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Thread: Critiquing Keirsey

  1. #11
    ⒺⓉⒷ Array Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Furthermore, outside of that, he makes the odd choice to reach back to the antiquated temperament systems of people like Hippocrates. His reasoning (which strikes me as incredibly ISTJ) is that this is the pattern that has been passed down for ages, and he basically just figures from there that it has enough merit to imitated. I found this decision to also be poorly reasoned.

    And there's the fact that, because of how his sytem works, the temperaments are very archetypical. I don't believe the cognitive types, if properly applied, pidgeonhole's anyone or leaves anybody unrepresented (though if you see the way SimulatedWorl applies it, it does in that case). Keirsey's temperaments do, on the other hand. They are inflexible archetypes which go into too much detail per type profile without accounting from all the range of possibilities. He's typing people on so many behavioral details that it should lead to far more than 4 binary variables, and that in turn should lead to far more than 16 types. But again, he's more content to just smash everyone into those details

    And that being said, there aren't even really 16 types, because Keirsey gets so carried away with his temperament idea that it starts to devour the types. Some more than others. Perhaps because he fancies himself an NT, he gave the most comprehensive treatment to the NTs. The SJs he treats the worst. Each temperament follows a pattern akin to just one of its types. The Guardians are ESTJs, the Artisans are ESTPs, the NFs and NTs are more even, but they are basically INFJs and INTPs.

    The types that are most different from the archetypical type of the temperament are therefore the most poorly accounted. ISFJs, ISFPs, ENFPs, and ENTJs are sort of poorly explained and represented.

    So I stick with the cognitive processes. They are an ecompassing and consistent logical framework which can be worked out deductively and applied flexibly, and they actually reflect a person's thought processes, instead of making hasy conclusions from someone's lifestyle habits.
    I believe the most complete model is Berens, which recombines Keirsey's temperaments with the cognitive processes, and adds another version of the four temperaments as well. The result is that each type is actually a combination of two of the temperament archetypes. This is what we see in some of the Hippocrates tests, such as Oneishy (which uses LaHaye's concepts) and 4 Marks.
    Berens doesn't frame them this way, but she does compare both models to the ancient ones. In the old threads we have on the humors, they continue to enjoy relative success in the correlation I have revealed, as people occasionally still posting test tesults. Like we just had an ENFP who is Sanguine-SupinePhlegmatic (Sanguine=ENP [social]; Supine and/or Phlegmatic=NF [leadership]).

    This would explain why Keirsey's model would seem to leave some out, or that certain types are more like the assigned temperament than others. SP is supposed to be Sanguine, which is very bright and expressive, and ISFP does not seem to fit that. That's because that type's social style is ISF, which is Phlegmatic. The two temperaments blend and temper each other. So if you only look at it as one temperament, then it will not appear to fit.
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  2. #12
    Administrator Array highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    I'm really glad you made this comparison. I like The Lion King a heck of a lot better than Hamlet!

    False. I've found exactly the opposite to be true. The more I understand, the more I see his basic concepts play out in real life, and am aided in my communication with others tremendously.

    Simplification is a GOOD thing, people!

    Accessibility is a GOOD thing!

    Complex does not equal better!

    Good points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    It seems to me that people that are more interested in mental masturbation that produces nothing but theoretical circles diss Keirsey. Those that appreciate the differences in people and the practicality of bridging those differences in communication praise him.

    It's like they hate the fact that someone simplified their oh-so-intellectual club of I'm-so-smartness. Magic P has even admitted this before. That he wants this exclusive club of people who DEEPLY UNDERSTAND this theoretical cloud of gas rather than a mass of people having an effective tool for action.

    The thing is, there's no reason you can't have both. If Fi'ing your Ni-Ne up your Te's Ti until the cows come home is what makes you happy, than knock yourself out. But don't bash Keirsey just because he doesn't join your circle jerk, and actually found ways to connect with people who are more interested in what's actually useful in reality.
    I don't entirely agree with these points - or at least it is not my personal experience. There is a lot of stuff in Keirsey which feels like it is made up to me. It's fun to read and interesting but I don't believe all that I'm reading. I don't get this feeling after reading Gifts Differing or Lenore Thompson.

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  3. #13
    Senior Member Array captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burymecloser View Post
    David Keirsey is among the most influential and widely-read writers on personality typing, but he effectively ignores functions, and some members of this forum dismiss his work as elementary or even useless.
    i had to do a 6 page research paper on keirsey for my low-track english class with a teacher who completely believed in his works. having ADHD (keirsey believes it's a complete hoax, and to an extent i can see his points) and being an INTP with an extraverted guardian type of some sort- ESFJ maybe?- i thought she was a bitch who was hopeless under pressure, but then again so did most of the class.

  4. #14
    Paragon Gone Wrong Array OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I think that Keirsey's work is basically an example of a Lie to Children... an oversimplification of a more complex concept in order to make it more accessable to the masses than the origional theory was... Kind of like the difference between the Lion King and Hamlet

    The more you understand, the more useless Keirsey's concepts seem
    That's always how I viewed his books - oversimplification to appeal to the masses (and the Lion King is based on Hamlet?!! :eek: ). And I agree with those who say he really types behavior, not thought process.

    The thing is, I think that is what Isabel Myers aimed to do with Jung's theory in creating MBTI & writing Gifts Differing, but I think she tried to keep the integrity of Jung's theory intact, and it shows. It's definitely simplified & made to appeal to the masses though (by making it practical, of course). I understand why that is necessary, and if she didn't do it, how many of us would have discovered Jung's theory?
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  5. #15
    Tenured roisterer Array SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Let me briefly summarize the principal assumptions of Keirsey's work.

    -People are different in nature and it is therefore inappropriate to subject them to the same kind of treatment in matters of education, business affairs and interpersonal relationships.
    - People differ in their temperaments, a temperament is a collection of a person's salient character traits.
    -16 Different temperaments exist.

    The main problem with Keirsey's typological methodology is that he makes claims that are sociological and psychological in nature, but does not cite empirical support in favor of his findings.

    At the very beginning of Please Understand Me, we have a Keirsey personality test. By answering his questions and reviewing his answer keys, we can determine which of the 16 of his temperaments we belong to. After we've discovered our temperament we may read the detailed description of our characters. However, Keirsey cited no empirical studies to prove that his tests have construct validity or that they truly do measure what they claim to measure.

    Furthermore, his type descriptions are also unsupported by any empirical evidence, they are founded on mere arm-chair reasoning. Essentially, Keirsey abandoned the scientific method yet continued to propound answers to scientific questions. His claims could have been tenable if he recasted his assertions as mere hypotheses about people's behavior and motivations, however, he insisted on making a very strong claim that knowing a person's temperament necessarily predicts his future behaviors. Similarly, he could have focused his typological inquiry on cognitive tendencies rather than behaviors of people in common-place social situations that define their characters. By doing the former, he would have entered the territory of philosophy of mind where his conclusions would be unfalsifiable ( not testable and therefore unscientific), yet potentially supportable by future research in Neuroscience.
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