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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    There are 60 years of studies correlating MBTI preferences with countless things that "the person had not given an answer in relation to" on the indicator. As one example, the 705-subject Cal Tech sample in this post indicates that introverts are substantially more likely to become science majors than extraverts — and the E/I items on the MBTI have nothing to with interests in science (or academics). And twin studies have shown that identical twins raised in separate households are substantially more likely to match on the personality dimensions that the MBTI and Big Five are tapping into than genetically unrelated pairs — which indicates that the MBTI dichotomies correspond to real, relatively hard-wired underlying dimensions of personality that were presumably selected for by evolution (just as Jung presumed). Anyone who thinks they're just arbitrary theoretical categories is misinformed.
    I find it amusing that you conclude so much from so little. You've correlated some statistical categories. Have you identified anything that is even reliably repeatable? Have you identified a cause and effect that must be specific to those categories rather than another process. For example, what if only two things tested for I/E make introverts prefer science? Is it right then to put I/E on a pedestal and start talking about the things you have?

    Personality is complex and most likely influenced by genetics and the environment. I'm not sure that knowing there are similarities between the personality traits of identical twins tells you anything specific about MBTI. More similar traits equals more likely to fall in the same categories.

    Also, I'm not sure about your statement that traits tested have nothing to do with science. A person is likely to like science if they enjoy studying the world around them. There are many personality traits that could lead them to do that and some fall in the introvert category. You lose all that insight though when you start praising the statistical category instead of searching for a specific cause and effect. For example, what are your thoughts on a 7w6 ENFP studying science?

    There are probably also cultural factors that influence who studies what. For example, in some places it might be harder to be sporting and sciency than others. In my country it was fine, but I get the feeling that in parts of the US it is harder to be in the football team and be a science obsessed nerd.

  2. #52
    Senior Member reckful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueScreen View Post
    Personality is complex and most likely influenced by genetics and the environment. I'm not sure that knowing there are similarities between the personality traits of identical twins tells you anything specific about MBTI. More similar traits equals more likely to fall in the same categories.

    Also, I'm not sure about your statement that traits tested have nothing to do with science. A person is likely to like science if they enjoy studying the world around them. There are many personality traits that could lead them to do that and some fall in the introvert category. You lose all that insight though when you start praising the statistical category instead of searching for a specific cause and effect. For example, what are your thoughts on a 7w6 ENFP studying science?
    Like the rest of your post, and most of your other posts, you're not really addressing my points, and what you're saying makes little sense.

    You previously posted (more than once!) that typing someone as an MBTI introvert told you no more about them than what was in the E/I test items, and I pointed out that that's not true, and that E/I has been correlated with lots of stuff not described in the test items.

    Now you say, "There are many personality traits that could lead [people to study the world around them] and some fall in the introvert category." True dat, and certainly not inconsistent with anything I said. But there aren't any MBTI E/I test items that ask about studying the world around us.

    And you say, "You lose all that insight though when you start praising the statistical category instead of searching for a specific cause and effect." Say what? Pointing out that introverts exhibit X tendency (based on correlational studies) doesn't "lose" any "insight," or prevent anyone from "searching for" (or otherwise pondering) "a specific cause and effect."

    What it often does, tho, is reveal things about introverts that aren't in the test items.

    You also said, "I'm not sure that knowing there are similarities between the personality traits of identical twins tells you anything specific about MBTI." But of course it does.

    You'd previously said that the MBTI dimensions were just arbitrary "trait" collections — "like any meaningless statistical category I could create," as you put it — which corresponds to your notion that the stuff in the test items is all that someone's MBTI type tells us about the person.

    But if the MBTI and Big Five dimensions are tapping into real, non-arbitrary, biologically hardwired (to a substantial degree) clusters of personality characteristics, then there's no particular reason to expect that the test items would necessarily cover the waterfront (or even come close to covering the waterfront) with respect to the aspects of personality associated with those hardwired clusters.

