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  1. #21
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    ...I guess it gets back to the fact that Myers wasn't trying to diagnose or design an instrument that would verify whether the types existed in the first place. She, Briggs and Jung had built their theoretical model to explain the very real differences they saw in people. The MBTI was designed to sort people into the Jungian categories. We don't look for instrument scores or results to verify the theory because you're right--she built it to see what she presupposed it would show. This just isn't how the academic world views testing so they can't wrap their brains around the fact that her instrument meets its goals and works well for its given purposes.

    The validity for the MBTI comes from the high percentage of people who agree with their results, but that's only a small part of it. More important are the studies that show the effectiveness of using the theory.

    • You don't have to use any instrument to use the theory.
    • As far as I know, all of the tools out there are self-reporting instruments, even the NEO-PI, so there's more error variance than on, say, the MMPI
    • Validity of the theory arises from the body of studies that show that people behave in patterns predicted by the theory
    • Probably more important, when you help people apply the theory to teaming, communicating, coaching, parenting, career search, etc., they become more effective.


    Yes, you can use the five-factor models to help people discover essentially the same elements of their personality (the correlations with MBTI scales and NEo-PI scales for Extroversion, Agreeableness, Openness and [I forget the term for the one that correlates with S-N]. But because the five-factor models do get at neuroticism (although some have relabeled the term) they aren't very useful in group settings. People have enough problems getting along without using a tool that labels abnormalities.

    So in fact a lot of type professionals are rather independent of any one instrument. Note that Roger Pearman of Certification training in coaching tools, leadership skiils assessment, personal and organizational assessment | Qualifying.org just switched to training people to use the Golden Type Indicator from Pearson. It's the theory we love to use, not any one instrument.
    edcoaching

  2. #22
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    And again, on the very practical side of using these tools with people, take the Sloan/Big 5-style test on this site and view the language used to describe you.

    Big Five Personality Test

    Can you imagine handing that stuff out to a team where there's already trust issues or conflict? Or where a manager is trying to control and has mega favorites???

    There's a reason that so many type descriptions have lengthy descriptions of strengths first, with carefully worded developmental needs following, an equal number for each type
    edcoaching

  3. #23
    Senior Member mlittrell's Avatar
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    myers briggs is a model for something we just dont understand, nothing more, nothing less
    "Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress. "

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  4. #24
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I see sorting as one form of measurement. It has to do with what possible values the actual situation would create. Probability theory, plus some basic assumptions followed with mathematical reasoning yields which model we use.
    Right, and I'm asking - why this model for MBTI/personality theory (what assumptions are you making, and are they fair/etc.) Imagine having to defend it in a thesis, after your observations, your tests, your interviews and the analysis of root factors all show that behavior, attitude, self-selection and so forth are all normally distributed.

    More than this, how do you take normally distributed data - data that shows people's preferences - turn it into a strict bimodal model in which you show people's preferences are strongly opposing (ie: you assume strength contrary to data), claim that is who they are, then hedge your bets by adding noise (ie: "has a tendency to", "may") to soften the bimodal fit...?

    I don't oppose doing it - but I don't understand how the data supports the model. You can assume it, sure, and would if you gain some understanding. What value do you see?

    FWIW, I agree with Edcoaching and the tool usage, the limits of using models in a "friendly" academic way and the effectiveness. I do disagree with the sorting mechanism.

    The question, simply put, is: Do you think you are better able to understand people by calling them "F", or by having someone state their strength relative to population (40% F).

    Do you understand me better when I say I'm an "I", or when I say I'm in the top 5% of Is. What about if I say I'm in the top 70% for S, 50% for T, 20% for P. Or would you be better off just knowing I'm an ISTP? Is it reasonable justification to call me an ISTP, stripping away those percentages, and then say that "most ISTPs will be thrill seekers", when even a quick glance shows that because of strong I tendencies and weaker S tendencies, this would not likely represent me at all (example for highlighting the issue, not a real assumed trait.) Adding "most ISTPs" is just adding fuzzyness to hide the real root of the fuzzyness - assumption of strength (the bimodal assumption).

