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[MBTI General] Where Are We Headed/A Sad State of Affairs

Koto

Active member
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
294
As an observer of the MBTI community for over half a decade now, it doesn't seem as though progress/development is a priority for most. The same issues that plagued every discussion years and years ago are still present now, and are arguably more prevalent than ever. For every person that is deeply invested in MBTI there are fifty more who inadvertently delegitimise it through the perpetuation of stereotypes; for every person that spends years of their life refining their understanding and reinforcing it with objective data there are a hundred more who close themselves off to viewpoints that disagree with their personal experience and anecdotal evidence; for every person that critically questions the ideas that are held as sacred in order to discover the truth there are a thousand more who would rather settle and believe a comforting lie. I know that as a person I can tend to approach things too seriously for some and so I decide not to engage at all in order to avoid the heated debates that are likely to occur as a consequence, but it's quite frustrating and disheartening realising that things are unlikely to change no matter how much time passes.

A number of people that I related to from afar and consider to be the most important voices in the community, even if not the most influential, are no longer active and I can only assume that they all came to a similar conclusion: it wasn't worth their time any more. I feel the same way to be honest. No one is forcing me to be here but MBTI is something that I'm passionate about, and not having at least a couple people to share that passion with is painful. I've seen other users describe the community as 'cultish' and I agree, but I want to elaborate further. Not unlike most societies, the main goal seems to be the maintenance of the status quo rather than the accommodation and discussion of new ideas. Nearly everyone starts out by discovering MBTI through 16personalities, then is told that the cognitive functions are actually what MBTI is about, and the adventure stops there; 'Forget about learning about Jung's initial ideas, or Myers' work, or anything of that nature, simply allow yourself to be consumed by labels that actively work against their purpose. Every action that you take, every natural phenomena, life itself can all be attributed to specific functions, but don't worry about whether there is any reason for this to be the case.' On places like Reddit, any mention of the dichotomies will immediately get you downvoted, Discord servers are centred around people roleplaying exaggerated caricatures of themselves in order to fit a description, and no matter where you go, there will always be someone that asserts that based upon three vague questions they can tell you who you are with 100% certainty. Eventually, all the intellectual curiosity you once had is replaced with false enlightenment fuelled by the Forer effect, and only then can you call yourself a 'typology expert'.

I'm far from the first person to take issue with all these things, nor will I be the last, but these issues are never addressed. Instead, a few people will agree with what I say, nothing will change overall, and life will go on. I think that MBTI wasn't defined rigorously enough/understood by the community when it 'exploded' in popularity, and this caused a situation in which multiple mutually exclusive interpretations were classified under the same name. In reality, Beebe is not MBTI, Grant is not MBTI, Jung is not MBTI, but these distinctions are overlooked and people instead assume that everyone is talking about the same thing and that their interpretation of it is the right one. Contrary to popular belief, there is an objective answer to the question 'What is MBTI?' and not all interpretations are equally valid; years of observable data that agrees with a theory will lend it more credibility than one that is substantiated upon mass agreement and anecdotal evidence. This however flies in the face of those that treat it similarly to astrology and believe that it holds similar levels of credibility. Sometimes it feels like the true nature of MBTI and its history are some of the most well-kept secrets in the community rather than being the basis of the majority of discussion. I sadly don't think this will change either, despite the best efforts of some.

I'm appealing to a minority here, but to those that are also obsessive about the truth, who are tired of the misconceptions and tribalism, and who have plenty of idiosyncratic theories and ideas but no one to share them with, please do hit me up. I'm sure that we have plenty that we could learn from each other, and barring a few individuals I've been deprived of meaningful discussions for far too long.
 

Coriolis

Liberator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
26,658
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
What kind of development, progress, or discussion are you interested in seeing?

As with many things in life, with MBTI and other personality systems, you get out what you put in. There is ample information, both online and off, for the serious student wanting to use MBTI to explore themselves and others. The existence of dilettantes, demagogues, and naysayers just means that the new student needs to be selective, but that is true online overall. Hopefully everyone knows by now not simply to accept everything you find on the internet

I'm far from the first person to take issue with all these things, nor will I be the last, but these issues are never addressed. Instead, a few people will agree with what I say, nothing will change overall, and life will go on. I think that MBTI wasn't defined rigorously enough/understood by the community when it 'exploded' in popularity, and this caused a situation in which multiple mutually exclusive interpretations were classified under the same name. In reality, Beebe is not MBTI, Grant is not MBTI, Jung is not MBTI, but these distinctions are overlooked and people instead assume that everyone is talking about the same thing and that their interpretation of it is the right one. Contrary to popular belief, there is an objective answer to the question 'What is MBTI?' and not all interpretations are equally valid; years of observable data that agrees with a theory will lend it more credibility than one that is substantiated upon mass agreement and anecdotal evidence. This however flies in the face of those that treat it similarly to astrology and believe that it holds similar levels of credibility. Sometimes it feels like the true nature of MBTI and its history are some of the most well-kept secrets in the community rather than being the basis of the majority of discussion. I sadly don't think this will change either, despite the best efforts of some.
I attribute this confusion and lack of development mainly to the early monetization of MBTI. CPP has a stranglehold on the "official" testing instrument, and perhaps other professional discussion of the material. These ideas should have been reported early on and debated and refined in the professional literature, like any other scientific observations or hypotheses. One reason why it was not may have been prevailing biases which led Myers and Briggs to be dismissed as a couple of housewives, and their largely empircal work not considered fit for the professional literature. To this day, though, Gifts Differing contains some of the most thorough and concise explanations of the origins and underpinnings of the system. Yes, some will criticise my using the term "science" in connection with a personality system, but that is the best way to see if the shoe does indeed fit. Take the data, analyze it, publish it, reproduce it. For all its flaws, from what I have read MBTI has more consistency than its harshest critics usually claim, consistency that could be improved if it were reported and discussed more openly in the literature.
 

