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  1. #1
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    Default What Divides Psychology & Typology?


    A separation exists between psychology and typology. Many psychologists and even many Jungians ignore Jung’s major work, Psychological Types,and the concepts underlying it. The field has been left mostly to lay practitioners, who use the MBTI® instrument for training, coaching, and other pragmatic applications.
    Three Jungian scholars among others have addressed this issue within the past decade: Sonu Shamdasani, John Giannini, and John Beebe. I can’t do justice to the complexity of their ideas here, but I’d like to summarize a few of their points.
    Shamdasani (2003), the editor of the Red Book, describes how controversial Psychological Types was from the beginning, garnering both rave reviews and excoriating criticism. Jung’s effort to reconcile Freud’s and Adler’s systems to each other via his concept of typology had led him to suggest that some psychologies work better for certain types of patients because of their consonance with those patients’ respective typologies and not necessarily because the psychological approach is superior to others. Shamdasani relates how unwelcome this conclusion was in the psychological community: “Psychologists were reluctant to view the theories which they had claimed had universal validity as merely the expression of their type, and correspondingly relativized” (p. 83). Jung did not help matters when he made comments implying that a scientific psychology was not possible: “Nowhere does the observer disturb the experiment more than in psychology. Because of this one can, so to speak, never establish the facts sufficiently” (1954, para 160).



    Full Personality Type In Depth Article Here

  2. #2
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    The more psychology is revised for the sake of the individual, the more it starts to look more like typology, and the less practical it becomes for theorists who wish only to investigate the quintessence of the psyche. Since typology really only focuses on how the general parts are rearranged, it can seem redundant unless you wish to accommodate an individual who wishes to be seen as somewhat distinct in terms of their assets and shortcomings. And that's a big "somewhat", since each type comes with its own camp of general conformity. Then, in a way, typology is a red herring, even for one who's curiosity craves depth.

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    Science, bitch!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    Science, bitch!
    This. At least, when it comes to how typologies explain one's innate personality.

    That's a huge part of the gap between the two. Maybe, someday, the ends will join up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Jung’s effort to reconcile Freud’s and Adler’s systems to each other via his concept of typology had led him to suggest that some psychologies work better for certain types of patients because of their consonance with those patients’ respective typologies and not necessarily because the psychological approach is superior to others. Shamdasani relates how unwelcome this conclusion was in the psychological community: “Psychologists were reluctant to view the theories which they had claimed had universal validity as merely the expression of their type, and correspondingly relativized” (p. 83). Jung did not help matters when he made comments implying that a scientific psychology was not possible: “Nowhere does the observer disturb the experiment more than in psychology. Because of this one can, so to speak, never establish the facts sufficiently” (1954, para 160).
    It's stuff like this that makes me believe I would really have liked Jung if I had the chance to meet him.

    As for the larger topic - personally, I use MBTI as a conceptual tool and am interested in it to the extent that it yields clarity for me that can assist in my actual life and relationships. I don't see it as a theory that must be applied to everyone, I don't need it to be universalized for it to have practical use for me, and I'm fine with it actually not being useful for other people or being useful in different ways than it is for me.

    On a larger scale, if the above quote is accurate to what happened, it sounds like an initial disconnect between Jungian-based typology and psychology has to do at least in part with the status needs of psychologists, especially academic psychologists. As someone who has been inside academic contexts, I'm aware that in order to survive in academia, one must produce knowledge that enhances one's status. Sounds from that quote like Jung's typology approach threatened the academic status needs of at least some people in at least two ways - by suggesting that they couldn't universalize their findings (and thus argue that their theory was superior), and by suggesting that they themselves were shaped by human differences in ways that merited both critical scrutiny and the development of multiple approaches.

    To which I say - Rock on, Jung!

    eta: Though on reflection I really have no idea if academia was really part of it from that quote. It just sounded a lot like the dynamics of academic knowledge production that I've seen.

    However. I think it's also true that typology has been abused on the other end - for example, people making careers out of it in that typical smarmy self-help kind of way that is all about the $$ at the core.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Jung did not help matters when he made comments implying that a scientific psychology was not possible: “Nowhere does the observer disturb the experiment more than in psychology. Because of this one can, so to speak, never establish the facts sufficiently” (1954, para 160).
    love that sentence

    though since then we got some new tools that help somewhat

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