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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Exclamation MBTI - Where Is The Proof?

    I hear time after time that MBTI is only a set of logical groupings, it's not scientifically proven, you can't use it to dogmatically, etc. I then hear you need to consider the nuances of how the functions may be ordered, how strong they are etc.

    My question is this - and I speak from the standpoint with no experience in research - why can't it be proven? At least in some form, fashion, or respect. Has nobody ever tried? Are there difficulties in running surveys or experiments to determine accuracy of the profiles? Do the studies show flaws and that it doesn't work (that we don't hear about)? There seems to be a large body of information out there, but always "no proof". Is there anything in the field of psychology that can be proven?

    If there is no proof that it works, and people don't believe in it, then why are we all here?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    MBTI can't be proven because it can't be empirically tested. There are many things within psychology, that while can't be 'proven' can be tested scientifically and thus become valid measuring instruments/theories.

    MBTI tries to predict human behaviour based on these functions, yet there's no way to really test whether these functions exist or not (at least in a strict environment setting)... regardless I'm pretty happy with functions as descriptors

  3. #3
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    With the right amount of electrical shocks, sleep deprivation, and sodium pentathol anything can be proven.

    Do I have any volunteers?

    This won't take long, I promise.
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  4. #4
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander29 View Post
    I hear time after time that MBTI is only a set of logical groupings, it's not scientifically proven, you can't use it to dogmatically, etc. I then hear you need to consider the nuances of how the functions may be ordered, how strong they are etc.

    My question is this - and I speak from the standpoint with no experience in research - why can't it be proven? At least in some form, fashion, or respect. Has nobody ever tried? Are there difficulties in running surveys or experiments to determine accuracy of the profiles? Do the studies show flaws and that it doesn't work (that we don't hear about)? There seems to be a large body of information out there, but always "no proof". Is there anything in the field of psychology that can be proven?

    If there is no proof that it works, and people don't believe in it, then why are we all here?
    The problem is that MBTI was plagiarised from Carl Jung's book, "Personality Types".

    But, as Jung himself says, his book, "Personality Types", was based on no empirical evidence.

    And we are here because MBTI was taken up by the USA military during WW II. And then used by the USA military and USA business ever since to create a popular, world-wide cult.

    So MBTI is essentially another business cult from the USA.

    But thankfully this forum is no longer called, "MBTI Central" because the business of MBTI issued us with an Order to Desist from using their name. And so we are now called, "Typology Central".

    So we remain here because this forum is tolerant and well run by the moderators, with a stable core of long term members and new members arriving all the time to keep us alive.

    So we are here to enjoy one another and critique MBTI.

    At least I am.

  5. #5
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Actually, there have been academic studies on MBTI that show support for it. I'm not suggesting every study on it has been positive, but simply that positive scholarly reviews of MBTI exist, maybe more so than negative ones.


    Study showing strong support for the construct validity of MBTI:
    Construct Validity of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator -- Thompson and Borrello 46 (3): 745 -- Educational and Psychological Measurement

    Study showing strong internal consistency and test-retest reliability of MBTI:
    Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Score Reliability Across: Studies a Meta-Analytic Reliability Generalization Study -- Capraro and Capraro 62 (4): 590 -- Educational and Psychological Measurement

    Study concluding MBTI meets or exceeds the reliability of other psychological instruments:
    bmj.com Rapid Responses for Schuwirth and Cantillon, 328 (7450) 1244

    There are more, but I can't find them at the moment.

  6. #6
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Actually, there have been academic studies on MBTI that show support for it. I'm not suggesting every study on it has been positive, but simply that positive scholarly reviews of MBTI exist, maybe more so than negative ones.


    Study showing strong support for the construct validity of MBTI:
    Construct Validity of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator -- Thompson and Borrello 46 (3): 745 -- Educational and Psychological Measurement

    Study showing strong internal consistency and test-retest reliability of MBTI:
    Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Score Reliability Across: Studies a Meta-Analytic Reliability Generalization Study -- Capraro and Capraro 62 (4): 590 -- Educational and Psychological Measurement

    Study concluding MBTI meets or exceeds the reliability of other psychological instruments:
    bmj.com Rapid Responses for Schuwirth and Cantillon, 328 (7450) 1244

    There are more, but I can't find them at the moment.
    Unfortunately, the inconvenient truth is that every Psychology Department on any reputable University regards MBTI as having the same truth value as astrology.

    And as you know, every Astronomy Department in any University regards astrology as having no truth value whatsoever.

  7. #7
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    There's been research done on maze performance on rats with an audience/spectators (ala the social facilitation experiments) . The resulting distribution was distingtively bi-modal which implies a natural, genetic introversion/extraversion population difference.

    So as far as I'm concerned, I/E is valid enough. I would say that the rest of the scales can't be validated due to the complexity of relations in the human mind and communication issues. Not to mention if you put any human in any psych lab they often respond categorically different than they would in the "real world".

    I dunno though, part of me can't ignore the possibility its all bunk other than I/E. But even if it is, its a useful communication tool. If I work as a server and you ask me "how did you fare today?", and I said "Mercury did not smile upon me today", you can tell what I mean. Even if mercury is not a valid god or a valid concept, I can still mention him in a meaningful manner.

    So MBTI might just end there. It could simply be about tools useful for communicating to others. And I'm fine with that. You should be too.

  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    It [MBTI] could simply be about tools useful for communicating to others.
    A good workman needs good tools.

    And in particular a good personality test needs to be valid and reliable.

    But the inconvenient truth is MBTI is neither valid nor reliable.

  9. #9
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Mercury and Poseidon are neither valid nor reliable(anything but), but i can still incite them in my communication to others.

  10. #10
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I started a thread a while ago which went tits up that attempted to explore research for and against MBTI. I only found research against it in which the National Academy of Sciences examined the system and found it lacking in validity - the testing process was not consistent except for the E/I axis.

    I am glad to see ajblaise's post in this thread. I've had trouble finding links to support MBTI in research, including on the main MBTI webpage. I look forward to reading over the links.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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