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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
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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
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