Koto

Active member
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
294
What kind of development, progress, or discussion are you interested in seeing?

As with many things in life, with MBTI and other personality systems, you get out what you put in. There is ample information, both online and off, for the serious student wanting to use MBTI to explore themselves and others. The existence of dilettantes, demagogues, and naysayers just means that the new student needs to be selective, but that is true online overall. Hopefully everyone knows by now not simply to accept everything you find on the internet


I attribute this confusion and lack of development mainly to the early monetization of MBTI. CPP has a stranglehold on the "official" testing instrument, and perhaps other professional discussion of the material. These ideas should have been reported early on and debated and refined in the professional literature, like any other scientific observations or hypotheses. One reason why it was not may have been prevailing biases which led Myers and Briggs to be dismissed as a couple of housewives, and their largely empircal work not considered fit for the professional literature. To this day, though, Gifts Differing contains some of the most thorough and concise explanations of the origins and underpinnings of the system. Yes, some will criticise my using the term "science" in connection with a personality system, but that is the best way to see if the shoe does indeed fit. Take the data, analyze it, publish it, reproduce it. For all its flaws, from what I have read MBTI has more consistency than its harshest critics usually claim, consistency that could be improved if it were reported and discussed more openly in the literature.

Hopefully something novel. I don't think that we've discovered all there is to discover about personality and it would be great if there were more connections between MBTI and hard science for example, or even just a new light that it could be viewed in that holds more potential than the current popular conception does, that could be wishful thinking on my part though.

I agree, and clearly there have been many that have pushed part the misinformation in order to get to the heart of things, myself included I would hope. I suppose my 'rant' is from a more idealistic perspective rather than a practical one; I wish that I was more effective in finding like-minded people and that the internet wasn't y'know, the internet, but complaining about it isn't going to do much to fix things. I still want to sulk about it a little though ;p

I can't claim to have known all of this information beforehand which is why that paragraph was mostly speculation and conjecture as to why things the way they are now; it's validating knowing that I wasn't too far off the mark. I've heard that Gifts Differing is definitely worth reading, I haven't managed to get my hands on it yet though, I've read Chapter X of Psychological Types and I have the MBTI Manual Third Edition but that's it. In my eyes, MBTI is already one of the more valid personality systems out there, has a lot of things going in its favour, and as you said, if the data is reported on more openly, it could have the potential to go even further. This is why I'm grateful for those like Reckful, who consistently strived to clear up all misunderstandings with as much clarity as possible, and somewhat saddened by how rare it is to see others with the capacity or desire to do the same.
 

EJCC

The Devil of TypoC
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Messages
19,130
MBTI Type
ESTJ
Enneagram
1w9
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
I will say, the majority of my time spent discussing the MBTI with others has been spent debating the "experts" behind their backs about obvious holes in the logic behind it, and coming up with theories that made more sense. Over the years I've seen the term "folk typology" thrown around derisively, but ultimately what else are we supposed to do? The MBTI is corporatized, you need to pay significant money to have any sort of influence, and the corporate purpose (which BTW was actually the intended purpose of the MBTI from the beginning) is actually incredibly badly suited to the test itself.

This is to say that I fully agree that there needs to be change - but from where I stand, either I could spend an enormous amount of time and money researching and writing something that will amend a test that is frequently (several times a year) debunked by experts, or I could just get even more into the Enneagram, which is a better system that knows exactly what it's good at.
 

thumbless chuck

New member
Joined
Jan 16, 2022
Messages
8
MBTI Type
ISTP
i may be the absolute least qualified person to reply to this thread (from a year ago, woof) but i have seen a lot of what you're talking about. though i'm new to this site, i've been trying my damndest to learn as much as i can about MBTI for a little over a year now, and i continue to run into situations where a question i pose is met with several conflicting answers, and any clarification i ask for is buried under mountains of arguments from the more informed dueling their clashing ideologies. granted, i've been in one of the least formal and educated forums for something like education, but it gets hard to get a hold on these definitions and concepts when new information is tossed my way, very likely from different scholars, and i try to fit the pieces of two different puzzles together.

i doubt this website will end up being as active as i hope it will. i just wanted to let you know that the problem is visible at both the highest and lowest levels of understanding.
 

noname3788

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
153
MBTI Type
INFP
Enneagram
9w1
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
i may be the absolute least qualified person to reply to this thread (from a year ago, woof) but i have seen a lot of what you're talking about. though i'm new to this site, i've been trying my damndest to learn as much as i can about MBTI for a little over a year now, and i continue to run into situations where a question i pose is met with several conflicting answers, and any clarification i ask for is buried under mountains of arguments from the more informed dueling their clashing ideologies. granted, i've been in one of the least formal and educated forums for something like education, but it gets hard to get a hold on these definitions and concepts when new information is tossed my way, very likely from different scholars, and i try to fit the pieces of two different puzzles together.

i doubt this website will end up being as active as i hope it will. i just wanted to let you know that the problem is visible at both the highest and lowest levels of understanding.
What exactly makes someone qualified to reply here? Being a typology expert, having read Jung's books, knowing the definition of each function? Or being a licensed MBTI practitioner? Sometimes the most valuable insights come from beginners because they are likely to detect loopholes that are just blindly accepted by those who already accepted the theory.

Speaking of @Koto initial rant (how could I miss it 6 months ago...)
Yes, I think the typology community has been stuck in a loophole for quite a while, and it's very much a hivemind at this point. I mean, the function system is needlessly complicated for achieving something that is in no way superior to the letter dichotomies... it cannot even be, as you could break down the function evaluation process into letter dichotomies again, and therefore, it's not even possible that functions carry more information or more detail than the letters.
What's more frustrating however is how people still treat Jung as the ultimate authority on personality. His book psychological types turns 100 years next year, and we're supposed to believe that nothing has changed since his days? And perhaps even more perplexing to me is how expansions on the function framework, like the various 8 function models, or, even worse, objective personality system, became popular instead... the latter having like exactly 0 empirical evidence, only anecdotes, and a weak theoretical basis, but I guess that's okay because... functions?

