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  1. #1
    Google "chemtrails" Bush Did 9/11's Avatar
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    Default A simple way to test the "Forer effect" on typology

    For those of you who aren't in the know, the Forer effect takes place when one's been given a 'type' description that resonates so much with him/her, that they identify with it through and through. Some are of the mind that typology suffers from this, that one can identify with a description of a type because the description is generic enough to fit him or anyone else, so the categories become meaningless.

    Fair enough. But if one thinks that he's falling victim to this, then what about reading descriptions of other types to see whether they don't resonate as much? Carving out 'not me' is also part of the search for identity, or at least categorization.

    This in no way validates or invalidates typology (I'm remaining neutral on that here) but it's food for thought. Maybe.
    J. Scott Crothers
    aka "Bush Did 9/11"
    Founder, Truthtology, est. 1952
    Prophet and Channel, God Almighty
    Author, the Holy scripture Elevenetics

    "Just as jet fuel cannot melt steel beams, so too cannot the unshakeable pillars of Truthtology ever be shaken, whether by man, nature, or evidence."
    - Elevenetics

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hitoshi-San's Avatar
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    I agree that the Forer effect helps people figure out their type - the first time I tested I think I remember being an ESTJ, then an ESFP. It was weird because neither of the descriptions really matched me all that well. There were a handful of traits from both that made sense, but some that also made me scrunch up my nose and think, "Really? That's like me in an alternate universe."

    Then I read some better descriptions and took the test again since I better understand the questions being asked and realized I was an ESTP.

  3. #3
    Member infiniterandomness11's Avatar
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    Have been contemplating about this concept
    “A faint clap of thunder; Clouded skies; Perhaps rain comes – if so, will you stay here with me?”

    Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    'Know thyself'

  4. #4
    Senior Member reckful's Avatar
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    I think anyone who points to the MBTI as a good example of the Forer effect can't be very familiar with the MBTI. For my thoughts on the subject, see the first spoiler in this post.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Whether it's the MBTI or the enneagram the same problem exists: The types are described differently depending on what source one may use. Some people don't identify with any of the MBTI descriptions since they are frequently based only on two functions. To me, that's the equivalent of asking a guy who plays the drums, guitar and keyboards to pretend he plays only two instruments and expecting him to find that useful.


    "Naturally curious, ABCD's have an undying thirst for knowledge and usually continue to educate themselves throughout their lives." That's me. (And how many millions/billions of others?)
    "ABCD's spend a lot of time in their heads where ideas come to them naturally and without effort." That's me. (And how many millions/billions of others?)

    I can feel the Forer in the air tonight, oh Lord
    And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
    Can you feel the Forer in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord . . .

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    The Forer effect doesn't prove or disprove anything about a personality system's truth-value. James Randi prepared a one-page astrology-like description, making its description so general that it could apply to anybody. He then asked a class of high school students what their astrological sign is, and then pretended to hand them their astrological sign personality portraits. Everybody thought the same description described them, thus "validating" the truth of astrology. That's the Forer effect.



    Nobody in typology wants to validate their system via type descriptions. Or if they do, they will be very much criticized for it.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    And astrology is far more complicated than other typological systems. Once you account for all the trines and squares, ascendants and houses, the horoscope becomes very long and complex. So it doesn't just describe one out of twelve people - or even one out of 16 people as with the MBTI.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post
    For those of you who aren't in the know, the Forer effect takes place when one's been given a 'type' description that resonates so much with him/her, that they identify with it through and through. Some are of the mind that typology suffers from this, that one can identify with a description of a type because the description is generic enough to fit him or anyone else, so the categories become meaningless.
    underlined is not forer effect, only the bolded is
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

    Read

  9. #9
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscrothers View Post
    For those of you who aren't in the know, the Forer effect takes place when one's been given a 'type' description that resonates so much with him/her, that they identify with it through and through. Some are of the mind that typology suffers from this, that one can identify with a description of a type because the description is generic enough to fit him or anyone else, so the categories become meaningless.

    Fair enough. But if one thinks that he's falling victim to this, then what about reading descriptions of other types to see whether they don't resonate as much? Carving out 'not me' is also part of the search for identity, or at least categorization.

    This in no way validates or invalidates typology (I'm remaining neutral on that here) but it's food for thought. Maybe.
    The highlighted is a large part of why I have confidence in my self-typing. When I read the other profiles, they don't sound like me at all. I might be able to identify with some small piece of it, but that is all. When I read INTJ profiles, however, there is almost nothing I don't identify with. Still, I also consider MBTI questionnaire scores (official and online), and input from people who know me well and understand typology.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Descriptions of the same type frequently contradict, depending on what source one uses. Case in point:

    "They don't like to study for study's sake or even going through the learning experience at all."
    "You love to learn and acquire new skills."


    Both of those quotes are from different descriptions of the same type which clearly contradict the other. I've seen that type of contradiction in type descriptions for decades. Knowing that as I do, how could anyone be expected to "rule out" anything when the descriptions can differ to the point of opposition? If I hadn't mentioned that what I quoted came from descriptions of the same type, I have little doubt many people would have thought the quotes were describing different types.

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