  5. #25
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    Strength of preference is a useless concept. How are you measuring that? Not a test, because they do nothing of the sort.

  6. #26
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    Strength of preference is a useless concept. How are you measuring that? Not a test, because they do nothing of the sort.
    All tests do, as they contain multiple expressions of underlying traits, giving you the probability that the underlying condition responsible for the trait falls within certain ranges. This remains true if a test only offers binary choices or asks for self-reported strength.

    This assumes that the questions are accurately grouped into an underlying cause.

  7. #27
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edcoaching View Post
    Yes, you can use the five-factor models to help people discover essentially the same elements of their personality (the correlations with MBTI scales and NEo-PI scales for Extroversion, Agreeableness, Openness and [I forget the term for the one that correlates with S-N]. But because the five-factor models do get at neuroticism (although some have relabeled the term) they aren't very useful in group settings. People have enough problems getting along without using a tool that labels abnormalities.
    Actually, Openness (i.e. "to new experiences") is the one correlated with S/N.
    Conscientiousness is correlated with J/P. But more accurately, Conscientiousness would probably fit Keirsey's Cooperative/Pragmatic better, while Agreeableness (correlated with T/F) would be Role-Informative/Directive. (Both factors do alternate between T/F and J/P). Perhaps Keirsey's theory wasn't big or respected enough for the factor analysts to use those scales. But the concepts are pretty much the same.

    Then, there's also the Type Differentiation Indicator, which is a version of MBTI that adds "Comfort/Discomfort" to match Neuroticism. It seems to have more of a specialty use, like for mental hospitals, or something like that. Its subscales were supposedly originally part of Myers' research, but were dropped from being seen as too negative.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Actually, Openness (i.e. "to new experiences") is the one correlated with S/N.
    Conscientiousness is correlated with J/P. But more accurately, Conscientiousness would probably fit Keirsey's Cooperative/Pragmatic better, while Agreeableness (correlated with T/F) would be Role-Informative/Directive. (Both factors do alternate between T/F and J/P). Perhaps Keirsey's theory wasn't big or respected enough for the factor analysts to use those scales. But the concepts are pretty much the same.
    Knew I shoulda pulled out the manual...
    As for Kiersey, he didn't release any reliability/validity data on his instrument until I believe last spring. It was 2007 or 2008 at any rate. I don't remember how it held up to the other instruments
    Then, there's also the Type Differentiation Indicator, which is a version of MBTI that adds "Comfort/Discomfort" to match Neuroticism. It seems to have more of a specialty use, like for mental hospitals, or something like that. Its subscales were supposedly originally part of Myers' research, but were dropped from being seen as too negative.
    Yeah...believe me, for widespread distribution talking about problems just isn't a good idea--especially in self-reporting instruments...
    edcoaching

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Right, and I'm asking - why this model for MBTI/personality theory (what assumptions are you making, and are they fair/etc.) Imagine having to defend it in a thesis, after your observations, your tests, your interviews and the analysis of root factors all show that behavior, attitude, self-selection and so forth are all normally distributed.

    More than this, how do you take normally distributed data - data that shows people's preferences - turn it into a strict bimodal model in which you show people's preferences are strongly opposing (ie: you assume strength contrary to data), claim that is who they are, then hedge your bets by adding noise (ie: "has a tendency to", "may") to soften the bimodal fit...?

    I don't oppose doing it - but I don't understand how the data supports the model. You can assume it, sure, and would if you gain some understanding. What value do you see?

    FWIW, I agree with Edcoaching and the tool usage, the limits of using models in a "friendly" academic way and the effectiveness. I do disagree with the sorting mechanism.

    The question, simply put, is: Do you think you are better able to understand people by calling them "F", or by having someone state their strength relative to population (40% F).

