Truth is, though, that CPP understands the scientific method, whereas Socionics, Enneagram and Astrology don't.
Not a bad advertising line, truth be told.
Actually, @reckful is correct, and while there is some support for the dichotomies (although actually they seems to be more like traits in practice, rather than dichotomous), there is no empirical support for the functions and type dynamics—despite decades of looking for such evidence. See Reynierse's 2008, 2009 and 2011 articles from the Journal of Psychological Type for an overview of the problems, and some potential ways forward.
That doesn't mean that you can't recover something with the flavor of functions (and types, to a degree) by looking at preference pairs (where "Te" is T + J, for example), but that really only works to a degree (it's difficult to see how tertiary and inferior functions could be recovered, for example). It also suggests that other preference pairs/triads might be equally meaningful (I + S, for example).
Bipolarity in Jungian Type Theory and the Myers--Briggs Type Indicator
Steven A. Girelli, *Jayne E. Stake*
The standard form of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI; Myers & McCaultey, 1985) was constructed to measure introversion/extroversion, sensing/ intuiting, and thinking/feeling as single, bipolar dimensions. We tested this assumption of bipolarity with a Likert form of the MBTI that allowed for the independent assessment of each attitude and function. A total of 106 female and 59 male undergraduate and graduate students completed the standard and Likert MBTI forms approximately 3 weeks apart. Evidence for the bipolarity of the introversion/extroversion dimension was weak, and findings did not support the bipolarity of the sensing/intuiting or thinking/feeling dimensions. Results provide evidence that high negative correlations within MBTI dimensions are an artifact of its forced-choice format.
Is the Myers Briggs system reliable?
This is an extended quotation from the Gale Encyclopaedia of Psychology,
"With any psychological test, its use is dependent on its reliability and validity. A reliable test is one that produces consistent results over time. For example, IQ tests have high reliability, inasmuch as your IQ as measured today will not be appreciably different a year from now. The MBTI's reliability is only fair. One study showed that fewer than half of the respondents retained their initial types over a 5-week period. Consequently, we should be careful about making career decisions based on a classification system that is unstable. People change over time as a result of experience. The MBTI may capture a person's current state, but that state should probably not be treated as a fixed typology. Does the MBTI assist in career counselling? Is the test diagnostic of successful performance in particular occupations? These questions pertain to validity-the ability of the test to predict future performance. There have been no long-term studies showing that successful or unsuccessful careers can be predicted from MBTI profiles. Nor is there any evidence that on-the-job performance is related to MBTI scores. Thus, there is a discrepancy between the MBTI's popularity and its proven scientific worth. From the point of view of the test-taker, the MBTI provides positive feedback in the form of unique attributes that are both vague and complimentary, and thus could appeal to large numbers of people. It is possible that the MBTI could be useful as a vehicle for guiding discussions about work-related problems, but its utility for career counselling has not been established."
Personality testing and, MBTI in particular, is here found to be of "only fair" reliability and its use, even in career counselling, doubtful.
Reinterpreting the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator from the perspective of the five-factor model of personality.
McCrae RR, Costa PT.
Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD 21224.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI; Myers & McCaulley, 1985) was evaluated from the perspectives of Jung's theory of psychological types and the five-factor model of personality as measured by self-reports and peer ratings on the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI; Costa & McCrae, 1985b). Data were provided by 267 men and 201 women ages 19 to 93. Consistent with earlier research and evaluations, there was no support for the view that the MBTI measures truly dichotomous preferences or qualitatively distinct types; instead, the instrument measures four relatively independent dimensions. The interpretation of the Judging-Perceiving index was also called into question. The data suggest that Jung's theory is either incorrect or inadequately operationalized by the MBTI and cannot provide a sound basis for interpreting it. However, correlational analyses showed that the four MBTI indices did measure aspects of four of the five major dimensions of normal personality. The five-factor model provides an alternative basis for interpreting MBTI findings within a broader, more commonly shared conceptual framework.
There are many previous discussions in this forum regarding the MBTI. Use the advanced search function.
With regards to how to unpack the MBTI, we can only trust the system of cognitive functions that the MBTI uses, because their test is the only one that we have test-retest reliability statistics for.
Originally Posted by funtensity
The test-retest reliability of the inventory is evidence for the theory. This is because the theory generated the inventory.
Easy-peasy? Um, no. More like goofy-doofy.
As further explained in that INTJforum post I linked you to (and which you apparently didn't read), the official MBTI folks don't really "use" any version of the so-called "cognitive functions," and never have — which is one reason why they've been free, in their manuals, to just note that people disagree about whether the tertiary function has the same attitude as the dominant or the opposite attitude. It doesn't really matter much from their standpoint because — despite the limited amount of lip service Myers gave to the functions and the lip service you can find at, e.g., the myersbriggs.org website — neither the MBTI test nor the resulting type reports have ever been about the functions.