    So what "knowing there are similarities between the personality traits of identical twins tells you" is that the MBTI is tapping into categories that actually exist in reality, rather than simply imposing on reality a set of theoretical categories that's as arbitrary as "any meaningless statistical category [you] could create" — and accordingly, that the MBTI is the kind of typology where the type can end up telling you a lot more than just what's in the test items.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Screen
    There are many personality traits that could lead them to do that and some fall in the introvert category. You lose all that insight though when you start praising the statistical category instead of searching for a specific cause and effect.
    Sometimes, the statistical category is measuring something potentially a lot more important either to some purposes or overall than the test items used to measure it.

    The fact that it can predict things not expressly measured in the test items is the trivial part -- that's just saying things you didn't think were correlated could be correlated! That is really just a statement about our ignorance.

    However, this fact can have profound consequences in some cases. To reiterate my general intelligence example, the fact that you can test for it potentially using some pretty arbitrary stuff, and then predict someone's performance at apparently unrelated tasks...suggests a very deep thing, which is that intelligence needn't be task-specific....that there actually seems to be such a thing as being able to learn arbitrarily hard stuff, even if not directly related.

    That is, if there's an interpretation of the predictions the statistical scale can make which suggests it may be measuring something more profound than its parts, that's when you're really talking a nontrivial discovery about how human beings work.

    You're not wrong to be somewhat dismissive that we might find introverts have this or that trait. It shows there's something objective going on, because there are probabilistic predictions being made of objective traits like studying science....but you could reasonably say OK, so what?
    However, if understanding introversion offers a deeper explanation of what is going on biologically as a survival or evolutionary strategy, which is what might seem to be suggested by the repeated extraction of the 5-factor structure, then we might pay attention.

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    You'd previously said that the MBTI dimensions were just arbitrary "trait" collections — "like any meaningless statistical category I could create," as you put it — which corresponds to your notion that the stuff in the test items is all that someone's MBTI type tells us about the person. But if the MBTI and Big Five dimensions are tapping into real, non-arbitrary, biologically hardwired (to a substantial degree) clusters of personality characteristics, then there's no particular reason to expect that the test items would necessarily cover the waterfront (or even come close to covering the waterfront) with respect to the aspects of personality associated with those hardwired clusters. So what "knowing there are similarities between the personality traits of identical twins tells you" is that the MBTI is tapping into categories that actually exist in reality, rather than simply imposing on reality a set of theoretical categories that's as arbitrary as "any meaningless statistical category [you] could create" — and accordingly, that the MBTI is the kind of typology where the type can end up telling you a lot more than just what's in the test items.
    I agree that some aspects of personality seem hardwired, but I'm not sure that you're provided enough evidence to convince me that groupings of these hard wired traits have any further meaning than just being a grouping of similar things. Of course grouping things can be useful, but to be scientific it needs to give some further insight into something real.

    From the examples that you have used already, it appears that in this field people are happy to conclude things about personality from correlations without looking very far into what is really going on. The associations seem likely to be external to anything to do with brain mechanics, and sometimes are even socially driven behaviours.

    When you mention things about an introvert not being in the test answers, can they be derived from certain test answers without the need for the classification? Or is the classification the only means of determining (somewhat unreliably) that a person "might" have a certain trait?

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueScreen
    When you mention things about an introvert not being in the test answers, can they be derived from certain test answers without the need for the classification? Or is the classification the only means of determining (somewhat unreliably) that a person "might" have a certain trait?
    I'd guess that you can infer at least a fair number of them as having basis in good reasons. Like, for instance, studying science and a willingness to pursue solitary, non-sociability-oriented relatively quiet activities like reading seem related.

    The key though is often these kinds of inferences that seem 'natural' won't be born out by the facts. It may not be surprising that they are often, but it's certainly the sort of thing you need to gather some data to be sure of.

    But more importantly, sometimes the fact THAT you can make such natural-seeming inferences is the remarkable thing. Again with the idea of overall general intelligence, it's still a nontrivial thing that the natural idea that maybe there's some overall thing driving being good at various skills actually winds up having some basis in reality. and indeed, there's fierce contention from some scholars as to how limited the merit of the idea is.

    This once again highlights that your goal in measuring introversion may not be to predict someone's likelihood of going into science. The science part may not be the important thing -- the 5 variables measured in the Big 5 may be more fundamental, just like general intelligence may be more fundamental and more interesting than physics skill.



