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  1. #1
    Senior Member marm's Avatar
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    Default MBTI & FFM correlations?

    I'm interested in correlations between the MBTI and the FFM, but my expertise on the technical details is severely limited. The correlations were brought up in the thread 'Variations within Types'. Some claim that the FFM trait of Neuroticism is missing and so maybe this could be a further distinction made. But others claim that it isn't missing. I'm also interested in the sub-traits of both systems, and how they relate to all of this. There are critics of both MBTI and FFM, and I'm trying to sort out what is valid and useful.

    What do you think of the following information?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Factor_Model

    "One common criticism is that the Big Five do not explain all of human personality. Some psychologists have dissented from the model precisely because they feel it neglects other domains of personality, such as Religiosity, Manipulativeness/Machiavellianism, Honesty, Thriftiness, Conservativeness, Masculinity/Femininity, Snobbishness, Sense of humour, Identity, Self-concept, and Motivation. Correlations have been found between some of these variables and the Big Five, such as the inverse relationship between political conservatism and Openness (see McCrae, 1996), although variation in these traits is not entirely explained by the Five Factors themselves. McAdams (1995) has called the Big Five a "psychology of the stranger," because they refer to traits that are relatively easy to observe in a stranger; other aspects of personality that are more privately held or more context-dependent are excluded from the Big Five.

    In many studies, the five factors are not fully orthogonal to one another; that is, the five factors are not independent. Negative correlations often appear between Neuroticism and Extraversion, for instance, indicating that those who are more prone to experiencing negative emotions tend to be less talkative and outgoing. Orthogonality is viewed as desirable by some researchers because it minimizes redundancy between the dimensions. This is particularly important when the goal of a study is to provide a comprehensive description of personality with as few variables as possible. There have been arguments against the close mindedness of this study particularly over how you cannot interpret humans emotions and fellings into words."

    http://www.typologycentral.com/attac...0&d=1178147405

    "Our results indicated that by including responses to a number of previously unused “research” items, the MBTI can indeed be scored to produce
    measures of all of the Big Five constructs:"

    http://tap3x.net/EMBTI/j5gonsowski.html

    "FFM neuroticism is the first FFM trait I will map the MBTI to since this is the FFM trait that McCrae & Costa (1989) claim can not be represented by an MBTI trait. The MBTI equivalent of neuroticism is the three factor trait NFJ. NFJs include the heavily burdened by world problems cult leaders, social activists and idealistic academicians. The MBTI three factor trait STP is inversely related to neuroticism. STPs include the unflappable airline pilot, sharpshooter and surgeon."

    http://www.personalityresearch.org/p...gonsowski.html

    "McCrae and Costa (1989) in comparing the MBTI to the FFM had several complaints about the MBTI and the Jungian theory upon which the MBTI is based. One complaint is that the MBTI does not expand enough on the meaning of its scales while the FFM offers lots of key words to go with each scale. Keirsey gives very detailed descriptions for the 16 possible combinations using the anchors of the four MBTI scales. These descriptions are much better than just a list of traits."

  2. #2
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    http://testdex.com/Global5-SLOAN_Manual.pdf

    You will see the speculated correlations on page 36.

    Before we start talking about this, MBTI supposedly looks at temperament, the make up of our innate psyche which is distinct from personality and can not change. Yet the FFM can change.

    As far as I am concerned there is a strong correlation between I and Reserved.

    F and Acccomodating

    N and Open


    J and structured(especially SJ)

    Not much of a connection with Calm or Limbic.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    The way I see it, FFM accepts its limitations by design... that is, it's a trait theory built from what they observed. They know there are other factors, but there is no perfect model... these are the strongest and some limits need to be imposed to keep it functional. It is, after all, an instrument to correlate to other behaviour, not something to explain the inner workings of the mind (which type tends to attempt to do)

    The correlations between the main five traits tends to be very weak relative to the subtraits... And some of those traits they talk about have been rolled into minor subtraits (ie: ethnocentric behaviour/conservatism/political liberalism in openness.)