So, again, when you refer to the MBTI's "test-retest reliability statistics," you're talking about a test that is all about the dichotomies and doesn't reflect anybody's cognitive functions concepts.
My previous post in this thread had some additional detail on that subject with respect to the 1985 and 1998 manuals. And it's also worth noting (as described in that INTJforum post) that the 17-page report that an ENFJ (for example) receives after taking the relatively recent MBTI Step II test includes page after page of dichotomy-based analysis — including five separate subscales ("facets") for each of the four dichotomies — and not a single mention of "extraverted feeling" or "introverted intuition" other than a diagram near the end that shows that "ENFJs like Feeling best, Intuition next, Sensing third and Thinking least," and one brief note about tending to use Feeling in the "outer world" and Intuition in the "inner world." All the rest of the ENFJ descriptions in the report — after the brief initial profile, which isn't broken down by components — are descriptions of N (not Ni or Ne), F (not Fi or Fe) and so on, and they're the same descriptions of N and F (and the five subscales of each) that ENFPs receive in their reports (notwithstanding the fact that ENFJs are ostensibly "Fe-Ni" and ENFPs are "Ne-Fi").
I actually have the 1998 manual however I haven't looked at it since I learned about the cognitive functions, which was online. I will crack it open later.
Despite that, nothing changes. We should place our trust in the theories that generated the inventories for which test-retest reliability has been measured.
It's my (still naive) understanding that the four-letter type mappings from Socionics are not 1-1 to the MBTI, and that they haven't measured the reliability of their inventory. It hasn't even been smoke tested. We shouldn't believe it.
We should place our trust in the theories that generated the inventories for which test-retest reliability has been measured.
But the real theory that ended up "generating" the official MBTI instrument wasn't the functions model. Again, as explained at length in my linked INTJforum post, Myers spent many years putting Jung's concepts to the test, and she ended up concluding that the four MBTI dichotomies, and not Jung's "cognitive functions," were the main event.
You've praised both the MBTI and the Big Five from a "scientific" perspective, and noted the substantial correlation between the MBTI dichotomies and four of the Big Five factors. Well, as you probably know, McCrae & Costa are the most prominent Big Five psychologists, and in the spoiler you'll find a lengthy excerpt from the McCrae & Costa article I've already linked to. They explain that the MBTI is scientifically respectable, but only if you set aside the functions model and view it from a dichotomy-centric perspective.
Originally Posted by McCrae & Costa
Although it provides rich insights into some aspects of individual differences, Jung's theory also creates formidable obstacles to the development of an inventory for assessing types. Much of his description concerns the unconscious life of the individual, which is not directly accessible to self-report. ... Descriptions of attitudes and functions sometimes seem to overlap ... and all classifications are complicated by the intrusion of unconscious elements of the opposing function when the dominant, conscious function is overdeveloped. Finally, Jung's descriptions of what might be considered superficial but objectively observable characteristics often include traits that do not empirically covary. Jung described extraverts as "open, sociable, jovial, or at least friendly and approachable characters," but also as morally conventional and tough-minded in James's sense. Decades of research on the dimension of extraversion show that these attributes simply do not cohere in a single factor. ...
Faced with these difficulties, Myers and Briggs created an instrument by elaborating on the most easily assessed and distinctive traits suggested by Jung's writings and their own observations of individuals they considered exemplars of different types and by relying heavily on traditional psychometric procedures (principally item-scale correlations). Their work produced a set of internally consistent and relatively uncorrelated indices. ...
Jungians might question the addition of the JP scale, or even the enterprise of constructing a self-report type indicator. From the psychometric perspective, however, the MBTI may be looked upon as an advance over Jung's largely untested speculations. However one chooses to evaluate the instrument, it is crucial to realize that it is not isomorphic with the theory on which it is based. ...
[The present study] found no support for the typological theory the instrument is intended to embody. ... The correlates of individual scales were consistent with their item content, but would probably not have been predicted from Jungian theory. ... Yet how can the MBTI be interpreted or employed without reference to Jung's psychological types? One alternative is to adopt the perspective of the five-factor model of personality. Each of the four indices showed impressive evidence of convergence with one of the five major dimensions of normal personality. It is these convergences that probably account for the many meaningful associations between MBTI scales and external criteria such as occupational preferences, creativity, and educational performance. ...
There are numerous [type descriptions] for use by counselers, personnel psychologists, educators, and laypersons. ... How well these descriptions square with known correlates of the [four dichotomies] can be roughly gauged by substituting the corresponding [Big Five] factor names ... for the MBTI codes. ... Most of the descriptions provided in the manual seem to be reasonably good by this criterion.
However, the accompanying assertions about the dominance of particular preferences in inner and outer life are based solely on Jungian theory and on the use of the JP and EI scales to determine the dominant function, and are not supported by the data. There is no good evidence that the JP scale has any bearing at all on the relative importance of thinking or perceiving.