I guess if you're looking for something concrete, then there's no way around using the Big5 system instead, which is the standard system used by scientists. It's also far from perfect, the main benefit here is that it's simply providing a system for measurement that is widely used. Since 4 of it's 5 scales are related to MBTI dichotomies, you could even roughly apply it on MBTI, and use it as a basis to understand studies and related results.
For me personally, there are some questionable assumptions in the typology community that have little backup from the Big5 point of view. One would be type being static, assigned at birth. In Big5, personality can change and will change over the course of a life... not abruptly, usually in slow but steady ways that is hardly noticeable unless you know someone for a very long time, yet it does. Fast-paced change only happens during extremely stressful or traumatic periods. Willingly modifiying your own personality also seems possible by changing behavior consistently... again it takes time, and it needs concrete goals (not abstract ones... "I want to be more outgoing" won't work, "I want to talk to at least 3 new people a day" will). However, there's still a point in the notion of a static personality, as what I mentioned above does not invalidate the influence of natural predispositions... genetics does also play into it. Humans are very complex beings that aren't fully understood yet... why do typologists assume that personality is?

PS: another topic where a bias in the typology community can be seen clearly is intelligence or IQ... many typologists claim that it's bullshit and doesn't detemine anything (even though it's supposedly also an inherited trait). I personally believe that the reason for those stances is the thought of equality... all humans are the same, just in different ways, and therefore all the types are equal, they just all have different strengths and weaknesses. A very ethical reasoning, as I suppose, but sadly it doesn't seem to measure up with research... differences in IQ are well measured and it's predictive powers regarding someone's career chances and life satisfaction can't be understated.

In the end, we're all different, but not the same, and unfortunately, some people simply drew the short stick. Life isn't fair, but it's important to remember that it's not their fault to come up with worse starting conditions... the same way as someone cannot chose whether they are born into a rich or a poor family.
 

Vendrah

Never-retiring Millenial
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
1,807
MBTI Type
NP
Enneagram
952
What exactly makes someone qualified to reply here? Being a typology expert, having read Jung's books, knowing the definition of each function? Or being a licensed MBTI practitioner? Sometimes the most valuable insights come from beginners because they are likely to detect loopholes that are just blindly accepted by those who already accepted the theory.

Speaking of @Koto initial rant (how could I miss it 6 months ago...)
Yes, I think the typology community has been stuck in a loophole for quite a while, and it's very much a hivemind at this point. I mean, the function system is needlessly complicated for achieving something that is in no way superior to the letter dichotomies... it cannot even be, as you could break down the function evaluation process into letter dichotomies again, and therefore, it's not even possible that functions carry more information or more detail than the letters.
What's more frustrating however is how people still treat Jung as the ultimate authority on personality. His book psychological types turns 100 years next year, and we're supposed to believe that nothing has changed since his days? And perhaps even more perplexing to me is how expansions on the function framework, like the various 8 function models, or, even worse, objective personality system, became popular instead... the latter having like exactly 0 empirical evidence, only anecdotes, and a weak theoretical basis, but I guess that's okay because... functions?

I guess if you're looking for something concrete, then there's no way around using the Big5 system instead, which is the standard system used by scientists. It's also far from perfect, the main benefit here is that it's simply providing a system for measurement that is widely used. Since 4 of it's 5 scales are related to MBTI dichotomies, you could even roughly apply it on MBTI, and use it as a basis to understand studies and related results.
For me personally, there are some questionable assumptions in the typology community that have little backup from the Big5 point of view. One would be type being static, assigned at birth. In Big5, personality can change and will change over the course of a life... not abruptly, usually in slow but steady ways that is hardly noticeable unless you know someone for a very long time, yet it does. Fast-paced change only happens during extremely stressful or traumatic periods. Willingly modifiying your own personality also seems possible by changing behavior consistently... again it takes time, and it needs concrete goals (not abstract ones... "I want to be more outgoing" won't work, "I want to talk to at least 3 new people a day" will). However, there's still a point in the notion of a static personality, as what I mentioned above does not invalidate the influence of natural predispositions... genetics does also play into it. Humans are very complex beings that aren't fully understood yet... why do typologists assume that personality is?

PS: another topic where a bias in the typology community can be seen clearly is intelligence or IQ... many typologists claim that it's bullshit and doesn't detemine anything (even though it's supposedly also an inherited trait). I personally believe that the reason for those stances is the thought of equality... all humans are the same, just in different ways, and therefore all the types are equal, they just all have different strengths and weaknesses. A very ethical reasoning, as I suppose, but sadly it doesn't seem to measure up with research... differences in IQ are well measured and it's predictive powers regarding someone's career chances and life satisfaction can't be understated.

In the end, we're all different, but not the same, and unfortunately, some people simply drew the short stick. Life isn't fair, but it's important to remember that it's not their fault to come up with worse starting conditions... the same way as someone cannot chose whether they are born into a rich or a poor family.
Hey, there is a guy who answered you:

[A]
People are arguing too much about whether it’s accurate or not. I find that to be somewhat unproductive because it’s not really possible to prove that it’s a 100% true or false. Mbti is a tool to understand the world and I’m thankful I got into it. There’s no need to tell people that you’re just into it bc it’s fun. It’s okay to take it seriously even though it’s not a proven theory. It is like a lens to see the world through to understand it better. People think that the people who are super into these things are really close minded and won’t talk to others just bc of their personality type. Those people exist and they give mbti a bad name. It doesn’t have to be that way bc something doesn’t have to be proven for it to be useful.
If something is useful in your life that is enough of a reason to continue believing it. I have seen time and time again people talking about cognitive functions without explicitly mentioning the functions. I find that it has exposed my mind to different ways of thinking. People have the tendency of believing that everyone thinks the same way as them. Using this as a tool you can learn how to better communicate with the different types of people you meet. The cognitive function is like a variable in an equation. It’s just there to represent something. We’re using these words to describe what we see in the world so we can better understand it. It puts into words what we have seen but couldn’t describe earlier.

