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  1. #1
    Senior Member BlackDog's Avatar
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    Default Reconciling MBTI with Big 5

    Recent studies have confirmed that the MBTI and Big 5 are testing the same thing. So the test must be valid, right?

    On the other hand, it has also been demonstrated that the dichotomies don't exist; traits fall on a bell curve.

    This is interpreted to mean that the dichotomous types cannot exist.

    However, note that the human mind is attuned to differences; this is what is useful to us.

    Given that, what if the difference between one type and another is only a few percentage points of preference?

    In other words, although objectively maybe the types have 75% overlap, making the bulk of thought processes the same, the remaining 25% is what we have to play with among different people, creating the types for all practical purposes due to the way our minds work?

    So, maybe dichotomies do exist, just as exaggerated operational versions of the true differences?

    This idea may be old. But I haven't heard of it until now.

  2. #2
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    If two ideas that seem different are the same, it doesn't validate them; both could just as easily be wrong together.
    MBTI: ExxJ tetramer
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  3. #3
    literally your mother PocketFullOf's Avatar
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    Seems pretty logical...same with the concept if race tbh it's not a novel idea you have but it's a good one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    If two ideas that seem different are the same, it doesn't validate them; both could just as easily be wrong together.
    Yes also this.


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  4. #4
    Senior Member BlackDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    If two ideas that seem different are the same, it doesn't validate them; both could just as easily be wrong together.
    There is no general theory in the humanities; all of this is just made-up cobbled together personal systems. All of it. So if something works, the only way to know it is either intuition or correlational studies. Preferably both. Big 5 has correlational studies but no intuitive basis. So if we can fuse MBTI to it, we might have a more useful system.
    Likes PocketFullOf liked this post

  5. #5
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LION4!5 View Post
    There is no general theory in the humanities; all of this is just made-up cobbled together personal systems. All of it. So if something works, the only way to know it is either intuition or correlational studies. Preferably both. Big 5 has correlational studies but no intuitive basis. So if we can fuse MBTI to it, we might have a more useful system.
    ...you completely missed the point of what I just said. I'll rephrase:

    Theory A states X conclusion. Theory B states Y conclusion.

    Study C reveals X and Y are pretty much the same thing, therefore theory A and B are one in the same.

    This speaks absolutely NOTHING of Theory A and B's accuracy, at all. Just because they produce the same result does not automatically make them correct. That's the problem with the conclusion you're drawing. I am not debating (nor am I interested in) the accuracy and validity of MBTI and other personality theories. It's boring to me. That said, stating because they produce the same result validates them is completely wrong and illogical.
    MBTI: ExxJ tetramer
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    Enneagram: 1w2 - 3w4 - 6w5 (The Taskmaster) | sp/so
    Socionics: β-E dimer | -
    Big 5: slOaI
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    Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    External Perception: Nohari and Johari


  6. #6
    Senior Member reckful's Avatar
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    The fact that the preference strengths of the MBTI dimensions exhibit something like a normal distribution — to the extent that that's true (and I think it probably is) — doesn't mean that the "dichotomies don't exist." It just means that they have a normal distribution.

    And the fact that somebody's near the middle of the curve — say, a 10% T — has nothing to do with "thought processes overlapping." It just means their T preference is on the mild side.

    For what it's worth, Jung thought more people were essentially in the middle on E/I than were significantly extraverted or introverted, and Myers allowed for the possibility of middleness on all four dimensions — so the in-the-middle possibility really goes all the way back to the MBTI's roots.

    Myers believed that it might turn out that one or more of the dichotomies was truly bimodal to one degree or another — with, in effect, a more or less empty (if narrow) zone in the exact middle of the spectrum. But she never asserted that that theoretical possibility had been factually established by any respectable body of evidence, and the 1985 MBTI Manual (which she co-authored) stressed that the evidence for bimodality was sketchy at best. And since then, quite a lot of evidence has accumulated that seems to suggest that most or all of the MBTI dimensions exhibit something more like a normal distribution.

