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Thread: Question about reliability of type indicator tests

  1. #1
    Junior Member Array four's Avatar
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    Apr 2010

    Default Question about reliability of type indicator tests

    I'm sort of new, mainly a long-time lurker... please forgive me if this question has been posted in other iterations recently; I couldn't quite find it...

    I've been taking the MBTI test informally for over a decade, and have taken it formally as well through a trained administrator. I always have tested as the same type (INFJ) and relate to it/find the descriptions and discussions around it useful for figuring out my life. My percentages are also very high (N and J, for instance, were 100 percent when I took the formal test).

    However, a couple of close friends whose opinions I really trust, who know me very well, both of whom study different subsets of psychology academically, insist I must be an XNFP and have made strong cases for the P. They're also skeptical that I'm an introvert. I know I am not an E, so that part of it isn't really controversial to me. As for P, their cases are mainly based on a "sense" or "feeling" they get about my overall "energy" being P-oriented. They make some good points.

    I have never scored as INFP or ENFP on any test, though I gave up thinking I was an INFJ several times based on their advice and tried to find the other said type descriptions useful because I figured I just didn't understand the system and tried to fit myself into their explanations (my friends are, after all, academics ).

    I don't have an inherent problem with the idea that I might be typed wrong; I've been willing to study it further. I'm not an expert and, in particular, the breakdown of how the functions interact (Te, Fi, etc.) still confuses me, so I could be really misunderstanding that (though I'm not entirely convinced said friends are understanding that element either. I also wonder whether they are projecting their own types onto me, as we have always seen each other as having a lot in common.)

    So, my question/problem is: When I start to think my friends could be right, it leaves me with the feeling that the indicator has important flaws, since I have taken the test so thoroughly. If the MB types are really just based on archetypal "energies" at the end of the day, what makes it different from other, less scientific typing systems? What would be the point in the indicator test if it could just be overridden by analysis about "energies" and the "feel" of a person's type? Honest questions here as I struggle with whether to take the MBTI seriously or with a grain of salt.

    Last edited by four; 04-21-2014 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Perfectionism and accuracy :)

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