Not really, just a post from here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/mbti/comments/s5m9h6
I just saw it today randomly couldn't help but to associate.
Beyond the Big Five, there is HEXACO as well. And deeply buried somewhere, Millon's personality system as well.

And about the thread, I did make my shot of helping people to properly understand Jung across many different communities. Jung properly explained is not super inconsistent with the tests, its more simple and it does open room for a person to be typeless (even though Jung despise a lot of typeless people and regard them as primitive). It really had an almost zero effect on community overall and people still insist on the cognitive functions for reason I don't really understand, but yes, its getting pretty much stagnant. In the end, the theory the community speak too now in 2022 is basically almost exactly the same thing that was spoken on 2008-2010 period, which in turn are stuff that were written on books that are many decades old (the stacks comes from these old books) that were replicated in resume by websites that were created on 2000's mostly. I think the most novel thing on community is personality-database.
 

noname3788

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
153
MBTI Type
INFP
Enneagram
9w1
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
And about the thread, I did make my shot of helping people to properly understand Jung across many different communities. Jung properly explained is not super inconsistent with the tests, its more simple and it does open room for a person to be typeless (even though Jung despise a lot of typeless people and regard them as primitive). It really had an almost zero effect on community overall and people still insist on the cognitive functions for reason I don't really understand, but yes, its getting pretty much stagnant. In the end, the theory the community speak too now in 2022 is basically almost exactly the same thing that was spoken on 2008-2010 period, which in turn are stuff that were written on books that are many decades old (the stacks comes from these old books) that were replicated in resume by websites that were created on 2000's mostly. I think the most novel thing on community is personality-database.
hehe, don't forget about all those content creators and the countless discord servers that appeared, producing function-related content... the thing is, for each time you try to convince someone in a forum or on reddit, there are probably 100 new videos on youtube explaining the functions. Unless you somehow become popular enough to have lots of followers yourself, or if one of the major ones starts adopting a model that's up do date on research, things will continue to happen that way.

That said, what we can do is helping those who already doubt the function system and show them that their thoughts aren't completely wrong.
 

thumbless chuck

New member
Joined
Jan 16, 2022
Messages
8
MBTI Type
ISTP
What exactly makes someone qualified to reply here? Being a typology expert...
whether or not any qualifications may apply, i figured i'd have the least of whatever they were considering i made my account not 15 minutes earlier. that, and nearly everything i've learned has been second hand information passed down from fellow amateurs. i admit i have yet to really deep dive in any of the actual literature for personal reasons that are too convoluted and off topic to explain unprompted, and that only served to amplify confusion when trying to cobble together jungian functions with socionics with a nondescript 8 function system and some sort of philosophical aftertaste from Beebe. my source was mostly these amateurs because i discovered MBTI as a whole through them, this forum is my first foray into actual investigation.

not to reroute this thread from community criticism to newbie support, but is there a generally agreed upon base for MBTI on a whole? if you created a venn diagram of all the innumerable variant systems and theories, where do they all overlap? having a baseline to build off of custom to my own experience and information (tempered with the reliability of the theory obviously) would be a great help.

re: Big 5
i've never been a big follower of scientists, so whatever people rely on overall is less important to me as someone seeking internal individual understanding. i've fought my way uphill to begin to grasp the concepts around MBTI, and i'd hate to waste the effort by pivoting to a new system. things based on intangible conceptual frameworks are a nightmare to comprehend for me, and i'd prefer not to experience that initial system shock more than necessary.

re: Adaptable Personality
i dont think i believe much of anything is set at birth, though its hard to deny different children seem very different at similar ages. my only real theory is that the diet of the mother might possibly shape the brainworks of the child pre-birth to be more angled towards certain directions, but that's as loose of a speculation as you can really get. i'm not sure if personalities can evolve into others, EG from ISTP to ENTP, but i have absolutely no experience with that concept. i would think that it may be possible to mimic other types by twisting your own lean to mirror it, but it would be somewhat artificial? again, loose speculation.

re: IQ
not that i'm disagreeing with you in any way, but are you trying to imply that IQ helps determine what type you are, and that some types are predisposed to superior intelligence, or just that IQ is an important metric in these discussions that gets shifted under the rug in favor of social niciety?

re: Functions
to be clear, are you both in opposition to the function model? i don't tend to have strong opinions on these things, but god knows when i was first dipping my toes into the MBTI kiddie pool, the idea of function stacks were rammed down my throat faster than i knew what was going on. i've mostly taken them as a foregone conclusion, with the intensity of reliance people tend to lay upon them.

does this forum rely on tests or self reflection based typing overall? where i come from, they mostly push a site called sakinorva, but advise self reflection as you understand more about mbti as a whole.
 

Infinite Metamorphosis

ESI-Se | ISFP
Joined
Jan 17, 2018
Messages
4,572
I'll be honest...I don't think that typology belongs in the hands of the public. I don't think most people are equipped to navigate the information properly. I think what has been published is premature, on top of society being inadequately prepared to navigate it.

