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Thread: Personality Typology - Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

  1. #1 Personality Typology - Myers-Briggs Type Indicator 
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    Typology is the study of the variations of thought processes among different people. It's goal is to learn why people think and behave differently, the degree in which their thought processes vary, and how to categorize people by their thought processes. At first it was believed that we all thought the same way, so any non conformed thought process was considered madness in the field of Typology. That was until 1923 when Carl Jung said that although we each have the same multitude of instincts, we have individualistic preferences for how we function and so those instincts conform to our preferences; But those preferred instincts still exist within that same multitude of instincts we all share so we're all subject to the same instincts, just at different levels of intensity in order to fit our preferences. And it's by those personal preferences that we can be "typed".

    Since Jung, Typology has developed now to a point where it's theorized that four "dichotomies" exist as the multitude of instincts according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator:

    Introversion/Extroversion
    Sensing/iNtuition
    Feeling/Thinking
    Perceiving/Judging

    A preference of one of the two instincts in each of the four dichotomies determines tendencies in a persons thought process. When combined with the other three preferences of a person's, their type can be determined. Some people's preferences for one instinct may be higher than another person's preference for that same instinct though. That doesn't separate them from that type but it does mean that their instinct's "opposite" is more developed than the other person's which goes to show that people can differ even within the same types and also that some people can balance between types.

    So there are sixteen types that people can be categorized into (ESFJ, ESTJ, ESTP, ESFP, ISFP, ISTP, ISTJ, ISFJ, INTJ, ENTJ, ENTP, INTP, INFP, ENFP, ENFJ, INFJ). The prediction made by Typology is that each type will have its own thought process unique from every other, but not entirely unique (especially when considering closely related types - ex. ENTP and ENTJ). But with the unique thought process will come unique tendencies from the other personalities as well and after years of study it's been shown that some tendencies as seemingly insignificant as particular hand gestures can be assessed to each type.

    The credibility of all of this has been and still is debated though, so I'm asking everyone I can to take the test that determines a person's type in order to test its accuracy. Personally, it was perfect in my case and everyone else I know who's taken the test has found it to be almost perfectly accurate, if not perfect as well.

    Here's the test: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp
    Some of the questions are strange and hard to answer but just try to answer them to the best of your ability.

    When you're done it will tell you which preference you have of each dichotomy and rate its strength in you from 1 to 100. Underneath that it will have two links that lead to descriptions of the type you fell under so read that and then please tell me if it was accurate or not.


    "If I keep an open mind people will throw garbage in it. I don't keep an open mind, I keep an active mind." - Ayn Rand.
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  3. #2  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    I'm INTP. And it fits me amazingly well! I'm encouraged to know that the two most famous scientists, Einstein and Newton, as well as Philosophers like Socrates and Descartes are also INTPs.


    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    INTJ - but these percents seem kind of goofy. I got a 1% for Thinking. Does that mean I'm only 1% more thinking than feeling? And my highest percent was 50% for iNtuition.

    I'd say it's relatively accurate, except that I don't think/act the same way in all different situations. It made some of the questions difficult; for example, sometimes I feel like just staying at home and reading or watching a movie, and other times I feel like going out and partying with friends. Some decisions I make based on feelings, others based on reason, depending on the situation.

    I personally think personalities and individual thought patterns are a little too complex to be able to compartmentalize them this way.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  5. #4  
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    I've actually taken a short class/seminar (nothing official) type thing on this before but don't remember what I got. Took the quiz and according to it I am INTJ.

    I must admit I liked that the one link gave INTJs the name masterminds. A lot the the characteristics seem to hold but there are definitely a few which do not. The list of famous people and especially the list of fictional people was amusing.

    Its a bit impressive how this does seem to work out most of the time but when I read the descriptions I always feel a bit like I am reading a horoscope where you tend to focus on experiences which make thing fit. If this can be used to understand something about yourself better or improve your life in anyway I say more power to you but do not let yourself be bound by it; its always possible to change (hmm it'd be cool to see if it does change over the course of your life, intentionally or otherwise).

