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Thread: Culture in MBTI

  1. #1
    Senior Member Butterfly's Avatar
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    Default Culture in MBTI

    I am just curious about the role of different cultures in assessment of MBTI.

    I am critical of MBTI, as I think it does not take various cultural factors into play: this includes local cultures, religions, beliefs, norms within society.

    For example: A person from mainland China is bound to be reserved, polite, bhuddist, respecting authority, non-talkative, etc regardless of their MBTI types.

    May be I dont much about it, But Am I wrong to assume MBTI is very western centric??


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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    For example: A person from mainland China is bound to be reserved, polite, bhuddist, respecting authority, non-talkative, etc regardless of their MBTI types.
    Do you think extroverts do not exist in China, as per MBTI, and that all of China is introverted?

    Or is it possible that nervous system wiring still distinguishes between extrovert and introvert, but the culture influences just channel it differently so extroversion is suppressed except within socially appropriate situations?

    Realistically, if someone in China was extroverted, how are some ways it could manifest itself specifically within that culture?
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    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    ByMySword is an INFJ from Texan culture who holds views and ideas that I've heard expressed plenty by INTJs, but never by an INFJ. In fact, before encountering him on this forum, I felt that those views conflicted completely with what it meant to be an INFJ. It's hard to imagine what cultural experiences have led him to develop his beliefs, but it does testify to the role culture plays despite MBTI assessment.
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    Senior Member edel weiss's Avatar
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    As an Indian, I think that my culture is not very conducive to ENTP's. In urban areas it does not make that much of a difference, but it still does have some effect. Society plays a very important role, and people are expected to conform, especially when it comes to marriage. The institution of arranged marriages, for example, goes against my beliefs - It's like getting married for the sake of the situation, not the person.

    NT'ness is not much appreciated in girls, especially when it comes out in the form of an argumentative woman. Enthusiasm in front of people you don't know very well and witty jokes that may border on inappropriate lines are also frowned upon. (I really can't help them, they just come out spontaneously...)

    And of course, our education system thrives on SJ's.

    I'm not sure how much of this is culture-specific, but I do think that culture plays a role, even if not in the type of personality, atleast in the manifestation of it.

  5. #5
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Yes, most MBTI profiles are very oriented to Western culture, but that's because they're written for those in that culture, or at least familiar with it.

    I don't see any reason to think the MBTI types themselves wouldn't be valid in any given culture. We just have to keep the culture in mind as an influence on behavior and preferences.

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    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    I am just curious about the role of different cultures in assessment of MBTI.

    I am critical of MBTI, as I think it does not take various cultural factors into play: this includes local cultures, religions, beliefs, norms within society.

    For example: A person from mainland China is bound to be reserved, polite, bhuddist, respecting authority, non-talkative, etc regardless of their MBTI types.

    May be I dont much about it, But Am I wrong to assume MBTI is very western centric??

    MBTI is an objective analytical tool. One could say that cultural factors among others would make the general population of a given society to lean towards certain types and away from others, but not that this indicates any kind of bias on the metric itself. For example, the European population and culture is much more likely to be intriverted than American culture and people, thus likely more people score as Introverts. Chinese culture is more rigid than Western culture, so Chinese people probably score more Judging on average. There's no bias there, only difference.

    So yes, you're wrong.
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    I'd imagine this would have an effect as personality is part nurture and I would imagine that China would be leaning towards ISTJ. That's what their government wants. Good devoted workers who keep to themselves to help proficiency and don't ask questions.

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    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    MBTI is an objective analytical tool.
    Scary.

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    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    Rather MBTI is a general personality analysis that to take out of context means you are subjecting yourself to black and white thinking, we are dimensional beings in a dimensional world after all and in that capacity to fill ourselves with these ideas alone are unlikely the outcome intended. More like a cultural cross road between society that takes into account features and attitudes observable.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Scary.
    Yeah. Seriously.


    If everyone in China tests ISFP, then the test is of pretty much no use to the Chinese because it does nothing to differentiate between types. (But it might be useful for an American to observe the fact that Chinese tend to test that way on an American version of the test.)

    This is exactly why the MBTI differs in different languages--some of the American test questions are culturally meaningless in other cultures, and so they have developed their own, more meaningful questions. I sure do wish I had a source for this, but it's come up on the forums before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    For example: A person from mainland China is bound to be reserved, polite, bhuddist, respecting authority, non-talkative, etc regardless of their MBTI types.
    This is exactly why MBTI shouldn't be used to try to measure any sort of cognitive process.

    If MBTI is taken to measure what it actually measures, it's more useful. It wouldn't matter that cultural influences affect test takers' answers.

    Moreover, Americans might test more J compared to Chinese because of cultural influences, for example. And to that, I say.. so what? That might be a pretty useful way to think about and highlight those cultural influences.

    But Am I wrong to assume MBTI is very western centric??
    Nope; you're absolutely right. Whether that's a strength or a weakness depends on perspective.

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