The majority of the reason I argue so hard against typology is to break those who take it too seriously, thus going down a rabbit trail, out of their way of thinking. It's upsetting to me that it has made it far enough to be applied in workplaces, also. This is just another form of discrimination on the rise while it's in its current form. Such is evidenced by the anecdotal stories that share this has already been problematic, with some places even requiring you to take an MBTI test as part of the application process. I don't think I need to point out how inaccurate those test results tend to be. To see companies use them in such a way is frightening, in the sense that this type of future looks horrifying. Besides, we all know that everyone would pretend to be certain types in pursuit of the careers they want. That would be harmful by not allowing people to be themselves and by making them feel like they need to become more like the archetype of some type they aren't, in order to pursue their desired/needed career. To accept these theories too hastily, too closed-mindedly, too seriously, has these kinds of consequences. When something is useful in your life and that is accepted as enough of a reason to continue believing it, it doesn't only affect ourselves. When employers, CEOs, and so on, believe in these things...it affects a ton of people in society, and not always in a good way. Information has power, and that power should be used with caution, lest it damage lives. People aren't islands, we all affect one another with our choices and beliefs...some more than others, depending upon how much power and influence someone possesses in society. We are dealing with enough on our plates without dealing with this type of new issue on top of everything else we're trying to resolve.

On that note, I will say, anecdotal evidence is not unimportant or irrelevant in decision-making. It has its place. The fact that people do not know how to discern where its place is, VS where data is more appropriate, further reiterates my point that it doesn't belong in the hands of the public yet. It isn't that I think access should've been restricted, but that I think it should never have been advertised and promoted into the public in a way that causes it to catch on. The end result was basically a wildfire. There needs to be certain baseline education before people delve into a topic such as this. Namely, people need to understand things like logical fallacies, confirmation bias (how to recognize it), accurate analysis of statistics (unspoken factors such as sample sizes and whatever potentially skews collected data results), and probably several other things I'm not thinking of. There needs to be a safety net so that you don't end up with things like...people visual typing based on one glance at someone, then having that as a bias that impacts their ability to see the (coworker, etc.) clearly. This is common in the Socionics community.

Most of those interested in MBTI are those who seem to, perhaps unconsciously, recognize that something is different about them. That difference tends to be mental health problems. The overall majority of the typology community suffers from some kind of problem of this nature. Due to the statistical aspect that shows this, I also think some screening and/or knowledge of mental health problems should also be prerequisite. That isn't to say that those with mental health problems should be denied or restricted in access in any way, but rather, that there needs to be protective prevention against conflating mental health symptoms with personality traits or other known theories. This way, they are able to choose to get help with what causes them to suffer, not thinking it's just normal. The first example that comes to mind is how E9 describes a lack of sense of self, which, according to empirical data, may sometimes pertain more to something like borderline personality disorder's Identity Disturbance or even remaining damage from abuse by someone narcissistic. Typology fails to distinguish between these, and I have more than once seen people talking about such things as though they were normal when they weren't, messaged them privately to inform them of the existence of the possibility that there could be a bigger problem present, only for most of them to tell me that they have indeed experienced some things that make them believe that's possible. I've seen other cases where, for example, people who were thinking they were describing Fi PoLR in Socionics were actually describing problems with Object Permanence, also known as Object Constancy, due to their lack of knowledge. Jung was a psychologist, and his expertise in the field caused him to be far more equipped to navigate this information than the average person is. This is why I believe it belonged in the hands of psychologists...not because the type theories require such directly, but because it's too easy for people without knowledge of existing psychological phenomenon to mistake something for being typology in a detrimental way.

Btw, most of Jung's research was observation based and anecdotal, not based on objective measurements such as data. Data measures the past and present. It is not a tool of those pioneering into the future - at least not always, or not while it's in an infantile theoretical stage of development.
 
Last edited:

noname3788

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
153
MBTI Type
INFP
Enneagram
9w1
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
Okay I'll try to keep it short and precise, while trying to keep the important stuff:

not to reroute this thread from community criticism to newbie support, but is there a generally agreed upon base for MBTI on a whole?
Let's first clean up some terminology: MBTI= the paid test by the myers briggs company https://eu.themyersbriggs.com/en/tools/MBTI
often disregarded to be the "dichotomies", but that's the actual thing, and that's were the 4 letter type code comes from. The functions are mentioned within the document you get after finishing the assessment but aren't part of the actual test.
Also, there are several similar tests for free on the internet.

Definitely take a look at typologycentral's wiki page as well. https://www.typologycentral.com/wiki/index.php/Typology_Central_Wiki_Main_Page
re: Functions
to be clear, are you both in opposition to the function model? i don't tend to have strong opinions on these things, but god knows when i was first dipping my toes into the MBTI kiddie pool, the idea of function stacks were rammed down my throat faster than i knew what was going on. i've mostly taken them as a foregone conclusion, with the intensity of reliance people tend to lay upon them.
I'm not completely against it, but the evidence for the existence of the stacks is kinda weak. The user "reckful" explained this in detail a few years ago, way better than I could do it. You can read it here: https://www.typologycentral.com/wiki/index.php/Reckful_On_Type_Dynamics

In short, the function stack is about "translating" the 4 letter type code into a function stack, the stack itself is always the same but the function definitions vary depending on the position in the stack (and sadly, also depending on the website that pushes the information). I think this site does a good job at explaining the functions (but it's a LOT to read): https://mbti-notes.tumblr.com/theory

re: Big 5
i've never been a big follower of scientists, so whatever people rely on overall is less important to me as someone seeking internal individual understanding. i've fought my way uphill to begin to grasp the concepts around MBTI, and i'd hate to waste the effort by pivoting to a new system. things based on intangible conceptual frameworks are a nightmare to comprehend for me, and i'd prefer not to experience that initial system shock more than necessary.
you can roughly view Big5 as MBTI with another dichotomy added. The infamous 16personalities test uses the Big5 system but with MBTI letter codes, resulting in a XXXX-X type code... the 5th letter represent the Big5 neuroticism scale that has no equivalent in MBTI. For more info I recommend the wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits

Vendrah and me are kinda sceptical towards the function model, and it's not like psychology and personality is a topic that is fully examined yet. Lot's of things stay unclear or vague because no one knows for sure (like about the question whether personality is static or not). The rant in this thread was about many typologists treating it like it was an established truth... I don't think it is.

does this forum rely on tests or self reflection based typing overall? where i come from, they mostly push a site called sakinorva, but advise self reflection as you understand more about mbti as a whole.
Self-reflection based typing is preferred but most people take numerous tests regardless. I think tests are only effective the first time you take them, so try to keep in mind what your first results were... those are usually the most accurate ones.
 