    EDIT: Paralith - we seem to be a bit of an anamoly consider the one site metnioend INTJ are only 1% of the population.
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    on a related note, i don't know if you've ever heard of Belbin, but the guy has developed a test to determine the various personality types that need to be present in a team environment for the team to perform properly

    the 9 personality types are :

    • coordinator (able to get others working to a shared aim; confident, mature) : clarifies group objectives, sets the agenda, establishes priorities, selects problems, sums up and is decisive, but does not dominate discussions
      shaper (motivated, energetic, achievement-driven, assertive, competitive) : gives shape to the team effort, looking for pattern in discussions and practical considerations regarding the feasibility of the project - can steamroller the team, but gets results
      plant (innovative, inventive, creative, original, imaginative, unorthodox, problem-solving) : is the source of original ideas, suggestions and proposals that are usually original and radical
      monitor-evaluator (serious, prudent, critical thinker, analytical) : contributes a measured and dispassionate analysis and, through objectivity, stops the team committing itself to a misguided task
      implementer (systematic, common sense, loyal, structured, reliable, dependable, practicable, efficient) : turns decisions and strategies into defined and manageable tasks, sorting out objectives and pursuing them logically
      resource investigator (quick, good communicator, networker, outgoing, affable, seeks and finds options, negotiator) : goes outside the team to bring in ideas, information and developments to it
      team worker (supportive, sociable, flexible, adaptable, perceptive, listener, calming influence, mediator) : operates against division and disruption in the team, like cement, particularly in times of stress and pressure
      completer-finisher (attention to detail, accurate, high standards, quality orientated, delivers to schedule and specification) : maintains a permanent sense of urgency with relentless follow-through
      specialist : technical expert, highly focused capability and knowledge, driven by professional standards and dedication to personal subject area


    all of these roles are missed when not in a team : there's a questionnaire (unfortunately not available for free) that can be used to determine an individual's team role
    in small teams, people can, and do, assume more than one role - it's not essential that teams comprise eight people each fulfilling one of the roles above, but it's best that everyone can fulfil a role that is in line with their natural preferences and strengths

    if memory serves me right i was about 40% plant, 30% monitor-evalulator, 20% completer-finisher + the remaining 10% spread over the rest (the version i did didn't include the specialist role, but i'm sure there must be quite a lot of that in me too)

    does anyone know where to get hold of a free copy of this questionnaire ? it would be fun to see where all the forum members fit in
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    INTJ - but these percents seem kind of goofy. I got a 1% for Thinking. Does that mean I'm only 1% more thinking than feeling? And my highest percent was 50% for iNtuition.

    I'd say it's relatively accurate, except that I don't think/act the same way in all different situations. It made some of the questions difficult; for example, sometimes I feel like just staying at home and reading or watching a movie, and other times I feel like going out and partying with friends. Some decisions I make based on feelings, others based on reason, depending on the situation.

    I personally think personalities and individual thought patterns are a little too complex to be able to compartmentalize them this way.
    Well the test determines your preferences so if you're inbetween when it comes to something (like T/F) then that's your preference. I'm not sure exactly how that would effect your type though because it's likely that INFJ would be just as accurate for you; But since the types predict your tendencies based on you having a superior preference of one dichotomy over another, some of them are probably wrong when it comes to more balanced preferences like yours because it makes you less predictable and thus your tendencies are probably less determinable.

    I remember reading somewhere that the biggest criticism towards the MBTI was that people's types changed when they took the test a second time. First of all, I think those results would be less reliable than the first test because there could be a conflict of interest when taking the test the second time. But another thing is that it's been found that the majority of people who take the test a second time remain the same type (granted it's a small majority) and the people whose types change are almost always people who "scored" low in at least one dichotomy. I think it was 87% of people who had a 6 or higher in every dichotomy remained the same type when they took the test a second time.

    I would agree that there must be some cases (such as yours) where the MBTI isn't completely accurate (or maybe it isn't even accurate at all) but from the accuracy it has with me and most of the people I've shown the test to I don't think it can be denied that it's definitely got something right.

    And just out of curiosity, what was it wrong about in your case?

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernothing
    I've actually taken a short class/seminar (nothing official) type thing on this before but don't remember what I got. Took the quiz and according to it I am INTJ.

    I must admit I liked that the one link gave INTJs the name masterminds. A lot the the characteristics seem to hold but there are definitely a few which do not. The list of famous people and especially the list of fictional people was amusing.

    Its a bit impressive how this does seem to work out most of the time but when I read the descriptions I always feel a bit like I am reading a horoscope where you tend to focus on experiences which make thing fit. If this can be used to understand something about yourself better or improve your life in anyway I say more power to you but do not let yourself be bound by it; its always possible to change (hmm it'd be cool to see if it does change over the course of your life, intentionally or otherwise).

