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  1. #1
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Default Does knowing too much about type end up biasing your test results?

    Do you find that when taking a personality test, you know enough about the theory to know immediately what each question is testing for? Does that knowledge end up biasing your test result in some way- either consciously or unconsciously?

    When I take a personality test, regardless of how many I've taken before and what my previous results were and what I believe myself to be, I approach the test as if I know nothing about MBTI. By taking this approach I hope to avoid the knowledge bias. However, I can only do this with minimal success. It's like telling someone not to think of pink elephants. What do they most likely do? Yeah, that's right, they think of pink elephants!

    Even if I can't detach myself from prior MBTI knowledge and experience, I try my best to answer each question honestly, even if it means some tests will point away from the type I perceive myself to be. On a conscious level, I don't think I'm biasing my results by having knowledge of MBTI. However, I can't help but wonder if I'm biasing myself on a more subconscious level. For example, if I'm torn between two options, I wonder if I subconsciously choose the one that more closely lines up with my self-perception of my type. When I'm taking a test, and I've noticed that I have an atypical amount of answers pointing away from I, N, T, and P, I can't help but take notice. I can anticipate where the result is going as I'm taking the test and I can't seem to 'turn that off'.
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  2. #2
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    Yes, I think it does. I tested INFJ for years, and I honestly think I started getting INFP and ENFP more often when I started studying type and people kept forcing their opinion upon me that I have Fi.

    It's not that I think I have Fe, per se, but it's more like I just have more of an I/N/F/J personality in terms of the four dichotomies, and not in terms of function.

    The theories between Keirsey and function theory seem to clash. On the one hand people tell me I'm not like other INFJs because I'm not using Fe (at least that they observe on this forum, though people seem to be more in agreement with this upon meeting me in real life) ...and on the other hand, I think I'm a little more judge-y than some ENFPs, but I keep being told that's because of Te.

    At this point I'm not sure how I feel about function theory, to be perfectly honest with you. Especially since Simulated World kept insisting that I was NFP and Tater was NFJ and tried to suggest Edgar is ENTP, then tried to say that I must be an Enneagram 7 because he is, and asked me if my depression was actually caused by ADHD because that's what he has...it made me begin to suspect that Simulated World's world-view is a bit clouded by...well...by himself. He sees himself when he's analyzing other people, so I'm not sure how seriously I take his opinion anymore, and I also wonder how many people think I'm ENFP just because they're so used to me being plainly identified by the four letters E-N-F-P.

  3. #3
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Very easily. Not only MBTI, but it also happens with enneagram.

    It tends to go like
    How we perceive ourselves
    How we actually are and
    How we want others to perceive ourselves.

    Lots of people (real life) that would read the description of an ISFP or an INFP would immediately tell me that it ain't me.

  4. #4
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    yes, absolutely. i'm pretty sure that i am an ENFP, so trying to type myself personally doesn't really matter to me much, but in terms of judging how good the tests are, i think it throws me off a lot. i've always been a clear N but my F and T, and J and P, didn't use to test as far to the dichotomies as they usually do in tests i take now.

  5. #5
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    Generally, yes though not 100% all the time flawlessly. It does bias the result as I'm intentionally choosing answers to get a specific result. It also doesn't help that some tests recycle the same question and so some answers almost become hardwired in my head. This can be a bit of a double-edged sword as I could be cheating myself out of something, right?

  6. #6
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    At this point I'm not sure how I feel about function theory, to be perfectly honest with you. Especially since Simulated World kept insisting that I was NFP and Tater was NFJ and tried to suggest Edgar is ENTP, then tried to say that I must be an Enneagram 7 because he is, and asked me if my depression was actually caused by ADHD because that's what he has...it made me begin to suspect that Simulated World's world-view is a bit clouded by...well...by himself. He sees himself when he's analyzing other people, so I'm not sure how seriously I take his opinion anymore, and I also wonder how many people think I'm ENFP just because they're so used to me being plainly identified by the four letters E-N-F-P.
    Your paragraph above seems like Ne for what it's worth.

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  7. #7
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    Yes. I find myself thinking stuff like "that's Te" or "I'm not really a Judger, so I guess I should answer no". Obviously when I catch myself doing this I tell myself to knock it off.

    I once took the same test 3 different times because I wanted to see how the results would change if I answered the questions I was iffy on differently. I got two intps and an infp.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cybin's Avatar
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    Tests use context free stereotypical questions on behavior to try to identify type, a theory of cognition. They aren't useful for much else besides a good starting point to finding your type.

    The questions are so obvious too, they really could just cut the facade and go for "Choose this option for F, choose this option for T"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cybin's Avatar
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    Tests use context free stereotypical questions on behavior to try to identify type, a theory of cognition. They aren't useful for much else besides a good starting point to finding your type.

    The questions are so obvious too, they really could just cut the facade and go for "Choose this option for F, choose this option for T"

  10. #10
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Yes. I often find myself attributing questions to certain types and have to really force me sometimes to not getting influenced by that, but I doubt that I am always successful on that.

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