Vendrah

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hehe, don't forget about all those content creators and the countless discord servers that appeared, producing function-related content... the thing is, for each time you try to convince someone in a forum or on reddit, there are probably 100 new videos on youtube explaining the functions.
But vast majority of it are not something new at all, either in terms of new theory or new evidence to support anything. It is just some form of parroting of content that becomes mainly from the 20th century books (I barely know which are they, but they come from people like Dario Nardi, Linda Berends, etc...). At very best they parrot the von-someone, which is one of the first post-Jung. So it is not really new at all, its just more of the same.
 

Infinite Metamorphosis

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Sigh. The very next thread I viewed only further reiterated my point.
"Is this personality or narcissism?" This confusion is so common, so prevalent. I cannot stress the importance of education enough. Narcissism is one of the better known things, though. Imagine how it is with the ones most people don't even realize exist (which, presently, they don't know about most of the field.)
 

thumbless chuck

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re: Typology and Public Knowledge
i don't honestly disagree with this. i can't just stop, the sunk cost fallacy is a bitch and a half, but as somebody who got into it in hopes of understanding others in any consistent, measurable way, it presents as deceptively simple on the surface (or at least people market it as such) and by the time you're dealing with actual scientific, professional level psychoanalysis, you know enough to pretend you'll be able to really lock down the rest, which as i've begun to realize, is probably a lifelong effort that will never actually end.

re: MBTI Discrimination
people are discriminating based off of your type? i find the idea of that ridiculous. not impossible, but laughable even if it's true.
are execs just promoting types they like or something? where can i see these accounts?

re: "(paraphrase) people who are interested in MBTI are often mentally ill"
have to admit, i busted out laughing at that, because you're right, and it's hilarious. i'm certainly off in several major areas, though the term mentally ill may not completely capture the image.

re: Misdiagnosing Illness as Personality
i agree with this more than anything else you've said. i know a guy who ascribed most of how he behaves to being an INFP, and, very ironically, a scorpio. as far as i can tell he's both, but the crux of a lot of his behavior is an inability to engage with reality in a grounded way. he's always daydreaming and dramatizing to avoid facing the actual reality of his life. it's also hard to get through to people, to show them they need to change, when they've embraced things that are destroying them as an intrinsic part of their personality.

MBTI= the paid test
Functions aren't part of the main test
sigh. that's what i get for learning from hobbyists.
thanks for the clarification, i've been using the term MBTI wrong since day one.

re: Reckful on Type Dynamics
it's funny that people managed to seek out the footnote chapter in the back of the book, and decided to latch on for dear life. goddamn this forum is orderly, it's fantastic.
are separated twins really predisposed to similar typing? that's insanely interesting, and with a combination of parents and children not being uniform in type in any lasting manner, it lends a small bit of feasibility to my pre-birth brain formation-based type leaning theory. that's just a little idea i had, obviously, i'm no scientist.
it's interesting how functions are effectively the least verified corner of typological theory, and they ended up being what the layman crowd clung to. almost ironically fitting. thanks for linking that post, it was incredibly informative.
considering how anecdotal they are, i think my somewhat primitive understanding of functions will suffice while i focus on more central concepts going forward.

re: MBTI-5
OH! So Big 5 is just tagging that -t or -a on there? a guy i post with always included those in his posts, and i never properly understood why nobody else did. i understand the turbulent/assertive dichotomy though.

re: Test Results
the first result being right makes sense. i've only taken the one test i've taken twice, and my scores barely changed at all, plus i have no complaints with how my type would fit into my behavior, so it's not something that i find a strong need to question.

re: Is this Personality or Narcissism?
related to this, would somebody being a narcissist but not knowing or believing it cause them to mistype themselves? coincidentally or not, nearly all of the people i've spoken to who exhibit narcissistic behavior are INxJs.
 

Indigo Rodent

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re: Misdiagnosing Illness as Personality
i agree with this more than anything else you've said. i know a guy who ascribed most of how he behaves to being an INFP, and, very ironically, a scorpio. as far as i can tell he's both, but the crux of a lot of his behavior is an inability to engage with reality in a grounded way. he's always daydreaming and dramatizing to avoid facing the actual reality of his life. it's also hard to get through to people, to show them they need to change, when they've embraced things that are destroying them as an intrinsic part of their personality.
Dario Nardi's Magic Diamond was written to address this kind of stuff.
 

Vendrah

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It's upsetting to me that it has made it far enough to be applied in workplaces, also. This is just another form of discrimination on the rise while it's in its current form. Such is evidenced by the anecdotal stories that share this has already been problematic, with some places even requiring you to take an MBTI test as part of the application process. I don't think I need to point out how inaccurate those test results tend to be. To see companies use them in such a way is frightening, in the sense that this type of future looks horrifying. Besides, we all know that everyone would pretend to be certain types in pursuit of the careers they want.

That's a very interesting question for general typology, but for the official MBTI forbids and consider unethical to use MBTI for hiring. MBTI does not predict job performance. Other typology systems can be another story, though.