    Do you understand me better when I say I'm an "I", or when I say I'm in the top 5% of Is. What about if I say I'm in the top 70% for S, 50% for T, 20% for P. Or would you be better off just knowing I'm an ISTP? Is it reasonable justification to call me an ISTP, stripping away those percentages, and then say that "most ISTPs will be thrill seekers", when even a quick glance shows that because of strong I tendencies and weaker S tendencies, this would not likely represent me at all (example for highlighting the issue, not a real assumed trait.) Adding "most ISTPs" is just adding fuzzyness to hide the real root of the fuzzyness - assumption of strength (the bimodal assumption).
    Actually, questions like this are why I brought up the topic. I have the same sort of questions. I am really rather open to answers in general.

    I have the same doubts about Myers-Briggs Theory as I do about FFM.

    What the assumptions are in Myers-Briggs Theory are easier to find, but there is also a lot of misinformation. Many FFM supporters say they make no assumptions. That is nonsensical to me. It is simply not possible.

    I am not saying that you are one of the FFM people. I certainly don't want to make it personal.

    I would like to discover the logic behind the "truth" of either model.

    I may not have made myself clear with the "object detection" example. I was simply illustrating that "bad measuring equipment" could be the source of the Gaussian, and non modality--in fact, Gaussians are what "bad measuring equipment" tends to produce.

    Take pure randomness, break it up into groups, and average the groups, you will get a Gaussian. This is mathematical fact. In fact, which Gaussian you get is based purely on how you define the groups--again Mathematically provable.

    Generally speaking you cannot "support" inferences by looking at "data" alone. Data simply describes or summarizes what is seen. You could be seeing what you are seeing for any number of reasons, including broken equipment.

    I realize that many FFM advocates will say it is simply describing the data seen in personality surveys. I have no issues with that in particular. But you could really just be measuring they survey and not the people taking the survey.

    I don't think I need to remind you off all they polls taken about political and economic beliefs. Quite often, what is being measured is the reaction to survey questions, more than anything else.

    Survey questions produce Gaussians in general (unless you find a particular question that creates a repeatable anomalous response).

    The anomalous response is the phenomenon we we are after when sorting, but are bad when we want honest surveys of the population.

    "Rate how much you agree with the following statement from 0-100, 'I enjoy killing babies.' 0 is completely disagree, 100 is completely agree."

    This, I suspect, will be bimodal (or multi-modal), in it's response, with one mode strongly clustered near 0, and another one somewhere else. Those people who answered somewhere else are a different kind of survey responder. We won't know why. But they are different in some way (at least at the moment they responded).

    In a nation divided between those who support intelligent design and those who don't, you will also likely see a bimodal distributions for statements like, "I support the teaching of intelligent design along with ." If this was a more ordinary issue, you would get a more Gaussian distribution.

    If you are aiming to sort the people taking the test, your very questions on the survey will be different from surveys for central tendency.

    Note also, the reason I brought up the Central Limit theorem is that when your survey is based of some sum or average of scores on individual questions like these, you will make the resulting distribution more Gaussian because that is simply a mathematical fact--Summing creates Gaussian distortion.

    If you're intention is to create a sorting mechanism, questions that don't evoke a bi-modal response are actually noise.

    This is the way science always works, you set-up your equipment to find the phenomenon you are looking for. The equipment is meant to amplify the signal you are looking for, and filter the other stuff because the other stuff is noise.

    The flip side of-course is if you believe Myers-Briggs Theory is nonsense, and that MBTI researchers are like ESP researchers in that they keep looking for something that doesn't exist. That is a different issue.

    I find it hard to find research on establishing the "truth" of any personality model.

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  10. #30
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edcoaching View Post
    Knew I shoulda pulled out the manual...
    As for Kiersey, he didn't release any reliability/validity data on his instrument until I believe last spring. It was 2007 or 2008 at any rate. I don't remember how it held up to the other instruments
    So a factor analysis can't be done until the person releases this information?
    That would make sense. Wonder if anyone will try to redo the analysis with Keirsey's additional factors, now.
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