    However, neuroticism is missing from MBTI. I don't see that as a current argument. MBTI even added that measurement for research after doing their own factor analysis. It is very weakly correlated to T/F...

    As far as subtraits go, consider that the two theories only connect at the trait level. FFM has no type theory to go with it - their sub-traits are built upon the original research whereas MBTI had them evolve from type theory, then performing factor analysis within that framework. They are fundamentally different - the reason they cross is simply because Jung and the whole MB gang were very intuitively accurate in observing people...

    The correlation between the major traits ranges from moderate to strong. Certain key differences exist in the T/F divide, especially considering the original (unsure how much it exists now) bimodal distribution that MBTI uses (also a type influence).

    Within OCEAN, the correlations are;

    N/S = O+ / O- (Openness, originality)
    J/P = C+ / C- (Concientousness)
    E/I = E+ / E- (Extroversion, sometimes Surgency)
    T/F = A- / A+ (Agreeableness)
    ?/? = N+ / N- (Neuroticism/Emotional Stability/Politically correct term)

    In terms of strength of correlations, I believe it is O and E is considered to be about 0.7, A and C at 0.40 and N at about .10. The variance for O and E is from 0.5 to 0.7 I think (empahsis on the higher range), and A and C at about 0.3-0.4. From memory, but roughly that.

  4. #4
    Senior Member marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    http://testdex.com/Global5-SLOAN_Manual.pdf

    You will see the speculated correlations on page 36.
    I thought this particularly interesting:

    "The biggest problem I have with the MBTI is the T/F (Thinking/Feeling) trait. It combines elements of Accommodation, Intellect, and Emotional Stability (with the strongest correlation being Accommodation). The problem is, based on actual personality research, these three traits don’t correlate at all so they have no business being measured together in one trait."

    Before we start talking about this, MBTI supposedly looks at temperament, the make up of our innate psyche which is distinct from personality and can not change. Yet the FFM can change.
    This seems related to the view of the Big Five as a "psychology of the stranger" because of it taking a more external perspective.

    As far as I am concerned there is a strong correlation between I and Reserved.

    F and Acccomodating

    N and Open


    J and structured(especially SJ)

    Not much of a connection with Calm or Limbic.
    Would you mind giving specific details about these correlations? Do these correlations help to clarify your understanding of MBTI?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The way I see it, FFM accepts its limitations by design... that is, it's a trait theory built from what they observed. They know there are other factors, but there is no perfect model... these are the strongest and some limits need to be imposed to keep it functional. It is, after all, an instrument to correlate to other behaviour, not something to explain the inner workings of the mind (which type tends to attempt to do)

    The correlations between the main five traits tends to be very weak relative to the subtraits... And some of those traits they talk about have been rolled into minor subtraits (ie: ethnocentric behaviour/conservatism/political liberalism in openness.)
    I agree that FFM has no explicit theory, but I'm trying to figure out what might be the implicit assumptions. Extraversion includes positive emotions in its definition, but the said positive emotions are defined as an Extravert would express them. Neuroticism includes negative emotions rather than merely emotional intensity and fluctuation. Extraverts can express negative emotions; and positive emotions can be intense and fluctuate. These traits are measuring according to how they define what they measure. And they're not perfectly orthogonal. What's do you think about this?

    However, neuroticism is missing from MBTI. I don't see that as a current argument. MBTI even added that measurement for research after doing their own factor analysis. It is very weakly correlated to T/F...
    So, it doesn't make sense to associate it with NFJ? Do you disagree with all of Gonsowski's correlations?

    As far as subtraits go, consider that the two theories only connect at the trait level. FFM has no type theory to go with it - their sub-traits are built upon the original research whereas MBTI had them evolve from type theory, then performing factor analysis within that framework. They are fundamentally different - the reason they cross is simply because Jung and the whole MB gang were very intuitively accurate in observing people...
    Do you think its not overly useful to rely too strongly on such correlations? Or do you think we just can't validly theorize about the correlations?