    EDIT: Paralith - we seem to be a bit of an anamoly consider the one site metnioend INTJ are only 1% of the population.
    Yeah another criticism of the MBTI is that the types read like a horoscope. I remember the first time I read the description of my type I couldn't believe how accurate it was. I found it pretty amazing so I read some of the other types and was disappointed to find that if I read them the first time instead I might've been just as amazed at how accurate it was (though only in types that differed by a single dichotomy). I slept on it though and went back and read them all again and found some slight differences. Later, when I read about Jung's theory I realized that the types actually kind of should read like horoscopes because "[We] all have the same multitude of instincts (archetypes) to drive [us] from within. One instinct is no more important than another. What is important is our preference for how we "function."" So even my opposite type could make me focus on past experiences to make the type fit because I'm just as capable of being ESFJ as I am INTP, but because I prefer being INTP, those past experiences of wearing my heart on my sleeve are few and far between. Ultimately though, there will only be one type that fits me best because I prefer it over all others, and that's INTP.

    Eventually I dug deeper and I found out that each type has a dominant function, secondary function, tertiary function and inferior function which are different for every type. In my case they're IT, EN, SI and FE respectively. So there are dichotomies that don't even fit into my type that still have some role in the way I think, but they're more inferior than my dominant function. It's these functions that really separate types from each other:

    "Where the extraversion of the iNtuition function becomes obvious is during discussions, especially heated ones. In contrast to INTJs, an INTP will often make controversial, speculative points of argument, often annoying the discussion-partner, and make them in such a way as to leave the impression that he is very serious about what he says. In reality, the INTP is not actually even certain himself whether he really stands by what he is saying, but his Ne strongly suggests that there must be a core of truth there. The purpose then of his outspoken style of argument is to sharpen his own intuitive understanding by testing the reaction of the listener, and indeed to examine the logic of his own arguments in real time while speaking them out. On occasion, INTPs may seem brash and tactless, but for themselves it is part of their way of getting closer to the truth. This is another aspect of the Ne grappling with the external world (in this case discussion with another) to understand it. The Ne provides the raw material for the Ti core to analyse. The INTJ, on the other hand, with Ni dominant and Te as secondary, tends to avoid letting uncertain speculative ideas out in the open: he presents a more considered structured viewpoint to the world while holding his private thoughts free for intuitive reasoning. The INTJ resembles a chess player, ruminating on the possibilites and then making decisive accurate moves. If the INTP played life as chess, he would keep wishing to modify the allowed-move-properties of his various pieces to optimise his strategy, find that that isn't allowed, and ask to start the game afresh! The ENTP chess player would indeed modify the rules to his advantage and complain that the standard rules were inadequate! The ENTJ would play by the standard rules but insist on making the moves for his opponent as well !"
    http://intp.org/intprofile.html (unfortunately it's harder to find just as detailed descriptions of other types)

    I can't say I'm really sure whether or not I completely agree with the same functions fitting every type, especially in cases of people who're balanced between types. These certainly work in my case though.

    As for people changing types, I'm sure it's possible. People might become unhappy or maybe even bored with the way they're living and could try to change. Although I suspect that in most cases people would become uncomfortable and retreat back to their old type or maybe remain the same type but with their dichotomies altered.
    "If I keep an open mind people will throw garbage in it. I don't keep an open mind, I keep an active mind." - Ayn Rand.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    I've done Myers-Briggs before, on more than one occasion, and never bothered to remember my personality 'type'. Reasons?

    1. Unfortunately, when it comes to the social sciences, it is very difficult to avoid the tendency to fall for Barnum statements - ie many people (a lot like those who subscribe to horoscopes) will tend to see themselves in most descriptions of their character, as long as the description is not overtly negative. Putting in 'detail' like Introversion>Extroversion merely makes someone believe that he/she is actually not a frivolous social butterfly. The opposite Extroversion> Introversion will again provoke someone into thinking he/she has good social skills. So you win either way. And that's the danger.

    2. I do not know how much work has been done not just in validating the assessment, but also the assessment criteria - if you look for these criteria only, then these are the only ones you'll find.

    3. Like others, reiterated assessments frequently result in different results - possibly dependent upon mood and context - again reducing my belief in the reliability of this model.

    Them's my thoughts, anyway.

    cheer

    shanks
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i wonder how much these type of things are self-fulfilling prophecies
    e.g. you've been told you're a certain type of person, and you start acting a certain way to remain in character ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  10. #9  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    i wonder how much these type of things are self-fulfilling prophecies
    e.g. you've been told you're a certain type of person, and you start acting a certain way to remain in character ?
    And yes - that's yet another problem with them... (How much more wonderful would the world be if Aquarians didn't keep trying to live up to the notion that they're 50 years ahead of the rest of humanity?! )
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