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Thread: Why I no longer believe in MBTI

  1. #11
    Listening Array Oaky's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    5w6 sp/so
    SLI None


    Quote Originally Posted by abra View Post
    there is no way to determine what each type acts like (to do so we'd need to know who is what type, circular reasoning anyone?)
    We look at MBTI as psychometric profiles. Therefore the only true person who can determine one's type is oneself as we read on the a certain way one thinks and find which is most similar to our own. We do not know what is in the mind of other people so we assume it based on the reasons we assume behind their actions.

    As a system of 8 cognitive functions, organized along two sets of dichotomy [E&I] [T&F,S&N] which form types through preferential order, it doesn't work.
    It does. Our minds work in certain steps to conclude what we do.
    Everyone has their own set standards of the different variations of the way we apportion our thoughts and actions. The preferred of one's movement towards how one executes externally will be derived from a judging function or perceiving function. They are opposed to each other therefore one can only be one or the other as one's first step towards the concluded action. Within the judging function lies the feeling/thinking preference. Which one you prefer depends on your personality's preference. Within the perceiving lies the intuition/sensing preference. And the same goes for such.
    Then you have whether you judge or perceive externally or internally. One will be dominant of a person in what they feel comfortable using.

    Even accepting the existence of the cognitive functions as named in MBTI, each function is so essential to cognition that the idea of preference is absurd.
    But why? The order of the cognitive function appear in the natural way a human functions. It would take a while to explain the reasoning why we use functions in the order of eiei/ieie and jpjp/pjpj. But there would be a disruption (slight or big) in the human's natural thought processes if the orders were otherwise during normal events.

    No one is using any function more than anyone else, we are all necessarily using every function simultaneously at every time.
    It is impossible to use Te and Fe at the same point in time because they follow the same linear scale as opposing ends. Similar, is Te and Ti on a different scale. However Te and Fi are on no same scale so it is quite a different matter. All other functions work in the same way.
    So what you say cannot be true. We as human beings individually prefer one thing over another subconsciously and/or consciously. It is the same for process of thought. We prefer one process of thought in contrary to another (even if we do use the other) therefore we will always have a preference of something over something else.
    It is the same as the physical things we like. I like eating broccoli. I have a friend who despises eating broccoli. However I have the ability to not eat broccoli and my friend has to ability to eat it.

    No one is more skilled in the use of a function than anyone else, functions are inherent to consciousness. Better at reasoning is not better at thinking.
    I'd like to have a look at Fe. A function that wishes for the peaceful environment. Cut the tension. Keep things moving naturally and peacefully. A function of harmony. Would it require more effort for you to go out and try and create a peaceful environment wherever you settle and prevent others from shouting each other's mouths out? Why not every argument you go into you try getting the other guy to relax and calm down? Perhaps help people who need help? Im quite sure it would require more effort for you to do such actions than a more naturally inclined Fe user.

    A preferential ordering of functions can't describe the different personality types which exist obviously and necessarily (as much as the colour green exists) because there is no such thing as function preference.
    Again this goes back to why the ordering of the functions are the way they are. It would take a wall of text to explain such.

  2. #12


    The trick is to stop expecting the MBTI (or any other typological system) to explain a person absolutely. This isn't a reason to dismiss the system completely, just to reconsider your own understanding of what it tries to illustrate.

  3. #13
    Ruler of the Stars Array Asterion's Avatar
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    May 2009
    5 sp/sx


    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    The trick is to stop expecting the MBTI (or any other typological system) to explain a person absolutely. This isn't a reason to dismiss the system completely, just to reconsider your own understanding of what it tries to illustrate.
    5 3 9

  4. #14


    I think it would be better if the system dropped the whole idea of only four functions and attempted to explain them all in a person, like in Socionics. BUT instead of just doing that, explain what and how a weak function is likely to appear as when strengthened because obviously an INFJ for instance is going to have a very different way of utilizing Fe than say an INTP or INTJ, and the same for sensing types. This would leave more room for growth and vast differences between similar types without making the theory look premature and should represent most possibilities quite well.

    The problem is to do this pretty much requires everyone to be a psychologist and do as Jung did to get to the root of things. The cool thing about this is that psychology has a lot to explore and discover. But it's an invasive science and that makes it not easy to explore or even know if the data received is most objectively correct or biased and wrong on many levels.

  5. #15
    Fail 2.0 Array BlueScreen's Avatar
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    Nov 2008


    MBTi sums up your preferences. It is what it is. Use it to choose a job, or find a girlfriend or whatever you like. It doesn't have to have anything to do with brain function. You could run the same scheme for favourite colour, favourite food, favourite past time, etc. Actually a lot of other dating sites do.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  6. #16
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    Smile Us

    We are all recursive.

    We create tools and tools create us.

    We create society and society creates us.

    We say the words then the words say us.

    I look at you and you look at me and I look at you.