Typology fails to distinguish between these, and I have more than once seen people talking about such things as though they were normal when they weren't, messaged them privately to inform them of the existence of the possibility that there could be a bigger problem present, only for most of them to tell me that they have indeed experienced some things that make them believe that's possible. I've seen other cases where, for example, people who were thinking they were describing Fi PoLR in Socionics were actually describing problems with Object Permanence, also known as Object Constancy, due to their lack of knowledge. Jung was a psychologist, and his expertise in the field caused him to be far more equipped to navigate this information than the average person is. This is why I believe it belonged in the hands of psychologists...not because the type theories require such directly, but because it's too easy for people without knowledge of existing psychological phenomenon to mistake something for being typology in a detrimental way.

I think you have a notion that everyone who is not "mentally well" should be leave as typeless and you probably have that notion of types being a super healthy and positive, something like that, since you said that "prevention against conflating mental health symptoms with personality traits or other known theories", which implies that they should be considered entirely different and unrelated. However, there are some who implictily (sometimes explicitly) argues that it is that exactly how you are unhealthy or "at your worst" is a very good telling at your "real" or more standard type. Jung actually is one of those, his descriptions of the types also explains their own ways of being unhealthy and is definitely not sugarcoated as the descriptions we see in ways that it makes him sound harsh when compared to most descriptions on the web. In other words, that there is a continuum between healthy-unhealthy insides the type. A part of the enneagram works with that idea either, but Im saying that some more serious source does as well.

So I am going to create a three examples here. First, personality disorders can be created and are influenced from genetic and environmental factors (a quick search can tell you that), every perspective that blames just one or another for all cases are biased (although puncutally there should be cases with environment only and genetic only). I would say there is some free will of the person involved as well otherwise no psychological treatment would work. Although people hardly tell, some disorders psychologists/psychiatrists usually have success treating (like depression) and others not so much or they barely treat - anti-social and narcissism (I read those a long while buried somewhere). However, for the example, I will pretend that the environment plays a larger role just for the sake of simplification.

So lets suppose this list:
• A family history of personality disorders or other mental illness
• Low socioeconomic status
• Verbal, physical or sexual abuse during childhood
• Neglect during childhood
• An unstable or chaotic family life during childhood
• Being diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder (ignore this one)
• Loss of parents through death or traumatic divorce during childhood
(http://www.neilmicklewood.com/tag/personality-disorder-causes-personality-disorder-risk-factors/)

Lets say that person A, B and C passed through that.
Person A reacts by all of this instability by choosing to be social withdrawal - person A sees most or all people as very unworthy of trust (since all of them abused "them" - I use them here to neutralize the sex but I mean person A only, there are no single gender neutral pronouns on this language for people) and retreats to an inner world, becoming more and more detached in ways that odd in thinking or behaviour, making them very socially awkward, in a reaction to avoid their own chaotic family life, the abuse and the bad things about the low socioeconomic status.

Person C reacts by all of this things by being super scared of them. Getting nearby the parents, the environment, everything makes them super anxious about it, and for a good reason: They had an unstable family life, they were abused, etc... Which makes them to feel so scared about it. Due to this, on one route (route 1) they are very shy, always fearing for the worst to happen. On another route (route 2), they try to deal with their strong fears by trying to control the situations, always seeking an environment with order and rules, trying to make things as predictable as possible so nothing bad is going to happen if things go according to plans.

I will let another source for person B with supplementing the case on [].
"Max [person B] has always struggled in new settings. While he loves exploring the nooks and crannies of the new spaces around him, he despises meeting the people [because he suffered a lot of abuse]. He wishes everyone would just leave him alone [actually, this is wrong-written and for my own example I say that he wishes everyone would just leave him free]. But they don’t… [give his freedom] and so they face Max’s wrath every time they come into contact with him. He has little disregard for their wellbeing and treats them poorly [because he feels they are taken away his freedom]. A few years ago, his psychologist diagnosed him with antisocial personality disorder." (https://thriveworks.com/blog/personality-disorders-genetic-environmental/)
I could supplement that person B is a person who reacts by being a rebel and saying "fuck all of this", "I wanna be free of all of this". Person B wants to be free of all of this no matter the costs. So person B disregards every stupid rule their terrible and undeserving of respect parents created. Person B becomes unpredictable and unstable in order to be free of rules - letting their own moods to be free.

Max is the cluster B of DSM focused on anti-social disorder, and me right after is a more generic description of the cluster B without Narcissism (because there are different sub-types of Narcissism out there, like the vulnerable one). Person A is simply from the cluster A from personality disorders. Person C is from cluster C personality disorders. And here's a catch: Cluster A can also be recognized also known as "Brittle" (& also an unnamed "Introspective"), Cluster B can also be recognized as "Undercontroller", Cluster C can be recognized as "Overcontroller". There are some research on these 3 (actually, there is a forth type on the mix, "Resilient/Socially Adjusted"), but not much descriptions (for cluster A, almost none), but here it is a short one of them:

"Undercontrolled individuals were consistently described as self-dramatizing, unable to delay gratification, unpredictable, assertive, rebellious, moody, and self-indulgent. Overcontrolled individuals were consistently described as bland, consistent, dependable, and calm. Resilient individuals were described as having wide interests and a high aspiration level, assertive, socially poised and skilled, and cheerful; and not self-defeating, emotionally bland, nor lacking personal meaning in life.
(...)
Overcontrolled individuals are conceptualized as relatively inhibited in action and affect-expressiveness to the point of at times being excessively constrained. They have difficulty making decisions, may unnecessarily delay gratification or deny themselves pleasure, are tightly organized, are insulated from environmental distractions, and are able to continue even repetitive tasks for long periods of time. At the other extreme, undercontrolled individuals characteristically express affect and impulses relatively immediately and directly even when doing so may be socially or personally inappropriate. They are relatively unable to delay gratification, have fluctuating emotions, and are spontaneous, easily distracted, and relatively unbound by social customs (Block, 2002; Funder & Block, 1989).

