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Worse: in my view, by creating simplistic categories while the reality of human psychology is much more complex and contrasting them with one another to create dichotomies while these qualities ("attitudes", "functions" and "lifestyles") coexist and interact, this test favours preconceptions and even, sometimes, prejudices.

For example, contrasting thinking and feeling is in contradiction with all the knowledge developed by the modern cognitive sciences.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
M-B doesn't give you discrete categories but a gradation. For instance, I am:
Introverted (I) 64% Extraverted (E) 36%
Intuitive (N)   68% Sensing (S)     32%
Thinking (T)    90% Feeling (F)     10%
Perceiving (P)  55% Judging (J)     45%


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 05:39:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
M-B doesn't give you discrete categories but a gradation
Maybe, but the result is not a grade on a scale but a dichotomic categorisation: you're either Thinking or Feeling.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The statistical validity of the MBTI as a psychometric instrument has also been subject to criticism, in particular, the dichotomous scoring of dimensions. For example, it was expected that scores would show a bimodal distribution with peaks near the ends of the scales. However, scores on the individual subscales are actually distributed in a centrally peaked manner similar to a normal distribution. A cut-off exists at the centre of the subscale such that a score on one side is classified as one type, and a score on the other side as the opposite type. This fails to support the concept of type--the norm is for people to lie near the middle of the subscale.

BTW, I had a look at the test and I find many items highly questionable from a methodological point of view. For example, these questions:
"You tend to be unbiased even if this might endanger your good relations with people"
"Strict observance of the established rules is likely to prevent a good outcome"
"It is in your nature to assume responsibility"
"You easily see the general principle behind specific occurrences"

I find several problems:
These questions use polysemous words without clarifying their definition
Many of them are value-charged
A great number could/should be answered by something else than YES or NO
The whole test presupposes you have an objective vision of yourself...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 06:10:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree entirely.  I've been subjected to M-B and similar tests on a number of occasions (mainly when I was briefly studying for a master's degree in education, an effort mercifully abandoned before it did too much damage) and have never found any of them terribly illustrative or insightful.  I don't think they measure what they purport to measure fairly well, and I personally don't easily fit into those boxes -- so at different times have gotten different results, especially on the T/F scale, but on the other ones as well.  Why on Earth would I want to think of myself as a certain "type" if I'm barely two percentage points away from being a different "type," especially when I haven't the faintest idea how to answer a good chunk of the questions because they're bizarrely worded?

The traditional approach to some tests (not necessarily M-B) even tends to view people who are "undifferentiated" as somehow dangerous, rather than as, uh, well-rounded.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 06:48:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm INFJ - but an astounding moderate one at that (Introverted 33, Intuitive 6, Feeling 38, Judging 1).

Apparently this makes me a Counselor type. Which I would find flattering.

Keirsey Temperament Website: The 4 Temperaments

The Counselor Idealists are abstract in thought and speech, cooperative in reaching their goals, and enterprising and attentive in their interpersonal roles. Counselors focus on human potentials, think in terms of ethical values, and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (little more than 2 percent) is regrettable, since Counselors have an unusually strong desire to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their companions. Although Counsleors tend to be private, sensitive people, and are not generally visible leaders, they nevertheless work quite intensely with those close to them, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes with their families, friends, and colleagues. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.

BTW, if there will be a B-M compass, I think everyone should do the same test. I just googled my way to one.

by Nomad on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 06:33:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IMHO, it has the same scientific validity as the following which describes perfectly my personality - NOT!:

Astrological Character profile- Cancer

You are innately attached to your family and are patriotic, maternal and imaginative. Although quiet, conscientious and receptive, you are deeply concerned with what others think of you. You need to feel needed, and through genuine concern for humanity you can overcome your natural shyness. You like to cook and entertain, and you are an avid collector. When necessary you can be manipulative to achieve your aim, which is emotional security. You need a quiet place for retreat, since you respond so strongly to influences in your environment.

You are domestic by nature and from here comes your protective instincts... Your temper is uneven; you flare up quickly but soon forget the cause of your outburst. You often assert your 'me first' tendencies.

You are very emotional and you can be swayed too easily by your senses. Arguments arouse your stubbornness because once you make up your mind you stick to your decision. Impressionable and changeable, you are sensitive to your surroundings; kindness and praise are the best ways to get through to you... you might have trouble thinking objectively, since your emotions are always involved. This could lead to feeling sorry for yourself...



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 06:58:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I worked my way through the other personality types and I too was reminded of *cough * astrology...
by Nomad on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 07:05:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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