    Another point -- there's a lot of work on the neuroscientific basis of the Big 5, so it's not just at the stage of statistical theory.

  6. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by GavinElster View Post
    I'd guess that you can infer at least a fair number of them as having basis in good reasons. Like, for instance, studying science and a willingness to pursue solitary, non-sociability-oriented relatively quiet activities like reading seem related. The key though is often these kinds of inferences that seem 'natural' won't be born out by the facts. It may not be surprising that they are often, but it's certainly the sort of thing you need to gather some data to be sure of. But more importantly, sometimes the fact THAT you can make such natural-seeming inferences is the remarkable thing. Again with the idea of overall general intelligence, it's still a nontrivial thing that the natural idea that maybe there's some overall thing driving being good at various skills actually winds up having some basis in reality. and indeed, there's fierce contention from some scholars as to how limited the merit of the idea is. This once again highlights that your goal in measuring introversion may not be to predict someone's likelihood of going into science. The science part may not be the important thing -- the 5 variables measured in the Big 5 may be more fundamental, just like general intelligence may be more fundamental and more interesting than physics skill. Another point -- there's a lot of work on the neuroscientific basis of the Big 5, so it's not just at the stage of statistical theory.
    I agree the statistical categories are chosen because they are interesting areas to study. For example, the categories may be quite important in other social studies, understanding group dynamics, etc. So I suppose that makes the Big 5 scientifically useful. Whether you can call the categories scientific, I'm still not sure. I'm guessing aspects of the brain won't directly align with the categories unless they are linked to something physical such as strongest processing routes, differences in vision or other senses. Scientifically, for that purpose it would be preferable to come from the other direction and analyse brain differences to see what personality traits align with each common brain trait. Fiddling the personality model to fit can work sort of, but it is far from best practice. Setting out to prove a theory is typically bad science.

  7. #57
    Junior Member AnnaSarita's Avatar
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    was just watching this video - MBTI is real or not. I guess it answered at least for me YouTube

  8. #58
    And so it begins... Gentleman Jack's Avatar
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    With all due respect,
    -Jack.

    I give easement and rest now to thee dear man.
    Come not down the lanes or in our meadows.
    And for thy peace I pawn my own soul...


    What's that in the mirror? Or the corner of your eye?
    What's that footstep following, but never passing by?
    Perhaps they're all just waiting, perhaps when we're all dead,
    Out they'll come a-slithering from underneath the bed...

  9. #59
    Elegance of chaos Nomendei's Avatar
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    Here’s what I think of the MBTI.
    It can be useful, but it is not absolute. I think each type and it’s description are a generality. There might be the Forer effect, but only for a minority. Most of the people’s behavior fit the description given because it is based on the description given by the majority of those who took the test. And there are clichés that are very different from one type to the other. Like stereotypes. There is always a bit of truth behind a stereotype. For example, I do procrastinate. The other three ENTPs I know do also procrastinate. But there is no ISTJ I know who does. And when you google the Type of a character, there must be some truth if 90-100% of the votes are for the same type.
    To test the MBTI, I went multiple times out with some old friends and observed their behavior. Then, I typed them myself using only descriptions. Then, I asked them to take the test. I typed 11 right and 1 wrong. I had an accuracy of 91.7%.
    However, what I think is wrong, or often misused, is the linking between MBTI and cognitive functions. The MBTI is based on preferences. Preferences can change with time. I know it out of personal experience. When I was a kid I was a typical INFJ. I didn’t talk a lot, stayed aside, thought with my feelings, and I was organized. But now, I talk a lot, base my chose on logical reasons, and am more chaotic than ever before. My desk looks like Einstein’s. Like for the descriptions for the Types, the match between MBTI and the cognitive function only works for a majority and can have exceptions.

    It’s like zoology. Cats and lions are totally different, but they are both from the Felidae family. There are not only 16 personalities, but 16 personality types. It’s not because you share the same type as R2D2 that you are the same person.
    People are more twisted than people think.

    http://kevan.org/jh/nomendei | http://kevan.org/nohari?name=Nomendei

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