The consequences of characteristic overcontrol or undercontrol may be adaptive or maladaptive depending on circumstances. Overcontrol may facilitate disciplined and directed behavior, which can be advantageous in some situations. In other contexts, where delaying gratification and pleasure is unwarranted or psychologically undesirable, overcontrol is likely to be detrimental to personal and often societal fruition. In parallel, undercontrol can facilitate the expression of warmth, friendliness, and spontaneity, which are likely to be advantageous in promoting intimacy and the enjoyment of life. However, undercontrol can be maladaptive when it leads to erratic, unorganized, or dangerous behavior."

In other words, the clusters mirrors real types, so you can in fact use and overlap unhealthy behaviour as type argument on actual quite serious (and harsh) typology as I said on this example. Almost anywhere on Jung chapter X works on that way either - Jung describes some types as "hysterical" for example. The Enneagram is less serious but it does have something similar. And how the person reacts to something does tell about them, but actually you can't ignore that the situation can transform them, so narcissistic parents and/or strict upbringing can influence their own adult personality on a more permanent basis as well.

The most common theme of the clusters for typology community is Cluster A.

thanks for the clarification, i've been using the term MBTI wrong since day one.
You still need to use the term wrongly in order to communicate with people on the forum or figure that when they use "MBTI" they are talking about the cognitive functions only.
 

Infinite Metamorphosis

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I think you have a notion that everyone who is not "mentally well" should be leave as typeless and you probably have that notion of types being a super healthy and positive, something like that, since you said that "prevention against conflating mental health symptoms with personality traits or other known theories", which implies that they should be considered entirely different and unrelated.
I need to reply to this post later due to time limitations, but real quick I wanted to clarify that this part is a misunderstanding or miscommunication or something. What I mean is that, for example...when I first read about certain Enneagram types, I related to them, and I assumed these things were average "unhealthy" ranges of problems. When social problems I was having compelled people to (out of sincere concern, not insult) suggest that I look into mental health topics/therapy, I learned that the problems I was facing in myself were normalized by type theory when they should have been addressed by more professional resources (research, therapists, etc). I realized then how close I had come to typology preventing me from getting help, because of not even knowing I needed it. There were several aspects of my problems that were completely unrelated to personality type, and instead pertained to trauma. While personality/temperament is sometimes a predictive factor in what kinds of health problems someone might be more vulnerable to developing, that's not quite what I'm referring to with this. I'm more so expressing my concern about the way personality theories can lead us to believe that abnormalities are normal. I'm saying that what's problematic is how reading about your personality/temperament is able to obstruct your view of the fact that you've developed mental health issues past the scope of mere personality.

The clearest concrete example I can think of, as far as things being mistaken for personality when they aren't goes...I related to E9's lack of sense of self, only to later learn that narcissistic abuse and life experiences that led to resulted in a suppressed sense of self because I was never even allowed to really have my own personality. I always had to minimize myself and try to "fix myself" by living up to the narcissist's expectations (which can never actually be satisfied). I'm not sure how much you know about narcissists or the style of abuse they have, but some key points are that they a) see you as extensions of themselves, meaning they get you to suppress your true self and then live according to their values, ideals, and expectations, and more; b) do not have unconditional love, leaving their victims always striving to rise to the expectations like "maybe then they will love/accept me, and I will be good in their eyes" (especially when the narcissists are the parents, as it is natural for the child to need to feel loved by their parents). These two dynamics alone are able to result in feeling like you lack a sense of self (can be confused with 9ness) and feel lost without having someone's expectations to try to live up to (can be confused for 6ness). You become a narcissist magnet after being abused by one, as that is what's familiar. You try to win over the unwinnable (potentially mistaken for 2ness). This is a consistent pattern in victims of narcissistic abuse regardless of what peoples' types are, simply because of the nature of the patterns of narcissistic abuse. Yet, such things have massive potential for being attributed to personality and the "need for merging in order to have a sense of self," or a "strong need for validation (which can be conflated with guidance/support from others)" because you've never even had the opportunity in life to live without someone being a complete control freak and you're so used to measuring your own worth according to someone else's acceptance of you. These are dangerous, dangerous things to be confused about, as they can reaffirm your instinct to seek out the familiar and end up in another abusive narcissistic relationship.

Not all of those examples are necessarily things I related to myself, I'm just explaining how there is potential for confusion. Originally, though, I actually was explaining away everything through typology systems (and not Enneagram only). I don't like how close I came to that barring me from ever healing from the 24 years of abuse by narcissists, and 28 years of remaining mentally wired in a way that kept me vulnerable to further abuse by more people. All those types I explained everything away through, aren't even things I relate to anymore now that I've been addressing the psychological remnants left behind by my experiences. I'm able to see how very situational so many of my behaviors were. I'm able to see how certain aspects of myself were being suppressed because of what I learned I needed to conform to in order to avoid abuse for 24 years.

Not every aspect of dysfunctional mental health is related to personality, either. The first example that comes to my mind is how someone confused Fi PoLR and Object Constancy. Object Constancy issues arise during an infant's development. To clarify, all babies develop Object Permanence at a certain age, it's not personality related. Attachment Styles are also affected by parenting styles rather than just personality, yet, attachment styles are able to be conflated with things such as "Sx Blind" for Dismissive-Avoidant, or "Sx/Sp" for the push/pull Fearful-Avoidant. I've seen both of those examples happen before as well. I've also seen the Dismissive-Avoidant eventually retype as Sx/Sp after confronting their attachment issues. They, too, ran the risk of never realizing that their Dismissive-Avoidant attachment style, which needed to be addressed, was merely explained away by typology.

It isn't that I don't think those with mental health problems should be typed at all, but rather, I think there needs to be some caution used so that symptoms are not normalized to the point where people don't get any help.
 
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Infinite Metamorphosis

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Btw, narcissistic abuse leaves victims with a fear of abandonment (loss, which can be associated with E9), also. Again, this isn't something that has been shown to have any correlation to personality. It's related to the patterns of narcissistic abuse.
 
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