from Jung is about theory, about cognitive issues and about archetypes. MBTI has gone through validation, factor analysis and reliability studies.

    A simple example is how the J/P and attitude problems are being looked at now, in step III... something Jung didn't even have in his theories. According to Myers, J/P is what defines health in terms of type. Ie: you know those little % people put? That's not strength, it's test confidence levels... Step III is suppose to define strength, so to speak.

    I'd say that for all of the remaining Jungian theory left in MBTI, MBTI resembles FFM more than a Jungian theory.

    Don't get me wrong however, I'm talking about the practical implications more than theory. Theory hasn't moved forward nearly as much as the instrument, although both are considerable... some changes came through having Jung's claims challenged due to statistics and research, others through new theories.

    --

    Full disclaimer: My support for many of these things is tenuous at best, so don't take my view on it as supportive...

  8. #8
    Senior Member snegledmaca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Isabel's ideas were partially from Jung's work, and partially from a system her mother Katherine and herself had started working on. She just found that much of what she had come up with was similar to Jung's ideas. She thus decided it would be reasonable to simply adapt Jung's system in an expression of her ideas about personality.
    So basically she arrived at the same system Jung did, independently of him? I didn't know that. I was under the impression she took Jung's ideas of the dichotomies and made a test from it. Hmm, now that's interesting. I think that might point to the validity of both her and Jung's work (As I think ti's rare that two people, independently of each other, develop the same false theory).

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    MBTI theory may be based from Jung's work, the actual existing MBTI instrument and supporting literature is entirely different.

    Jung was based upon 3 personality dimensions. MBTI added a fourth, then adjusted the atitudes via the new J/P hierarchy. Then in the 80's and early 90's, performed factor analysis to develop Step II, redefining the personality traits that each of the 4 dimensions measured (not much changed, mind you, but it did). Literature from Jung is about theory, about cognitive issues and about archetypes. MBTI has gone through validation, factor analysis and reliability studies.

    A simple example is how the J/P and attitude problems are being looked at now, in step III... something Jung didn't even have in his theories. According to Myers, J/P is what defines health in terms of type. Ie: you know those little % people put? That's not strength, it's test confidence levels... Step III is suppose to define strength, so to speak.

    I'd say that for all of the remaining Jungian theory left in MBTI, MBTI resembles FFM more than a Jungian theory.
    Now I'm confused. Does MBTI use Jung's ideas as it's foundation or not?

  9. #9
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    It has some points... points that I have brought up many times, actually... But the support for those points isn't just absent but incorrect.

    Considering that there is research about the negative effects of typecasting, the whole thing could be written with only a couple of references. This is nothing new... it's not intrinsic to MBTI, or hidden. What should come across as a comment about the systemic problems to typecasting inherent in MBTI just comes across as a incoherent rant... to me, anyway.
    Not just to you, I agree. But personally I can use repetition of said points. :blushing:

  10. #10
    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    It did seem an opinion piece. Interesting to read all the same.

    I'm aware of, what I find to be, well-argued criticisms of MBTI out there (such as the dichotomy model vs. a continuum), but I agree setting it up as little more than popular astrology goes a bit far.

    I had highlighted the same section Economica had quoted:

    Might not something like this happen when the dichotomies of the MBTI test paints a certain picture of a person, characterising the person as being an ENFP, thereby pigeonholing that person in to precisely one of 16 pigeonholes. The individual in question may believe the picture painted and begin to act in a way that would confirm the picture, ignoring aspects that the test could not catch. Others would help to put the individual in the ENFP mould, by acting as if the ENFP interpretation was the picture of the person, leading perhaps to stereotyping or even stigmatisation, and a reductionist view of how to relate to this person.
    I also appreciated this comment:

    The reality is that personality tests cannot begin to capture the complex human beings we are.
    I tend to think MBTI can offer insight, taken as a rough guide, but I feel when used as a weapon of prejudice and discrimination, as I think it sometimes is, it can be a source of emotional harm to self and others.
    "We don't see things as they are,
    we see things as we are."
    ...Anais Nin

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