    In at least one of the early versions of the MBTI, it was possible to get an "x" on any dimension. The current version assigns people a (tentative) type on each dimension, but that's a very different thing from saying that it isn't possible for someone not to have a preference — and the MBTI Manual specifically notes that someone with a score near the middle is someone who has essentially "split the vote" rather than offered much evidence of a preference.

    The "Step II" version of the MBTI includes five "facets" for each dimension — just as the NEO-PI-R has six facets for each Big Five dimension — and allows for the possibility of being, for example, on the T side of three of the facets and the F side of the other two.

    But most importantly, for purposes of this discussion: there was really no doubt in either Jung's or Myers' minds that people on either side of the dimensions fell along a notably wide spectrum from mild to strong preferences.

    As a final note: At this point nobody really knows how close to the middle how many people are on the MBTI (and Big Five) dimensions, because the current state of both the MBTI and Big Five is such that it really isn't possible to determine exactly where anybody falls along whatever the real, underlying (and substantially genetic) spectrums may be. So it seems to me that anybody who thinks that the existing data on either the Big Five or MBTI has clearly established the shape of the distribution curves is very much overestimating the ability of the existing tests to accurately quantify strengths of preferences.

    But the main point to keep in mind is that, at the end of the day, the worth of the MBTI and Big Five is mostly going to hinge on how good a job those typologies do in nailing down what personality-related characteristics tend to be associated with the corresponding preferences, and not on how many people turn out to be at any particular point on any of the relevant spectrums. And in any case, the MBTI certainly doesn't stand or fall depending on whether any of its dimensions exhibit a "bimodal" distribution.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlackDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    ...you completely missed the point of what I just said. I'll rephrase:

    Theory A states X conclusion. Theory B states Y conclusion.

    Study C reveals X and Y are pretty much the same thing, therefore theory A and B are one in the same.

    This speaks absolutely NOTHING of Theory A and B's accuracy, at all. Just because they produce the same result does not automatically make them correct. That's the problem with the conclusion you're drawing. I am not debating (nor am I interested in) the accuracy and validity of MBTI and other personality theories. It's boring to me. That said, stating because they produce the same result validates them is completely wrong and illogical.
    Actually, it isn't. Don't run what I am saying through a true/false program, try to understand context.

    Human psychology involves far too much complexity for us to model it at this time. Any internally consistent system which we kind of feel is valid is the definition of valid at this time. If we can make approximately accurate mental estimates, then that is valid.

    So yes, because they produce the same result they are validated 'more'. Validation is a process which occurs in stages in a subject as soft as this.

  8. #8
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LION4!5 View Post
    Actually, it isn't. Don't run what I am saying through a true/false program, try to understand context.

    Human psychology involves far too much complexity for us to model it at this time. Any internally consistent system which we kind of feel is valid is the definition of valid at this time. If we can make approximately accurate mental estimates, then that is valid.

    So yes, because they produce the same result they are validated 'more'. Validation is a process which occurs in stages in a subject as soft as this.

    ...you completely missed the point again. I am not speaking of the validity of MBTI or Big 5 (I don't care). I am speaking of the conclusion pattern you are drawing.

    You said:

    Recent studies have confirmed that the MBTI and Big 5 are testing the same thing. So the test must be valid, right?
    You spoke nothing of the validity of MBTI and Big 5. You simply stated that they result the same thing, therefore must be valid. That is illoigcal. Period. End of discussion, for the reasons I already said.

    If there is solid evidence that supports MBTI and or Big 5 (such as an APA publication), then yes this increases validity of an already valid study. In the absence of this though, this does not work.
    MBTI: ExxJ tetramer
    Functions: Fe > Te > Ni > Se > Si > Ti > Fi > Ne
    Enneagram: 1w2 - 3w4 - 6w5 (The Taskmaster) | sp/so
    Socionics: β-E dimer | -
    Big 5: slOaI
    Temperament: Choleric/Melancholic
    Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    External Perception: Nohari and Johari


  9. #9
    Senior Member BlackDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    The fact that the preference strengths of the MBTI dimensions exhibit something like a normal distribution — to the extent that that's true (and I think it probably is) — doesn't mean that the "dichotomies don't exist." It just means that they have a normal distribution.