    Although we still believe in happy endings. Most of our movies have a happy ending. But happy or not they say, "The End".

    Books have a final chapter and come to an end.

    Even our plays have a denouement.

    We are told everything has a beginning, a middle and an end. But what we are doing here gives it the lie.

    For we are creating, with every post, the never-ending-conversation.

    And the never-ending-conversation is creating us.

  7. #17
    ⒺⓉⒷ Array Eric B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    548 sp/sx


    The functions are perspectives, the types are simply a preference of these perspectives, and I think if we saw it more this way, rather than as sets of skills consisting of these hard items we "use", then we would not expect so much out of it, and feel let down when it all doesn't add up as solidly as we think it should. (Based on the way it has been construed).
    APS Profile: Inclusion: e/w=1/6 (Supine) |Control: e/w=7/3 (Choleric) |Affection: e/w=1/9 (Supine)
    Ti 54.3 | Ne 47.3 | Si 37.8 | Fe 17.7 | Te 22.5 | Ni 13.4 | Se 18.9 | Fi 27.9

    Temperament (APS) from scratch -- MBTI Type from scratch
    Type Ideas

  8. #18
    Certified Sausage Smoker Array Elfboy's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    5w4 sx/sp
    SLI None


    MBTI is frequently called a personality test, but in reality is has nothing to do with personality and everything to do with brain function. personality is a choice, actions are a choice, but the pathology of your brain is not a choice. MBTI is HOW people do things and they're preferences. it's sort of like singing. some guys are tenors while others are basses and baritones. now, the tenor can sing low and the bass can sing high, but if either do so for too long, they will get tired and fatiqued because they are not designed to do so for long periods of time. it's the same with MBTI. if you expected an INFP to join the military, get screamed at all day by a commander, go through constant excruciating training and fight in several battles like in the Vietnam war, they would likely go insane because they are not psychologically designed to take such stress. an ESTP on the other hand would thrive on the intensity and may enjoy a career in the military. similarly, there are not many ESTPs who could write a best selling novel like The Lord of the Rings or Compose a masterpiece opera like The Barber of Seville. Plenty of INFPs would be right at home in such occupations.
    MBTI is about finding your natural strengths, figuring out how to utilize those strengths toward what you want to do, finding cognitive weaknesses you need to work on and better understanding others who are very different from your temperament type. I am an ENFP which means that my first function is Extraverted Intuition (Ne for short) this means that I can learn material extremely quickly, rapidly grasp extremely difficult concepts, and make connections between things completely effortlessly. I used to think everyone could do this but the truth is that 75-85% of people are sensing and that most people would find what I do extremely difficult. likewise, I've had to work a lot on routine, organization, planning and actually getting things done.
    Since you appear to be a scientific, empirical sort of person (which being ENTJ is quite understandable):
    studies have shown differences in
    1) brain scans of introverts and extraverts
    2) brain scans of Intuitive types and Sensing types
    as well as strong correlation between
    1) brain hemisphere dominance and MBTI type
    2) Intuition vs Sensing and intelligence (Intuitive types tend to score substantially higher in intelligence, but Sensors tend to be more coordinated and physically adept)

    I know it's not substantial data, but it would be a mistake to rely too heavily on objective data at this point in time because brain research is such a new field that is growing at an explosive rate. objective data and measurements that are reliable indicators are still in their first stages of development and they are not reliable by themselves at this point in time. relying too much on data is an understandable weakness of ENTJs if you do have trouble with this though.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Array INTP's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    5w4 sx


    the real reason why you dont believe it, is that you dont understand it properly
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung


  10. #20
    Senior Member Array guesswho's Avatar
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    Jul 2010



    If Jung put together the MBTI functions concept, why didn't he just mix the functions together to create the types? And that's exactly what Briggs did, she mixed his functions, and according to his definitions, she made some generalizations of the types. Big deal...

    Then everybody made ridiculous generalizations, some of which are inaccurate. I don't necessary agree with the type descriptions, but I agree with the functions.

    Personality tests are also terribly biased and I find some of the questions ridiculous. I don't think Jung had in mind personality tests when he wrote about those my opinion he was looking for better ways to understand how the human mind works, a theoretical approach. So it wasn't about typing celebrities, people etc, it was about the patterns.

    Socionics even has faces, attached to the ridiculous is that.

    This is the ENTP face, kind of resembles Einstein

    Socionics even call themselves "the new psychology"

    And I believe this is a perfect example of people sticking to what they know, and mixing it all together, instead of exploring more the functions. Nobody bothered to do that.

    The MBTI doesn't do further research (from what I know, correct me if I'm wrong) they just do personality tests, and people pay for them. And that's crap. Sticking to their tests, I believe they should have the money by now to do some research.

    The book psychological types, was written in 1921, when psychology was at it's beginning, so instead of making money with personality tests, they should have researched some more.

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