  5. #5
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    I am not sure if this helps me understand MBTI better, I'd say the other way around is the case.

    Irs clear to me that Js tend to be organized and now I know what to think of when I envision the big 5 Structured.

    I know that Fs tend to be empathetical and more concerned with people than Ts, so than I know what else to envision when I think of the Big 5 Accomodating.

    And finally I know that Es tend to be more externally focused and how they handle in general, and then I know of something else to associate the Big 5 'Social'.

  6. #6
    Senior Member meshou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I am not sure if this helps me understand MBTI better, I'd say the other way around is the case.
    They're separate scales, and really the Big 5 has many more studied correlations with the world than the MBTI. The MBTI is more theory based and of more limited use.

    The Big 5 came after MBTI, I believe. It was based on a large number of studies where many people were given a couple thousand descriptive words, and were asked to choose which ones best described a close friend or family member (and the family member also self-assessed).

    There were certain adjectives that "clumped." That is, people who were "creative" were also "open minded" were also "curious" were often also "adventurous."

    Depending on who was running the study, they found these clumps boiled down to as many as 16 and as few as 3 main characteristics. However, the usual happy medium is 5.

    Keep in mind these traits are double-edged swords, and there are upsides and downsides to each. An overview:

    So, while there are SOME overlapping concepts, even the Extraversion scale isn't quite the same Extraversion. For instance, I am much more extraverted (although still an introvert) on the big 5 scale because the big 5's concept of extraversion includes assertiveness-- "extraversion" is pretty much defined as "characteristics that show willingness to interact with the world."

    Agreeableness isn't all that similar to Feeling. I'd imagine the average ENTP is a great deal more agreeable than any introverted feeler. It's pretty much how charming you are, how able you are to get your way and still be liked. This is one of the traits most correlated with success, in romantic partnership and in finance.

    Neuroticism is basically how prone to depression, anxiety, negative feelings, and quick temper you are. Interestingly, the only correlation is that extraverts are, on average, less neurotic than introverts. Neurotic people, as a plus, tend to do slightly better than their calmer brethren when it comes to finances and schooling. They don't trust the world to take care of them, so they get extra education, save more money, and work harder just to be safe. They also tend to have slightly higher IQs, probably as a result of that schooling.

    Openness to experience is actually pretty strongly correlated to Ns, and especially N_Ps. SPs display it more than SJs, but it's still not an overwhelming trait. Openness to experience has to do with how willing you are to deal with unexpected or bizarre ideas, and to self-reflection, but not much at all to do with physical thrill-seeking. Being closed to experience makes you more down-to-earth and practical, and slightly more detail-oriented. Being closed to experience is pretty SJ, and especially STJ.

    Conscientiousness is correlated some with P vs J. While it's correct to say criminals aren't generally conscientious, it's wrong to say the not conscientious are all criminals. Rather, a lack of conscientious means that, if a person thinks a rule is stupid, they're not going to follow it. conscientious people tend to see deadlines as hard and mandatory, a non-conscientious person is more flexible. Iconoclasm is not a conscientious trait.
    ---

    I think it'd be fun to write personalized profiles for all the possible combinations. How the traits interact can make an interesting portrait.
    Let's do this thing.

  7. #7
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meshou View Post
    They're separate scales, and really the Big 5 has many more studied correlations with the world than the MBTI. The MBTI is more theory based and of more limited use.

    The Big 5 came after MBTI, I believe. It was based on a large number of studies where many people were given a couple thousand descriptive words, and were asked to choose which ones best described a close friend or family member (and the family member also self-assessed).

    There were certain adjectives that "clumped." That is, people who were "creative" were also "open minded" were also "curious" were often also "adventurous."

    Depending on who was running the study, they found these clumps boiled down to as many as 16 and as few as 3 main characteristics. However, the usual happy medium is 5.