    And the fact that somebody's near the middle of the curve — say, a 10% T — has nothing to do with "thought processes overlapping." It just means their T preference is on the mild side.

    For what it's worth, Jung thought more people were essentially in the middle on E/I than were significantly extraverted or introverted, and Myers allowed for the possibility of middleness on all four dimensions — so the in-the-middle possibility really goes all the way back to the MBTI's roots.

    Myers believed that it might turn out that one or more of the dichotomies was truly bimodal to one degree or another — with, in effect, a more or less empty (if narrow) zone in the exact middle of the spectrum. But she never asserted that that theoretical possibility had been factually established by any respectable body of evidence, and the 1985 MBTI Manual (which she co-authored) stressed that the evidence for bimodality was sketchy at best. And since then, quite a lot of evidence has accumulated that seems to suggest that most or all of the MBTI dimensions exhibit something more like a normal distribution.

    In at least one of the early versions of the MBTI, it was possible to get an "x" on any dimension. The current version assigns people a (tentative) type on each dimension, but that's a very different thing from saying that it isn't possible for someone not to have a preference — and the MBTI Manual specifically notes that someone with a score near the middle is someone who has essentially "split the vote" rather than offered much evidence of a preference.

    The "Step II" version of the MBTI includes five "facets" for each dimension — just as the NEO-PI-R has six facets for each Big Five dimension — and allows for the possibility of being, for example, on the T side of three of the facets and the F side of the other two.

    But most importantly, for purposes of this discussion: there was really no doubt in either Jung's or Myers' minds that people on either side of the dimensions fell along a notably wide spectrum from mild to strong preferences.

    As a final note: At this point nobody really knows how close to the middle how many people are on the MBTI (and Big Five) dimensions, because the current state of both the MBTI and Big Five is such that it really isn't possible to determine exactly where anybody falls along whatever the real, underlying (and substantially genetic) spectrums may be. So it seems to me that anybody who thinks that the existing data on either the Big Five or MBTI has clearly established the shape of the distribution curves is very much overestimating the ability of the existing tests to accurately quantify strengths of preferences.

    But the main point to keep in mind is that, at the end of the day, the worth of the MBTI and Big Five is mostly going to hinge on how good a job those typologies do in nailing down what personality-related characteristics tend to be associated with the corresponding preferences, and not on how many people turn out to be at any particular point on any of the relevant spectrums. And in any case, the MBTI certainly doesn't stand or fall depending on whether any of its dimensions exhibit a "bimodal" distribution.
    I think you have a hard time justifying binary mental constructs (T and F, for example) if the distribution is not bimodal. Imagine the converse, that there was a big dead zone in the middle. That would have been very strong evidence that people really do tend to fall into these two mentally constructed boxes, or else that they learned to classify their behavior (or simply learned to behave) in one of these two modes.

    The only other way I could think of to justify this system is if people effectively behave, or can be treated as if they behave, bimodally.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BlackDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    ...you completely missed the point again. I am not speaking of the validity of MBTI or Big 5 (I don't care). I am speaking of the conclusion pattern you are drawing.

    You said:



    You spoke nothing of the validity of MBTI and Big 5. You simply stated that they result the same thing, therefore must be valid. That is illoigcal. Period. End of discussion, for the reasons I already said.

    If there is solid evidence that supports MBTI and or Big 5 (such as an APA publication), then yes this increases validity of an already valid study. In the absence of this though, this does not work.
    Wrong. Internally consistent systems in psychology can be assumed to be automatically valid. I didn't miss your point; I disagree. If two separate internally consistent systems agree, then they are more valid. That's how it works.

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