    Keep in mind these traits are double-edged swords, and there are upsides and downsides to each. An overview:

    So, while there are SOME overlapping concepts, even the Extraversion scale isn't quite the same Extraversion. For instance, I am much more extraverted (although still an introvert) on the big 5 scale because the big 5's concept of extraversion includes assertiveness-- "extraversion" is pretty much defined as "characteristics that show willingness to interact with the world."

    Agreeableness isn't all that similar to Feeling. I'd imagine the average ENTP is a great deal more agreeable than any introverted feeler. It's pretty much how charming you are, how able you are to get your way and still be liked. This is one of the traits most correlated with success, in romantic partnership and in finance.

    Neuroticism is basically how prone to depression, anxiety, negative feelings, and quick temper you are. Interestingly, the only correlation is that extraverts are, on average, less neurotic than introverts. Neurotic people, as a plus, tend to do slightly better than their calmer brethren when it comes to finances and schooling. They don't trust the world to take care of them, so they get extra education, save more money, and work harder just to be safe. They also tend to have slightly higher IQs, probably as a result of that schooling.

    Openness to experience is actually pretty strongly correlated to Ns, and especially N_Ps. SPs display it more than SJs, but it's still not an overwhelming trait. Openness to experience has to do with how willing you are to deal with unexpected or bizarre ideas, and to self-reflection, but not much at all to do with physical thrill-seeking. Being closed to experience makes you more down-to-earth and practical, and slightly more detail-oriented. Being closed to experience is pretty SJ, and especially STJ.

    Conscientiousness is correlated some with P vs J. While it's correct to say criminals aren't generally conscientious, it's wrong to say the not conscientious are all criminals. Rather, a lack of conscientious means that, if a person thinks a rule is stupid, they're not going to follow it. conscientious people tend to see deadlines as hard and mandatory, a non-conscientious person is more flexible. Iconoclasm is not a conscientious trait.
    ---

    I think it'd be fun to write personalized profiles for all the possible combinations. How the traits interact can make an interesting portrait.
    We then would have to more clearly define those Big 5 terms.

    The way you're using the word agreeable in that sense implies being agreeable in a superficial sense of the word. I'd hope it would mean more than that, maybe something along the lines of how deeply one is concerned for others. Than again agreeable is probably not the most fittiing word. Perhaps congenial would serve better here.

  8. #8
    Senior Member meshou's Avatar
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    As far as I know, "agreeable" just means "likeable." More constructive in conflict, more willing to make constructive concession, generally more cheerful sort of thing. I don't know if they're genuinely more concerned with others, but they might e percieved that way.

    As for the word, you'd have to take it up with researchers. Just like qualitative and quantitative might be better terms for "feeling" and "thinking," the terminology's already set. It's its own concept.

    I'd have to do more study into how they're defined. It is an entirely research-driven typology system, and actually pretty exhaustively documented and defined already. I'd just have to make my language more precise.
    Let's do this thing.

  9. #9
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meshou View Post
    As far as I know, "agreeable" just means "likeable." More constructive in conflict, more willing to make constructive concession, generally more cheerful sort of thing. I don't know if they're genuinely more concerned with others, but they might e percieved that way.

    As for the word, you'd have to take it up with researchers. Just like qualitative and quantitative might be better terms for "feeling" and "thinking," the terminology's already set. It's its own concept.

    I'd have to do more study into how they're defined. It is an entirely research-driven typology system, and actually pretty exhaustively documented and defined already. I'd just have to make my language more precise.

    In this case the used car salesman would have a monopoly on this.

    ESTPs by far would rank the highest.

    But then again, maybe we should define likable people that we can expect to like after having gotten to know well, not those who just appear congenial at first.

  10. #10
    Senior Member meshou's Avatar
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    It's funny, but I know there are studies wherein assessments made of acquaintances, or even strangers one has been allowed to observe a short time, tend to match assessment by people who know one another well. Whether this is because judgments are made quickly or because quick judgments are correct, I couldn't tell you.

    In any case, if you felt a man was genuinely friendly and interested in you for half an hour, having just met him, you'd probably think the same of him knowing him for years.
    Let's do this thing.

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